Home Base Update: 3 Months In

By United Way of King County, on June 11, 2019 | In Fighting Homelessness, Success Stories

With affordable housing and income fairness top of people’s minds for a while now, we should be making a dent in the homelessness crisis. But…the tents are still there.

Thousands move out of homelessness every year, thanks to community support, donations and a lot of passion toward ending this crisis. So why doesn’t it look like it?

Because thousands also become homeless every year.

Can we make progress on homelessness? Read more.

One situation is at the top of the list for causing homelessness: Eviction.

It’s a doomed word. Heavy with outside judgement and dismissal. An eviction warning gives you a miniscule window of time to catch up or speak up. A eviction finalized is red mark on your record that will scream out to every landlord or property manager you encounter from now on.

Prevent Evictions, Prevent Homelessness

The Home Base program is reaching people right on that brink of homelessness. This program halts evictions before they cause long-term damage, aka homelessness.

Thanks to a catalytic investment by the Seattle Mariners, the King County Bar Association and United Way came together to supercharge the Housing Justice Project’s response for tenants facing imminent eviction.

Even having started just last March, Home Base is already the redirection our community has needed to stop the steady flow of people into homelessness.

Home Base Is Helping People Already

Eviction often forgets that people are just that: people. Who have struggles and low points and high points and drive.

One of our Home Base partners, Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle, recently shared these examples of people Home Base has helped in just its first three months:

  • A teacher who fell behind on rent because of the cost of repairing her broken-down car—which she needed to get to work and bring home her paycheck.
  • A breast cancer survivor whose medical bills caused her to fall behind on rent.
  • A woman, disabled and formerly homeless, who’d been denied social security and needed help appealing it—and paying rent too.

With 40% of Americans not able to cover a $400 emergency expense, the threat of eviction can be just one paycheck away. We know that stopping the pipeline into homelessness is critical to fighting our community’s current crisis.


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