Racism In Seattle: Homelessness Is A Result

By United Way of King County, on December 12, 2018 | In Fighting Homelessness

The evidence of homelessness in our community is everywhere.

Tents along the road. A family just one crisis away from losing their home. The unbelievably long lines at shelters.

You’ve seen it. You know it.

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. —Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

Just like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. did during the Poor People’s Campaign—when he fought for economic and human rights for all poor Americans—we are fighting poverty by connecting people to income and housing.

Stabilizing lives by getting someone into a home and removing barriers to earning an income is an important step in ending housing racism in Seattle and King County. So is recognizing that there are long-standing disparities for people of color that exist in our community and addressing them head-on with our grantees who also focus on serving people and communities of color.

You role? Fight for housing and justice against homelessness Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

Housing Racism in Seattle

Aeshia had a full-time job as an ICU nurse at the VA hospital in Seattle. But with a past bankruptcy, she couldn’t find a landlord who would rent to her. So she was forced to live in her car for weeks until she found United Way’s Streets to Home program that covered her security deposit, plus first and last month’s rent. One small hurdle to moving off the streets. United Way and our partners also vouched for Aeshia, which helped the landlord be more confident with her as a tenant. Read all of Aeshia’s story.

It’s not just renters who face this struggle. A recent study of lender data shows that black applicants were rejected at more than double the rate of white applicants on all types of loans. Why? Because of racism in America. And racism in Seattle. That injustice can lead to homelessness.

A breakdown of Seattle/King County general population (top line) vs. the Seattle/King County homeless population (bottom line):

(Data: All Home)

You’re the Difference-Maker

The average cost of successfully moving someone off the streets and into permanent housing through Streets to Home is less than $1,000.  Check out how that works.

For many like Aeshia, that covers her security deposit. Others simply need to reach nearby family or help avoiding eviction.

The gift you give—it matters. Your gift means the difference between sleeping out in the rain and sleeping in a bed. Your gift means you are standing up against the injustice of homelessness and poverty.

We can make this community better for people. Please fight to end homelessness today at uwkc.org/donate.


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