Your Fiscal Year Results: Racial Equity, Homelessness, Education

By United Way of King County, on September 8, 2019 | In News, Racial Equity

In this last campaign year, which ended June 30, we’re thrilled to announce that United Way of King County donors like you gave more than $36 million. Thank you for investing in our priority work of building a community where people have homes, students graduate and families are financially stable!

“United Way is shaking things up in ways that nobody else in the nonprofit
space is and it’s working,” said Jonathan Sposato, co-founder of GeekWire and PicMonkey.

“From leveraging creative investments to help students of color graduate to working with outreach workers to scale one-time emergency grants to help people move off the streets, they’re thinking about solutions differently.”

Heather Lowenthal Jonathan Sposato fight homelessness crisis United Way

The unstoppable 2018-2019 United Way campaign co-chair team: Jonathan Sposato and wife Heather Lowenthal, producer, director and senior project manager at Parallel Productions.

Read more on their style- and passion-filled year.

Donations Take On Homelessness In Both Directions

Thinking differently and flexible dollars are central to United Way’s Streets to Home program, a key strategy in the organization’s work to fight homelessness.

This year alone, Streets to Home lifted more than 2,300 people out of homelessness at an average cost of $1,000 per person.

Last year, the majority of people who were connected to housing in our Streets to Home program were people of color. Partners like Muslim Housing Services and Chief Seattle Club have been added to particularly address the needs of people of color experiencing homelessness and close the racial disparities that cause it.

United Way knows that eviction is a leading cause of homelessness, and with 40% of Americans not able to cover a $400 emergency expense, the threat of eviction can be just one paycheck away.

People of color experience evictions at much higher rates here. Thanks to donations and donors who are as passionate about equity as we are, the Home Base program that started this year is taking that on.

Made possible thanks to a catalytic $3 million investment by the Seattle Mariners and a $5 million investment from Microsoft, Home Base provides flexible emergency funds for tenants facing imminent eviction and volunteer-based legal services from the King County’s Bar Association’s Housing Justice Project to help people avoid eviction and stay in their homes.

December 2018 announcement of the Home Base program

Thanks to the leadership of the Seattle Mariners and additional support from Challenge Seattle—in honor of Blake Nordstrom—F-5 Networks, D.A. Davidson & Company and individual donors, United Way’s Home Base program will prevent 4,000 people from falling into homelessness in the next year.

Boosting Racial Equity in Education

In 2017, graduation rates in King County for students of color were significantly lower than for white students.

Your donations are creating opportunities for students of color to finish their education. Students finishing high school, as with our Reconnecting Youth program, and students staying in and completing college.

A new education program donors helped expand this year, Bridge to Finish, does exactly that. And it helps students of color knock out poverty-induced barriers all along the way that might otherwise force half of them to quit college.

Because 44% of our area’s community college students are people of color, donations to this program ensure education is as accessible and obtainable by students of color as by white students.

Thank you for supporting all this community work and more with your donations and your determination to create a more equitable community.


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