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YES’ Homelessness Prevention Services Has Kept 52 Families in Their Homes

Lidia Harding
Blog Programs Success Stories
Best Starts for Kids photo

A little over a year ago, Youth Eastside Services (YES) began a partnership with King County’s Best Starts for Kids (BSK) Youth and Family Homelessness Prevention Initiative. Created through efforts by Executive Dow Constantine, the initiative provides solutions for young people and their families facing the threat of homelessness in King County. In the past year, YES has helped 52 families on the Eastside avoid homelessness and remain safe, warm and comfortable in their own homes. The initiative’s 25 partner organizations, together, have prevented more than 3,000 people across King County from becoming homeless in 2017.

The initiative allowed YES Education and Prevention Director Jackie Bui to hire a case manager dedicated to the program. The case manager has the flexibility to meet any of the specific needs of a family on the verge of homelessness. Some examples include help with transportation, utilities, help finding a better job, or help understanding their legal rights. BSK outreach data found that nearly a quarter of households ended up not needing financial assistance because case managers were able to assist families in other ways, such as negotiating with landlords to prevent eviction.

Julian* a 20-year old, reached out to YES seeking support. Due to the high number of tech workers in the King County area, his father, who works as a software engineer, was only able to obtain occasional contract positions resulting in an unstable income. Julian’s mother, who has been treated for mental health issues, was overwhelmed by the stress of unemployment and financial problems, and required emergency treatment. With mounting medical bills, and the increasing cost of rent, the family was at risk of eviction.

YES was able to respond to the request with funds from BSK’s Youth and Family Homelessness Prevention Initiative, providing the financial support the family needed to avoid an eviction. Soon after, the father found stable, full-time employment out of state, where the family can also benefit from being closer to other family members who can offer support. Julian now looks forward to “having a stable home in which he can plan for his future.”

*Name changed for anonymity.

“It has been especially rewarding providing assistance to these families during the cold winter months,” said YES Director Jackie Bui. “It’s encouraging to know that these families spent their holiday season in the comfort of their homes.”

In 2017, BSK awarded $4.1 million to 25 different partner organizations throughout the King County area, with YES receiving $75,000 towards their work on the Youth and Family Homelessness Prevention Initiative. The county will continue to invest a total of $19 million over the course of the six-year BSK levy.

To follow the progress of YES’ Homelessness Prevention Program, and to hear more success stories, please sign up for our monthly e-newsletter.

To learn more about the Youth and Family Homelessness Prevention Initiative, including how funding is being allocated and the source of funds, please visit the King County’s Best Start for Kids launch announcement at http://bit.ly/2DzN1xq

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