SEATTLE (November 15, 2017) – Two years after the City of #seattle and #kingcounty declared a State of Emergency on homelessness, the number of families with young children sleeping outside in tents and cars continues to grow – with hundreds of unsheltered families, including an estimated 1,900 young children, waiting months for basic emergency shelter.
As this daily crisis continues, #starbucks has once again joined local businesses, organizations, foundations, and individuals to help Mary’s Place – the region’s leading family emergency shelter provider – reach its goal of raising at least $1.5 million by December 31. This temporary boost in funding will allow #marysplace to serve as many as 800 unsheltered families and their children (over 107,000 nights of shelter) and connecting them to a housing advocate, with a goal of moving 300 families to permanent housing.
Starbucks has contributed $250,000 toward this year’s campaign, and is inviting all customers in #kingcounty to donate to #marysplace via the #starbucks mobile app or by visiting starbucks.nochildsleepsoutside.org. Every dollar raised through the app or website, today through December 31, will be matched by The #starbucksfoundation up to an additional $250,000. This investment builds on The #starbucks Foundation’s $2 million contribution to last year’s campaign, as well as its support of other local nonprofits including the United Way, YWCA, and Youth Care, that connect homeless families and youth to job placement programs and other critical services. Organizations like Aegis Living, The Boeing Company, Comcast NBCUniversal, Dick’s Drive-In Restaurants, Family Heritage Life, Google, Lakeside Industries, Inc., LMC - A Lennar Company, Regence, Uber, Wells Fargo, Women’s Council of Realtors, Zillow Group and others have also come together to raise funds for the #nochildsleepsoutside campaign.
During last year’s campaign, the community came together in an extraordinary way to raise over $4 million that made it possible for Mary's Place to bring 500 families inside, including at new shelters in White Center, Shoreline, and Northshore. The organization now operates eleven locations and provides nearly 700 beds in #kingcounty. With last year’s community investment, Mary's Place moved 221 families into more stable housing, and diverted over 100 unsheltered families into permanent homes, avoiding shelter all together. But even with that success, many homeless families are still waiting months for emergency shelter.
“We need to treat this daily tragedy just as we would any natural disaster and mobilize as a community to bring these families inside,” said #kevinjohnson, #starbucks president and ceo. “We urge others to join us in supporting the #nochildsleepsoutside campaign as we work together with #marysplace to raise awareness about unsheltered families, provide urgent relief, and call on the City and County to implement the reforms recommended a year ago by their own experts. This is the most solvable and urgent aspect of the complex homelessness crisis, and together, we can ensure no child in #kingcounty ever has to sleep outside again.”
In addition to helping raise funds for emergency shelter, #starbucks supports the recommendations outlined in the #pathwayshome strategy, which addresses some of the systemic problems contributing to the homeless crisis. It includes prioritizing same day emergency shelter so no family is left outside, prioritizing diversion assistance so families can be kept in current housing whenever possible, relaunching the Family Impact Team and sharing by-name lists to ensure families are contacted promptly, and publishing monthly a report card on progress in reducing unsheltered family homelessness. Recognizing that city and county reforms to provide affordable housing will take months or years, #starbucks and other supporters of the #nochildsleepsoutside campaign believe it is critical to provide immediate emergency shelter for hundreds of children.
“We know that our family homelessness crisis is solvable,” said #martyhartman, executive director for #marysplace. “This year’s #nochildsleepsoutside campaign goal of $1.5 million is ambitious, but together with our community and amazing, committed partners like #starbucks, we CAN bring every child inside to warmth, safety, and stability.”About Mary’s Place
Mary’s Place empowers homeless women, children and families to reclaim their lives by providing shelter, nourishment, resources, healing and hope in a safe community. #marysplace operates six crisis response family shelters providing refuge and community for 400 family members experiencing homelessness. The organization focuses on an innovative strategy of combining prevention, emergency shelter and resources for transition into housing to bring families out of homelessness. At their Family Centers, #marysplace provides shelter, services and resources in the same building. This allows families, together with their assigned Housing Specialists, to focus on individualized plans for overcoming barriers and finding employment and stable housing. It does all this cost effectively in loaned buildings that are empty and awaiting development, for just dollars per night. To learn more, visit www.marysplaceseattle.org.About The #starbucks Foundation
The #starbucksfoundation was created in 1997 as part of #starbucks commitment to strengthen communities. The foundation supports programs around the globe through #starbucks Opportunity for Youth Grants as well as other grant programs. The #starbucksfoundation is a separate 501(c)(3) charitable organization that receives funding primarily from #starbucks Corporation and private donations.
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