SEATTLE, Nov. 14, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — A Way Home Washington (AWHWA), the movement to prevent and end youth and young adult homelessness across Washington, is proud to announce a new partnership with the Seattle Seahawks and Tableau Foundation on a statewide initiative to help the 13,000 – 15,000 unaccompanied youth and young adults experiencing homelessness each year. The partnership brings together three organizations who have all found great success through data.
Powered by Tableau, the world’s leading analytics platform, AWHWA’s flagship program, the Anchor Community Initiative (ACI), has an explicit goal to prevent and end YYA homelessness through intensive work in communities.
“In each Anchor Community, a diverse coalition brings together all parts of a community with partners committing to work across systems and silos, sticking with their collective approach until they have functionally ended youth homelessness. This means they have the capacity to prevent most homelessness, use personalized, real-time data to identify all the unaccompanied young people who are experiencing homelessness, and quickly provide connections to safe and stable housing,” said Julie Patiño, Executive Director, A Way Home Washington.
The ACI, which began in four communities, is in the process of expanding to include additional communities across the state. This expansion builds on recent milestones achieved by Anchor Communities, including Spokane, which has become the largest community in the United States to achieve a reduction in youth and young adult homelessness, and Walla Walla, which has reduced homelessness for young people by 20 percent in the last six months.
“A Way Home Washington’s data-driven approach to preventing and ending youth and young adult (YYA) homelessness in the state is something that really resonated with us in the Seahawks organization” said Jeff Richards, Vice President of Marketing & Community Engagement for the Seattle Seahawks. “We know how clearly communicated insights keep our teams moving in the right direction on and off the field. The same is true for community organizations working together to make sure young people have a safe place to call home and the support needed to thrive.”
As part of the partnership, the Seahawks will host and celebrate several direct service providers from the Anchor Communities at the Seahawks game on Sunday, November 21. Throughout the pandemic, local homeless service providers across the state have worked tirelessly to support young people in need.
“Welcoming the ACI partners to Lumen Field is our way of saying ‘thank you’ to those who have given so much of themselves to help others,” said Richards.
“A Way Home Washington and the Anchor Communities Initiative are proving that we can not only address the total number of homeless youth and young adults in Washington state, but that data empowers communities to be intentional about addressing the disproportionate number of kids of color who experience homelessness each year,” said Jason Schumacher, Tableau Foundation’s lead on homelessness and housing initiatives. “Seattle has been Tableau’s home since its founding in 2004, and we’re thrilled to be joined with another iconic Washington organization in the Seahawks to support this statewide effort to help kids in need.”
Addressing YYA homelessness is often helping a young person address family disruption related to sexual orientation, gender identity, family abuse, and other issues that are exacerbated by the vulnerability and diminished power young people have in the United States. Additionally, the leading indicator of homelessness later in life (e.g., chronic homelessness, vehicular homelesness, etc.) includes previous episodes of homelessness.
Recognizing the impact that the spread of COVID-19 has had on these vulnerable young people, AWHWA recently sought out additional information to better understand the impact that the pandemic has had on them in Washington. From the Household Pulse Survey, which is conducted every two weeks and gathers data on how the coronavirus pandemic is impacting households across the United States from social and economic perspectives, our analysis shows that 18-25 year olds in Washington state have been deeply impacted by the pandemic, including:
- Mental well-being is precipitous among those surveyed. 71% reported being depressed and 82% reported experiencing anxiety.
- Only 52% of respondents indicated that they were very confident they could afford food.
- Across the board, young people are more vulnerable and are having more acute negative experiences than other age groups in Washington state.
“We expected the impacts of COVID-19 on young people experiencing homelessness to be bad, but what we learned was truly eye opening. Young people fared worse than every other age group in our state, with young people of color being disproportionately impacted,” says Patiño. “The insights provided by this tailored, real-time data are essential to informing policies and practices that help us to provide the right services and take the right steps to prevent and end youth and young adult homelessness.”
About A Way Home Washington
A Way Home Washington (AWHWA) is a statewide movement to prevent and end youth and young adult homelessness, with a focus on prioritizing young people of color and LGBTQ+ youth who experience homelesness at higher rates than their white, straight, cisgender peers. Co-Chaired by First Lady Trudi Inslee, AWHWA unites passionate stakeholders across the state to build systems that respond to the unique needs of all young people.
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SOURCE A Way Home Washington; Tableau Software