Raikes Foundation


Public Partners:
City of Seattle Human Services Department and King County Department of Community and Human Services Committee to End Homelessness


Raikes Foundation

Raikes Foundation: The foundation empowers young people to transform their lives, including ending youth and young adult homelessness in King County, Washington. www.raikesfoundation.org

The Comprehensive Plan to Prevent and End Youth and Young Adult Homelessness in King County by 2020

In 2011, the Raikes Foundation convened a group of primarily private funders in and around Seattle, Washington, in an effort to focus and align organizations seeking to reduce youth homelessness in the region. An initial outcome of the work of the Youth Funders Group, as it is now known, was the publication in 2012 of the “Priority Action Steps to Address Youth and Young Adult Homelessness,” a document outlining a series of concrete ways for the whole community to better address the causes and effects of youth homelessness. More than 100 stakeholders participated in the development of the Priority Action Steps, including service providers, local governments, current and former homeless youth, and private philanthropy.

The Priority Action Steps spurred an initial investment of more than $2 million in private funding for new prevention and early intervention programs; improved data collection; and Youth Housing Connection, a new coordinated engagement system for young adults seeking housing. In addition, the Priority Action Steps paved the way for the Committee to End Homelessness (CEH) in King County, the local leadership group composed of funders, civic leaders, and advocates whose goal is to end all homelessness in the region.

The Priority Action Steps also laid the groundwork for a subsequent, more detailed regional plan published in August 2013, “The Comprehensive Plan to Prevent and End Youth and Young Adult Homelessness in King County by 2020.” The Comprehensive Plan was the result of an extensive planning process that engaged program providers, homeless youth, public sector funders, elected officials, and private philanthropy.

The Raikes Foundation and its partners catalyzed the regional effort in multiple ways. They strategically invested private funds to expand systems capacity; used private funds to more flexibly and quickly invest in good ideas like prevention, which are now being sustained by public funding; helped to bring youth voice to the table by funding to engage youth in advocacy; and invested in media partnerships and communication tools to help all members of the regional effort raise awareness and public support.

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