Why Basic Needs?

Seattle / King County has the third-largest homeless population in the U.S.

Having the basics can change everything.

For families with children experiencing homelessness, having the basics can change everything. Seattle/King County has the third-largest homeless population in the U.S. after New York and Los Angeles. As of 2018, the count of families with children experiencing homelessness is one of the fastest-growing and least-visible segments in the country.

An estimated 1 in 3 families is struggling to provide enough diapers to keep a baby or toddler clean, dry, and healthy.

Since many families work, they must decide between the cost of getting to work or a month’s supply of diapers (about $80-$100/month). Government assistance programs do not pay for diapers. The cost can increase because families may lack the opportunity to purchase or even store diapers in bulk. This means parents improvise to make diapers stretch further, changing diapers less often or attempting to clean and reuse disposable diapers, which are health and safety hazards.

We believe our work is critical to Seattle’s future generations. Access to basic needs allows children and adults to meet their potential. It can mean education, health and income — and overcoming homelessness.

Health

Experiencing homelessness both pre- and post-natal and longer than six months can cause significant damage to a child. ref

Education

Homelessness in early childhood is correlated with poor classroom engagement and social skills in early elementary school. ref

Empowerment

Homelessness has negative implications on the parent-child relationship. Without enough time to spend with kids and be a parent, parents miss out on the wonderful privileges of parenting. ref

3rd largest
Seattle/King County has the third-largest homeless population in the U.S. after New York and Los Angeles.
1 in 3 families
An estimated 1 in 3 families are struggling to provide enough diapers to keep a baby or toddler clean, dry, and healthy.
763+ families
At least 2,451 individuals in 763 families with children in Seattle/King County are living in emergency shelters, tent encampments, safe car parks, and tiny homes.