YouthCare supports the renewal of the King County Veterans, Seniors, and Human Services Levy (VSHSL).
Our region faces an affordability crisis. Rents in Seattle have risen 57% in the last six years and studies show that every $100 increase in rent is associated with a 15% increase in homelessness in metropolitan areas. King County is no exception: as rents steadily rise each year, so do rates of homelessness. For youth, the lack of affordable housing is even more acute—most lack a rental history, established credit, and living wage employment. At this rate, many of our young people simply cannot afford to live in this region, even if they have a full-time job.
The 2017 Point-in-Time count found a total of 11,643 individuals experiencing homelessness, and 47% were unsheltered. Over 1,500 of those counted were youth and young adults ages 12-24.
Though we have long known that previous counts of homeless youth underestimated the true number of homeless youth in our region, this number is cause for deep alarm. As this year’s count underscores, there is a profound need for increased innovation and funding in our community for affordable housing and human services.
The VSHSL ensures that those most vulnerable in our community—seniors on fixed incomes, veterans coping with PTSD, youth with no safe place to call home—are not left behind. Everyone, no matter how young or old, rich or poor, healthy or sick, deserves a safe place to call home and an opportunity to thrive.
YouthCare urges you to join us in supporting the renewal and expansion of this important levy.