Village Family Project

 

25 YEARS


Raising a Village… Together.

 

A Short History

For over 25 years, we have offered our support, our concern and our limited resources to a number of young people we have encountered on the streets of Seattle. We have encouraged them, advised them, and helped provide them with the tools and the knowledge that might make their existence more tolerable.
Very often we have fed them, helped provide them with clothing, blankets, transportation and other basic needs. We have been joined in our efforts by friends, people from the community, even some businesses. We have had dentists and doctors donate services to kids who couldn’t find help on their own. We have referred young people to organizations who were in a position to offer help that we couldn’t.

Most notably:

 

  • PSKS – Peace on the Streets for Kids on the Streets
  • Friends of youth
  • Lambert House
  • The Country Doctor
  • YouthCare
  • Teen Feed
  • Kerner-Scott House
  • Orion Center
  • ROOTS

And sometimes, when we felt like there was no other option, some of them came to live with us. There have been over 75 young people who have lived with us during that time. Some stayed only a few days. Others for months. Some for years.

Many of our young people struggled with addictions, mental health issues, as well as physical and emotional limitations.  Most of them had been abandoned by their birth families, often bearing the physical and emotional scars of abuse and neglect.  Many have had serious run-ins with the legal system.

Three of our young people have died.  Three beautiful, talented intelligent young men died before they were 25.  Others have been incarcerated for periods of time, but stay in contact with us and remain part of our family.

Many of our current and former residents are working productively in the community.  Many have graduated High School or earned a GED.  Some have gone on to college. Still, others have gotten married and had kids of their own.  Some have successful careers.

There are currently four young men living with us.

 OUR MISSION

Mission :  We choose to do everything in our power, to provide our clients with the resources, the opportunity and the support necessary to affect a significant, positive change in the quality of their lives.

We promise to work with our young friends with a keen sense of honesty, empathy and compassion.

How did we get to this point?

A VILLAGE FAMILY PROJECT

The Roots of Seattle’s Homelessness Crisis

Homelessness is a systemic problem that touches not just every major American city, but every city in the Puget Sound region. While there are many root causes, in many cases adverse life events such as a health issue, the loss of a job, or the need to escape a domestic violence situation can quickly catapult our neighbors into homelessness.

More than 40,000 children in Washington State public school system are homeless.

Many live on the street, in cars or in temporary shelters with a parent. Many do not come forward for assistance, fearing if they are identified as homeless they would be taken away from their parents. But some live alone.

In Seattle, 700 to 1,000 youths have no safe place or trusted guardian. They are on the streets, in cars or couch-surfing because they were abused, kicked out due to their sexual orientation or told to leave because money could not be stretched far enough to house and feed them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       –   Gov. Jay Inslee

The System has Failed these kids

One-third of homeless youth in King County have been in the child welfare system. Many of them have been in state-sponsored foster care. But the system didn’t work for them.

Young people exiting the foster care system are at higher risk of becoming homeless. When children aged out of the system at 18 years old, there is no established pathway for them to attain stable housing, education, or employment. On the street. No home, no family, very few friends.

These young people are in immediate danger from those who lure them with promises of a safe place then force them into a life of sex trafficking or addiction.

– Mayor Jenny Durkin

Learn More

Mental Health and Addiction

Drug overdose is currently the leading cause of death among people who are homeless. In King County, more people enter detox for heroin than they do alcohol. In 2018, the 156 opiate overdose deaths were the highest ever recorded in King County – more than triple the number of deaths in 2009.

More than 3,600 people received methadone treatment in King County, but our region’s lack of treatment capacity leaves more than 150 people on a waitlist each day.  Methamphetamines, Cocaine and other prescription drugs are being used at a rate similar to past years.  But IV heroin use, opiate overdose and death rates have more than doubled in the last five years.

Meanwhile, rates of suicide for teens and young adults have skyrocketed. Depression, dysphoria and delusional thought patterns among homeless youth are more than double the rate of those in stable housing situations.

Yet Washington State ranks 47th in the nation for psychiatric beds per capita.  For Adolescents, the numbers are even worse.

There is a severe shortage of treatment programs for adolescent Mental Health and Addiction Services.  It is difficult enough to get into residential treatment if your parents have excellent health insurance, and your living situation is conducive to long term counseling and support services.

If you are homeless, out of school and without family support, your chances of securing effective residential treatment are close to zero.

People are literally Dying in the streets.  We can, and we must, do better.

WE NEED YOUR HELP

Cell Phones, Gift Certificates, Rain Gear

Tutors, jobs, and apprenticeships

Village Movers - “Let us haul your junk”

Cash

A Home

We need used cell phones!

We need your old cell phones, tables and laptops. Sometimes being able to call for help is the difference between Life and Death. But having a phone also helps return some sense of normalcy, to a kid who has lost just about everything else. They are teenagers and young adults. They like to call and text their buddies. They like to play games. Hell, they also probably watch porn. We are able to get these young people phone service through a government program called Q-link. It is not perfect, but it is a step in the right direction. The problem is that they provide a very inexpensive phone, and that given the lifestyle of many of these young people, the phones are often broken, lost or stolen. They don’t have the resources to replace them, and sadly neither do we. So, donations of used phones are greatly appreciated.

Used Blankets and Raingear!

Blankets are an obvious need. Homeless people of all ages, sizes, and backgrounds need blankets. Any time we have a surplus of blankets, we distribute them to shelters or directly to people on the street. Realistically, we know we will never be able to get every young person off the streets. Indeed some of them choose to be on the streets. So we will always be looking for donations of gently used rain gear: jackets, coats, hats boots and, always, dry socks.

Gift Certificates for GROCERIES

Once we help young people get in the system, they qualify for a number of different programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or Food stamps.  Most times they qualify for about $190 a month for food.  That helps tremendously, but we still spend about $1,000 a month additionally, to feed the young men living with us.

Most major grocery retailers have gift cards, and we have been blessed to receive them over the years.  It also allows us to send our young wards to the store for “supplies”, without having to entrust them with larger bills, and subjecting them to sometimes humiliating requests like,   “Was there any Change?”

We Need a Home

CONTACT US

There are so many ways that you can help…

Cash Donations

Cash Donations are always welcomed and greatly appreciated. We can provide very specific reports as to how your money will be allocated, as well as a Tax Deduction receipt. For example:

  • General Fund
  • Grocery Fund
  • Clothing Fund
  • Transportation needs – ORCA, Amtrak, UBER
  • Recreation – Movie passes, Zoo and Aquarium passes, Pacific Science Center
  • Work essentials – Gloves, toolbelts, work boots, hard hats, safety glasses
  • Home repair and upkeep 
  • Property Acquisition
  • Legal fees

All Cash Donations can be made directly into the Village Family Project bank account, at Bank of America, using the Venmo App.

Or by mail to our secure mailing address at:

The Village Family Project – BOA Account
4730 University Way NE Suite 104 #1418
Seattle, WA 98105

All Cash Donations can be made directly into the Village Family Project bank account, at Bank of America, using the Venmo App.

Or by mail to our secure mailing address at:

The Village Family Project – BOA Account
4730 University Way NE Suite 104 #1418
Seattle, WA 98105

GET IN TOUCH

The Village Family Project,  4730 University Way NE,  Suite 104   #1418,  Seattle, WA 98105

info@VillageFamilyProject.com