As rental prices skyrocket and the social safety net fades, an increasing number of our most vulnerable neighbors are falling into homelessness. Homelessness increases their risk for serious illness, for experiencing violence, and for declining psychological well-being.
Every year, about 900 adults without children fall into homelessness in Thurston County. These make up the majority of people experiencing homelessness in our community. While many people think that people on the streets just need a job, we know that’s not the case.
Based on our experience, about two-thirds of adults without children experiencing homelessness currently receive Social Security Disability. The vast majority of the other third either are in the process of applying, or would qualify if they did apply.
Today, Social Security Disability pays on average $750 per month. Compare that to the average fair market rent in our town starting at $900 per month, and it’s painfully clear to see why too many of our neighbors continue to fall into homelessness.
People Who Care
That’s why people from all walks of life came together to found SideWalk in 2011. We brought together college students, parents, retirees, doctors, lobbyists, church parishioners, activists, business leaders, and others who wanted to make a difference. Together, we transformed homeless services in Thurston County. We introduced innovations to our community such as Coordinated Entry, a single front door for people experiencing homelessness to ask for help with shelter and housing, and Rapid Re-Housing, short-term rental assistance to help people quickly escape the streets and move into a safe place to call home.
Since 2012, SideWalk volunteers have helped over 1,400 people escape the streets of Thurston County - and we won’t stop until everyone has a safe place to call home. Want to know how we did it?