Submitted by SideWalk

Today, SideWalk volunteers helped their 1,500th participant escape homelessness and move into a safe place to call home.

“This is a big thing,” said Phil Owen, Executive Director of SideWalk. “People on the streets rely on SideWalk as the fastest path to leave homelessness behind, and we’re proud to have served so many people. We did this because of our committed team of volunteers and strong community support, and I want to thank them for keeping us going.”

SideWalk’s Rapid Re-Housing program, started in 2012, helps on average about 300 people per year move into a new home. It offers advocacy, support, and small amounts of short-term rental assistance to help people experiencing homelessness overcome financial barriers to moving in to a safe place to call home. Roughly 80% of the people served via SideWalk’s Rapid Re-Housing program are still off the streets one year after placement. Currently, accounting for all costs such as direct cash assistance and overhead, it costs SideWalk on average $1,047 to help one person experiencing homelessness escape the streets – period.

Indicating its continued improvement, SideWalk volunteers helped their 500th person escape homelessness in September 2015, after 3 years of operations. 4 years later, SideWalk volunteers helped another 1000 people.

“We won’t rest on our laurels, though,” Phil Owen said. “While we’re proud of our accomplishments, we know the need for our work will continue. If you’re experiencing homelessness, SideWalk volunteers are here to help.” People experiencing homelessness can visit http://walkthurston.org/gethelp to learn more about SideWalk’s work and how their volunteers help.


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