United Way of King County
Social Innovation Fund 2012
Applicant Name: United Way of King County
Applicant Type: Sole Intermediary
SIF Type: Geographically-based
Issue Areas: Economic Opportunity, Youth Development and Healthy Futures
Grant Amount and Period: $9,500,000 over 5 years
Program Title: United Way of King County - Ending Youth Homelessness
Basic Information: United Way of King County (UWKC) is requesting $9,500,000 over a period of 5 years, with $1,988,000 requested in the first year. UWKC is a grantmaking intermediary with a strong track record of successfully engaging promising subgrantees to increase system capacity, scale projects to create impact, and evaluate results. We are applying as a geographically-based SIF in all three Priority Issue Areas, including the 2012 priority of improving the economic well-being of individuals. Our service area includes all of King County, with emphasis on the rural and underrepresented areas of East and South King County. We will augment our capacity by contracting with Organizational Research Services (ORS) and Building Changes to support subgrantees.
To date, we have sufficient cash on hand to meet the 50% intermediary match requirement, and have secured preliminary financial commitments from four key funding partners. We will leverage our expertise in fundraising and strong partnerships to meet both match requirements if awarded.
Project Overview and Need: UWKC proposes to end youth homelessness in King County by transforming the system through coordinated engagement and data management efforts, enhancing/expanding service delivery, and research/evaluation. There are at least 1,000 homeless youth on any given night, and as many as 5,000-10,000 youth may experience homelessness in any given year. These numbers are likely conservative, as there is no centralized data system to accurately capture the scope of youth homelessness. With SIF funds, we expect to increase the capacity of the system to serve an additional 3,000-3,500 youth through a variety of specialized services. Over the past six months, UWKC has worked collaboratively with funders and providers to propose a more effective, coordinated response to youth homelessness.
Outcomes: We will measure system-level change as defined by the HEARTH Act: Decrease in the number of unaccompanied youth that experience homelessness; Decrease in the length of time unaccompanied youth remain homeless; Increase in the number of unaccompanied youth who are reunified with their families when it is safe to do so; Reduction in the number of youth who return to homelessness; Increase in education, employment and income levels.
We will measure improvements in service delivery using the following indicators: Decrease in the length of time between a youth's first engagement with a service provider and the time when he/she is reunited with family or placed with appropriate services; increase in the number of youth that follow through with supportive services recommended at their intake assessment.
Our vision to end youth homelessness will be realized through our 4 part Theory of Change (TOC); Provide preventive services to keep youth from ending up on our streets by reinforcing the bond between youth and family; offer a broad range of intentional and intensive services to help move youth from crisis to stability; connect youth to a spectrum of safe housing options; and transform the service delivery system for greater efficiency and capacity with increased collaboration. All of these approaches are designed to support youths' transition to independence and adulthood.
Our TOC will bolster Youth Development by preparing homeless youth for success in school, work and life. Education and vocational programs, as well as asset building opportunities, will increase Economic Opportunities for these traditionally disadvantaged youth. Finally, reducing the risk factors inherent in life on the streets through stable housing and mental/chemical dependency counseling will empower youth to embrace a Healthy Future.
Subgrantee Process: There are several local agencies who are delivering quality services to homeless youth on a small scale, with preliminary levels of evidence. There are also known gaps in available services. We will, therefore, hold a highly competitive public RFP process to select a cohort of subgrantees that will be supported by UWKC in building their capacity and will be rigorously evaluated on their performance and the effectiveness of their programs.