100 Day Challenge
What is the 100-Day Challenge?
The 100 Day Challenge is a statewide movement to end youth homelessness that is being led by A Way Home Washington. Along with Pierce and King Counties, we are deliberately prioritizing youth and young adults through this effort. The great thing about this challenge is that it allows us to generate urgency around preventing and ending youth homelessness because the timeframe requires us to think quickly, try new things, and get our entire community rallied behind solutions for our youth. Providers across Washington state are already doing incredible work. The Challenges aim to empower providers working on the ground—giving them new ways to harness and channel their energy so all youth and young adults can find a way home. The goal is to rethink how we address homelessness and find new community-led solutions that support and empower youth and young adults. We want to make sure that our youth don't become chronically homeless adults, and we want to get involved right now so we can lay a new foundation and change the direction of their future. Through the 100-Day Challenges, we hope to uncover small changes can play a huge role in helping communities better respond to local crises.
What was Spokane's 100-Day Challenge goal?
The goal of Spokane's 100 Day Challenge Team was to house 100 youth in 100 days, with at least 50% being involved with systems, like juvenile justice or foster care, and with at least 10 of the 100 being minors – “100 Youth, 100 Days”. It was really important to our team that we create a safety net for youth exiting systems and create an infrastructure that can support and provide directed services for our displaced youth. And, while housing is foundational and has to come first, for our dedicated team housing wasn’t enough. The team also wanted to verify that 100% of clients receive person-centered services to support them and give them the assistance they need to stay housed and healthy by day 100. This includes create a model where youth can access additional support services, such as advocacy, education, employment, and mental or behavioral health, so they can be successful. It was a big goal but it's an important one in our community.
The 100 Day Challenge truly is a community-wide collaboration to achieve ambitious goals in order to move the needle on ending youth homelessness. Without all the partners, and without their dedication to changing the system, it would not be possible.
"Youth" is defined as someone 13 to 18-years-old and "young adult" as someone 18 to 24-years old.
- There are 435 unaccompanied homeless students living in Spokane County. (The number of homeless youth is higher when you consider youth in doubled-up situations and not literally homeless.)
- As of April 2017, there were 909 unaccompanied homeless youth actively enrolled in our homeless management information system database.
The "100-Day Challenge Team" is made up of representatives from different service provider agencies, across industries (including child welfare, juvenile justice, homeless housing, local government, career readiness, public education, and behavioral/mental health), who are able to provide a holistic approach to addressing youth issues. Team member agencies include:
- City of Spokane
- Volunteers of America
- Frontier Behavioral Health
- DSHS / Children's Administration
- Spokane Housing Authority
- The Salvation Army
- Spokane Public Schools
- Excelsior Youth Center
- Juvenile Court Services
- Team Child
- YFA Connections
- Career Path Services
- The Mockingbird Society
- OTHER PARTNERS INCLUDE:
- Spokane County United Way
- Safe Families for Children
- Jonah Project
- Spokane Transit Authority
- Next Generation Zone
- Priority Spokane
- The 100 Day Challenge has brought together new partnerships with agency providers and has created a system that silos have broken down and there’s improved communication, collaboration, and support for youth and young adults.
- Partnership with the Spokane Housing Authority
- On June 9th our team successfully proposed for a combined $50,000 in flexible funds from the Raikes Foundation and Schultz Family Foundation to support the efforts of the 100 Day Challenge. Our proposal centered on supporting the utilization of three types of vouchers that the Spokane Housing Authority has put up for use during the 100 Day Challenge. While these vouchers can cover the cost of monthly rent for at least 25 youth, there are certain move in costs that are not covered that can be an untenable burden for young people attempting find housing from private landlords. Additionally, in Spokane’s tight rental market, young adults with little to no rental history are not very competitive for the limited units available. For this reason we proposed for $25,000 to cover move-in costs like security deposits, furniture, rental application fees, etc. and $25,000 for a landlord mitigation fund to cover the cost of unit damages and lost rent in order to incentivize landlords to rent to these young people. This proposal was a tremendous community collaboration between the City, the Housing Authority, local philanthropic foundations, and our housing service partners.
- The team is working to develop a new system to ensure that youth and young adults are able to access the services they need. This includes designing a coordinated way for youth to get access to a suite of services to help them be successful.
- Youth Walk-In Hours at SNAP
- SNAP Homeless Services now has walk-in hours for youth and young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 every Thursday from 1 - 4:30 p.m. at 212 S. Wall Street. Additionally, the Spokane community has adopted a new housing assessment tool to more accurately determine the barriers to stable housing that a youth may face. Call 509-456-SNAP for more information.
- Community Engagement
- Donation of Essential Needs Items for Youth
- The donation drive helped build move-in kits for youth so they can be successful as they move from homelessness into their new homes. The kits will be similar to what a parent puts together for a child they are sending off to college for the first time or setting them up in their first apartment. Suggested donations include new and unused kitchen and bathroom products, bedding, cleaning supplies, and comfort items like books.
- The City of Spokane and the 100 Day Challenge Team have been highlighting the work of many agencies who work with homeless and at-risk youth to help the community become educated about the services available to youth. Youth will go to adults who they trust to get help and it's the responsibility of all of us to be educated and supportive for youth as they come to us for help. The Team is also hoping to recruit Spokane citizens to be host homes, foster parents, or youth mentors/advocates.