Over a three month period in 2016, young adult shelters in King County turned away 500 people.

• There is a disproportionate representation of foster youth among the homeless population (NN4Y, 2015)

• 40% of homeless youth are LGBTQ, and one third report physical assault in their homes after coming out to their family (NN4Y, 2015)

• 21-40% of homeless youth have been sexually abused compared to 1-3% of the general youth population (NN4Y, n.d.)

• 43% of runaway youth have been beaten by a caretaker (NN4Y, 2015)

• Over 50% report that their parents told them to leave or knew they were leaving and didn't care (NN4Y, n.d.)

The problem

data + statistics

According to HUD's 2016 Point-in-Time Report, there are 45,578 homeless youth in the US under the age of 25. 1,602 of those youth and young adults live in Washington state (HUD, 2016).







The YMCA Host Homes program matches young adults (ages 18-24), who are unstably housed or at risk of losing their housing, with a caring and supportive host family.

Host families are volunteers from the community who willingly offer a room in their home to provide safe, short-term housing and support to young people as they work toward gaining stability and becoming independent.


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A message from the CEO

Host Homes connect homeless youth with supportive families in the community that have a spare room and are willing to provide a safe space to work towards a plan of independence.

We are seeking individuals and families who are willing to provide a caring and stable environment, and host a young person for up to 6 months. By filling vacant rooms in the homes of individuals and families, the YMCA aims to not only provide continuous shelter for homeless youth, but to build lasting relationships with caring adults in their community. As a 140-year-old organization, we know the profound effects of having a positive adult influence in the lives of young people.

It is clear that our community wants to end homelessness, and individuals have struggled to find a way to get involved. Please consider becoming a Host Home. It will be life changing for the young person. It may even be life changing for you too.

– Bob Gilbertson, YMCA CEO



  • 21+ years old
  • Live within King County
  • Spare bedroom or private space within home
  • Pass background and reference check
  • Have homeowner / renters insurance



  • 18 - 24 years old
  • Unhoused or at risk of housing instability
  • Live within King County
  • Willing to work with a case manager
  • Working toward housing, education, employment or other stabilizing goals

Interested in becoming a host?

Fill out this form and YMCA staff will be in touch shortly!







Want to help, but don't have a room to spare?

According to dosomething.org, homeless youth report lack of knowledge about existing services as the biggest barrier to getting help.

Their solution? A printable flyer to hang around your community with a hotline number that gives homeless youth access to vital resources like counseling, shelter, and first aid.

Sign up and join the campaign here.



host home organizations
across washington state --

King County: Accelerator YMCA of Greater Seattle
Pierce County: Shared Housing Services
Mason County: Mason County HOST Program
Island County: Ryan’s House for Youth


National Alliance to End Homelessness. (2012). An emerging framework for ending unaccompanied youth homelessness. Retrieved from https://endhomelessness.org/resource/an-emerging-framework-for-ending-unaccompanied-youth-homelessness/

The National Network for Youth. (2015). What works to end youth homelessness. Retrieved from http://www.nn4youth.org/wp-content/uploads/2015-What-Works-to-End-Youth-Homlessness.pdf

The National Network for Youth. (n.d.). Unaccompanied youth: Fast facts. Retrieved from https://www.nn4youth.org/wp-content/uploads/FactSheet_Unaccompanied_Youth.pdf

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development [HUD]. (2017). HUD 2016 continuum of care homeless assistance programs homeless populations and subpopulations: Full summary report. Retrieved from https://www.hudexchange.info/resource/reportmanagement/published/CoC_PopSub_NatlTerrDC_2016.pdf

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development [HUD]. (2016). HUD 2016 continuum of care homeless assistance programs homeless populations and subpopulations: Washington. Retrieved from https://www.hudexchange.info/resource/reportmanagement/published/CoC_PopSub_State_WA_2016.pdf