How is the Housing Crisis Affecting Youth?

– August 10, 2018 –

When Jacob* connected with Oasis staff last week, he was exhausted.

When Jacob* connected with Oasis staff last week, he was exhausted.

“I’m living in a box,” he shared. “Is there any way you can help me?”

Jacob had applied to begin job prep classes. But when staff followed up with him, all he wanted at the moment was a place for the night and a shower. Living on the streets was wearing him down, making it almost impossible to think past day-to-day survival.

The current housing crisis is having a severe impact on the youth and young adults served by The Coffee Oasis. Very few housing opportunities exist, and those that do are often priced way out of reach for a youth working towards stability. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, an individual in Washington State making a minimum wage of $11.75 an hour would have to work 75 hours a week in order to afford a 1-bedroom apartment at Fair Market Rate and not pay more than 30% of their income towards rent.

Two other youth currently in case management each have a monthly income of $1200 from their work, but are still homeless because there are no housing options that fit their budget. It’s a discouraging situation for youth who are working hard to get off the streets. It can drain their hope.

The number of homeless youth has risen in the last few years, adding to the burden of finding housing. Every year, the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction for the State of Washington surveys how many homeless students are in each school district.

Since 2013, the number of homeless students in Washington State has risen 34%, to 40,934 students in the 2016-17 school year.

1,144 of these students were in the Kitsap County school district. And these are just the youth up to age 18 who attend school. This number does not include young adults older than 18 who are also experiencing homelessness.

It can seem like an insurmountable problem. We may not be in a position to change the housing market, but together we can make a difference in our own community. With your support and the opportunities presented in Oasis Youth Programs, youth keep trying and waiting and hoping. And change is happening for some!

Nelson House has 5 beds for young women ages 18-25 who are needing a stable place to live.

The Nelson House and the Oasis Shelter have stayed full, offering young women and men safe places to stay. While in residence, the youth work towards housing or employment goals with case managers.

In June, two of these youth moved out into stable living situations of their own!

These housing options have been key in helping some young adults move off the streets and into their own homes.

We invite you to consider joining the Real Hope Club and become a committed giver to The Coffee Oasis. Your monthly gift will strengthen existing programs like the Nelson House, ensuring that youth continue to receive the services and support they need.

Thank you for being a part of changing the world for homeless youth!

*name changed to respect youth’s identity

*name changed to respect youth’s identity

When Jacob* connected with Oasis staff last week, he was exhausted.


Join the Real Hope Club!

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sustainable opportunities for
homeless youth to change their lives.