It is not news to anyone that homelessness is a crisis in the Seattle and Puget Sound region. What many people don’t realize is that youth experiencing homelessness are often overlooked or unseen, left on their own to survive. It’s estimated that there are over 35,000 homeless students in Washington state – in Snohomish County alone, school districts reported more than 3,200 homeless students last year. And these are just the youth who are still attending school – meaning there are likely thousands more unreported youth in crisis.
We cannot overcome this challenge alone. However, through powerful partnerships and investments from our new fans, long-term supporters and local philanthropic leaders, we can move forward and make a lasting impact.
That’s why we were so excited to partner with Paul G. Allen and the Seattle Seahawks to prevent youth homelessness throughout the month of December. Together, we educated the community and fellow 12s about the persistent reality of youth homelessness and raised funds that would directly help strengthen youth and families right here in our region. Whether it was promoting a tweet from Seahawks tight end Jimmy Graham, watching a segment on the local news or attending the Hawk Alley Tailgate, I’d like to thank each one of you for following, retweeting and sharing social posts and donating to this campaign — whether that be $10 or $10,000.
Through the support of the 12s, members of our communities, and a generous match from Paul Allen, we raised a total of $280,974 to provide services and safe places for the most vulnerable youth in our region!
For us at Cocoon House, this partnership with Paul Allen and the Seattle Seahawks provided so much more than just funding. It gave us an incredible opportunity on one of the region’s biggest stages – CenturyLink Field – to spread our message of hope to youth throughout Puget Sound. Together, we are helping to change the path for youth, giving them the chance for a bright future and hope in the weeks, months and years ahead.
Paul Allen and the Seahawks provided us with support that will save lives. Each one of you is helping us change hundreds of lives each year. Every one of us is part of the solution. Youth experiencing homelessness know that Paul Allen cares about them, the Seahawks care about them and, most importantly, that their community cares about them.
For making a difference, on behalf of Cocoon House, our staff, and the youth we serve, thank you. And Go HAWKS!
Cassie Franklin is the CEO of Cocoon House. Cocoon House ensures the safety and survival of youth in Snohomish County by providing shelter and services to get them and their families back on track for success. As a nonprofit, funding and support from the community is critical to our daily work, helping youth exit the streets, find safety and become strong, independent young people. It allows us to break the cycle of homelessness and prevent youth from becoming chronically homeless adults.