The Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness (SKCCH) estimates that more than 8,000 people are homeless on any given night in King County. Three and a half million people experience homelessness each year in the U.S.; of those, 1.6 million are children.
Crisis Clinic is a leader in helping people find and keep housing. We do this by connecting people who currently experiencing homelessness, or at risk of homelessness, with the resources they need to find and keep a roof over their heads.
There are many organizations working together to end homelessness in King County. Learn more about community efforts to end homelessness and how you can help.
If you are looking for low-cost or market-rate housing, please visit HousingSearchNW.org to find information on housing options throughout Washington State. Listings are categorized by county and city, as well as by neighborhood within the city of Seattle. Multiple search options are available, including: senior housing, school district, rent range, and more. Properties with or without a waiting list are included.
There are five types of shelters in King County:
Families experiencing homelessness may be eligible for Coordinated Entry for All (CEA), a program that helps homeless families connect to available housing resources in King County, including emergency shelter programs. Eligible participants attend an assessment at which CEA staff will help families identify and connect to housing support services and other available resources.
Families experiencing homelessness who are parenting, pregnant, or in the process of reunification with their children, as well as families who are fleeing a domestic violence situation, can call King County 2-1-1 for a telephone screening and to receive information on CEA eligibility. If eligible, a CEA assessment appointment is scheduled for the family to meet with a Housing Specialist at a child-friendly location. Families may soon also visit one of five CEA Regional Access Points during drop-in hours for a CEA assessment, once those sites are open and providing services. During their assessment, a family will discuss their housing needs and barriers, and explore housing resources available through CEA with a Housing Specialist. More information can be found at the CEA website: www.kingcounty.gov/cea.
Additional family emergency shelter and transitional housing options may be available outside the CEA program; please call King County 2-1-1 for more information.
Emergency shelters for women or men who don’t have children serve clients ages 18 and older. An intake interview is usually required; most shelters do intake on a nightly basis. Some shelters maintain a waiting list when their program is full. Most shelters serve either women or men, but not both. A few shelters serve both men and women in different areas of the same building.
Some women and men’s shelters offer a large open space with mats on the floor, whereas others may be dormitory-style, where clients have their own private space for sleeping while sharing common areas such as a bathroom and living room with others who are staying in the shelter.
Single adults who are staying in emergency shelter or on the streets are also eligible to do intake for Coordinated Entry for All (CEA), where they can explore other supportive housing options. CEA intake for single adults is currently provided at the places where homeless services for adults are provided. Single adult CEA assessment appointments through King County 2-1-1 and single adult drop-in assessments will become available once the CEA Regional Access Points have opened and are providing services.
While same-gender couples are able to access emergency shelters serving only women or men, emergency shelter resources that serve male/female couples together are extremely limited in King County. Some overnight emergency shelters serve men and women, but sleeping areas for each are in separate parts of the building. Additionally, male/female couples may be able to find overnight shelters in the downtown Seattle area that serve only women or only men; while not together, the two shelter programs may be located within a few blocks of one another.
The Aloha Inn, a transitional housing program located in Seattle, is one of the few housing resources serving male/female couples in King County. More information and eligibility details for Aloha Inn can be found here.
Youth shelters generally serve adolescents ages 12-17 and provide counseling, reconciliation, and other services to ensure that youth are able to find a safe place to stay. A parent or guardian may need to provide consent for a youth to remain in a youth shelter program within the first few nights of their stay. Eligible youth should call the shelters directly to apply and get more information about the application process.
Young adult shelters generally serve clients ages 18-24, though some may accept clients up to age 29. In addition to a safe place to stay at night, these shelters provide resources and support services to help young adults find and obtain stable housing. When young adult shelters have more applicants than available spaces for the night, they may conduct a random drawing to determine who will be served. Eligible young adults should call the shelters directly to apply and get more information about their application process.
Young adults ages 18-24 who are currently experiencing homelessness or at risk of losing their housing within 14 days are also eligible for Coordinated Entry for All (CEA), where they can explore supportive housing options. CEA assessments for young adults are currently available at locations already providing homeless young adult services and resources; a schedule of CEA Access Points for Young Adults can be found on the King County CEA website here. CEA assessment appointments through King County 2-1-1 will become available once the additional CEA Regional Access Points have opened and are providing services.
Domestic violence shelters serve women, with or without children—and some also serve men, with or without children—who are fleeing from an emotionally, physically, or sexually abusive relationship with an intimate partner. Domestic violence shelters have strictly-enforced policies to protect the confidentiality of their locations in order to ensure the safety of those who are accessing their services. In addition to nightly shelter, clients are connected with support services that may include counseling, legal assistance, housing, and more.
For more information on emergency shelter in King County, go to 211 Community Resources Online and search “shelter” in the topic section, or call King County 2-1-1.