Together, we can create lasting change.
Our work impacts people across Washington and the systems that serve them.
Communities thrive when people have safe and stable housing. Unfortunately, homelessness and housing instability is a reality for far too many of us, particularly children, youth, and families of color. Systemic failings, inequitable access to services, and lack of coordination between the housing, education, and health systems contribute to this growing problem. That is why Building Changes works at the intersection of these systems, advancing racial equity and advocating for change, in service to people experiencing homelessness in Washington. We focus our experience and expertise at this unique level because it is where we see great need and where we can have greatest impact.
Evidence of Our Impact
- With financial support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Building Changes led the Family Homelessness Initiative, a decade-long intensive effort to create high-performing homeless systems in Washington’s three most populous counties: King, Pierce, and Snohomish. From 2011 through 2020, we assisted in the design and implementation of 79 projects totaling $29.8 million. We are documenting and sharing what we learned through the initiative about making homeless systems more equitable and effective.
- We have advanced the practice of diversion, an innovative cost-effective approach that empowers people to resolve their housing crises quickly, safely, and permanently. Building Changes is testing and evaluating this promising strategy in communities across the state — from full-scale implementation of Diversion in remote Asotin County to Diversion over the phone and Diversion paired with Maternal Support Services in Pierce County and the Centralized Diversion Fund in King County.
- Through our efforts to address student homelessness, we have provided in-depth data analysis on academic outcomes for students experiencing homelessness statewide, created a comprehensive data dashboard on student homelessness in Washington, and developed research-based practices and recommendations to help schools and districts support students and families experiencing homelessness.
- Our statewide policy and advocacy efforts, in concert with those of our allies, have bolstered public investments in the Homeless Student Stability Program and Washington Youth & Families Fund; increased funding for Diversion statewide through the Department of Commerce; supported and provided leadership for Project Education Impact, a statewide coalition focused on increasing educational equity for young people experiencing homelessness and/or foster care; helped extend the statewide eviction moratorium to support children, youth, and families experiencing housing crises during the pandemic; and helped pass new legislation that provides critical support for pregnant and postpartum persons experiencing homelessness and others on Medicaid.
- In partnership with the Raikes Foundation, we launched the Washington State Student and Youth Homelessness COVID-19 Response Fund, which raised $4.1 million in private donations that was awarded as flexible funds to 199 organizations, schools, school districts, and tribes in 25 counties across the state.
- Our leadership and administration of the Washington Youth & Families Fund has resulted in the investment of additional public and private dollars towards innovative housing interventions and strategies that support youth and families experiencing homelessness. To date, we have awarded $62.7M in funding to 122 grantees — including two tribes — across 26 counties.
Our Statewide Grantmaking
Explore awards we’ve granted by county through the Washington Youth & Families Fund (WYFF) and the Washington State Student and Youth Homelessness COVID-19 Response Fund.