ROOTS / Shalom Zone Nonprofit Association Programs
Young Adult Shelter
Our largest initiative, this 45-bed shelter provides a safe, dry place to sleep, hot meals, and hygiene facilities to homeless young adults seven nights each week. ROOTS has onsite case support 6 nights a week for guests seeking housing, jobs, and service referrals. Guests identify key goals, such as obtaining ID, housing, a job, addiction counseling, or continuing education. Critical case support/housing partners include Teen Feed, Catalyst at Straylee House, and the YMCA's Young Adult Program. ROOTS is the largest young adult shelter in Seattle and thus provides a critical piece of the continuum of care.
Each week, Friday Feast serves hot meals to approximately 125-150 guests. The meal is open to all and guests include young and old, housed and not. Recognized by Seattle's homeless-advocacy publication Real Change as the best of all soup kitchens, and the Friday Feast celebrated its 16-year anniversary in March 2012 and has operated continuously for over 750 consecutive weeks without ever missing a single meal.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
ROOTS recently completed a renovation of our shelter space, and expanded our nightly capacity to 45 on 12/9/2012. As a result of this expansion, the number of times we were forced to turn away potential guests for lack of space fell from 2246 times in 2011 to 945 times in 2012, and it is our hope that this number will continue to fall in 2013 as we run at our new expanded capacity for a full year.
While ROOTS has received cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) in our City funding in previous years, the City of Seattle still only funds approximately 3 of the 7 nights per week of shelter that we provide. We are concerned that while our capacity and demand for our services has increased, public funds are not growing sufficiently to keep pace with the cost of meeting these demands.