The Sharehouse Programs
We partner with approximately 60 social service agencies throughout King County. After case managers in these agencies have worked with their clients to secure housing, accessing The Sharehouse for furniture enhances the chances of a successful return to a permanent living situation. Member agencies estimate the cost of providing furniture and other household basics to be prohibitive for them to do on a case-by-case basis. Case managers state that clients are more likely to successfully establish and maintain permanent housing due in part to the resources they receive from The Sharehouse.
Our core program operations include:
- Warehouse Shopping Days The Sharehouse welcomes clients of our member agencies to shop at no cost in our warehouse two days per week. There are 12 appointment slots per shopping day, each of which can accommodate one to four households. This enables us to serve a total of 12-48 households per shopping day.
- Delivery Service: Delivery service has proved to be a critical component of our work. Few people who have been homeless are able to arrange to transport their items to their new homes. Items are coded for delivery on Tuesday or Thursday. Office staff route each days deliveries and call recipients to give them a 30-minute time frame. Our two delivery crew members load, deliver, and offload items to up to seven households each day for a total of up to fourteen households per week.
- Donation drop-off and pickup: The Sharehouse collects donations in our box truck three days per week. Community members also bring donations to our south Seattle warehouse Monday through Friday, as well as the second and fourth Saturdays of each month.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
In 2012, working with approximately 60 member agencies throughout King County, we helped 2,614 people (including 1,040 children under 18) establish 1,228 new households. In doing so, we also kept more than 22,000 items donated by local businesses and community members out of our area landfills.
The basic necessities provided by the Sharehouse are critically important for families and individuals who are working hard to reclaim their lives. As one recipient said, “I wanted to tell you that you make a positive difference in people’s lives. I can’t express enough how this has helped us in rebuilding and giving more a sense of home. So here’s a big thank you from my heart to your efforts and resilience to change the world one needy person at a time.”
Member agencies report that families and individuals who have utilized the Sharehouse are twice as likely to be in stable housing after two years. As a staffer from one of our member agencies remarked, “Thank you for your support and tremendous patience with me, my clients, and their interpreters. Your staff went above and beyond what was expected. I appreciate all the work your team does in making this service available!”
The biggest success in recent years has been the establishment of our delivery service for clients. Delivery service has proved to be a critical component of our work. Few people who have been homeless are able to arrange to transport their items to their new homes. Items are coded for delivery on Tuesday or Thursday. Office staff route each days deliveries and call recipients to give them a 30-minute time frame. Our two delivery crew members load, deliver, and offload items to up to seven households each day for a total of up to fourteen households per week.
The Sharehouse has been at capacity for many years; its greatest need to expand its resources to include more warehouse space and a larger pickup area so that it can serve more clients and furniture donors.