Founded in 1989 in response to a needs survey of area human services providers, the Sharehouse serves as a central distribution point for donated furniture and household goods going to families and individuals who are transitioning from homelessness into permanent housing. It is the only program of its kind in King County.
Moving a family or individual into an empty apartment after a period of homelessness does not take them very far from homelessness. Moving into is expensive and stressful for anyone, but especially for those who have experienced homelessness. Our program makes it possible for clients to establish a safe and secure new household, while also helping restore their dignity and self-sufficiency. The Sharehouse helps turn housing into homes by providing the most basic necessities such as beds, linens, and dishes.
Last year, working with approximately 50 member agencies throughout King County, we helped 2,342 people (including 954 children under 18) establish 1,166 new households. In doing so, we also kept more than 20,000 items donated by community members and local businesses 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!”