A new dynamic program has been launched in King County called the Backpack Project. The objective of this program is to encourage local homeless and transitional youth to become more self sufficient. In Seattle, there is an estimated 800 young people ages 12-24 who don't have a safe place to sleep on any given night. The number for the rest of King County could be double or even triple that estimate. With the population rising rapidly each year, the numbers of homeless individuals including homeless youth will also increase unless something is done.
The Backpack Project's executive board members are working with youth centered social service providers in the area and eventually will supply these agencies with backpacks stuffed with essential items for homeless youth. The backpacks will contain items such as toiletries, clothing, resource guides, bus passes and food. The youth must participate in programs established by our allied agencies in order to receive a backpack.
Eventually, as the program expands, youth will be given the opportunity to help stuff backpacks and receive a stipend pay for their efforts. They will also have a chance to take on leadership roles in the organization by outreaching to other homeless youth, participating in board meetings and assisting with administrative functions.
Although the Backpack Project is in the beginning stages, our recent fundraising efforts have been successful. The board put on a art auction celebration complete with bands, DJs and other entertainment. This brought in some funds but in order to fulfill the vision of this essential program , more donations are necessary. Please help us fund this groundbreaking new program.