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Seattle: Homeless Resource Guide and Volunteer Opportunities

Beneath the shiny, new office buildings and countless construction projects displaying Seattle’s continued surge of development and progress, persists an underlying struggle with homelessness.

"Seattle's homelessness crisis has been years in the making, and its roots run deep, touching racial inequity, economic disparities, mental health treatment, rising housing costs, mental health, addiction, and so much more. We have a responsibility to be honest that this crisis won't go away overnight. Lasting, meaningful progress will take years. But we still must act - and are acting - to improve life in Seattle."

- Mayor Jenny Durkan

The rate of people enduring homelessness in the city grew by 44 percent between 2015 and 2017, disproportionately affecting African and Native Americans. In our efforts to assist everyone on their financial journey, we recognize the organizations committed to providing resources, strategies, and solutions to getting our neighbors back on their feet.


Abundance of Hope

Youth are affected by homelessness just as much as any other demographic. Abundance of Hope serves ages 12 to 25 whose young lives have been interrupted by homelessness, oppression, sexual exploitation, human trafficking, and abuse. They seek to empower our city’s most at-risk youth with positive and productive life skills. Volunteer applications are available on the support page of their website.

Acres of Diamonds

Located in Duvall, Acres of Diamonds serves homeless women and children in King and Snohomish Counties. They provide transitional housing for women and their children, allowing them to rise up out of homelessness and back into community. Join their team by volunteering or donating to their programs.

Assistance League of Seattle

Over 3,000 students in Seattle Public Schools are currently experiencing homelessness. The Assistance League of Seattle is dedicated to reducing this number. The entirely volunteer-run organization works to remove barriers to education for children and adults in Seattle through its philanthropic projects and scholarship opportunities.

Attain Housing

Attain Housing is dedicated to bringing our community together to partner with homeless families. They seek to provide affordable housing and to empower those who seek their support through case management. Join them as a volunteer and help further their vision of a safe, supportive community where stable housing is available for all.

Birthday Dreams

Every child deserves a birthday party, but, more often than not, this is not a reality for homeless children. Birthday Dreams is here to fix that. They’re working towards that goal in two ways: group onsite parties and the “Birthday in a Box” program. Both options are always in need of support from volunteers and donors.

Compass Housing Alliance

Compass Housing Alliance provides housing, shelter, and support services to people experiencing homelessness and poverty in the Puget Sound area. Today, they are a leading provider and developer of essential services and affordable housing for men, women, veterans and families who are struggling. Join them on their journey, as they develop safe, caring communities and provide for those in need.


FareStart is committed to solving homelessness, poverty, and hunger by helping individuals overcome anything that’s prevented them from finding and keeping a job in the past. They provide the tools, training, and support necessary for developing a lasting career in the food service industry while helping to feed those in need at the same time. Checkout the volunteer section of their website and learn how you can support the FareStart family.

Operation Warm

Not a coat drive, Operation Warm works with manufacturers to design and produce their own line of kid friendly coats. They seek not only to provide warmth for children affected by poverty and homelessness, but also to offer the confidence that accompanies wearing a brand new winter jacket. Volunteer recruitment begins in April to prepare for the upcoming winter season.


Samaritan is an app that reveals the stories of the unsheltered people you pass by daily. Once you download it to your phone, the app alerts you every time you pass a “beacon holder,” a homeless man or woman who has shared their story with the organization. Read through their bios and learn more about our neighbors living on the streets and, if you choose to, donate through the app and help provide necessities for the people you’re learning about.

Wellspring Family Services

Wellspring Family Services seeks to build emotionally healthy, self-sufficient families and a nonviolent community in which they can thrive. Resources they provide include a baby boutique, domestic violence intervention, early learning program, housing services, and parent child services. They want lifelong stability for those who come to them, not just shelters and tents. Join them and help create lasting change.

Westside Baby

Founded in 2001, Westside Baby collects, inspects, and distributes free diapers, clothing, cribs and safety gear for babies and children in need. More than 120 local social service agencies, including shelters and food banks, rely on them to provide critical necessities for low-income families. Support their critical mission through volunteering, donating or hosting a collection drive.


Since 1974, YouthCare has been a leader in providing effective services to Seattle’s homeless youth. They’ve since built six sites to serve the greater Seattle area, all of which offer outreach, basic services, emergency shelter, housing, counseling, education and employment training. Through their continuum of care, YouthCare seeks to build self-sufficiency and confidence in homeless youth.



Click here for a downloadable version of Real Change’s Emerald City Resource Guide.

It is a complete directory of services across the city and for a variety of needs from hygiene services to authorized camps, from immigrant and refugee services to assistance for those with mental health issues, the guide has it all and with no shortage of detail.

Phone numbers, addresses, hours, websites, and helpful notes about what is offered and what, if anything it costs, are included in most listings.



  1. SHOW UP - Attend a Homelessness Advocacy 101 community workshop from the Seattle/King County Coalition on homelessness to learn more.
  2. VOLUNTEER - Ask an organization for volunteer opportunities to support in your neighborhood.
  3. DONATE - Support the organization of your choice with a donation to promote safety, housing, and justice for all in your community.


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