Seattle's Child

Your guide to a kid-friendly city

5 Ways That You – and Your Kids – Can Help Out Homeless People Now

At some point in our lives, we all face challenges.  If we are lucky, we have a network of families and friends to support to help us through the tough times. By donating your time, dollars or needed items to the non-profit agencies working with families struggling with homelessness, you can be part of the community-wide network that provides the essential support needed by these families to overcome adversity and create a home where their children can thrive.  Here are five ways your family can help out now:

1. Kids Fundraise for Kids at Wellspring

Wellspring Family Services offers a program that helps kids can do something themselves for kids in need.  To learn about their “Kids Helping Kids” program go to   this Seattle’s Child article: "Kids Helping Kids: How Your Kids Can Fundraise to Help Out Kids Experiencing Homelessness" Wellspring Family Services is a multi-service agency serving low-income and vulnerable individuals, children and families in Seattle and King County through services for families that focus on mental health, family homelessness, early learning, basic needs, and domestic violence intervention. 


2. Provide Food for a Youth Shelter

Do you and your kids like to bake or cook? Or, even just shop? Every day Redmond Youth Service Center provides wholesome, pre-cooked breakfasts, lunches, snacks and dinners for the youths in their programs. In addition, “snack packs” are distributed by their Street Outreach Team when they are connecting to youth on the street. (An example of a snack pack is Ziploc bag with a cup of instant noodles, plus up to three of the following items: chips/pretzels, juice, nuts/trail mix, granola bars/power bars, or fruit leather).  They are looking for people willing to prepare and bring to the shelter pre-cooked dinners, as well as simple, nutritious breakfast and lunches and the foods needed for "snack packs". 


3. Kid Volunteers Needed at WestSide Baby

WestSide Baby has several opportunities for kids who want to help them fulfill their message to provide families in need with free diapers, clothing, cribs and safety gear for babies and children. 

All Ages: Organize a drive to collect items for kids, including diapers, diaper wipes. pajamas and coats.

Ages 8 – 13: Volunteer at the distribution center sorting donations, creating clothing bags, packaging  diapers. 

working with an adult:

Ages 14 – 17: Volunteer at WestSide Baby fundraising events. 

 If interested, contact Shana Allen, Volunteer Manager, 206-686-6659,


4. Towels and Furniture Donations Needed for Women's and Children's Shelters 

The YWCA supports women and children in our community by providing emergency shelters, domestic violence shelters, homeless shelters, and transitional housing. They have over 800 housing units  and they are  currently in desperate need of towels. Please drop off any towel donations at the YWCA’s Central Seattle Food Bank at 2820 East Cherry Ave, Seattle 98122. Food Bank hours are 9 am – 5 pm, Monday – Friday. 

In addition, the YWCA is seeking any type of new or useable previously owned furniture to help furnish their emergency shelters and domestic violence units. When a family arrives at their shelters they have  little more than the clothes on their backs. They will pick up furniture to be donated but must first meet specific guidelines to be donated. For more information contact the Sharehouse at 206-767-5280.


5. Crib Checkers Needed! 

WestSide Baby needs more people to join their team of  Crib Checkers! This specially trained position is essential to ensure that all donated cribs have the necessary parts, hardware and appropriate instruction manuals, making them safe for distribution to families served by WestSide Baby. If interested (and handy with tools) contact  Shana Allen, Volunteer Manager, (206)686-6659,


Looking for ideas on how to talk to your children about homelessness? Check out:

"People not Problems: Talking to Your Kids about Homelessness"