On the evening of Monday, April 13, 2009, Seattle University students participated in the Homeless Needs Assessment. The assessment teams made up of community groups and volunteers work in coordination with the City of Seattle, United Way of King County and the Committee to End Homelessness work together to better understand the needs of homeless people and the barriers they face to finding permanent housing.
“This assessment provides the community with a profound opportunity to truly experience and understand the devastating effects and causes of homelessness through actually engaging in conversation with these people,” Hurtado Learning Community student Kate Hellenthal said. “This is an experience I would recommend to all.”
Audrey Hudgins, Assistant Dean in the College of Arts and Sciences and Faculty Director for the Millie Bown Russell Leadership Learning Community led a team of students in groups of three. The students spoke with every person they met as they walked through a specified area of the city to determine if they are homeless.
Once the data is analyzed, the survey will provide important insight into how resources can be used most effectively to prevent and to end homelessness, by seeking information such as what services people use or need, how they learn about programs and what experiences they've had to face. The assessment complements existing data collection methods such as the Safe Harbors Homeless Information Management System and the One Night Count of homeless people in King County.
“Actually hearing reasons and problems faced by the homeless first hand was very eye-opening,” Millie Bown Russell Leadership Learning Community student Aimee Corn shared. “It was rewarding to work with a large group of volunteers who wish to eradicate homelessness.”
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