Washington Kids in Transition, which provides basic needs for homeless children in the Edmonds School District, recently moved into a new office space at 19721 Scriber Lake Road in Lynnwood.
Assistance that the organization provides includes food, emergency closets, motel vouchers, rental and utility assistance, and transportation vouchers. The goal is to remove stressors that can keep homeless students from attending school because kids should not have to worry about where they will sleep or what they will eat.
According to Executive Director Kim Gorney, Washington Kids in Transition supplies snack packs daily for 250 school bus riders who are homeless. Some of the children will not have another meal from the time they leave school until they come back to school the next day. “We solely rely on community donations to provide this food,” Gorney said. The organization also provide extra food — like cup of soups, mac and cheese and protein bars — for students sleeping in cars
Another effort is a back pack and school supplies drive. While Washington Kids in Transition will take donations year around, they haven’t always had the space to keep the overflow from the donations collected year round. Now — thanks to the new office space — they do have storage, which simplifies their efforts during the summer. There is also room for many other items collected during various donation drives, such as toothpaste drive at Meadowdale High School.
Clothes are also donated for high schools students in need. Gorney plans to turn a small room into a closet that will hold interview attire for high school students who are job hunting. She also hopes to provide gift cards for the hard-to-fit items like shoes. Donations are always welcome to help young adults seeking employment.
In addition, Washington Kids in Transition provides kitchen supplies, bedding and so much more to assist families moving from a transitional home into their own apartment. It will also help with the apartment deposit.
There is also a focus on helping homeless families with housing as well as homelessness prevention. Last year, the organization spent $57,000 on hotel stays. Single moms without a vehicle or with a medically fragile child have the priority for a hotel stay voucher. Washington Kids in Transition recently received a $17,000 Federal Emergency Management Agency grant for hotel stays.
In an effort to prevent homelessness, the organization spent $80,000 for initiatives that range from assisting with security deposits, to supplementing rents, to providing food.
You can learn about Washington Kids in Transition and ways you can help at washingtonkidsintransition.org.
— By Elise Hegrat