Real Change’s New Resource Guide for Homelessness

Real Change released Seattle’s The Emerald City Resource Guide in April 2018. This new pocket-size resource guide is intended to help homeless people navigate a spiderweb of resources in King County. You can download The Emerald City Resource Guide here.

A common refrain in homeless services is that Seattle’s strength — a large number of nonprofits working to take care of homeless people — is also its weakness. In 2017, King County was home to 77 organizations that shelter or house homeless people. That’s 25 more than the city of San Francisco, and more than the entire state of Montana.

If you’re homeless, navigating this vast network can be hard. That’s why Real Change released a pocket guide to services for homeless people.

“Real Change is printing 40,000 copies of this Emerald City Resource Guide, a 132-page booklet they hope homeless people will use to navigate the city’s spiderweb of resources.” (Photo courtesy of Real Change)

This durable and comprehensive pocket-sized booklet puts 132 slim pages of essential resources at the fingertips of homeless and very low-income people. New editions of the Emerald City Resource Guide will be published at least annually to keep services reliable and accurate.

The guidebook will list services such as health care, shelters and meals — and also features special sections for help with LGBTQ resources, culturally specific services and assistance with immigration issues.

The Emerald City Resource Guide complements online service listings that already exist by making the information immediately accessible to those who lack consistent access to technology.

According to Real Change Director Tim Harris, “I recently heard the story of a woman at a bus stop late at night, when she was approached by a young woman looking for a place to stay that night. The young woman didn’t have a cell phone, and by that time libraries were closed and she had nowhere to turn to look up local shelters. The first woman quickly searched through her phone, and was able to point the young woman in the right direction. If she had a guidebook, she said, she would have been able to hand the young woman a copy, connecting her to more support opportunities.”

“This is our vision on the Emerald City Resource Guide: a pocket-sized portal to change. As someone flips through the guidebook, looking for a shelter, maybe they’ll pass an entry on drug treatment services, or a job readiness program, and inspiration will spark.” – Real Change Director, Tim Harris

This pilot guidebook was made possible by a $20,000 Seattle Human Services Department Innovation Grant, $12,000 in sponsorships from a wide variety of partners, and around $4,000 of Real Change’s own money. Current sponsors of the Resource Guide include: 2-1-1, YWCA, Amerigroup Washington, Muslim Association of Puget Sound, Neighborcare Health, Jewish Family Service, DESC, Solid Ground, Evergreen Treatment Services, Pike Place Market Senior Center, Recovery Café, ROOTS and Community Health Plan of WA.

Read more about this new resource in Real Change News: Director’s Corner or The Seattle Times.

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