Seattle pilot…

Stories of impact

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In September 2016, a pilot was
launched for people without homes
in Seattle
to advance their lives

Through Vulcan and other backers, the platform was adopted by ten incredible local agencies, reaching more and more people and eventually leading to the following outcomes…

15,260

volunteer
‘samaritans’ on-app

500

participating
members

56%

improved self-
sufficiency

52

tracked life-
changing outcomes

  • time unsheltered

    ~3 years

  • lifecare visits

    5

  • funds from beacon

    $240/mo

  • outcome

    found housing,
    improved health

This makes me feel like there's somebody out there who actually wants to help.

Chuck C.

Chuck became our first-ever beacon holder when he had been on a housing waiting list for three years. Through his beacon, Chuck got nutrition and warm clothing and began to meet monthly with a counselor. Five months later, his counselor was able to help him into an apartment.

  • time unsheltered

    ~14 years

  • lifecare visits

    17

  • funds from beacon

    $2,201

  • outcome

    relationships

I’ve been on the streets for over 13 years. I’ve seen and heard everything. This has probably helped me more than anything else.

Raven R.

Raven became homeless after his stepdad kicked him out of his home. Chronic medical issues made it hard for Raven to keep a job. Through his beacon, Raven formed relationships with samaritans who have given him critical items and have invited him into their community, providing the hope and support needed to eventually find work again.

  • time unsheltered

    >3 years

  • lifecare visits

    4

  • funds from beacon

    $128

  • outcome

    self-empowered

Even if I don’t have faith in myself, or I feel like I can’t make it, this just gives me an extra oomph.

Lamar J.

Lamar came to Seattle from Fort Lauderdale. He ended up in jail and on the street after a series of self-described poor decisions. After getting a beacon, Lamar’s counselor reported he had started making his court appearances, visiting his family, and had reduced no-shows for case management.

  • time unsheltered

    10 years

  • lifecare visits

    14

  • funds from beacon

    $921

  • outcome

    found housing,
    employment

This was the first time in seven years people have seen me for who I am, not what I look like or where I come from.

Nicole S.

Nicole ran away from home at 16, struggling with addiction and prostitution. After several years of homelessness, a nonprofit offered her a beacon, which she used to purchase food and critical supplies like a phone and phone plan. A samaritan one day recognized her through the app, and helped her into a GED and Forklift Training program at Goodwill. Through the program, Nicole finally secured housing.

  • time unsheltered

    501 days

  • lifecare visits

    12

  • funds from beacon

    $875

  • outcome

    relationships

When the beacon came into my life, it really changed a lot of things for me. It gave me back a sense of humanity. Gave me back a sense of individualism.

Michael M.

Michael found out about the beacon through another beacon holder at a Saturday morning breakfast at a church. He called the samaritans who began to invest in his life, “the way I kept myself pointed in the right direction.” To keep his beacon active, Michael began having lifecare visits with a counselor. After 501 days on being the street, he entered housing through his counselor.

  • time unsheltered

    unknown

  • lifecare visits

    12

  • funds from beacon

    $198.80

  • outcome

    found housing

It has been a long journey out of homelessness, but I knew if I didn't give up it would all come together. The extra support I have gotten from the Samaritans has kept me going during some moments when I didn't think I could keep going.

Sayci W.

Sayci became homeless after getting divorced and struggling with addiction. When he received the beacon, he began to use it to meet critical needs, such as clothing, camping equipment and food. Sayci eventually found housing and said the support from samaritans was what kept him going "during some moments when I didn't think I could keep going." Now, he's hoping to find a job, write poetry and get supplies for his new home.

  • time unsheltered

    ~1 year

  • lifecare visits

    1

  • funds from beacon

    $603

  • outcome

    found housing,
    employment

I think I just needed people to believe in me. People who see me and who believe in my vision for myself and who support that.

Laura L.

Laura ended up on the street after she ran away from domestic violence. Laura eventually found housing, but outstanding traffic tickets and penalties prevented her from getting to a job she had received where she needed to drive. Laura learned about the beacon through a nonprofit and received support to regain her license and pay rent to take the job and remain housed.

  • time unsheltered

    22 months

  • lifecare visits

    5

  • funds from beacon

    $318

  • outcome

    relationships,
    self-empowered

Thanks to [samaritans] checking on me and feeding me—still don’t know how I would have kept warm or ate many nights because of you.

Chris C.

Chris came to Seattle after a friend offered him work and a place to stay. When his friend disappeared, Chris ended up on the street. In a short time, Chris developed mental illness that made him unable to hold conversations or be in confined spaces. He was convinced to receive a beacon. Support received through the beacon helped him survive with food, flashlight batteries and clothes. His counselor built enough of a connection through lifecare visits that Chris was able to come indoors again. Eventually, Chris was permanently housed.

  • time unsheltered

    unknown

  • lifecare visits

    5

  • funds from beacon

    $247

  • outcome

    found housing

I've enjoyed my community caring about me. Even if someone gives only a dollar, it feels like a million.

Melissa M.

Melissa became homeless after an abusive relationship led to addiction and the custody of her daughter being lost. She decided to turn herself into rehab to get clean and get her daughter back. She used a beacon to get critical supplies from Goodwill along the way. Her counselor reported after using the beacon for several months, she was able to find housing.

  • time unsheltered

    4-5 years

  • lifecare visits

    3

  • funds from beacon

    $355

  • outcome

    found employment

[With the beacon] I got a waterproof coat and pants, that helped me stay outside in the rain... It helps me a lot. It helps me save for other things that really I struggle on.

Deborah T.

Deborah started living on her own when she was 19. She ended up on the streets after not finding a job. Deborah learned about the beacon and used it to buy waterproof clothes so she could keep delivering food on her bike to earn income towards housing.

  • time unsheltered

    5 years

  • lifecare visits

    9

  • funds from beacon

    $309

  • outcome

    found housing

[The beacon is the] greatest thing that could’ve ever happened to me… Greatest thing that could happen to homeless people as far as finances go. It makes it easy to keep your humanity.

Carolyn M.

Carolyn was formerly an English teacher and became homeless after she said she fell through the cracks. When she received her beacon, she had been homeless for years and was searching for housing. She used the funds on her beacon for daily necessities, such as groceries, vitamins and fresh goods while she worked with a case manager to find housing. She called the beacon a lifesaver, saying it supported her as she worked toward her goals. After five years on the street, Carolyn finally found an apartment.

  • time unsheltered

    18 months

  • lifecare visits

    6

  • funds from beacon

    $1,123

  • outcome

    employment

Saul P.

Saul turned to drugs and alcohol after his brother died in service, eventually ending up in prison. When he was released, he was on the street and health issues significantly impaired his mobility. Saul heard about the beacon and used it to keep himself nourished as well as to keep his phone on. He needed his phone to maintain his job as a bike courier and to keep in contact with his doctor for medical treatment.

  • time unsheltered

    ~10 years

  • lifecare visits

    8

  • funds from beacon

    $1,086

  • outcome

    found housing,
    employment

I was homeless for 10 years … the beacon people helped me so I wasn't evicted and didn't lose my place again.

Sadie A.

Sadie became homeless after losing her job and ending an abusive relationship. Sadie was housed after a 10-year struggle with homelessness, but faced eviction when a situation with her son prevented her from paying rent. She learned about the beacon and avoid her eviction through it. Because Sadie stayed housed, she was able to find a job soon after.

  • time unsheltered

    ~6 months

  • lifecare visits

    2

  • funds from beacon

    $701

  • outcome

    found housing,
    employment

Hopefully we're up and running enough that we can return it back to everybody for what they did, we can help other people.

Michael A.

Michael and his son Jacob moved to Seattle for work but their plans did not work out and they became homeless. They found out about the beacon and used hundreds of dollars received to buy the clothing and shoes needed to both get employed at Whole Foods. After finding employment, they were able to move into tiny homes to save up for a permanent apartment.

  • time unsheltered

    unknown

  • lifecare visits

    7

  • funds from beacon

    $2,641

  • outcome

    found housing

David A.

David ended up on the street in Seattle through experiencing gang violence. He used the beacon to get a new passport so he could apply for housing. The money on the beacon also helped him get critical supplies such as food and clothing as he worked with counselors to get off the street. Through meeting regularly, David eventually got into supportive housing.

  • time unsheltered

    unknown

  • lifecare visits

    2

  • funds from beacon

    $48

  • outcome

    employment,
    self-empowered

When I got my first gift from a samaritan, I was in the library crying at the thought that someone out there cares about me.

Geoffrey L.

Geoffrey struggled to get money for critical supplies while homeless because he hated panhandling. He said he cried when his first samaritan invested in him. The beacon went toward food and clothes as he searched for work and housing. He is now housed and working in an Amazon warehouse.

  • time unsheltered

    unknown

  • lifecare visits

    29

  • funds from beacon

    $1,424

  • outcome

    improved health

Robert D.

Robert struggled to manage his diabetes while on the streets. He heard about the beacon and used the money received for life-critical medication, as well as food and transportation. He since moved into a tiny home. He continues to use the beacon to pay for needed medications and stay in touch with community.

  • time unsheltered

    unknown

  • lifecare visits

    5

  • funds from beacon

    $797.15

  • outcome

    improved health

Scott S.

Scott became homeless after he escaped domestic violence. After Scott received a beacon, his friend and sister offered to pay for him to attend an inpatient rehab program in Texas. Scott made the decision to choose sobriety and attend the rehab. But first, he needed the funds for a bus ticket to get to Texas. Scott received hundreds of dollars on his beacon and several messages of support, giving him the ability to buy a bus ticket to Texas so he could enter rehab and get sober.

  • time unsheltered

    ~8 years

  • lifecare visits

    17

  • funds from beacon

    $478

  • outcome

    found housing

Larry T.

Larry lost his home after his wife of 20 years passed and he was laid off in the same month. After moving to Seattle to try to find fishing work, Larry ended up homeless. Larry used the more than $400 he received on his beacon to pay move-in costs on an apartment.

  • time unsheltered

    unknown

  • lifecare visits

    4

  • funds from beacon

    $150

  • outcome

    employment

Haile G.

Haile was evicted after being laid-off from a construction job due to injury. The bone spur in his foot made it incredibly painful to walk more than six blocks at a time, which made finding new work difficult. Samaritans invested into Haile to help him to purchase a bike that enabled him to travel more freely and take the pressure off his foot. Through having a bicycle, he found a job at Safeco Field and began to save money to buy a car to start a taxi service.

  • time unsheltered

    unknown

  • lifecare visits

    10

  • funds from beacon

    $543

  • outcome

    employment,
    self-empowered

Wendell B.

Wendell lost his job as a teacher and ended up on the streets. After learning about the beacon, he used the hundreds of dollars he got from samaritans for transportation, food and other critical supplies he needed to survive. The support eventually led to him finding employment again.

  • time unsheltered

    unknown

  • lifecare visits

    8

  • funds from beacon

    $159

  • outcome

    found housing,
    employment

Darnell L.

Darnell moved from Kentucky to Seattle to try to access better services. He heard about the beacon through a meal site and used it to pay for transportation to and from part-time opportunities. Darnell met a counselor through his beacon, who was eventually able to help him into housing.

  • time unsheltered

    unknown

  • lifecare visits

    2

  • funds from beacon

    $267

  • outcome

    relationships

Gloria D.

Gloria ended up on the street after a divorce, loss of child custody, and subsequent addiction. Through her beacon, Gloria was connected to a counselor who helped her get a bed at a shelter where she felt comfortable and could work with people she said she believed in. She now has regular check-ins with a team to work towards getting housing and custody of her daughter.

  • time unsheltered

    unknown

  • lifecare visits

    4

  • funds from beacon

    $472

  • outcome

    found housing,
    employment

Joseph H.

Joseph became homeless after he lost his job and a long-term relationship. He needed personal protection equipment to start at a job in construction. After getting a beacon, a samaritan read Joseph’s story and offered to take him directly into a Timberland store to purchase what he needed. With the help of the samaritan, Joseph got all of the equipment he needed to work in construction and found housing thereafter.

  • time unsheltered

    unknown

  • lifecare visits

    0

  • funds from beacon

    $136

  • outcome

    self-empowered

The words […] won't stop ringing in my head since the day I got the beacon.

John K.

John struggled with mental health and addiction after serving in Vietnam and ended up homeless. After accepting a beacon, John received $136 and several messages of support over the course of a week. Without spending any of the money, he called in to say he had finally chosen to enter rehab to confront his addiction. John said he had found a renewed sense of hope and wanted to invest in putting his life back together like others had.

  • time unsheltered

    unknown

  • lifecare visits

    2

  • funds from beacon

    $138

  • outcome

    employment

Nathan S.

Nathan moved from Michigan to Seattle to find work in construction, ending up homeless during his search. He heard about the beacon at a meal site, and used more than $100 he received towards professional work clothes. Nathan said the new clothes gave him the confidence to apply himself again and earned him a full-time job at a restaurant.

  • time unsheltered

    unknown

  • lifecare visits

    12

  • funds from beacon

    $372

  • outcome

    relationships
    self-empowered

Rodney S.

Rodney moved to Seattle from Minnesota in search of better job opportunities and healthcare. After he received his beacon, he began having lifecare visits and created a game plan of steps to get where he wants to be. He was then able to get an ID so he could enroll in Goodwill job training, two key pieces of the game plan. Since starting job training, Rodney has begun working closely with a counselor whom he trusts and who is helping him to work toward housing and employment. He was able to form a meaningful relationship which has empowered him to keep moving forward.

  • time unsheltered

    unknown

  • lifecare visits

    1

  • funds from beacon

    $526

  • outcome

    employment

I couldn't talk for like a whole day. I was just numb. I felt speechless. It gave me a lot of inspiration to continue to be strong.

Tracy —

Tracy left Seattle to care for her son, who got into a car accident and was on life support. She faced an eviction when she got back to Seattle and ended up homeless. When she got her beacon, Tracy was trying to get her commercial driver's license as she studied toward becoming a physician assistant. Tracy used the hundreds of dollars she received on her beacon to pay for her CDL so she could get a job in the transportation industry, and her overdue storage which contained documents she'd need for housing and employment. Tracy said when so many samaritans invested into her life, she was speechless.

  • time unsheltered

    10+ years

  • lifecare visits

    ?

  • funds from beacon

    $??

  • outcome

    found housing,
    employment

Josh —

Josh was ready to work. But he was sleeping outside or in shelter, constantly threatened by the elements, illness and abuse. Josh's team of samaritans helped him meet needs like a phone, groceries, or sending messages of encouragement. After getting to know him, one samaritan invited Josh to camp safely in their backyard, which soon turned into a stay in their basement. Josh used this environment to overcome mental & physical issues, begin to work again, and moved into his own apartment soon after.

  • time unsheltered

    unknown

  • lifecare visits

    2

  • funds from beacon

    $155

  • outcome

    found housing

This is a lifeline. It’s awesome. Makes me feel almost normal again. Like part of the human race almost.

Heidi M.

Heidi ended up on the street after medical conditions made it hard to hold a job. After receiving a beacon, Heidi bought clothing for interviews and other critical supplies she needed to find a job. The relationship she formed through her lifecare visits with a counselor led to her being housed.

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