ROOTS has a strong and successful history of providing services in the University District.
In 1999, City of Seattle officials approached University Temple United Methodist Church about the possibility of providing shelter to homeless young adults ages 18 to 25. Shalom Zone Nonprofit Association/dba ROOTS was incorporated as an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit in 2000 in response to this request. During this time, shelter providers across the state had noticed a significant unmet need for services for young adults. Licensing guidelines prevented youth shelters from serving this age group, and adult shelters, already overcrowded, were particularly unable to meet the developmental needs for this in-between age group. In 2002, after a successful trial program operating one night per week, ROOTS expanded to three nights per week. In 2004, our partner program in the University District closed and we increased our services from three to seven nights per week. ROOTS was the first overnight shelter in the city specifically designed to meet the needs of homeless young adults, and is one of the only co-ed shelters in the city, providing an integral piece of the continuum of care for homeless persons in King County. We mark as our most significant accomplishment that for over eight years, RYAS has operated seven nights per week without ever once having closed due to lack of staffing or volunteers.
ROOTS has played a leadership role in the creation of the University District Service Providers Alliance, and served as the fiscal agent for this collaborative network of nine agencies until it achieved independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit status in 2007. The UDSPA is focused on creating an integrated continuum of care for homeless youth and young adults in the University District.
ROOTS has successfully maintained a City contract during each year of its existence and has always met and exceeded deliverable goals for bednights, enrollment in case management services, and number of youth achieving self-identified goals. We served 525 individuals in 2011. Many of our guests have found and moved into permanent housing over the past year, and a significant number have also found jobs.
In 2005, ROOTS successfully managed its first federal contract and has since acquired numerous other public and private grants, both small and large, including funding from EFSP, ESHP, United Way, Medina Foundation, Seattle Foundation, Northwest Children’s Fund, Pride Foundation, One Family Foundation, Jackson Foundation, Thomas V. Giddens Foundation, Norcliffe Foundation, Safeco Foundation, Ernest R. and Audrey M. Turner Foundation, Fales Foundation and the Raynier Foundation, while significantly expanding individual contributions. ROOTS has had an independent financial review in each of the past eight years.