why we're here
Jubilee exists because women experiencing poverty need time, a safe environment, learning opportunities and supportive services to transition from homelessness, emergency shelters or domestic violence programs to independent living. Jubilee is committed to long-term change. This move without a period of transition can be daunting or impossible for a woman who comes from a life of abuse, instability, limited job or life skills.
Poverty – All Jubilee residents earn below the extreme poverty line of $18,2001 (defined as less than 30% of the area median income for a single adult in Seattle/King County) when coming to live at Jubilee. Many women are just a paycheck away from homelessness.
Lack of affordable housing – In King County, nearly 9,0002 people are homeless on any given night. There are 30,000 households with incomes at or below 30% of the median income. Yet, there are only 310 unsubsidized units in all of King County renting at levels affordable to this income group3. Currently, there is a 2 to 5 year waiting list for low-income housing. A one-bedroom unit at Fair Market Rent is $9774 per month. This amount would be more than 50% of a person's income who earns the current minimum wage of $9.19 per hour. Without safe affordable housing, many women’s only options for housing are shelters, sofa surfing, their car, the streets or staying with an abusive partner.
Domestic violence – Women are at an increased risk of homelessness because of gender-specific vulnerabilities. Lack of affordable housing often means women are forced to choose between abuse at home and life on the streets. 955 percent of domestic violence victims are women. Over 50% of Jubilee residents are survivors of domestic violence. Women fleeing abuse walk away from everything they have worked to build – their home, friendships, personal possessions, jobs and life savings.
Lack of social and economic resources – There has been a steady decline in publicly funded services for low-income individuals and the state’s current budget crisis has further reduced available programs. In 2011, Disability Lifeline was cut for disabled King County residents relying on cash benefits to pay for living expenses, leaving thousands unsure how they will pay for rent, food and other necessities.
Disabilities – Approximately 37%6 of homeless people using shelter services in the U.S. have a disability (HUD Annual Report on Homelessness). With limited access to affordable health care, many women are just an illness or accident away from homelessness.
- "FY 2012 Income Limits." U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, 2012. Web.
- "2012 One Night Count." Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness, 2012. Web.
- King County Housing Benchmarks Report, 2010.
- "Final FY 2013 Fair Market Rents." U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, 2013. Web.
- U.S. Department of Justice, 2011. Web.
- "2010 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress." U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, 2010. Web