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Empowering families, transforming lives, strengthening communities

Attain Housing Executive Director Natalie Reber talks to Kirkland Lifestyle about how the organization helps local families stave off homelessness.

Article by Bree O'Brien

Photography by Photos courtesy of Attain Housing

Originally published in Kirkland Lifestyle

Did you know that over 30,000 people experience homelessness in King County each year? There is a perception among some locals that homelessness is a “Seattle problem,” but Reber tells me that while it can be more visible in urban areas due to the tent communities, the Eastside has many homeless families. For these neighbors, homelessness may mean living in a vehicle, staying in a hotel, doubling or tripling up with other families in too-small spaces, or being split up to go into separate shelters.

Per the Attain website, a family of four needs an annual income of over $100,000 to afford housing on the Eastside. Reber says the number of families needing help with housing has increased during the pandemic, and Attain is seeing another uptick – possibly due to aid programs like enhanced unemployment ending. “Families are not recovering economically from the pandemic, and many may need to downsize or pursue financial assistance to prevent an eviction on their record,” Reber says.

How can a family in need seek help from Attain? The nonprofit maintains 37 units of affordable housing for clients referred by government agencies, schools, and other organizations. In addition, the Stable Home program provides rental and move-in financial assistance to prevent evictions and stop families from losing housing entirely. Families can contact Attain directly for Stable Home assistance.

Attain also offers wraparound services with case management, including job training and mental health support, to empower families to move forward. “Every family is a little bit different,” says Reber, “and many clients already have trauma related to homelessness.”

Attain Housing’s mission is “Bringing our community together to partner with homeless families by providing affordable housing and empowering them with practical case management and hope.”

If you would like to support the organization and its clients, there are several ways:

-          Monetary donations are always welcome to increase the availability of rental assistance

-          Labor such as yard work and home improvements to affordable housing

-          Board membership may be an option for those with finance, human resources, or other management expertise

-          Spread the word about Attain’s work via conversations with friends or social media

-          Have empathy for all of your neighbors

Attain hosts a year-end fundraising drive before Thanksgiving and the winter holidays, requesting cash or gift cards to support its programs and provide the families it serves with a special holiday. You can find more information about Attain and its holiday programs on the website attainhousing.org

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