Seattle Kraken launch a foundation on youth homelessness

Gabrielle Meas, Reporter

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Every year, an estimated 4.2 million young individuals become homeless, with 700,000 of them being unaccompanied minors (those who are not part of a family or accompanied by a parent or guardian). In every given night, about 41,000 unaccompanied youth between the ages of 13 and 25 are homeless. Children in foster care face multiple factors that increase their risk of homelessness, including the number of foster care placements. Human development also plays a role, making young people biologically more likely to engage in high-risk behaviors. Without safe and permanent homes and caring adults, runaway and homeless youth are at even greater risk of putting themselves in unsafe or risky situations, authors say. The consequences faced by youth experiencing homelessness are vast and require coordination across the education, child welfare, juvenile justice, health, and human services systems.

According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, one in three teens on the street will be lured into prostitution within 48 hours of leaving home, the American Academy of Pediatrics finds youth experiencing Homelessness are twice as likely to attempt suicide as their peers who are not homeless. The homeless are vulnerable to multiple threats, including not having their basic food and shelter needs met, untreated mental health disorders, substance use, sexually transmitted diseases and HIV infection, sexual exploitation (including survival sex to meet basic needs), physical victimization and suicide.

The Seattle Kraken and the Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle have announced the creation of the One Roof Foundation. The foundation’s three main pillars will be youth homelessness, hockey access, and environmental justice. In Washington State, more than 40,000 high school students are homeless or face housing instability. The Kraken’s Vice President of Community Engagement and Social Impact, Mari Horita, will serve as the Executive Director of One Roof Foundation “We believe that issues like homelessness, racism, and inequity of opportunity affect all of us, not just the targeted populations. We are all in this together – under One Roof,” said Horita. “We know we have an incredible opportunity and obligation to be part of the positive change in our region, so that everyone feels seen and valued.” “For almost sixty years, the arena’s historic roof has been at the heart of the Seattle Community. And now, it will be transformed and given new life for the next 60 years. It will continue to be the symbol that represents our community, our ambitions and our ability to come together,” said Tim Leiweke, CEO of Oak View Group. “One of the most wonderful things about sport is the opportunity to give back and have an impact on your community. It has been one of the highlights of my career,” said Tod Leiweke, CEO of the Seattle Kraken. “The Kraken is an organization which has already prioritized social justice and One Roof Foundation will build on this to help marginalized youth realize their dreams both on and off the ice.”

One way to immediately support the foundation is by purchasing a special Kraken edition license plate. 75% of proceeds from the plates will directly go to the foundation. To learn more about One Roof Foundation please visit and follow along on social media.