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There’s no denying that Seattle has a homelessness crisis. Even as economic conditions in the area improve, some Seattleites are being left behind amid skyrocketing rents and other affordability challenges.

Seattle now has the third-largest homeless population in the country, only behind the huge metropolitan areas of New York and Los Angeles.

Geeks Give Back: Support families and individuals affected by homelessness. Donate here to the campaign.

That’s why GeekWire and Bank of America have teamed up with the Seattle Foundation for our 2018 Geeks Give Back Campaign, focusing on impactful support for families and individuals affected by homelessness in the region.

Thanks to the generosity of organizations and individuals in our community, our last campaign raised $1.1 million to support STEM students in Washington State. This year, we’re turning the focus to another worthy cause.

At the GeekWire Summit, we launched the fourth annual Geeks Give Back campaign with the goal of making meaningful change in the lives of our neighbors.

Marty Hartman is executive director of Mary’s Place, a shelter for families in the Seattle area and one of the recipients of this year’s campaign. She spoke on stage at the GeekWire Summit and said it’s clear the Seattle area is in crisis.

“You see the tents in the median of I-5, you see cardboard homes in front of our stores,” she said. “What you may not see is the 40,000 children across this state that are counted by their teachers as experiencing homelessness tonight.”

Hartman asked Seattle’s technology and business community to support their homeless neighbors, whether that be through business, through tech innovations for the homeless or through giving directly.

“Thank you for being the goodness and the grace and the hope of this community,” she said.

Scroll up to watch video of Marty Hartman and the work of Mary’s Place, and below for Brandon Getz and his powerful stories about Plymouth Housing Group.

This year’s campaign will benefit five nonprofits that are delivering resources and solutions to make Puget Sound more inclusive and accessible and help families and individuals overcome homelessness:

  • Mary’s Place believes that no one’s child should sleep outside, and that all families should have safety, stability and housing. Mary’s Place provides safe, inclusive shelter and services that support women, children and families on their journey out of homelessness.
  • Mercy Housing is working to create a more humane world where poverty is alleviated, communities are healthy and all people can develop their full potential. It believes that affordable housing and supportive programs improve the economic status of residents, transform neighborhoods and stabilize lives.
  • DESC works to end the homelessness of vulnerable people, particularly those living with serious mental illnesses or substance use disorders. Through partnerships and an integrated array of comprehensive services, treatment and housing, DESC gives people the opportunity to reach their highest potential.
  • Plymouth Housing Group works to eliminate homelessness and address its causes by preserving, developing and operating safe, quality, supportive housing and by providing homeless adults with opportunities to stabilize and improve their lives.
  • Through education, advocacy and leadership, the Housing Development Consortium supports and inspires its members as they work collaboratively to meet the housing needs of limited-income people throughout King County.


Visit to make a one-time donation to the campaign or to set up a recurring donation to support these organizations in the months and years to come. Also check out more of GeekWire’s homelessness coverage.

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