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03.25.2020

Treehouse Funding Immediate Needs Such as Rent, Shifting to Remote Strategies

By Trent Freeman, Director of Marketing & Communications

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The challenges of COVID-19 are impacting children and youth in foster care, and Treehouse is responding. We’re funding immediate needs—such as rent assistance—and connecting with youth using remote strategies because of school closures, as we work to fill additional emerging education gaps.

“Everything is changing day to day, and the first place youth in foster care are going is Treehouse. We’re anticipating both new and continuing requests from youth who were already at higher risk from a socioeconomic standpoint,” said Angela Griffin, Chief Program Officer at Treehouse. “The most frequent ask right now is for financial assistance as hours are cut and jobs lost. We’re also seeing demand for access and support with technology as many students prepare for online school.”

Treehouse is adapting its Just-in-Time Funding program for Launch Success participants, which typically focuses on education needs, housing and career goals, to provide immediate rent assistance, gift cards for food, cell phones and internet access. Laptops are becoming increasingly scarce and are being prioritized for seniors in Graduation Success to complete their school work, stay in touch with their Treehouse Education Specialists and tutors, and remain on track for graduation.

“The Treehouse Store in King County is now closed in compliance with the statewide stay at home order,” Griffin said. “The safety of clients, staff and community is Treehouse’s first priority. Graduation Success and Launch Success participants should work through their Education Specialist, Launch Success Coach or Just-in-Time funding team to fill requests for clothing and other critical items.”

An increase in sudden placement changes for youth are expected as students and caregivers adapt to the rapidly changing situation, which will drive even more clothing, basic hygiene and technology requests. Treehouse continues to assess each situation and meet needs by working with youth as they navigate other community resources and apply for state aid including EBT and TANF.

To support us in this work, make a donation at treehouseforkids.org/donate. Join our programs staff on Treehouse’s Facebook at noon on Wednesday, April 29 as they discuss how the challenges of COVID-19 are impacting children and youth in foster care, and how we’re responding.

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About the Author

Trent Freeman is the Director of Marketing & Communications at Treehouse. He is passionate about storytelling as a tool to drive positive change for youth in foster care.


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