The Doorway Project aims to create a place for young people experiencing homelessness: a place where anyone is welcome, and where everyone can access the resources and tools that allow us to thrive in our daily lives.

Youth and young adults in the U District form the foundation of our work. Our vision is generated by their experiences and needs, and our goal is to create a place that directly responds to their desires and ambitions. From this foundation, together we can build a stronger, more inclusive community network in the U District. Welcome to the Doorway Project!

“A Place To Be ___________.”

[On the night of the count] an estimated 1,498 individuals were unaccompanied youth and young adults. These young people represent 13% of the total count population, and comprise unaccompanied youth and young adults under 25 years of age, including 221 unaccompanied minors under 18 years old. Over three-quarters (76%) of unaccompanied youth and young adults were unsheltered, while 24% were sheltered on the night of the count.
— 2017 King County Count Us In Report


Our Mission

The overall goal of this project is to contribute to ending youth homelessness in the University District. The “U District” has long served as a neighborhood that offers services and supports youth and young adults experiencing homelessness. Over any given year, as many as one-third of King County’s homeless youth are included in the U District community.

Building on its resources and strengths as a world-renowned research institution, the University of Washington has recently developed the Homelessness Research Initiative to specifically address homelessness through a research lens.

The Doorway Project is an offshoot of this Initiative that specifically focuses the UW’s research lens onto the University District -- the neighborhood in which the UW has grown and thrived.

For us, research means being empathetic and valuing knowledge that is found in our community. In particular, we seek the knowledge and guidance of youth and young adults experiencing housing instability and who live, work, or learn here in this neighborhood. The work we do is intentionally open-ended, flexible, and continually evolving in response to what we learn. Our methods include community mapping, focus groups, digital storytelling, and individual interviews. We engage in these research methods through a combination of our seasonal Pop-Up Cafes and through partnership with existing service providers in the U District.

The information we gather will help us design a multifaceted space that is unprecedented in the Pacific Northwest. Although our research is not finished, we already know that the Doorway Project is a place for learning and for sharing resources between service providers. It is a place where the UW can actively engage in the community and facilitate connections. It is a place where everyone has a seat at the table and a voice in the conversation. It is a place to be __________.

The Doorway Project is a collaboration between the University of Washington and community service providers, and is made possible by funding from the State of Washington. It is part of the Homelessness Research Initiative, an Urban@UW-fostered effort focused on developing collaborative solutions for housing and homelessness.