In 2021 Cocoon House launched its Connections Host Home Program, a nationally recognized best practice program that matches youth experiencing homelessness with volunteer hosts throughout the county.

In 2021 Cocoon House launched its Connections Host Home Program, a nationally recognized best practice program that matches youth experiencing homelessness with volunteer hosts throughout the county.

Snohomish County Youth Find Homes with Heart

Cocoon House launches Connections Host Home Program

There are an estimated 4.2 million youth and young adults experiencing homelessness in the US every year. In Washington, that number can reach nearly 13,000 annually. The US Department of Education, in the 2018-2019 school year, reported an estimated 39,972 public school students experienced homelessness during the year. The struggle is real.

For three months, a young Washington area couple slept in their car. Afraid, hungry, and with no prospects for a better life, they showed up at Cocoon House looking for a warm meal.

“They were afraid of what was going to happen, about what it was going to be like the next day and the day after that,” says Kit Topaz, Associate Director of Community Relations at Cocoon House. “At age 18, their families turned them out for being together, and they had nowhere to turn. They didn’t fit the high-risk categories that would prioritize them for housing.”

When youth don’t make the criteria-cut for housing, they turn to tents, cars and under bridges to find shelter. Cocoon House helped the couple find a safe place to park their vehicle. They could return to Cocoon House to do laundry, have meals, and to shower. They were taught about budgeting and coached in finding employment. They were then assisted in finding an apartment. Three months after spending their first night in the car, they had a warm bed to sleep in – life-changing.

“It is success stories like these that make our efforts so important and worthwhile,” says Topaz.

Cocoon House ensures each young person is met where they are physically and emotionally. Young people can connect with staff through Cocoon House’s programs, in schools, or on the streets.

The help offered is not just to youth. Parents are also provided with services to help keep their teen home or provide the smoothest transition possible back into the home. The agency’s goal is to ensure every child has a home and a future – one free from fear so they can grow to their full potential.

Homes with Heart

In 2021 Cocoon House launched its Connections Host Home Program. Host Homes is a nationally recognized best practice program that matches youth experiencing homelessness with volunteer hosts throughout the county. It is an alternative to shelters and provides transitional housing services in a young person’s community. By staying in their own community, they can still be part of their home school and natural supports while working to reconcile with their family or identify longer-term solutions.

“When a host home opens their door to a young person in need of short-term housing, they are providing that youth with an option to stay in a welcoming family setting and experience a safe and stable environment,” says Topaz.

For more information on Cocoon’s Host Home program and how you can make a difference by opening up your heart and home, visit:

Talk to us

More in Snohomish County Gives

With the help of Snohomish County’s Eagle Wings Ministries and her supervisor, Darla, Megan (left) has created an online support group for people with disabilities.
Building community, one connection at a time

Eagle Wings Ministries helps adults with developmental disAbilities find connection

Tyrone McMorris, Executive Director of Casino Road Kids Ministries, and Carrie deKubber, owner of Bob's Burgers and Brew - Everett, work together to serve local kids.
A restaurant, a nonprofit, and a friendship built on supporting the community

Bob’s Everett has served free meals to Casino Road Kids Ministries for over five years!

The Second Chance Foundation serves a hundred individuals a day. Last winter, they handed out 10,000 sleeping bags and served 3,600 meals.
Everyone Deserves a Second Chance

It was Christmas. Alone, homeless, and facing a life of addiction on… Continue reading

Sherwood Community Services advocates for children, adults, and families by navigating the issues that create barriers.
Removing Barriers: Sherwood Community Services Creates Hope

People living with a disability are more likely to live in poverty… Continue reading

Hilary lost her home in 2016, but after years of hard work and support from organizations like Housing Hope, she's got her whole family under one roof again.
Hilary lost her home in 2016, but thanks to local support, she never lost hope

Housing Hope supports families in Snohomish County through housing and tailored services

The Leadership Snohomish County Signature Program works to forge strong community connections and create a platform for respectful, honest discussion.
Building community connections for Snohomish County by building better leaders

Community has always been important in the Snohomish area and throughout the… Continue reading

In 2020, YWCA Pathways for Women in Lynnwood provided emergency shelter and essential resources for 120 women and children.
Pathways for Women: YWCA’s Approach to Shelter

Washington state ranks in the top five nationwide for homelessness, with roughly… Continue reading

This season, and throughout the year, Hand in Hand welcomes donations of food, clothing, infant supplies and toiletries for Snohomish County children and families in crisis. In addition, the annual toy drive is underway for families struggling to provide gifts for their children during the holidays.
Walk with families Hand in Hand this holiday season

Organization builds connections, vital resources for Snohomish County children and families

Homage is a nonprofit serving seniors and people with disabilities in Snohomish County. Programs include Meals on Wheels, Community Table Dining, Mental Health Counseling, Transportation Assistance, Minor Home Repairs, and Social Services. You can learn more at
Prioritizing kindness: Homage delivers services and compassion to seniors

A soft voice on the line pleads: “Can you help me?” That… Continue reading

In this quickly growing community, the need to address hunger is a priority for organizations like the Lake Stevens Community Food Bank who serve approximately 1,200 families, or 3,000 individuals, per month.
Nourishing the community: Lake Stevens Community Food Bank builds sustainability

In 2020, 60 million people turned to food banks in the United… Continue reading

For over 40 years, the nonprofit Puget Sound Kidney Centers (PSKC) has been a leading provider of high quality, comprehensive dialysis care, social services, nutritional counselling, and health education to those affected by CKD.
Preventing kidney disease

Puget Sound Kidney Centers help community with education and treatment services

Kari Hovde teaches a young dancer. Hovde has just launched The Backstage Foundation, a non-profit that funds opportunities for young dancers to build their talent and character while fulfilling their dreams and inspiring others.
Helping Washington dancers take center stage

The Backstage Foundation offers scholarships to talented dancers for studio fees, travel and more!