New Horizons Response to COVID-19

Together with our city, county, and state, New Horizons is preparing for the emergence of the Novel Coronavirus, and possible impact it may have on each and all of us.

New Horizons’ team is taking the risk of the COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) to our youth and young adults, as well as our community, very seriously. Our priority at this time, however, is supporting the most vital prevention practice of all: keeping our Shelter Services open so that the communities we serve know New Horizons’ youth and young adults experiencing homelessness in King County have a safer and caring place to ride out the storm of this public health crisis. We will continue to update this page should further information arise.


Will the 42nd Anniversary Benefit proceed? 

At this time we have decided to place our Anniversary Benefit on hold. We are looking to celebrate on a later date this year, we will keep you posted as more information becomes available. We join our state and country in working together to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

Is New Horizons closing down its services?

No. Working together with King County, the priority of New Horizons, is to support our most vital prevention practice of all: keeping New Horizons’ Shelter Services open. This way the youth and young adults we serve have a safer and caring place to come. 

Unlike you and me, they have nowhere to go, no personal space to self-isolate, no family home they trust to experience care and rest so they can recover. If New Horizons closes its Shelter Services these youth will be forced to sleep outside, worsening their illness, and possibly increasing the risk of exposure to others.

What is NH @ The Y?

In response to COVID-19, New Horizons has partnered with YMCA Accelerator and YMCA of Greater Seattle to offer a space for the young people we serve to be socially distant during the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” Order. New Horizons staff works with YMCA staff to run and operate New Horizons at the Y. This will allow up to 40 young adults a safe and comfortable space that will provide 20+ hours of supportive services to meet the need for safer social distancing and health best practices. The program offers meals, workshops, games, activities, and a place to rest. 

What is New Horizons doing to prevent the spread of the Novel Coronavirus?

Within our facilities and among our staff, New Horizons is complying with all recommendations put out by King County Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control, as we always have. We continue to actively monitor the situation and work closely with our community partners, including the Seattle Human Services Coalition, King County Public Health, NeighborCare Clinic, and all our community program partners.

New Horizons continues to maintain high standards of sanitation and thorough cleaning processes, as we always do, following the “Sanitation & Hygiene Guide by King County Public Health.” The youth and young adults that we serve are being supported in continuing their best hygiene and personal care practices through regular access to New Horizons’ showers and personal care stations, as well as our laundry facilities. ​​​​​​​

Along with the rest of the Seattle community, we are requesting that any volunteers or staff with symptoms please stay home. We care about our whole community: if you have a compromised immune system or are concerned about your own health please stay home, we deeply value your health and safety, what we do is not possible without you and first and foremost we want you to stay healthy and well. 

Has anyone at New Horizons contracted Novel Coronavirus?

No. At this time we are not aware of any staff, volunteers, or clients who have contracted Novel Coronavirus. Should the need arise, we have contingency plans in place and will offer the appropriate support, inform concerned parties, as well as coordinate with proper authorities.

What if I am a volunteer (Direct Service, Food Groups, Laundry)?

We appreciate your dedications so much! Because we do, we are asking volunteers to take care of themselves and not come in for two weeks through the 29th of March. We will revisit this decision on March 25th and inform any impacted volunteers, we look forward to returning to our normal schedule in the coming weeks and months.

However, if you are a food group volunteer or leader, your contributions remain essential to our shelter services and the well being of our youth. We ask that you drop-off a meal donation, please reach out to the Volunteer Development Manager Kim Bachrach at 206-948-2066 or KimV@Nhmin.org to coordinate.

We also invite you to consider a donation so that we can continue to support our youth by serving two meals a day throughout the week. You can make a donation here and note it as an “Emergency Food Donation” so we can route the funds in the correct way. Average cost of breakfast is $125 – 150 and average cost of dinner is $250- 275.

How can I help support New Horizons through COVID-19?

Wow! Thanks so much for asking, thanks even more for caring!

As of March 10, we have had to postpone our major annual spring fundraiser designed to support our programs and services from April to June. This loss of funding could not come at a worse time. As we clarified, King County is requesting that we contribute to the prevention of COVID-19 spread by ensuring our shelters stay open to the vulnerable young people on the streets. New Horizons Shelter Services prevent our vulnerable young people from having to sleep outside, worsening their illness, and possibly increasing the risk of exposure to other vulnerable populations in our community.

You can help by making a contribution that meets our $200K shortfall resulting from having to cancel the event in April by becoming a Pillar of Sustainability for Operation: Light the Way

  • Donate Funds that will help us meet increased needs for:
    • Professional Cleaning Support for our facilities that will be in constant use
    • Pay for overtime staffing needed to provide adequate support for our youth
    • Additional medical support, should the need arise
    • Healthy meals bags, and individually wrapped snacks [Given the loss of food groups, the need for this has grown]
  • Support our quickly depleting emergency food fund: as we continue to provide services, we will serve meals daily
  • Donate cleaning supplies: specifically bleach, microfiber towels, and sanitizing agents

Visit Nhmin.org/LightTheWay or contact the Director of Philanthropy & Community Engagement Mari Kim at 206-673-0311 or MariK@Nhmin.org

Further Communications

Our team will work to update this page as more information becomes available.

If you would like to receive email updates from us, sign up for our newsletter here. If you have a question you don’t see answered here, please reach out to: Communications & Development Manager Kat Wynn at 360-675-2768 or KatW@Nhmin.org.

Thank for your commitment to supporting New Horizons’ young people, especially in this time when the wellness of one can protect the wellness of others. This is a time of discovering that we truly experience wellness when we care for each other.

New HorizonsNew Horizons COVID-19 Response