Youth Homelessness

On the Level Student Success Program

On The Level Student Success helps our least advantaged kids have a chance in life.

“There is really no way to describe being financially broke to someone who has never been there. I’m talking about not having enough change to walk to McDonald’s to get one item off the dollar menu, broke.”

The excerpt above is from a young man named John whose family was ripped apart by drugs, his parents, jailed, his sister lost to government care, and who survived abuse in the care system, yet he has had the fortitude to persevere. Today he’s attending Western Washington University, thanks to the generosity of Masons.

John is just one of 40,000 young people experiencing homelessness in the state of Washington and 13,000 who don’t have parents, grandparents, or other relatives looking after them – known in the system as unaccompanied homeless minors – or in lay terms, orphans. These are young people who are not even in foster care.

Did you know that more than 50% of youth experiencing homelessness drop out of school and high school dropouts make up a majority of people in jail? High school dropouts make on average $8,000 less a year than high school graduates, and an average of $26,000 less than a college graduate. Other risk factors include psychological problems and increased use of social and government programs.

Join the many Lodges and accordant bodies that are currently helping students experiencing homelessness in their time of need. Our On The Level: Student Success Program is a partnership between local school districts, Washington Masonic Charities and local Masonic Lodges to help these young learners succeed in life and school. The program is a community benevolence program – not a human service agency. The professional judgement of local school nurses, counselors and principals in qualifying students for assistance is vital.  Working through the school districts minimizes administration time and preserves the confidentiality of the students and families who receive assistance. Our program alleviates costs to the individual and communities across the state.

Our challenge for each Lodge is to help at least one youth experiencing homelessness succeed in school every year. The program is designed to include both large and small Lodges. The information on how Lodges can help will be found by clicking on this link.

Members of Masonic Lodges, and accordant bodies, can get involved by contacting Kurt Miller, our Children, Youth, and Scholarship programs at 844.288.3531 x108 toll free or by emailing kurt@wa-masoniccharities.org . If you would like to contribute – follow this link or send a check to WA Masonic Charities Attn: On the Level, PO Box 65830 University Place, WA 989464