Melville charitable trust

2017 Year in Review

Together, we can end homelessness if we

listen to those most impacted. prevent it before it happens. believe that every sector has a role to play. create safe and affordable homes. support policy
have the will to do it.

Here is a snapshot of our work over the past year and the many people that made it possible.

The Melville family launched the trust over 25 years ago with a single goal and commitment—to end homelessness. The Trust’s initial objective was quite simply to get people thinking and acting beyond shelter. While our objectives and strategies have evolved considerably since that time, our North Star has remained constant.

Read more from our leadership

Investing in Systems Change

Our Grantmaking at a Glance

In 1994, we asked our grantees to share lessons that they learned in their work. Three simple words stood out from the survey and these words have helped ground our work to this day:

No More Band-Aids.

Intuitively our grantees understood that a complex problem like homelessness could not be solved with quick fixes or temporary solutions. Ending homelessness requires that as a country, we do two things simultaneously. First, we must respond to the immediate needs of individuals and families who do not have a place to sleep and need emergency shelter, food, and medical care to survive. But if we stop there, we will have failed in our ultimate goal of actually ending homelessness. Therefore, we also must work to prevent people from ever having to experience the trauma of homelessness and if someone does, ensure that it is a rare and quick event that doesn’t reoccur.


Our work at the Trust today is focused almost exclusively on the second half of the equation—taking a deep, hard look at the larger reasons why, on any given night, over half a million Americans did not have a place to call home.

An op-ed in The Seattle Times last year succinctly laid out a call to action: “Not being able to find an apartment for less than $2,000 a month, or being put on waitlists for housing or treatment, or living in foster homes as a child are not individual failings; they are societal failings. Together, we can reverse these societal issues.”

In our grantmaking, we seek to understand and support the policies, practices, and ways of acting and thinking that can ultimately create lasting change.



$145 million


Our Areas of Funding

Working from this systems change approach of addressing the root causes of homelessness, we target our grantmaking in three areas:


A safe, stable home is ground zero—it’s foundational to ending homelessness and preventing it in the first place. Our funding helps ensure that individuals and families with the least resources can access decent, safe housing that they can afford.

Health & Support

For our neighbors living with serious health issues, mental health struggles, domestic violence, or substance use, finding and keeping a home can be more complicated than just paying rent. Our funding is targeted to end the cycle of homelessness for those most at risk of losing their home.


People experiencing homelessness have the most acute need for income, yet they are the least likely to be connected to good training and job opportunities. Our funding helps remove the barriers that stand in their way.

Our finances

Established in 1987 by the Melville family, the Melville Charitable Trust is a private foundation with net assets of $153.8 million. As a tax-exempt organization working for the public good, we believe that financial transparency is our obligation.

Investing in Collaboration

Investing in Leaders

We asked eight inspiring leaders who are committed to ending homelessness to share their insights, hopes, and vision for the future. We’re grateful for the work they and their organizations do every day and are incredibly proud to be their partners.

Our deep gratitude to our grantee partners for bringing us closer to a day where everyone in our nation has a safe and affordable place they can call home.

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