Homelessness in King County is in a state of emergency. In 2015 alone, nearly 10,000 people are experiencing homelessness on any given day in King County. This is an increase from about 8,000 people in 2005. Nearly 40 percent of these homeless persons are unsheltered. During the winter months those without homes are challenged even further to survive.
In response to this homeless state of emergency, King County Department of Community and Human Services (DCHS) is making available approximately $325,000, depending on available resources, in one-time funding to further efforts to meet basic shelter needs in King County, outside the City of Seattle. Specifically, DCHS is adding funding for new nighttime shelter beds, expanding existing nighttime shelter beds or increasing the number of nights a shelter is open. Additionally, King County is seeking homeless day center services in South King County.
Funds may be used for operating support and supportive services tailored to increasing access to resources leading to housing stability. This investment is intended to further strengthen alignment with broader county-wide efforts to make homelessness rare, brief, and one-time and DCHS’s mission to ensure that all people are stably housed.
Projects that employ reduced screening criteria and housing first principles will be prioritized. In addition, areas and populations that lack equitable access to services will be prioritized through this RFP.
To be eligible for a contract from this solicitation, applicants must meet the following requirements. Eligible applicants for these funds include:
• Programs serving youth, young adults, single adults, or families experiencing homelessness.
• Existing agencies initially awarded funds through the 2015 United Way of King County and City of Seattle 2015 Shelter Expansion RFP.
• New emergency overnight shelters located in King County outside Seattle that will expand existing shelter beds and /or nights a shelter is open;
• New day shelters serving homeless people in South King County;
• Located in King County, outside the City of Seattle; and
• Strong consideration will be given to programs that provide the greatest inclusivity and accommodations to households served, such as co-ed facilities and programs that allow pets beyond service animals.
The RFP is available here.
Please contact Victoria Nakamichi (email@example.com) with any questions.
Count Us In is our community’s count of homeless and unstably housed young people ages 12-25. In 2015, 824 homeless young people were counted at more than 70 partner locations across King County; you can learn more about the 2015 count here. Count Us In data is collected through a one page survey completed by young people; one of our partners for this effort is the Seattle Public Library. Consider volunteering and help our community gain a better understanding of the experiences of homeless youth and young adults!
Volunteer opportunities are available at 7 different Seattle Public Library locations: Central, Capitol Hill, Broadview, Ballard, Columbia, Southwest and University. Volunteers should be available to attend a training prior to the count, either in person (preferred) or over the phone. In-person trainings will be held on Wednesday, January 13th from 11-12:30 at Street Youth Ministries (4540 15th Avenue NE, Seattle 98105) and on Thursday, January 14th from 3-4:30pm at the 2100 Building, Community Room B (2100 24th Avenue S., Seattle 98144).
For more information or to sign up, click here or contact Carrie Hennen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In support of his declaration of a state of emergency for homelessness in King County, Executive Dow Constantine announced the opening of a new 50-bed homeless shelter inside the 420 Fourth Ave. building and expansion of the shelter inside the King County Administration Building from 50 to 100 beds – tripling the number of homeless shelter beds in county-owned buildings.
“Adding 100 shelter beds addresses immediate human needs and gets more people without homes off the street and out of the cold,” said Executive Constantine. “The new shelter will welcome pets – a critical accommodation for many who need to stay warm but understandably won’t abandon an animal companion.”
The county will open the new 50-bed shelter inside its vacant building at 420 Fourth Ave. on Saturday, Dec. 26, at 7 p.m. The existing 50-bed shelter inside the King County Administration Building will be expanded to 100 beds on Monday, Dec. 28, at 7 p.m. The City of Seattle is providing $225,000 to provide for additional oversight, staffing, security, and utilities.
Both shelters will remain open nightly through April 15. In both, the county is funding case management services to connect those in the shelters with housing resources. The Salvation Army will operate both shelters, with funds provided by King County and the City of Seattle.
Read the full story here.
All Home is in the process of developing Coordinated Entry for All (CEA) to ensure that all people experiencing a housing crisis have fair and equal access and are quickly identified, assessed for, and connected to housing and homeless assistance based on their strengths and needs. It will use standardized tools and practices, incorporate a system-wide housing first approach, and coordinate assistance so that those with the most severe service needs are prioritized.
On Wednesday, December 16th, All Home, in partnership with King County and the City of Seattle, hosted a Community Meeting on Coordinated Entry for All (CEA). Thank you to all who were able to attend. Your input and regular communication are critical as we continue the efforts to refine and develop coordinated entry strategies that address the needs of all people experiencing homelessness.
For more information on Coordinated Entry for All please click here.
On Tuesday, over 200 community members attended our event ready and eager to learn how to get involved in the effort to make homelessness in King County rare, brief and one-time. Gay Gilmore and Troy Hakala, owners of the brand new Optimism Brewing Co. on Capitol Hill generously offered their space and their brews, representing an innovative way for community members to use their resources to combat homelessness.
Our partners showcased many of the ways we are working to end homelessness and offered guests ways to get involved. Guests were also encouraged to share their own thoughts and ideas:
“I feel optimistic because we are here! Our collective capacities and commitments make the seemingly impossible, possible.”
“I pledge to talk about homelessness openly and passionately and to support tent cities.”
We also debuted a video highlighting the great work being done in our community by Eddie Wang’s Sleepless in Seattle, Molly and Vanessa with The Ballard Welcome Wagon and Kristine Moreland’s MORELove project. The video was produced by our friends Tracy Dethlefs and Francine Strickwerda from Hullaballoo who donated their time and talents to support this issue.
Homelessness is in a state of emergency and our neighbors are rising up to the challenge. With the leadership of our elected officials and the support of our community, we can make a difference. Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and King County Executive Dow Constantine attended the event and spoke to guests about the importance of community involvement:
“It is a disaster that we made, and a disaster that we need to come together to overcome”
– King County Executive Dow Constantine
“We can actually make a difference if we are unified and willing to work together”
– Mayor Ed Murray
You can watch the full program featuring All Home Director Mark Putnam, Rex Hohlbein and All Home Coordinating Board members Graham Pruss and Rebekah Bastian.
For more on the event please visit https://storify.com/lhabenicht/all-home-optimism.
Please join our community working to end homelessness. Find ways to get involved and share your ideas with us.
Not sure how to do your part to help reduce homelessness? Read the Crosscut editorial by our Director Mark Putnam and Coordinating Board Co-Chairs Lainey Sickinger, board president of REACH and Paul Lambros, Executive Director of Plymouth Housing Group. The declarations that homelessness is in a state of emergency in King County present a real opportunity to make a difference!
Monday November 2, Seattle Mayor Murray and King County Executive Constantine issued declarations that homelessness is in a state of emergency in King County, and outlined local actions, including shelter, prevention, outreach, and they will call on the State and Federal governments to do more.
This act of leadership by Mayor Murray and Executive Constantine represents a significant step toward implementing the All Home Strategic Plan. Their joint requests of the State and Federal government are action steps toward our strategies for addressing the root causes of homelessness, and support our goal of making homelessness rare. Their commitments of local resources are action steps toward our strategies for addressing the immediate crisis of homelessness, and making it brief and only a one-time occurrence.
Los Angeles, Portland, and the State of Hawaii have also recently issued declarations that homelessness is in a state of emergency. Seattle and King County’s declarations go one step further. In addition to local action, the declarations make significant requests of the State and Federal governments. Homelessness knows no borders, and requires synergy of local, state, and federal partners. The effort to end veteran homelessness is a good example of how this can work. With new Federal resources from the Veteran’s Administration, and strong local coordination among nonprofits and government, we have made significant progress – 717 veterans have been housed, and 310 more have a voucher and are looking for housing. We now need a significant investment from the Federal government, and the State, to support all other populations.
Homelessness is in a state of emergency. Our community has rallied to provide shelter and support for others in crisis – from international refugees to local and national disaster victims – and we should also do the same for our neighbors without a permanent place to call home.
All Home Message Re: Emergency Declarations
King County Actions and Requests of State and Federal Government
King County News Release: Proclamation of Emergency
City of Seattle News Release: Proclamation of Emergency
King County Local Proclamation of Emergency
City of Seattle Proclamation of Civil Emergency
Seattle Times:Mayor, county exec declare ‘state of emergency’ over homelessness
King 5: Seattle leaders declare growing homelessness an emergency
Each year the Seattle King County Continuum of Care (CoC) submits an application to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for McKinney Continuum of Care Homeless Assistance Grant funds. HUD requires our local CoC to conduct a local process to determine a priority order of projects, and the final priority order is the result of a very thoughtful process conducted by Continuum of Care staff, under the advisement of providers and local funders, and final decisions were approved by the All Home Funder Alignment Committee. Information on the 2015 Priority Order is available here
The United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) recently featured a blog post about Operation: WelcomeOneHome, a community-wide collaboration of landlords, Veterans, elected officials, and neighbors working to effectively end Veteran homelessness by December 31, 2015 as part of both a national and countywide campaign. Please let us know if you have interest in participating in this initiative by contacting Dawn Barrett at email@example.com.
As of September 2015, 717 Veterans have been housed at a pace of about 80 per month. Despite our progress, there are hundreds more Veterans in our community that need assistance, many of whom have the resources to move into permanent housing but struggle to secure a home in our highly competitive rental market.
Our partners at the Housing Development Consortium are hiring a South King County Housing Planner to manage the efforts of the South King Housing & Homelessness Partnership (SKHHP). More information here.