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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
On KPLU’s Sound Effect program this past Saturday, one topic of discussion was homelessness in King County and how the problem is often under-reported. The discussion starts at roughly the 12:10 mark.
On September 17, HUD released the Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for the 2015 McKinney Continuum of Care Application. The 2015 NOFA announced the availability of $1.86 billion nationally in FY 2015 and states a continuation to prioritize permanent housing, as well as low barrier housing, performance, and strategic use of resources.
All Home, as the Seattle King County Continuum of Care, is eligible for approximately $4.6 million in bonus funding. Included in the NOFA is an opportunity to apply for bonus funds to implement new or expanded programming. Eligible projects for the bonus funds include Permanent Supportive Housing for chronically homeless households, for operating and services, and Rapid Re-Housing for any/all populations prioritizing young adults ages 18-24.
The purpose of this Request for Letters of Interest (LOI) is to identify projects that meet HUD priorities and standards for this bonus funding. All LOIs are due by 4PM on Friday, October 16.
Please see the full LOI here for complete information about this opportunity.
KING 5 News ran a story on All Home and our mission going forward. Visit here to watch it.
Nina Shapiro at the Seattle Times wrote about All Home and our work to make homelessness in King County rare, brief and one-time. Check it out.
Mark talks with Stranger news editor Eli Sanders about All Home and the work being done to end homelessness in King County.