Commerce invests nearly $650,000 toward building new statewide Apple Health and Homes network to address chronic homelessness
Funding to 27 organizations will build capacity in communities throughout Washington state for groundbreaking program that links health care and housing.
OLYMPIA, WA — The Washington State Department of Commerce recently announced the inaugural round of Apple Health and Homes (AHAH) funding to 27 organizations across the state with projects intended to serve individuals experiencing homelessness who also have health conditions.
Over 70 percent of people who are chronically homeless struggle with health conditions like mental illness, substance use disorder or significant physical disabilities, according to Rep. Frank Chopp, sponsor of the 2022 Apple Health and Homes Act (HB 1866). The Act aims to get more people quickly, safely and permanently into homes by directly linking health care and housing for those who need both. The legislation was enacted with strong bi-partisan support and endorsements from over 80 organizations across the state.
Permanent supportive housing is an effective model for assisting individuals with complex disabling conditions who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
“Apple Health and Homes is a trail-blazing initiative to pair housing and healthcare for some of our highest need and most vulnerable neighbors. It relies on foundational elements for successful permanent supportive housing models: rent subsidies, capital construction funds, and supportive services,” said Commerce Director Mike Fong. “These initial grants will help build out partnerships and jumpstart programs across the state to serve those individuals who would qualify for this unique health care-plus-housing intervention.”
Organizations awarded initial funding are:
- Community Housing on Broadway – $12,500
- Housing Authority of the City of Longview – $25,000
Grays Harbor County
- The Moore Wright Group – $25,000
- Bayside Housing and Services – $25,000
- African Community Housing and Development – $25,000
- Atromitos Consulting – $25,000
- Communities of Belonging – $25,000
- HERO House Northwest – $25,000
- Lake City Partners Ending Homelessness – $25,000
- Low-Income Housing Institute – $25,000
- Multi-Service Center – $25,000
- Muckleshoot Housing Authority – $25,000
- Open Doors for Multicultural Families – $25,000
- Pioneer Human Services – $25,000
- Remnant Management – $18,320
- The Capacity Collective – $25,000
- Consistent Care – Kittitas – $25,000
- Community Integrated Health Services – $25,000
- Metropolitan Development Council – $25,000
- Community Action of Skagit County – $25,000
- Consistent Care – Skagit – $25,000
- Career Path Services – $25,000
- Pathways of Washington – $25,000
- Consistent Care – Thurston – $25,000
- Lydia Place – $18,842
- YWCA Bellingham – $25,000
- Justice Housing Yakima – $25,000
The AHAH initiative builds on the Washington State Health Care Authority’s Foundational Community Supports (FCS) program – the first of its kind in the nation. FCS is a Medicaid-reimbursable service that provides permanent supportive housing services. Learn more about Foundational Community Supports on the HCA website.
This first $649,662 in funding is creating a strong network to launch the initiative by building knowledge and expanding capacity in the organizations to deliver services under the FCS program. Additionally, these capacity-building grants offer an opportunity to expand supportive housing services to marginalized populations and organizations that historically do not have a relationship with health care or homeless services systems.
Eleven organizations that received funding are adding FCS to their book of business, while nine others have chosen to expand into new regions, including urban and marginalized communities. Of these nine, newly trained staff are onboarding and more outreach and community connections are forming. Another six of the grantees serve an array of purposes. For example, one organization is building a toolkit to assist smaller nonprofit boards and those serving marginalized communities to explore the benefits of adding FCS to their business and what other funding streams should be used to support client services. Several organizations identify as BIPOC, by and for, woman-owned or small businesses.
What AHAH grant recipients are saying:
“This grant is pushing Justice Housing Yakima to address important policies that we need to clarify in order to move our housing project forward. We are discovering new information that will significantly enhance our efforts to provide low-barrier, permanent supportive housing. As we work through our responses, information sharing within our community has already started to make the Coordinated Entry system in Yakima County stronger.“ – Justice Housing Yakima
“We are pleased to be able to increase our capacity to serve our community members through permanent supportive housing. We look forward to the outcomes of this project and believe that it will truly make an important impact in helping individuals transition to permanent housing.” – Community House on Broadway, Cowlitz County
“Pathways of Washington, LLC is excited to begin the work to support the purpose of Apple Health and Homes by not only expanding services to a small, rural county of need, but also to research and help develop an infrastructure to establish a strong network of community support services providers and housing providers.” – Pathways of Washington, Spokane
“We are thrilled to have been able to receive funding to help us expand our capacity to deliver crucially needed support to our clients who are experiencing homelessness.” – Lake City Partners, King County
“Communities of Belonging is thrilled by the opportunity to grow our organizational capacity by taking steps to become an official permanent supportive housing provider. Thank you for helping us increase our positive impact in the world and to help transform more lives!” – Communities of Belonging, King County
“This grant has allowed us the extra support and motivation to prioritize foundational policies and practices to strengthen our programs and to learn more about how to effectively implement Permanent Supportive Housing in our community.” – Bayside Housing and Services, Jefferson County
“The YWCA Bellingham is excited to learn more about Apple Health options and expand the services we can offer to the residents in our programs. The capacity grant funded by the Department of Commerce helped us get there!” – YWCA Bellingham
Future grant rounds are expected, depending on available funding.
Learn more about Apple Homes and Health and Commerce’s work to address homelessness in Washington’s 34 smallest communities.