NEWS RELEASE: Washington State Office of Homeless Youth awards $2.5 million in grants

Collaboration, community-based solutions key to addressing complex needs of homeless youth

OLYMPIA,  WA — Efforts to ensure that young people and families have the individualized support they need to avoid homelessness got a boost from $2.5 million in grants announced today by the state’s Office of Homeless Youth. Funding will support emergency housing and rental assistance, crisis intervention services, outreach to connect homeless youth with resources such as drug and alcohol treatment, and other assistance to young adults age 18 through 24 in communities throughout Washington state.

“Too many young people in our state are on their own, struggling to survive in unhealthy or dangerous living situations. Through collaborative, community-based resources, such as those supported by our Office of Homeless Youth, we can ensure these young people have independence, and a safe, reliable place to come to each day,” Gov. Jay Inslee said.

“Communities are stronger when all of their members have the opportunity to reach their potential and be productive,” said Commerce Director Brian Bonlender. “Youth homelessness has many causes, and there are no easy answers. Working together, we are identifying, analyzing and supporting solutions that will help achieve our vision of every community having services that are equitable, accessible, effective, responsive and coordinated. These grants announced today support some of the best work going on throughout our state to address and eliminate youth homelessness.”

With the goal of making sure that no young person spends a single night without a safe, stable place to call home, these grants will increase support and direct services available through five target initiatives:

Street Youth Services focus on identification and engagement with youth under the age of 18 who are living on the street. Programs provide needed services directly or link the youth to appropriate community resources. Services can include drug/alcohol abuse intervention, counseling, emergency housing, prevention and education activities, employment skill building, advocacy, family focused services, and follow-up support.
· Cocoon House, Snohomish county, $70,000
· Janus Youth Programs, Cowlitz county, $139,000
· Coffee Oasis, Kitsap county, $62,000
· Community Youth Services, Mason-Thurston counties, $45,000
· Volunteers of America, Spokane county, $133,000
· Ryan’s House for Youth, Island county, $50,000
· YouthCare, King county, $113,000
· Youth Emergency Services, Pend Oreille county, $68,000
· Auburn Youth Resource, south King county, $120,000

Crisis Residential Centers provide temporary housing assessment, referrals, and permanency planning services provided in semi-secure and secure facilities for youth ages 12 – 17 who are in conflict with their family, have run away from home, or whose health and safety is at risk.
· Community Youth Services, Pierce county, $341,275

HOPE Centers provide temporary housing, assessment, referrals, and permanency planning services for street youth under the age of 18.
· Friends of Youth, King county, $84,680
· YouthCare, King county, $127,020

Young Adult Shelter provides emergency, temporary shelter, assessment, referrals, and permanency planning services for young adults ages 18 – 24.
· Northwest Youth Services, Whatcom-Skagit counties, $141,656
· Community Youth Services, Thurston county, $130,000
· Coffee Oasis, Kitsap county, $51,055
· ROOTS, King county, $40,000

Young Adult Housing Program provides resources for rent assistance, transitional housing, and case management for young adults ages 18 – 24.
· Catholic Family and Child Services, Yakima county, $130,597
· Northwest Youth Services, Whatcom-Skagit counties, $96,260
· Lower Columbia Community Action Program, Cowlitz county, $223,870
· Multi-Service Center, south King county, $61,382
· City of Spokane, Spokane county, $203,802
· Community Action Connections, Benton-Franklin county, $70,000

“A stable home is the launching pad to a healthy, productive adulthood. An investment in our young people is an investment in our future. With this funding we are reaching across the state to address gaps in services so that young people do not have to leave their own community to seek stability and support,” said Kim Justice, Executive Director, Office of Homeless Youth.

The Office of Homeless Youth was created in the Department of Commerce by the Homeless Youth Prevention and Protection Act in 2015. The office’s work is guided by a 12-member advisory committee consisting of 8 governor-appointed members and four state legislators. Learn more…


Contact: Penny Thomas, Commerce Press Office, 206-256-6106

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