Washington State Office of Homeless Youth awards $18.4 million in grants

Funding proven and innovative, community-based approaches that provide safety and stability for youth and young adults

OLYMPIA, WA – The Office of Homeless Youth has completed three separate competitive funding processes to award $18.4 million over the next year and a half. Funding will expand shelter and housing services and launch six new “innovation grants” for homeless youth and young adults.

The awards will fund all of the Office’s core programs: Street Youth Services, HOPE centers, Secure and Semi-Secure Crisis Residential Centers, the Independent Youth Housing Program, the Young Adult Housing Program and Young Adult Shelter.

The competitive process reinforced that there is significant need across the state to address youth and young adult homelessness. The Office received $28 million in funding requests for these programs and services and awarded $17.5 million for grants that will be effective from Jan. 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019.

“Through these grants to community-based organizations, we are increasing services and support across the state with the goal of making sure that no young person spends a single night without a safe, stable place to call home,” said Kim Justice, Office of Homeless Youth director.

“With these grants for both established and innovative programs to reduce youth and young adult homelessness, we are renewing our commitment to the young people of our state, and to the communities they live in,” said Commerce Director Brian Bonlender. “We look forward to partnering on these new projects to improve the lives of young people and strengthen communities across Washington.”

The Office is expanding core services to reach more youth and young adults struggling with homelessness and housing instability. Funding supports:

  • Services and/or housing in 22 counties of the state.
  • $838,000 for new “integrated services” to provide onsite family reconciliation and behavioral health services.
  • 106 HOPE and Crisis Residential Center beds, including 13 new HOPE beds in south King County, Snohomish County and Walla Walla.
  • Eleven Street Youth Services programs, including two new programs in Skagit and Yakima counties.
  • Five Young Adult Shelter programs, including two new programs in King County operating 32 shelter beds.
  • Seven Young Adult Housing Programs, including one new program in King County.

New and Innovative approaches

In addition to funding core services to help youth and young adults across Washington state achieve safety and stability, the Office is investing in new and innovative approaches to prevent and end youth homelessness.

In partnership with the Raikes Foundation, the Office is funding six new “innovation grants” to prevent youth from exiting public systems into homelessness. A June 2017 report documented that 1,800 youth and young adults experienced housing instability within 12 months of exiting foster care, behavioral health or criminal justice systems.

“Too many young people end up homeless after leaving detention, jail, foster care or hospitalization,” said Casey Trupin, Raikes Foundation youth homelessness program officer. “It’s a tragic, entirely preventable outcome, and this partnership is a major step toward fulfilling our promise to ensure every young person Washington has a fair shot at success.”

These grants are a targeted effort to ensure stability for young people exiting these systems and protect against housing instability and other harmful outcomes that stem from a lack of stable housing and support.

Innovation grants were awarded to:

  • Coffee Oasis, Kitsap County
  • YouthCare,  King County
  • Oasis Youth Center, Pierce County
  • TeamChild, Pierce County
  • All Home Youth Engagement Team, King County
  • Legal Counsel for Youth and Children, King County

The Office is supporting local community approaches by providing a $200,000 grant to YouthCare to partner with the University of Washington to launch the “Doorway Project”, an effort to establish a neighborhood hub and navigation center specifically for homeless young people in Seattle’s University District.

The Washington State Legislature created the Office of Homeless Youth in the Department of Commerce through the Homeless Youth Prevention and Protection Act in 2015. A 12-member advisory committee composed of eight governor-appointed members and four state legislators guides the Office’s work. Learn more…

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