Housing projects for people experiencing homelessness in Washington will share $9-million federal grant

Rural communities are focus of investments in nine new projects statewide

OLYMPIA, WA — The Washington State Department of Commerce was awarded a $9 million grant last week from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that will provide new housing for people experiencing homelessness in Island, Klickitat, Mason, Skamania, Thurston, Whatcom and Yakima counties. Funds will be used over the next three years for a variety of supports including temporary rent assistance, project operations and supportive services for emergency housing assistance, as well as permanent housing solutions.

“Availability of rapid housing and supportive services is critical to bringing people inside today and preventing homelessness over the long term. This funding from HUD will immediately help to expand the work our service providers are able to do in communities all over the state,” said Gov. Jay Inslee.

“Washington is known for innovation and collaboration in addressing our greatest challenges, and homelessness is no different,” said Commerce Director Lisa Brown. “We are grateful to HUD for recognizing our successful approaches and partnerships that are making a difference. Homelessness is not just an urban problem, and this funding will be important to expanding some of those efforts in our rural communities.”

Projects receiving funds are:

Mason County

  • $613,083 to Community Lifeline of Mason County for supportive services and housing navigation for adults experiencing homelessness. Funds will support case management and peer counseling for 35 adults at a time.
  • $385,350 to Quixote Communities for 30 units of permanent supportive housing for veterans experiencing chronic homelessness. Funds will go toward case management and maintenance. Housing provided through Bremerton Housing Authority vouchers.
  • $1.5 million to Shelton Family Center – The Youth Connection for transitional housing/rapid rehousing. Funds will be used for case management and facility operating costs to provide temporary emergency housing and/or rental assistance for up to 32 youth and young adult households at a time.
  • $1.19 million to Shelton Family Center – The Youth Connection to support facility operations for an outreach and drop-in center for youth and young adults experiencing homelessness.

Yakima County

  • $1.65 million to Yakima Neighborhood Health Services for the Neighborhood Inn project that will provide 36 units of low-barrier permanent supportive housing for individuals and families experiencing chronic homelessness. Funds will be used for case management and maintenance.

Whatcom County

  • $1.5 million to Unity Care Northwest for The Way Station project, expanding services at a downtown Bellingham day shelter with a new clinic and hygiene program, including health care, bathing facilities, medical respite care and case management. Capacity is over 150 people each day.

Klickitat County

  • $809, 603 to Washington Gorge Action Program to expand services through a new program providing emergency housing vouchers and temporary rental assistance for approximately 28 households at a time. Funds will pay for leasing and supportive services costs.

Thurston County

  • $646,800 to Family Support Center of South Sound to hire additional intake staff for the coordinated entry system. Funding will decrease wait times for intake and assessment and strengthen partnerships with other local housing providers.

Island County

  • $635,543 to Spin Café to expand supportive services at a low-barrier day shelter. Funds will used to hire additional staff and lease a new building enabling the program to operate seven days a week, serving up to 100 people each day.

Commerce collaborated with local homeless service providers and investment partners to identify projects and apply for a share of the $315 million HUD awarded through the Continuum of Care Program (CofC). This funding targets unsheltered homelessness in the country’s rural communities. HUD awarded grants based on need, past performance, current capacity, leveraging other community resources (such as housing and health care), and state plans for using this and other fund sources to end homelessness.

In addition to the $9 million grant that must be spent over the next three years, more than $3 million is eligible for renewal annually after that.

To learn more about Commerce’s work to address homelessness in the state’s 34 smallest communities, visit our website.


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