Office of Homeless Youth awards $11 million to expand services in 30 Washington counties

Grants strengthen bold initiatives serving vulnerable young people in local communities across the state, including 23 rural counties

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Washington State Department of Commerce’s Office of Homeless Youth has awarded $11 million to enable communities across the state to respond to more young people in need of stable housing and support. The grants boost services and resources in 30 counties, 23 of which are rural.

Funding was awarded through four initiatives that build Washington’s statewide system of support for young people, and ensure that no young person has to spend a single night without a safe and stable place to call home.

“Young people need to have a safe, secure place to call home which will help give them a strong foundation for their entire lives,” First Lady Trudi Inslee said. “Jay and I are dedicated to eliminating youth homelessness and these grants will allow more young people the opportunity to seek housing and support which are crucial for self-sufficiency.”

Many people think of homelessness as a uniquely urban problem. Lisa Brown, director of the Washington State Department of Commerce, emphasized that people are struggling with housing in every community, especially in areas with very limited resources to help.

“As our future leaders, teachers, and innovators, young people are our most precious asset,” Brown said. “This funding will strengthen communities throughout the state – from Asotin to Walla Walla, Grays Harbor to Okanogan and beyond – by providing an assurance of stable housing to help every young person in Washington seek their full potential,” Brown said.

Commerce received 100 applications requesting a total of more than $42 million. A range of stakeholders, including young people with lived expertise, served on review teams for grants awarded to community service providers throughout the state for a variety of programs.

The four funding initiatives include:

Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program ($4.29 million) -In July 2018, the Washington Balance of State Continuum of Care (CoC), with Commerce as the lead applicant, won over $4 million in U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Youth Homeless Demonstration Program (YHDP) funding. Washington was one of 11 CoC’s nationwide to receive funds for grants to eligible counties. The Office of Homeless Youth led a nine-month program planning process and a competitive funding process for Washington’s most rural counties.

Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program
Grantee name Counties served by grant Program Award amount
Northwest Youth Services Skagit and Island Rapid Rehousing $410,614
Olympic Community Action Programs Jefferson Rapid Rehousing and Supportive Services Only – Outreach $243,124
Pacific County Health and Human Services Department Pacific and Lewis Rapid Rehousing $300,087


HopeSource Okanogan, Grant, Kittitas and Douglas Rapid Rehousing, Transitional Housing and Supportive Services Only – Outreach $1,157,467
Washington Gorge Action Programs Klickitat and Skamania Supportive Services Only – Outreach $200,000


Ryan’s House for Youth Island Supportive Services Only – Outreach $200,000


Shelton Family Center Mason Supportive Services Only – Outreach $270,000
Youth Emergency Services (YES)


Pend Oreille, Adams, Lincoln, Ferry, Stevens Supportive Services Only – Outreach $168,970


Coastal Community Action Grays Harbor Supportive Services Only – Outreach $ 211,331
Serenity House Clallam Rapid Rehousing and Supportive Services Only – Outreach $422,662
Blue Mountain Action Council Columbia and Garfield Rapid Rehousing $ 211,331
Community Action Center Whitman Rapid Rehousing and Supportive Services Only – Outreach $256,657
WA Dept. of Commerce


Washington State Supportive Services Only – Statewide Youth Leadership $240,000
TOTAL $4,292,243


Anchor Community Initiative ($3.7 million) -The Anchor Community Initiative, an innovative program led by Away Home Washington, aims to end youth homelessness in four target communities by 2022: Spokane, Walla Walla, Yakima, and Pierce counties. Grants to seven service providers in these communities will support interventions to drive reductions in youth and young adult homelessness.

Anchor Community Initiative
Grantee name Counties served Program Award amount
Blue Mountain Action Council Walla Walla Street Outreach; Young Adult Housing; Ancillary Therapeutic Services $940,000
Catholic Charities of Yakima Yakima Young Adult Housing $185,850
Rod’s House Yakima Street Outreach; Young Adult Shelter $518,114
Yakima Neighborhood Health Services Yakima Street Outreach; Ancillary Therapeutic Services $236,036
City of Spokane Spokane Street Outreach $400,000
Volunteers of America Spokane Young Adult Housing $540,000
Pierce County Pierce Young Adult Shelter; Street Outreach $940,000
TOTAL $3,760,000


Expansion of core shelter, housing and outreach programs ($2.57 million) -These grants expand emergency housing and rental assistance, crisis intervention services, outreach to connect homeless youth with resources and other assistance to youth and young adults in communities throughout the state.

Core program expansion
Grantee name Counties served Program Award amount
Council for the Homeless Clark Street Outreach $121,860
Grays Harbor County Grays Harbor HOPE Center $955,364
Janus Youth Programs Clark Young Adult Housing $300,000
Nexus Youth & Families King Young Adult Housing $208,058
Northwest Youth Services Skagit Street Outreach $107,131
Okanogan County Action Council Okanogan Street Outreach $280,000
Tacoma Community Housing, REACH Center Pierce Young Adult Housing $300,000
Volunteers of America Spokane Young Adult Housing $191,887
Youth Family Adult Connections Spokane Ancillary Therapeutic Services $110,700
TOTAL $2,575,000


System of Care grants ($500,000) -Washington passed an act in 2018 (SSB 6560) to ensure that unaccompanied youth leaving a public system of care – such as the child welfare, behavioral health, juvenile justice and foster care – are discharged into safe and stable housing. The Raikes Foundation and Office of Homeless Youth have partnered to fund $500,000 in projects to achieve these goals.

System of Care grants
Grantee name Counties served by grant Award amount
Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration Statewide $194,013
Volunteers of America Spokane, Lincoln, Stevens, Pend Oreille, Adams, Whitman, Chelan, Ferry, Okanogan, Douglas, Grant, Garfield, Asotin $176,059
YouthCare King $129,928
TOTAL $500,000


For more information about the Office of Homeless Youth and other programs addressing homelessness in Washington, visit


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