Homeless Assistance

Homeless Assistance

News and Updates

Homeless service providers in Washington may be eligible for up to $4,000 in economic relief from the Homeless Service Worker Stipend Program

Homeless service providers in Washington may be eligible for up to $4,000 in economic relief. Homeless service workers with an immediate economic need and income at or below 80% of the county area median income where they live may be eligible for a stipend up to $2,000. A second stipend payment of up to $2,000 is also available for individuals who received an initial stipend payment and are still working

New study to learn about the impacts of trauma on providers

Across Washington State, homeless service providers working in shelters, outreach, and permanent supportive housing disproportionately suffer from workplace stress and trauma. Commerce is working with BDS Planning and D-Fine Concepts to develop recommendations and potential interventions to support homeless service providers who work in traumatizing environments, to better manage and address workplace stress and trauma. BDS Planning is conducting a series of surveys, focus groups, and conversations with homeless service

New rental assistance and homeless system performance measures

New state funding sources were passed into law following the 2021 legislative session. These funds aim to prevent evictions by providing resources to households most likely to become homeless, suffer severe health consequences, or both, after an eviction. Additionally, funds prioritize households disproportionately impacted by public health emergencies, homelessness, and housing instability. Learn more about new rental assistance and homeless system performance measures.

Programs and Services

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Office of Family and Adult Homelessness

The Office of Family and Adult Homelessness (OFAH) supports homeless crisis response systems and best practices that efficiently reduce the number of people living outside.

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Office of Homeless Youth

Every night, thousands of homeless youth in Washington go to sleep without the safety, stability, and support of a family or home. Our office leads statewide efforts to reduce and prevent youth homelessness through five priority service areas.

Affordable housing units

Office of Apple Health and Homes & Permanent Supportive Housing

The Office of Apple Health and Homes & Permanent Supportive Housing is tasked with coordinating with other state agencies to expand the availability of supportive housing for persons with mental health conditions, substance use disorders, or persons who have experienced or are at risk of homelessness.

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Homeless System Performance

Washington State Homeless System Performance Reports provide information on critical homeless system performance measures, including several HEARTH Homeless System Performance Measures. The Homeless System Performance Reports also provide other contextual information about a community’s homeless crisis response system.

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Homeless Management Information Systems (HMIS)

State and federally-funded homeless and housing service providers use HMIS to collect and manage data gathered while providing housing assistance to people already experiencing homelessness and households at risk of losing their housing.

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Annual Point in Time Count

The Homelessness Housing and Assistance Act requires each county to conduct an annual one-day survey of people without permanent housing - both sheltered and unsheltered.

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Continuum of Care

Continuum of Care is a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Program to promote community-wide commitment and support to end homelessness. It provides grants to nonprofit agencies, state and local governments through an annual competition. Commerce works with 34 counties represented in the Balance of Washington State Continuum of Care Homeless Steering Committee to submit a consolidated funding application.

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Homeless Services Grantee Training

Commerce homeless grants require service providers to demonstrate competency and equity in best practices. Our goal is that these trainings prepare grantees with the knowledge and tools needed to foster resiliency on an individual, programmatic and agency-level, strengthening their community’s response to homelessness.


Eviction Rent Assistance

  • Eviction Rent Assistance Program
  • Youth and Young Adult Eviction Rent Assistance Program

The available funds will not meet the demand for assistance.

Homelessness in Washington

Why is homelessness increasing?  Homelessness has increased in Washington since 2013 due to multiple factors, but overwhelmingly because growing rents are pushing people living at the margins into homelessness.

Understanding youth homelessness: Learn about prevention of Learn about prevention of youth homelessness efforts.

Strategic Plan, Reports and Audits

Program links