Are you homeless or about to become homeless? Click here to connect to a Local Coordinated Entry program.

Click here for information for homeless service and affordable housing grantees If you are a homeless shelter provider seeking assistance with the COVID-19 outbreak, please contact your local Emergency Operations Center.

Homeless Assistance

Homeless Assistance

Please visit our COVID-19 page for helpful COVID-19 related information.

NEW Eviction Rent Assistance Program

Commerce does not provide this assistance directly to the public. Rental assistance will be provided through local housing providers in your community. Please sign-up here to receive an email notification when the service provider list and applications are available.

The COVID-19 outbreak has reduced incomes for many Washingtonians, leaving them unable to pay their rent. This program is funded with federal CARES Act dollars and is intended to prevent evictions by paying past due and current/future rent for people needing relief. A primary program goal is to target limited resources to those with the greatest needs while working to distribute funds equitably. The program end date is Dec. 31, 2020.

The available funds will not meet the demand for assistance.

Service providers in each county are working to set up the programs now. Assistance may not be available for several weeks. This page will be updated as more information becomes available. If you need rental assistance, please check back about who to contact in the coming weeks. If you are experiencing homelessness, please go to the link at the top of this web page for information on where to find assistance.

The following information is for service providers who will administer the program:

Contact your CHG or OHY grant manager directly for support with the guidelines and forms.

Homelessness in Washington

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

Recording of presentation “Drivers of Homelessness in Washington state”

Counts of Homelessness: Different Counts and What they Mean  There are a few different ways Washington state counts the number of homeless individuals and families each year. You can learn more with this report.

Overview of the Homeless Housing System and Funding  In every county in Washington, a statewide network of not-for-profit organizations houses more than 98,000 people facing homelessness each year. This paper will provide you with more information about our homeless system.

State Homeless System Strategic Plan, Annual Reports and Audits

You can find the state Strategic Plan, annual reports, audits, and other publications from Commerce related to homelessness here

Local Government 5-Year Plans

You can view local government 5-year plans here

Office of Family and Adult Homelessness

Consolidated Homeless Grant

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.

Read more about the Office of Family and Adult Homelessness

Office of Supportive Housing

Affordable housing

The Office of Supportive Housing is tasked with coordinating with other state agencies to expand the availability of supportive housing for persons with mental health conditions or substance use disorders.

Read more about the Office of Supportive Housing

Office of Homeless Youth

Office of Homeless Youth

Every night, thousands of homeless youth in Washington go to sleep without 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.

Read more about the Office of Homeless Youth

Homeless System Performance

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

Read more about Homeless System Performance. 

HMIS

A person types words on a black keyboard

Homeless Management Information Systems (HMIS)

Read more about HMIS.

Point in Time Count

Homeless Point in Time Count

The Homelessness Housing and Assistance Act requires each county to conduct an annual one-day survey of people who are without permanent housing — both of those who are sheltered and unsheltered. The 2020 Point in Time Count (PIT) will take place on Jan. 23, 2020. The 2020 PIT Count results will be released sometime in May 2020.

Read more about Point in Time Count.

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 application for funding.

Read more about Continuum of Care.

Homelessness in Washington State is multifaceted. While housing affordability and wealth inequality are leading causes of homelessness, we also know certain experiences may compound an individual’s experience of homelessness, making it harder for them to find or access available resources. We know that trauma and mental health challenges are common amongst homeless populations and that people of color and LGBTQ communities are disproportionately impacted. To this end, many Commerce homeless grants require service providers to demonstrate competency in best practices. 

Read more about Homeless Services Grantee Training.