Information and Guidance for OHY Grantees During the COVID-19 Crisis

Every night, thousands of homeless youth in Washington go to sleep without the safety, stability, and support of a family or home. Created in 2015, the Office of Homeless Youth Prevention and Protection Programs (OHY) leads the statewide efforts to reduce and prevent homelessness for youth and young adults through five priority service areas to ensure our youth and young adults have:

Stable Housing – Every youth has a safe and healthy place to sleep.

Family Reconciliation – Families are reunited when safe and appropriate.

Permanent Connections  – Youth have opportunities to establish positive, healthy relationships with adults.

Education and Employment – Youth have opportunities to advance their education or training and obtain employment.

Social and Emotional Well-Being – Youth have access to behavioral and physical health care; services nurture each youth’s strengths and abilities.

Programs

We work with partners and communities to establish ongoing and future funding, policy, and best practices to improve the lives of homeless youth and young adults in Washington. Funding for the Office of Homeless Youth is specifically allocated to several programs, each with a targeted mission, working together to increase youth and young adults’ stability and well-being.

Temporary residence, assessment, referrals, and permanency planning services provided in semi-secure and secure facilities for youth ages 12 through 17 who are in conflict with their family, have run away from home, or whose health and safety is at risk.

Temporary residence, assessment, referrals, and permanency planning services for street youth under the age of 18.

Rental assistance and case management for eligible youth who have aged out of the state foster care system. Participants must be between 18 and 23 years old, have been a dependent of the state at any time during the four-month period preceding his or her 18th birthday, and meet income eligibility. Priority is given to young adults who were dependents of the state for at least one year.

Street Outreach Services (SOS) connect youth and young adults through age 24 to services and resources through street and community-based outreach. Services can include either directly or through referral drug/alcohol abuse intervention, crisis intervention, counseling, access to emergency shelter or housing, prevention and education activities, employment skill building, advocacy, family-focused services, and follow-up support.

Emergency, temporary shelter, assessment, referrals, and permanency planning services for young adults ages 18 through 24.

Resources for rent assistance, transitional housing, and case management for young adults ages 18 through 24.

The Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program (YHDP) aims to reduce the number of youth experiencing homelessness. The goal of the YHDP is to support selected communities, including rural, suburban and urban areas across the United States, in the development and implementation of a coordinated community approach to preventing and ending youth homelessness. The Washington Balance of State (WA-BoS) received an award in 2018 to benefit the 23 most rural counties in Washington.

The Transitional Living Program (TLP) provides housing, assessments, referrals, screening, ongoing family engagement, and permanency-planning services for non-state dependent youth ages 16 or 17.

Ancillary Therapeutic Services (ATS) provides behavioral health services to youth within HOPE Centers, Crisis Residential Centers, and licensed overnight youth shelters.

System of Care (SOC) grants support interventions that prevent youth and young adults from exiting publicly funded systems of care into homelessness. Publicly funded systems of care include the child welfare system, behavioral health system, juvenile justice system, and programs administered by the Office of Homeless Youth.

The Homeless Student Stability Program (HSSP) provides housing support, including diversion, housing navigation, financial and/or rent assistance, housing stability case management and other collaborative, strengths-based services to students and their families experiencing homelessness and unaccompanied students experiencing homelessness.

The Centralized Diversion Fund (CDF) provides flexible financial assistance to help secure housing for young people. The CDF is currently available in Anchor Communities.

The Anchor Community Initiative (ACI) is a partnership with A Way Home Washington to end youth and young adult homelessness in selected communities.

Do you Need Help?

If you or someone you know needs assistance, you can find help by using the 211 Washington Information Network.

If you are a young person who is thinking about running away or already has, you can talk to someone confidentially at the National Runaway Safeline: 1-800-RUNAWAY or 1-800-786-2929

Program Links

News and Announcements

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Office of Homeless Youth Staff

Executive Director

Kim Justice (she/her)
kim.justice@commerce.wa.gov
Phone: 360-810-0322

Deputy Director

Chanita Jackson (she/her)
chanita.jackson@commerce.wa.gov
Phone: 360-725-2997

Statewide Initiatives Manager

Riannon Bardsley (she/her)
riannon.bardsley@commerce.wa.gov
Phone: 360-515-8060

Systems Change Manager

Matt Davis (he/him)
matt.davis@commerce.wa.gov
360-972-5340

Program Director

Christopher Hanson (he/him)
christopher.hanson@commerce.wa.gov
360-464-0639

Program Managers

Karen Danz (she/her)
karen.danz@commerce.wa.gov
360-464-0372

Gina Thompson (she/her)
gina.thompson@commerce.wa.gov
360-338-2312

iLeana Areiza (she/her)
Ileana.areiza@commerce.wa.gov
360-725-3073 

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