Housing Division Grantee Training

Washington is committed to safe, decent and affordable housing for all residents. While housing affordability and wealth inequality are leading causes of homelessness, we also know that trauma and mental health challenges are common amongst homeless populations and that people of color and LGBTQ communities are disproportionately impacted. Department of Commerce Housing Division provides tools to grantees and funding recipients to ensure that everyone is housed in their communities. By prioritizing competency through specialized training, we aim to strengthen the community’s response to homelessness, promote housing stability, and improve the overall well-being of vulnerable populations across Washington State.

Required Training

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Housing First is a homeless assistance approach that provides permanent housing to people experiencing homelessness. This video will explain how this approach is guided by the belief that people need a place to live before attending to anything less critical, such as getting a job or seeking treatment.

Rapid Rehousing is a critical intervention in every crisis response system. This video will explain the program design and how to help individuals and families that don’t need intensive and ongoing supports to quickly exit homelessness and return to permanent housing.

Progressive Engagement is an approach to helping households end their homelessness as rapidly as possible, despite barriers, with minimal financial and support. This video will explain the different frameworks between program and system strategies.

Working with survivors of domestic violence in the homeless housing world requires careful attention. This video will explain the intersection between domestic violence and homelessness, how to recognize and respond to domestic violence, safety planning and how to best partner with advocates.

Diversion is a creative problem-solving approach to help people resolve their housing crisis, ideally before entering the crisis response system. Diversion uses exploratory conversations to help people identify realistic housing options based on their resources. Diversion may be accompanied by short-term services, including one-time financial assistance. 

Landlord Engagement reviews the core components of Rapid Rehousing and explains landlord incentives. This PowerPoint presentation presents the concept of working with landlords as partners. It will help you discover how to find landlords, build relationships, and gives details about the Washington Landlord Mitigation Program.

The Queer-Informed Care Training prepares providers with the knowledge, skills and confidence necessary to provide safe and affirming services to LGBTQ+ clients in their programs.

Coming Winter 2023-24

This training helps participants achieve a shared understanding of the present-day manifestations of institutional racism and how to implement tools and practices designed to ensure your organization’s operations, policies, and programming are aligned with the values of racial equity and social justice.

Coming Winter 2023-24

Training Hub

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This online library of resources offers useful training tools and resources that have been specially created and organized for frontline organizations, service providers, and other people working to prevent and eliminate homelessness.

***To take courses, you will need to create a free online account to keep track of your progress.***




  • Promoting Safety in Health Centers – De-escalation Principles of de-escalation allow direct service providers to serve as agents of peace and sources of calm and stability for those facing intense emotions as a result of crisis and loss. Discover tools that can encourage clients and staff who are experiencing severe, escalating anxiety and agitation to re-gain personal control and successfully navigate conflict, disappointment, and mood dysregulation.
  • Creating Safe Scenes – This course is designed to help first responders understand more about mental health, mental illness, and substance use disorders so they can better assess risks and apply the safest strategies for taking care of themselves and the individuals they are called to serve.
  • Crisis Intervention & De-Escalation – This training series is composed of a menu of lessons in a series covering topics as part of the onboarding process to support you in your organization’s role.
  • Navigating the storms of life – Supporting people in times of crises (on YouTube) – Frequent crises can cause the supportive housing environment to feel chaotic and insecure for those who are already quite vulnerable. Knowledge, skills and resources that empower staff to effectively anticipate, recognize and manage these crises are essential to meeting the needs of clients in supportive housing.
  • Diversion as a Service (on YouTube) – shelter diversion vs program diversion, how do we filter through people in ES who don’t need to be there, how do we divert them
  • The Role of Emergency Shelter in Diversion (YouTube) – This webinar explores the role emergency shelter plays within the homeless response system’s coordinated strategy to safely and appropriately divert households from shelter. It explains why problem-solving conversations don’t end at Coordinated Entry.
  • Intensive Diversion Training – In this training, participants will learn the Diversion approach and apply their skills through hands-on practice guided by experienced Diversion Coaches.
  • Diversion Specialist – This course will cover the following: Creating an Incoming Referrals Counts report, Receiving a referral, Enrolling a client into Diversion, Creating a Service Transaction, Exiting a client from Diversion. ***
  • Government to Government Training for Tribal relations – After completing the training, attendees should have a much better understanding of tribes, their people and unique culture, and an enhanced awareness of the importance of multi-culturalism. Each attendee will be provided with a user-friendly reference book to continue furthering their understanding of contemporary Native culture. COST $110
  • Difficult conversations about racisim and white supremacy – This webinar is about having Difficult Conversations. How are we approaching the difficult conversations in our lives around racism and white supremacy? What frameworks, tools, and interventions can support us to stay grounded in embodied awareness as we connect with friends, family, and others about challenging topics? While we’re focused on racism, these tools can of course be applied to conversations about other systems of oppression, such as ableism, sexism, etc.
  • Cultural Humility: People, Principles and Practices – “Cultural Humility: People, Principles and Practices,” is a 30-minute documentary by San Francisco State professor Vivian Chávez, that mixes poetry with music, interviews, archival footage, and images of community, nature and dance to explain what Cultural Humility is and why we need it. ***
  • Restorative Justice for our movement – Facing Race Conference
  • Cultural and Disability Competence Considerations – This special-topic training provides participants with an overview of cultural and disability considerations, as well as, potential roadblocks for developing competency.
  • Taking care of our staff in a capitalist, ableist, and racist system – The session will be a deep dive into MediaJustice’s process including how we decided on our most important values, selected a consultant, decided on our priorities, budgeted for our benefits including long-term leave, engaged our staff, and our own retrospective.
  • What do we do with the white people – How to bring millions of white people into movements for social justice movements – Panelist will dive into Showing Up for Racial Justice’s (SURJ) model for organizing, an approach needed to fundamentally change the cultural and political landscape in the US, but which goes against much of the current thinking about organizing white people.
  • Decolonizing Research Practices with the Black Researchers Collective – Exploring organizing and movement-building techniques, participants will learn how to identify and take a policy-relevant issue from ideation to a plan of action, using research tools as a capacity-building strategy for parents, organizers, grassroots leaders, and advocates.


  • Inclusion of Minorities in Community Development – This free online course will teach you about the process and the benefits of involving young people in the community development process. You will learn about the conceptual basis of diversity, challenges of inclusion, and effective organizational change strategies as well as the different tools and techniques you can use to implement inclusiveness in community development projects.***
  • Practical diversity: taking inclusion from theory to practice (YouTube) – We strive to embrace diversity and inclusion in our schools and workplaces, but we often fail to understand what this looks like practically. Dr. Dawn Bennett-Alexander believes that with a little effort, we can move diversity and inclusion from theory to practice.
  • Immaculate perception (on YouTube) – Do you discriminate? UCLA law professor Jerry Kang exposes the phenomenon of automatic processing and how it relates to explicit and implicit bias. Using humor and audience participation, Kang challenges our assumptions while shifting our perceptions of at least one Asian male.

Implicit Bias

  • Understanding Domestic Violence and the Need for Safety Planning – The first day of a 2-part training will cover two foundational topics, building a comprehensive understanding on domestic violence / intimate partner violence followed by how to plan for safety of victims and survivors that you come in contact with. You will learn about the pervasiveness of the problem as well as the centrality of power and control in domestic violence dynamics and how it gets manifested in various forms. The training will help you understand the cycle of abuse and the innumerable barriers in leaving an abusive relationship. ****
  • DV & Its Interconnectedness with Homelessness, Housing Rights & Resources – In the second training the participants will understand how homelessness is connected with domestic violence and housing is one of the most critical needs of DV survivors. The session will also familiarize the participants with the barriers and challenges in housing DV survivors and what laws, rights and resources are available to address some of these gaps. The final session will focus on a support and connect approach so survivors could be assisted in a trauma-informed and timely way. Some important resources will be shared with the group.****
  • Safely Serving Families and Survivors of Domestic Violence – This webinar focuses on shelters that serve families and survivors of domestic violence and discusses how to retool your shelter’s rules, expectations, and policies and procedures in a low-barrier environment that prioritizes safety for participants and staff.
  • Harm Reduction – This course introduces harm reduction as a philosophical approach and public health intervention. The course will review the foundational principles of harm reduction, details of harm reduction practices, and supporting change through harm reduction.

Fair Housing

  • The Basics: Introduction to Low-Barrier Emergency Shelter – These short videos will teach you the basics of making the transition to low-barrier, housing-focused shelter. They feature animated explainers and interviews with staff running low-barrier shelters.
  • The Keys to Effective Low Barrier Emergency Shelters – This webinar gives an overview of the Five Keys to Effective Emergency Shelter: using a Housing First approach, safe and appropriate diversion, immediate and low-barrier access to shelter, housing-focused services, and using data to measure performance.
  • How to Transition Your Emergency Shelter to a Low-Barrier and Housing-Focused Shelter Model – This webinar features leaders from three emergency shelters who have made the shift to low-barrier, housing-focused emergency shelter. Panelist address common questions and concerns regarding low barrier shelter.
  • Serving Single Adults in Congregate Settings This webinar addresses rules and safety issues for low-barrier shelters that serve single adults. Participants will learn how to re-examine and shift rules to expectations that promote safety.
  • Frequently Asked Questions for Low-Barrier Shelter (YouTube) – This webinar answers the toughest and most frequently asked questions from people like you! The Alliance collected questions from the thousands of service providers who tuned into sessions 1–5 and put them to the experts.
  • Coaching and Engaging Clients with Mental Health Needs – This special-topic training reviews the service delivery for behavioral health, assessing the client, their environment & behaviors, and the fundamentals of an effective behavioral support plan including strategies for supporting and engaging clients and suggestions for promoting collaboration between the Interdisciplinary Care Team and the client.
  • Mental Health Awareness – This training will provide participants with information on the basics of SMI including diagnosis and symptomology, and reflect on the ways we think about SMI and the people we serve. Participants will also learn about the recovery model and techniques on how to best serve those living with serious mental illness. ***
  • Serious Mental Illness and Homelessness – This introductory course focuses on recognizing, assessing, and treating serious mental illness (SMI) among adults experiencing homelessness. The course provides an overview of the symptoms of and treatment for major mental illnesses, discusses common co-occurring physical health conditions that individuals with SMI experience, and provides best practices for trauma-informed engagement. ***
  • Burnout Care: Actionable Steps for Case Managers and Disability Management Specialists – this special session to help case managers and disability management specialists better understand the evidence-based practices that reduce symptoms of burnout. These specially curated practices have been tested and accepted by clinical and non-clinical teams prior to and during the pandemic.
  • Psychological First Aid – Self-Care – In this self-paced training course, learn the effects of stress, with an emphasis on building and using a personal self-care plan. Learn strategies to prevent, recognize, and cope with stress. COST: $20.00
  • Substance Use Awareness – This training will provide the basics on substance use information and discuss effective treatment options that people have including harm reduction. This training will also provide tips and tools on how to effectively communicate with someone regarding their substance use and addiction. ***
  • The Abyss: Addiction, Homelessness, and Trauma – This webinar will examine the research and science behind the connections between addiction and trauma. It also provides a context to understand why those managing an addiction find it almost impossible to make the important changes which help them emerge from the devastation of homelessness.
  • Whole-Person Care for Opioid Use Disorder – This introductory course provides foundational information about the neuro-biology and prevalence of opioid use disorder (OUD), the whole-person care framework and best practices, treatment and recovery supports for OUD, and supporting housing stability for individuals with OUD. ***
  • Being Trauma-Informed and Its Role in Ending Homelessness – In this introductory webinar, we’ll examine foundations of the trauma informed paradigm and what it means for our organizations and communities. This introduction will provide an understanding and language to begin to consider how the emerging science behind trauma can inform how care is provided and direct advocacy toward real solutions to end homelessness. Connecting research to passion can change lives and communities!
  • Trauma is the Public Health Issue of Our Time – In this webinar, we will examine the impact of trauma and the resulting pain, suffering, and challenges. Understanding the impact of trauma helps us focus care to maximize short- and long-term health outcomes. Without addressing past trauma, patients will struggle to find hope and to realize the changes that allow them to live the lives they desire for themselves
  • Hope, Transformation, and Post-Traumatic Growth – In this webinar, we’ll examine the path to post traumatic growth. While everyone’s journey will be different, there are common steps most people take to transform past suffering into resiliency and strength.
  • Developing a Trauma-Informed Organizations (YouTube) – This session will help participants to define key principles of a trauma-informed organization, discuss stages in creating a trauma-informed organization, describe organizational climate, policies, and procedures that support trauma-informed programs and will highlight examples from an organization that has undertaken a process to become trauma-informed.
  • Trauma-Informed Approaches – This course will provide an overview of the concepts of trauma and trauma informed care for patients who are interacting with Vaccine Ambassadors seeking to help with vaccine hesitancy for the COVID-19 vaccination. Learn the fundamentals of trauma, trauma-informed principles, and secondary trauma and how to identify and utilize these skills within the Vaccine Ambassador Project.***
  • Secondary Traumatic Stress and Self Care (YouTube) – Working with youth who have experienced trauma can be difficult, draining, exhausting, and frustrating. This training will help professionals to understand the differences between Secondary Traumatic Stress, Compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma, as well as gain awareness of the impact of organizational stress. Participants will also be able to recognize warning signs and personal triggers, as well as understand why self-care is important and develop a personal self-care plan.
  • Trauma Informed Approach training – This training series provides an overview of what trauma is and how it affects people. You will learn types, examples and levels of trauma. You will learn how a trauma informed approach can be implemented in a variety of settings including forensic hospitals, correctional settings, and within law enforcement. The training addresses how trauma affects professionals working in these settings, and includes information to help leaders and supervisors effectively implement trauma informed approaches within their organizations.
  • Trauma Informed Approaches
  • Racial Trauma-Informed Services webinar (YouTube) – Watch this webinar and learn about racial trauma-informed services, disparities, and gaps in the May 2022 installment of the landlord outreach learning community.
  • Beyond the Cliff (YouTube) – In this talk, Laura offers us a window into the cumulative toll that can occur when we are exposed to the suffering, hardship, crisis or trauma of humans, other living beings, or the planet itself. Held within a larger context of systematic oppression and liberation theory, we’ll dive into what gets hard and how to work toward reconciling it both individually and collectively.
  • 101 Course: LGBTQ Youth Homelessness – This course is meant for everyone, regardless of their previous knowledge about LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness. In this course, we will cover oppression, facts about LGBTQ youth homelessness, gender pronouns, unique experiences of transgender youth, and creating inclusive environments. Each lesson is broken up into topics, with a short quiz at the end. ***
  • 201 Course: Inclusion – This course guides you through the process of creating a more inclusive and affirming environment for young people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and/or questioning (LGBTQ) and will also equip you with the policies and tools to back it up. Each lesson is broken up into 3 topics, with a short quiz at the end. ***
  • 202 Course: Youth Collaboration – The ideas and concepts included in this course will help ensure that young people are authentically engaged while collaborating with the affirming adults in their lives. ***
  • 203 Course: Project Management – This course introduces the foundations of project management and applies them to examples from the world of youth homelessness services. We know that this work often comes with limited time, money, and resources. This course will give you simple tools and techniques that you can use to overcome these challenges and strengthen the work to end youth homelessness. ***
  • 204 Course: Youth Action – The Youth Action Course is a resource for all young people to advocate for themselves and their communities. It includes the history of lived experience activism and its role in youth homelessness work, an overview of housing models and federal government, a discussion of common barriers, and more.***
  • 205: Racial Equity – Why do Black and brown folks disproportionately experience homelessness? How does the history of housing in the US contribute to the issue today? What can we do about it as individuals, organizations and communities? Join us as we answer all of these questions and more in our first ever course on Racial Equity.
  • Adolescents transitioning out of youth systems (YouTube) – Foundational Community Supports webinar November 11, 2020.

Program Links

Toolkits, Manuals, and Additional Resources

Explore our Toolkits, Manuals, and Additional Resources (on Box) as your one-stop destination for comprehensive guides, essential manuals, and a wealth of supplementary materials to empower Housing Division Grantees.


Alexa Price, Training and Technical Assistance Grant Manager
Email: Alexa.Price@Commerce.wa.gov