Department of Community and Human Services
Our mission: Provide equitable opportunities for people to be healthy, happy, self-reliant and connected to community.
New! Executive announces funding awards for shelters and day centers, capital and support services
Feb. 8, 2016 -- King County Executive Dow Constantine announced funding awards to expand emergency shelter and day center services, build affordable housing and provide support services people need to exit homelessness successfully. At a news conference held in Renton on Feb. 8, the Executive took action to confront homelessness and expand access to affordable housing. The announcements included almost $7 million in capital funding, over $10 million for rental assistance and supportive services, and $280,000 for shelter and day center services outside the city of Seattle. More information is available here.
Regional Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) moving to King County
Jan. 22, 2016 -- The Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) more commonly known as Safe Harbors will be moving to King County and the Department of Community and Human Services on April 1, 2016. A joint decision between Seattle, King County, All Home (formerly the Committee to End Homelessness) and United Way of King County, the move from the City of Seattle makes it possible for both the homeless data system and Homeless Coordinated Entry systems to be combined and administered by a single public funder.
DCHS is working very closely with the City of Seattle to coordinate the transition and timing. We have hired Bitfocus, Inc. to serve as system administrator to work toward a smooth transition to a new location and new software. To help our providers and other key stakeholders understand and prepare for the move, we have launched a new Frequently Asked Questions page.
Executive triples number of shelter beds available in County office buildings
Dec. 24, 2015 -- King County opened a new 50-bed shelter for homeless men that welcomes pets and expanded the existing shelter in the King County Administration Building from 50 to 100 beds – together, tripling the number of beds the County provides to homeless men in downtown Seattle. The new shelter is in a vacant, County-owned building on the corner of Fourth Avenue and Jefferson Street, across the street from the Administration Building. Shelter services for both locations are provided by the Salvation Army, under contract with the Department of Community and Human Services. The additional beds will be available through April 15, 2016. More information here.
County Executive declares homelessness a State of Emergency
Nov. 2, 2015 -- King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray joined other regional leaders at a news conference to declare a state of emergency to respond to the crisis of homelessness in King County. Executive Constantine signed a Local Proclamation of Emergency in response to the growing crisis and proposed $2 million in investments to address immediate human needs and the root causes of homelessness. Mayor Murray signed a Proclamation of Civil Emergency for Seattle and announced additional investments from the City. The Executive and Mayor cited the decades-long decline in both federal housing support and federal and state mental health and substance abuse treatment as significant contributors to the homelessness emergency. They are calling for a renewed commitment from federal and state governments. More information available here.
In July 2015, King County, the cities of Seattle and Bellevue, Sound Cities Association, and United Way endorsed a new 4-year homelessness strategic plan developed by All Home. All Home brings together hundreds of stakeholders and private citizens to work together to make homelessness in King County rare, brief and one-time. To learn more and join the effort, visit AllHome.org.