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Housing & Community Development Program

Department of Community and Human Services
Division: Community Services Division

Chinook Building
401 Fifth Ave., Suite 510
Seattle, WA 98104

Greg Ferland,  Division Director
e-mail us
Phone: 206-263-9062
Fax: 206-296-0156
TTY: 711 Relay Service

Employee Directory

Department: Community and Human Services
Adrienne Quinn, Director

Family Homelessness Initiative

Thank you for taking an interest in the Initiative to Prevent and End Family Homelessness in King County. This website is intended to provide community stakeholders with information about the initiative and offer an opportunity to provide feedback.

News and Events

Coordinated Entry and Assessment - Analysis and Refinement Work

In 2012, King County launched Family Housing Connection (FHC), a coordinated entry assessment and referral process for families experiencing homelessness in King County. Over the past two and a half years, learnings from local experience and changes in expectations at the Federal and State level have influenced a number of policy and practice shifts. Consulting firm Focus Strategies has been engaged by the Committee to End Homelessness (CEH) to assess the progress to date and recommend refinements to the system as needed.

On November 6, Katharine Gale of Focus Strategies and CEH convened over 150 community stakeholders to share key findings from the system analysis, present information on other system models, and hear additional input around three specific areas - Assessment: access and process, Prioritization and matching criteria, and Reducing entry barriers.

You can find her PowerPoint presentation here and her summary of the community forum here.

Next steps and key upcoming dates -

A draft of the report will be shared with the Family Homelessness Advisory Group and available to the public on our website the first week of December. There will be a brief period for public comment (see details and dates below):

  • First week of December - Draft report sent to the Family Homelessness Advisory Group and posted on FHI website for public review/comment (all comments received will be shared with the consultants and the Advisory Group at the December 10th meeting).
    • December 4 - Report posted on FHI website
    • December 4-9 - Comments on the draft can be submitted to Michelle Valdez through COB on the 9th at michelle.valdez@cehkc.org.
  • December 10 - Consultants meet with Advisory Group to review draft report
  • January 2015 - Consultants present final report and recommendations to the IAC for discussion

Monthly Informational Sessions with Family Homelessness Initiative Staff
Moving forward we are combining these with Family Housing Connection Feedback Sessions.

Occurring every third Wednesday, these stakeholder meetings are an opportunity to hear about current Family Homelessness Initiative (FHI) projects, what is coming up next, to ask questions, and provide input. The Family Housing Connection (FHC) Feedback Sessions are an open forum to provide important updates, share information, and hear feedback with family housing providers related to the coordinated entry system for families experiencing homelessness.

Our next session is on December 17, 2014

9:00 - 10:00am: FHI Information Session

10:00 - 11:00am: FHC Feedback Session

Location: 2100 Building (2100 24th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98144)

Family Homelessness Initiative and Building Changes Systems Realignment Learning Opportunity

On Friday, August 22, capacity building grant recipients and other stakeholders were invited to hear about the next phase of FHI work underway. The meeting provided updates on: 

  • The first phase of program realignment (including a small group of agencies that have been selected to start realignment)
  • Next steps for the remaining providers not involved in that process
  • The tools and supports available to your agencies
  • The second installment of Building Changes Capacity Building Grants

A pdf of the meeting powerpoint can be found here. Also, other planning documents can be found below (Initiative Next Steps, System Realignment).

Shelter Diversion Pilot Launched
In January of 2014, a new Shelter Diversion pilot program launched in King County. The goal of the pilot (funded by Building Changes and the City of Seattle Human Services Department, in partnership with the Committee to End Homelessness Family Homelessness Initiative) is to divert families who are living in places not meant for human habitation from having to enter the shelter system whenever possible - moving families quickly from the street to housing while freeing up our limited shelter resources for those families that are most vulnerable with no other housing options. Families access Diversion through our coordinated entry system (FHC) and may receive diversion services directly from FHC or through a referral to one of four partner agencies. Additional information on the pilot model is available in the right-hand sidebar.

Initiative Next Steps

System Realignment:

The Committee to End Homelessness Family Homelessness Initiative is at a critical juncture. Our community is undertaking a comprehensive approach to systems change. This includes innovative strategies and ambitious goals to prevent and end family homelessness in King County. Perhaps the most significant systems shift is right-sizing the existing homeless system to one that provides interventions that best match the needs of families experiencing homelessness (having the right type/number of interventions to match our local typology of homeless families.)

Please see below for recent materials:

Background

In December 2008, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and United Way of King County awarded a grant to King County to undertake a local planning process to develop a plan that will reduce family homelessness. King County is one of three communities (Pierce and Snohomish are the other two counties) participating in this expanded work of the Washington Families Fund managed by Building Changes.

The planning process King County undertook encompassed three distinct phases of work:

  1. A landscape assessment report that contains a detailed analysis of the county's existing resources and systems for addressing the needs of homeless families.
  2. A strategic plan that proposes specific strategies for improving county systems, with particular emphasis on the five promising approaches identified in the landscape assessment.
  3. An implementation plan that describes specific time lines, resources, responsibilities, and desired outcomes for implementing the strategies identified in phase two.

Moving Forward with implementation 

 Initial planning efforts are completed. King County is implementing strategies focused on creating change in the five key areas that will have the most significant impact on overall system change.

 

  1. COORDINATED ENTRY AND ASSESSMENT - Give families a convenient and standard way to find the services and housing they need as quickly as possible. 
     
  2. PREVENT HOMELESSNESS FOR FAMILIES MOST AT RISK - Keep families who are on the edge of homelessness housed and quickly connect them to the services they need.
     
  3. MOVE FAMILIES QUICKLY TO STABLE HOUSING - Help families regain stability by moving them into non time-limited housing as quickly as possible. 
     
  4. FOCUS SUPPORT SERVICES ON HOUSING STABILITY - Provide individual families with the right services at the right time and connect families to services they need and want to maintain housing stability and self-sufficiency.  
     
  5. INCREASE COLLABORATIONS WITH MAINSTREAM SYSTEMS - Assist families in accessing the services, housing and income supports they need to maintain housing stability.

Technical Assistance and Support 

 We are available for technical assistance and support throughout this systems change process. We are more than happy to answer any questions you may have, meet with you one-on-one, or come out to your agency to talk with your Board and staff about the initiative. Please do not hesitate to contact us. Our contact information is listed below.

 

Contact us

Debbi Knowles , 206-263-9088 or at debbi.knowles@cehkc.org
Triina Tennelo, 206-263-9110, triina.tennelo@cehkc.org
PROGRAM MANAGER: Michelle Valdez, 206-263-1350, michelle.valdez@cehkc.org