Since the 1950s, the King County Veterans' Program has served low-income, homeless, disabled, and at-risk veterans and their families. The Veterans' Program is mandated by Washington State law RCW 73.08.010 and is funded by King County taxpayers. With passage of the Veterans and Human Services Levy in 2005, the county's capacity to serve veterans, military personnel and their families was enhanced.
The primary purpose of the King County Veterans' Program is to increase living stability for veterans that served in all eras of conflict and their families. We work with a variety of complex needs such as chronic homelessness, addiction issues, employment issues, and mental illness.
Using a traditional case management model, the Veterans' Program staff works closely with clients to explore their individual situations in order to determine the best course of action based on each client's needs and goals. Program services focus on maintaining or identifying housing, employment, or other community resources to help establish living stability.
The Veterans' Program views case management as a collaborative process between the client and social worker, one that is based on the client's needs, motivation, and available resources. This service model is the key to stability and self-sufficiency for our clients, as it is utilized in conjunction with various county, state and federal resources.
The King County Veterans' Program provides housing assistance to eligible veterans and their families through partnerships with various programs throughout King County. There are different types of housing available depending on the situation of the client and availability of housing in the community. Please read below for more information on emergency shelter and transitional housing.
Short-term Emergency Shelter
The King County Veterans' Program contracts with The Salvation Army and The Compass Center for use of beds at their men's shelters. These beds are available for work-ready veterans who are homeless or waiting to be admitted into treatment programs, or for veterans who need housing for only a short period of time.
Long-term Transitional Housing
Through contracts with the Vietnam Veterans Leadership Program (VVLP), clients have access to placements in two homes. These homes provide living stability for chronically homeless veterans who are engaged in employment, education or training programs, or treatment that will foster a return to independent living.
The Veterans and Human Services Levy has contributed to the construction of new housing developments with rooms set aside for veterans. There are not many units currently accepting clients, but this non-time-limited housing may be available to those in need of shelter. Case managers will work with clients to explore housing needs.
Employment Guidance and Assistance
Social workers provide veterans with employment services such as voice-mail accounts, resume assistance, job counseling, and job placement. Assistance developing an employment plan is based on individual need. The Renton office of the King County Veterans' Program (located at 500 S.W. Seventh Street, Suite 100) specializes in providing a variety of employment services to veterans seeking long-term gainful employment. Partnering with WorkSource Renton and the Washington State Employment Security Department, the Veterans' Program provides computer skills instruction and assistance with other useful "hands on" techniques. In addition, the Veterans' Program partners with the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs to operate the Veterans Conservation Corps. This program provides opportunities to volunteer with natural restoration projects that restore Washington's rivers, streams, lakes, marine waters, and open lands.
The Veterans' Program provides a variety of supportive services in addition to the core program areas, and offers referrals to other agencies when additional expertise is required. Below you can read more about the supportive services offered to veterans and their families in King County.
A mental health counselor with the Veterans' Program provides assessments and referrals for veterans to address Post Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD), addiction issues and other mental health needs. In addition, letters advocating for disability claims are submitted on the behalf of clients to Social Security and Veterans Affairs.
Drug and Alcohol Treatment
Working together with several partner agencies, the Veterans' Program can provide referral assistance to clients dealing with issues related to drug and alcohol abuse. Once a client has visited with a case manager, services may be recommended immediately.
Trauma counseling is provided to spouses, significant others, and children who have grown up with a parent or partner who is suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Family members are often not aware of the impacts of these serious medical conditions. As a result, they are at risk for repeating the same behaviors if left untreated. Veterans, active-duty military personnel, National Guard members, and Reserve members can also receive counseling for PTSD and TBI. These services are provided through the Veterans' Program partnership with the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs.
Many of the same services available to veterans, active-duty military personnel, National Guard members, and Reserve members are also available to spouses, children, and other dependents of these military personnel. The Veterans' Program staff members can help to determine eligibility for these services.
Veteran Reintegration Services
The Veterans' Program works closely with the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs to assist veterans with the reintegration process, as they transition from active duty to civilian life. There are many helpful programs and services available to veterans in need, including assistance with basic needs, employment, housing, and counseling. The Veterans' Program can also connect homeless veterans with special programs and services that may help them transition to permanent housing.
Emergency Financial Assistance
Emergency Financial Assistance is one of the tools utilized by the King County Veterans' Program to serve veterans and their families. Programs provide emergency and temporary assistance to clients in order to prevent homelessness, resolve one-time financial emergencies, and address basic needs.
This program helps clients with such things as rental assistance, emergency food needs, medical needs, utility expenses, and transportation. The financial aid provided by this program frequently helps to stabilize families.
The King County Veterans' Program provides burial assistance to veterans, family members, or friends of veterans who have or will incur costs related to the burial or cremation of any deceased indigent veteran or the family member of any veteran who lacks the resources to cover burial expenses. The total amount of assistance may not exceed $500. Proper documentation is required and certain rules apply. Please contact the Veterans' Program to learn more about eligibility for burial assistance.
Veterans' Incarcerated Project
In this joint project between the King County Veterans' Program and the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs, project staff members work to address the needs of eligible veterans incarcerated in the King County Correctional Facility and other local jails. This program offers alternatives to jail and referral to housing, employment services, and treatment. Many of the incarcerated veterans have come to jail because of untreated drug and alcohol issues, poverty, homelessness, or issues related to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
The program provides:
- Transitional housing for veterans upon release from jail
- Assessment and referral to the Seattle Veterans Affairs Medical Center for treatment including drug, alcohol, and mental health counseling
- Job referral and placement services
- Assistance with court appearances and early release requirements.
Clients are supported as they progress toward independent living and avoid re-entering the criminal justice system. Since the program was established in 1996, it has produced thousands of early release days, saved millions of taxpayer dollars, and lowered the recidivism rate for this population. The Veterans' Incarerated Project has received both state and national best practices recognition.
Eligibility and How to Access Services
Our programs have several eligibility criteria. To learn about what services you might be eligible for and how to access them, please contact us.