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King County Executive
Dow Constantine


Homeless prevention programs, new housing units create stability for thousands of King County residents

Summary

More than 5,000 local residents received homeless prevention services making it possible for them to stay in their housing, and a total of 679 new units of housing opened in 2011 to house homeless individuals and families, according to the 2011 Annual Report of the Committee to End Homelessness (CEH) in King County transmitted by King County Executive Dow Constantine to the King County Council. In all, the region has created a total of 5,046 new units of housing (53% of the goal of 9,500 units) from 2005 through 2011.

Story

KING COUNTY – More than 5,000 local residents received homeless prevention services making it possible for them to stay in their housing, and a total of 679 new units of housing opened in 2011 to house homeless individuals and families, according to the 2011 Annual Report of the Committee to End Homelessness (CEH) in King County transmitted by King County Executive Dow Constantine to the King County Council. In all, the region has created a total of 5,046 new units of housing (53% of the goal of 9,500 units) from 2005 through 2011.

“A ‘roof over every bed’ is the goal of our Ten-Year Plan to End Homelessness, and this annual report shows we are making real progress – both by creating new housing and by funding innovative programs and services that support and sustain,” said Executive Constantine, co-chair of the CEH Governing Board.

The 2011 Annual Report of the Committee to End Homelessness, “Steady Steps Forward,” describes the significant work that occurred in 2011 around the key strategies of preventing homelessness, helping people move from homelessness to housing, and increasing the efficiency of the existing service systems.

“Even during the economic downturn, we have made great strides in increasing the production and availability of new affordable housing,” said King County Councilmember Kathy Lambert, who serves on the CEH Governing Board. “In addition, we have been able to coordinate services to help stabilize families in their current homes so they avoid falling into homelessness. The coordination of funding and support services represents an important step in building the road to success.”

Among the highlights in the report are the following accomplishments:

  • Opened 679 homeless housing units in 2011, for a total of 5,046 units of housing through 2011
  • Prevented homelessness for more than 5,000 people throughout King County thanks to homeless prevention assistance
  • Moved 3,072 people to permanent housing from emergency shelter or transitional housing
  • Implemented a new coordinated entry system of housing placement for “high utilizers” of jail and emergency services, achieving a 66 percent reduction in jail days by those placed in supportive housing as well as reductions to sobering services and psychiatric hospitalizations
  • Coordinated a successful Combined Notice of Funding Availability that allocated $55.6 million from seven funders and 17 different fund sources to support housing projects across King County
  • Received national recognition by Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government for the Funders Group, named one of the “Top 25 Innovations in American Government”

“The investments we have made in recent years have shown conclusively that we can improve both the lives of individuals and the fabric of our community,” said Bill Block, Project Director with the Committee to End Homelessness. “This report reflects our shared commitment to the principle that no one should be without safe, affordable housing.” Block recently announced his retirement and will leave the CEH the end of October.

The Committee to End Homelessness is hosted by King County. For more information on the Committee to End Homelessness go to www.cehkc.org or call Gretchen Bruce, Interim Project Director at 206-263-9085.



King County Executive
Dow Constantine
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