Updates from the South King Housing and Homelessness Partnership!

Questions of best practices, capacity, and resources have weighed heavily this month, as many of us have been wondering about the right approach to address the housing and homelessness crisis our region is experiencing. In the past two weeks, we’ve seen dozens of cities come together to explore local and regional models of addressing homelessness. Many communities are having internal conversations, bringing together community members, service providers, the business community, and others to increase their understanding of the issue and decide on community actions. South King County had a strong presence at the recent Cities Convening on Homelessness, and I look forward to continuing to work with you all as we address this crisis, and continue to demonstrate South King County’s regional, unified voice.
– Joy Scott, SKC Housing Planner

City Spotlight

Three years ago, the City of Renton entered into an exciting and unusual partnership with the Renton Ecumenical Association of Churches (REACH). The city offered the old jail space in the city hall building for use as a day center, if REACH could fund and make the required renovations to re-purpose it. REACH held a successful fundraising campaign, and in May of 2013, the Center of Hope opened.

The day center, which offers showers and laundry, cooking facilities, clothing, housing and employment services, case management, and youth and children’s services for families and children experiencing homelessness, has served 439 families since its opening. Renton’s Human Services Manager Karen Bergsvik says about the program, “City of Renton elected officials, and city staff have embraced the Center of Hope since it has opened, and it has been a great way to educate people about homelessness in a very non-threatening and caring way. The Management Association provides presents for their annual holiday party and a donation to their budget, leftover food from city meetings is donated to the center, and individuals donate blankets, toys, toiletries, and children’s books.”
Contact the Director of the City of Hope, Linda Smith at reachcenterofhope@outlook.com, for more information.

Places to Be

King County’s Housing and Community Development Program (HCD) will hold a stakeholder meeting on March 17th to discuss upcoming affordable housing funding opportunities. Please plan to attend and provide input on funding strategies to address the broad regional need, including transit oriented development and housing for homeless and special needs populations. HCD intends to have our standard RFP process in the fall but additional funding opportunities may be available over the next 12 to 18 months.

March 17, 2:30 to 3:30
Chinook Building, 401 Fifth Avenue, Room 123

Please RSVP to Valerie Kendall at:
valerie.kendall@kingcounty.gov

People in Action

Last week, All Home and Sound Cities hosted a convening of cities on the issue of homelessness in our region. Participants heard from speakers and panelists on a number of responses, including safe car camping, different approaches to community policing, best practices for outreach, and models of community task forces. South King County saw strong participation, with teams from Auburn, Burien, Covington, Federal Way, Kent, Normandy Park, Renton, SeaTac, and Tukwila.

After learning about local promising practices, cities gathered by sub-region to discuss regional action steps that could be taken. All Home and Sound Cities will be continuing to work with local cities and regions as they decide on how best to move forward, in collaboration, to address homelessness in King County.

The Convening on Homelessness, organized by All Home and Sound Cities Association, brought together teams from 20 cities to learn about best practices and find collaborative approaches to addressing homelessness in their communities.

The Convening on Homelessness, organized by All Home and Sound Cities Association, brought together teams from 20 cities to learn about best practices and find collaborative approaches to addressing homelessness in their communities.

Resources

Notice of Funds Available
King County estimates that $1,250,000 in federal CDBG funds will be available in 2017 to King County and the cities and towns participating in the King County CDBG Consortium.

Activities eligible for funding include acquisition, construction, and rehabilitation of non-profit and public facilities, public improvements, housing rehabilitation, economic development, and relocation. All CDBG funded activities must be consistent with the King County Consortium Housing and Community Development Plan for 2015-2019.

The 2017 King County CDBG Consortium Capital Non-Housing Fund Allocation process will be using a new electronic RFP submission, management and review system. To facilitate this process with previous and new applicants, King County Community Development is opening the Pre-Application period as of: February 1, 2016.To be considered in the formal Pre-Application and Request For Proposal Process: applicants must first create an account profile in Zoomgrants.

Between February 1, 2016 and April 15, 2016 Community Development Staff will be providing technical assistance in using both the new electronic RFP system, and general Community Development Block Grant information to facilitate effective and eligible Community Development capital grant applications.

RSVP for Technical Assistance Workshops! Download and complete an Excel schedule-&-sign up sheet and email to Kathy.Tremper@kingcounty.gov, call 206-263-9097, or see King County’s website.


 

Take Advantage of the AHP Preapplication Process
Pre-applications for FHLB Des Moines Competitive Affordable Housing Program (AHP) may be submitted any time between March 1 and March 31, 2016.

We will provide you with important feedback specific to your project’s eligibility, feasibility and scoring in an effort to strengthen your application’s competitiveness. The pre-application process does not require support from one of our member financial institutions; however, member support is required for the application to be submitted by the due date.

Start the process by using the forms and materials available on our website.


 

Coordinated Entry for All Update
Last week marked significant progress in both the design and implementation of Coordinated Entry for All (CEA). There is much work ahead to implement a coordinated entry system that is accessible to all people experiencing homelessness and we appreciate the input and effort that has been provided to ensure a transparent, fair and equitable process for everyone.

The Executive Committee has chosen a ‘Banding Priority’ method which means that families and individuals will be referred to housing resources based on the results of the CEA assessment tool. With a banding approach, housing resources are associated with a range of assessment scores and within each range, the families and individuals with the most pronounced needs will be prioritized for the next available housing resource.

The adoption of this system-wide prioritization will be implemented with each population over the next few months:

  • Family Housing Connection and Youth Housing Connection began training this week on the Family VI-SPDAT and Transition Aged Youth (TAY) VI-SPDAT to begin the new assessment process to prepare for the transition to the new HMIS system in April. All families and young adults currently on the FHC/YHC placement roster will need to be reassessed using the new assessment tool and the new prioritization method would be implemented in mid-April.
  • Though the reassessment process will require time and a new assessment for many people, All Home, FHC, and YHC are working closely to ensure continuity of services to families and young adults experiencing homelessness. More information about this process will be posted on our website and is being shared with FHC and YHC providers, housing assessors, and families and young adults on the placement roster.
  • Veterans and Single Adults will begin using the banding prioritization approach in June with the launch of CEA, though the current Veterans One List process already uses a similar model of prioritization.

More information about Coordinated Entry for All can be found on our website and more information about prioritization can be found in the Executive Committee meeting materials.

The next All Home Stakeholder Meeting for all populations on March 16th from 9:30-11:00 AM at El Centro de la Raza, Room 307 (2524 16th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98144) will focus on Coordinated Entry for All and provide further updates.