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Commerce’s Office of Homeless Youth announces $11 million in funding

The Washington State Department of Commerce’s Office of Homeless Youth announced $11 million in funding to support youth experiencing homelessness in 30 counties in Washington. The community service providers receiving these funds cover diverse areas across the entire state, with 23 of the counties in rural areas.

“This funding will strengthen communities throughout the state – from Asotin to Walla Walla, Grays Harbor to Okanogan and beyond – by providing an assurance of stable housing to help every young person in Washington seek their full potential,” said Lisa Brown, director of the Washington State Department of Commerce.

The $11 million was awarded through four different initiatives aimed at addressing youth homelessness in Washington. A range of stakeholders selected grantees from 100 applications received by Commerce. 

$4.29 million came through the Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Youth Homeless Demonstration Program awarded this funding to the Washington Balance of State Continuum of Care in July 2018. This funding will go to 13 different grantees for programs related to rapid rehousing and supportive services.

Through the Anchor Community Initiative, seven service providers received $3.7 million in funding. The initiative is led by A Way Home Washington, which aims to support services to prevent and end youth homelessness and specifically targets Pierce, Yakima, Walla Walla, and Spokane counties.

The funding through this initiative will go toward young adult housing, outreach, and ancillary therapeutic services.

The Department of Commerce also announced that $2.57 million of the $11 million in funding will be used to expand emergency housing and rental assistance, outreach to connect youth to services and supports, and crisis intervention services.

The fourth initiative is the System of Care grants. In 2018, Washington passed a bill to ensure that youth leaving a public system of care such as foster care or juvenile justice, are sent to safe and stable housing. $500,000 was awarded to three grantees – the Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration, Volunteers of America, and YouthCare — to address these goals.

A full list of all programs awarded funding is available here.

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