During the 2019 legislative session, we were overjoyed that the Office of Homeless Youth (OHY) budget included $4 million for the Anchor Community Initiative. Over the past few months, organizations in the Anchor Communities submitted proposals to OHY requesting funding for services in the community. Here’s how these funds will make an impact in each community:
Pierce County will be able to expand their existing outreach team, creating a 24/7 emergency hotline, training staff in diversion and gaining access to coordinated entry. The community will also be able to establish a young adult shelter, which previously had no permanent location.
The City of Spokane and Volunteers of America will expand street outreach and create a shelter for young adults ages 18-24 in Spokane and surrounding rural communities. New outreach capabilities will allow schools and behavioral health treatment providers more quickly and efficiently identify youth and young adults experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness. A new 24/7 young adult shelter with coordinated entry assessments on-site adds 30 beds for young adults ages 18-24 of any gender.
Previously, young people in Walla Walla had access to HOPE beds through Catholic Charities and young adult long-term housing through Blue Mountain Action Council (BMAC). Now BMAC will be able to add housing capacity for young adults and create an outreach team to better connect with young people.
New funding will allow Rod’s House to open a shelter and increase outreach coverage and drop-in services. Catholic Charities will be able to increase young adult housing and Yakima Neighborhood Health Services will increase LGBTQ+ support services.
We’re excited to see these funds building capacity in Anchor Communities as we continue our work to end youth and young adult homelessness!