August Consolidated Homeless Grant Newsletter - Shelter Provider Network, Free Webinars, Myths and Facts

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

Consolidated Homeless Grant (CHG) Newsletter

August 2016

Please forward to your sub grantees and contact your CHG program manager if you have any questions.

Keep Saving the Date

Annual Grantee Forum, Wednesday November 2, 2016 at Suncadia. Registration will open in September. Stay tuned for more details.

Myths and Facts

Myth: It’s ok for my shelter to deny services to families with teenage boys.

Fact: Denying housing to male children over a certain age is discrimination based on familial status, sex and age which are protected classes.  

Federal fair housing laws cover alleged discrimination because of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status or disability. The Washington state law against discrimination covers the federal protected classes and also marital status, sexual orientation, age, honorably discharged veteran or military status, or the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability. 

Denial of housing based on protected class status is considered discrimination during the application process.  “Familial status” (also called "parental status") is defined as the presence of at least one child under 18 in a household. This includes protection from discrimination that targets particular ages of children (teenagers, toddlers, etc.).  Therefore, the practice of denying housing to male children over a certain age could be considered discrimination based on familial status, sex and age which are protected classes. 

All programs receiving state and federal funds must comply with all federal, state and local nondiscrimination laws, regulations and policies as state in the general rems and conditions.

In Addition:
ESG Rule 576.102 (b) states:  The age, of a child under age 18 must not be used as a basis for denying any family's admission to an emergency shelter that uses Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) funding or services and provides shelter to families with children under age 18

CoC Program Rule 578.93 (e) states:  The age and gender of a child under age 18 must not be used as a basis for denying any family's admission to a project that receives funds under this part.

Click the button to read more.

Read More

Shelter Provider Network Begins in September

Building Changes is developing a shelter provider network to bring together providers across the state in a learning community. Our first call will take place Monday, Sept. 12 from 1 - 2 p.m. PDT. Our regular meeting time will be the second Monday of each month from 1 - 2 p.m. We hope you can join us. Email for more information.

email us

Medicaid Waiver to Provide Supportive Housing Services

Have you reached out to your local Behavioral Health Organizations and Managed Care Organizations? It’s time to develop these key relationships to identify eligible individuals for the Medicaid Waiver. The waiver would pay for services to help Medicaid beneficiaries get and keep housing, such as housing search and placement, tenant support, and landlord relations. For more information, visit:

Medicaid Transformation webpage

Click to Learn More

Washington Low Income Housing Alliance’s Medicaid Benefit Resource page

Click to Learn More

Questions? Email

Webinar Series on Chronic Homelessness and Medicaid Waiver Eligibility

Aug. 30, 9 a.m. - Chronic homeless definition + DSHS Client Registry – Implications for housing providers

click to register

Sept. 2, 11 a.m. - Chronic homeless Definition + PRISM – Implications for MCOs & BHOs

click to register

Sept. 6, 1 p.m. - Chronic homeless Definition + Coordinated Entry

click to register

HMIS Training Available

Read our HMIS Training Catalog for full descriptions, requirements, and more. We offer at least two trainings a month for new HMIS users and current users on using Clarity HMIS. Please contact Maylee Stevenson (  to request a local training. We need a minimum of five attendees to hold trainings outside of Olympia. Check our HMIS Training Catalog, on our HMIS webpage, periodically for new training opportunities. 

click to register

Jeff Spring Shares Insights from the NAEH Conference

I attended the 2016 National conference on Ending Homelessness, presented by the National Alliance to End Homelessness. Here are my “lightbulb moments”

The importance of outreach personnel in a community as common link between every system of care: homeless service providers, law enforcement, emergency rooms, criminal justice, legal assistance, and mainstream services. Outreach should be a direct extension of coordinated entry, but also well connected to each housing provider. 

Single adults are the “…largest homeless subpopulation”.  This population is finding housing stability in large numbers through shared housing.  Legendary researcher Dennis Culhane shared insights, and Jean-Michel Giraud, Executive Director of Friendship House in Washington D.C. co-presented on this historically overlooked population.  Giraud emphasizes “job placement first, then a focus on training”, which turns the conventional wisdom upside down. 

Spotlight: Shelter Follows Housing First Model

Found on a CHG Provider website:

Our Shelter follows the Housing First model, a nationally recognized best practice. This means that we strive to make shelter as accessible as possible to people.

We prioritize the provision of shelter and basic needs FIRST so that people experiencing homelessness can more easily access other services next (i.e. housing programs, substance use treatment programs, mental health support programs). In practice, this means:

  • Individuals will be encouraged to participate in available programs but not required.
  • Sobriety will not be required; however, there will be no drug or alcohol use on the premises.
  • Each person that comes to the shelter will have a formal intake and registration interview with a trained staff member but will not be denied service without valid ID.
  • Couples will be able to stay together.
  • There will be secure storage space for personal items.
  • Service animals and companion pets will be accommodated.

Spotlight: Flex Funds Help Domestic Violence Survivor Secure Safety and Housing

Lucy* was referred to the housing program through our local mental health program for assistance with attaining safe and permanent housing. She was fleeing a domestic violence situation and there was no room available in the two nearest DV shelters. Our housing program manager worked closely with the local mental health crisis team, DV program and Sexual Assault Program to assist Lucy. Lucy’s brother who lived out of state was identified as a safe support person and agreed to allow Lucy to live with him while he helped her find a permanent home for her in his hometown. CHG flex funding was used to purchase luggage and a plane ticket for Lucy to move.  It was through teamwork and the availability of flex funds that Lucy is now safe and permanently housed.
*Name changed for confidentiality.  

Send us your stories of how you have used CHG Flexible Funding to help a homeless household resolve their housing crisis!