Office of Family and Adult Homelessness Newsletter

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Oct. 5, 2017

Please forward to your sub grantees and contact your OFAH grant manager if you have any questions.

Welcome to the OFAH Newsletter!

Office of Family and Adult Homelessness Newsletter

The Housing Assistance Unit recently underwent a reorganization of the state and federal program management. The Office of Family and Adult Homeless (OFAH) was created, bringing adult federal and state homeless housing funds under one umbrella. Program management is now done at a regional level, with one Commerce manager serving as a county’s contact for most adult homeless housing funds in that county. This structure is in line with the Washington State Strategic Plan and the Commerce commitment to systems-level work to end homelessness.

The OFAH newsletter will include pertinent information for recipients of state and federal homeless housing funds, including Tenant Based Rental Assistance (TBRA), Housing for People with AIDS (HOPWA), Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG), Consolidated Homeless Grant (CHG), Homeless Student Stability Program (HSSP), 811, and the Balance of State Continuum of Care.

Who is your grant manager now for CHG, ESG, TBRA, and HSSP?

Emily Burgess, 360.725.2942

Clallam, Jefferson, Okanogan

Jessica Simon, 360.725.2955

Benton-Franklin, Chelan-Douglas, Grant-Adams, Kittitas, Lincoln, Skamania-Klickitat

Megan Kendig, 360.725.2920

Clark, Cowlitz, Grays Harbor, Lewis, Pacific, Thurston, Wahkiakum

Matt Mazur-Hart, 360.725.2926

Asotin, Columbia/Garfield, Island, Kitsap, Pend Oreille, San Juan, Stevens/Ferry, Walla Walla, Whatcom, Whitman

Julie Montgomery, 360.725.2963

King, Mason, Pierce, Skagit, Snohomish, Spokane City, Spokane County, Yakima

Who is your grant manager now for 811 and HOPWA?

Jeff Spring,  360.725.2991

Updated 2017 Point-in-Time (PIT)

Updated 2017 PIT results are posted on the Commerce website at After further analysis of the results in partnership with U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD), county totals were updated. For some counties, the new results show a substantial decrease in the unsheltered population from previously published 2017 results. This decrease is due to additional identification of duplicate entries and corrected classification from “unsheltered” to “unstably housed” households living in structures such as mobile homes, cabins and houses lacking one or more amenities.

 If you have questions, please contact your grant manager.

2017 HMIS Data Standard Changes

Critical HMIS Data Standard changes went into effect on Oct. 1, 2017. The HMIS team has put together a webinar on the changes and the impact on HMIS users. The webinar is available on the HMIS page in the HMIS Training Registration Calendar.

Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) Balance of State Continuum of Care

At the end of September, Commerce staff completed the fiscal year 2017 Continuum of Care Program NOFA for the Balance of State. The Balance of State Continuum of Care covers the 33 small to mid-size counties in Washington State.  The annual application is for approximately $6 million for programs that advance the cause of ending homelessness. These U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funds help support homelessness and housing service providers throughout the state.

2017 Action Plan

Commerce has published the 2017 Action Plan, which outlines the Washington State plan to use formula funds from HUD to address housing and community development needs outlined in the 2015-2019 Consolidated Plan. The Action Plan includes strategies for use of the following federal funding sources:

  • Community Development Block Grants (CDBG)
  • Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG)
  • HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME)
  • National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF)
  • Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA)

Review the plan to understand how federal funds are allocated to address homelessness and a lack of affordable housing in Washington State.

Myths and Facts

We have addressed myths around the impact of employment on disability benefits before, but this flier from SOAR (SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access and Recovery) addresses in one handout some of the most common misconceptions. Find it here: SOARWorks Yes, You Can Work!

Relevant Resources.

Upcoming events

Relevant Resources

Commerce released the Homelessness Myths and Facts document last year. It addresses common misconceptions about causes of homelessness and homeless services. If you have additional myths you’d like us to address in future newsletters, please send them to Julie Montgomery at

The document, "You Don't Have to Live Here" Why Housing Messages are Backfiring and 10 Things We Can Do About It, has helpful information on how framing of homelessness and affordable housing issues may impact how a community may react to those messages. The report looks at why some messages may backfire and gives recommendations on how to speak about homelessness and affordable housing.

Upcoming Events

Homeless Service Provider Grantee Academy

Commerce is hosting a grantee forum on Wednesday, Nov. 1 and Thursday, Nov. 2 at the Suncadia Resort in Cle Elum, Washington. For additional information and to register, go to Accommodations at Suncadia are limited, but there are additional accommodations located nearby. Check with your program manager if you have questions. We hope to see you in November!

HMIS trainings

The HMIS Team offers ongoing training for new and current HMIS users. Find information on the Commerce website on the HMIS page here: or contact Maylee Stevenson at

The National Human Services Data Consortium (NHSDC) Fall 2017 Conference is happening in San Diego on Oct. 11 and 12. Registration is still open:

National Human Services Data Consortium
Annual Conference on Ending Homelessness

Call for Session Proposals

The 2018 Conference on Ending Homelessness is May 22 - 23 in Yakima, Wash. If you have knowledge to share or an idea for a conference session, please submit a proposal. Additional information here: