Office of Family and Adult Homelessness Newsletter

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Dec. 7, 2017

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

Grantee Academy

Office of Family and Adult Homelessness Newsletter

Thanks to all who traveled from around the state to attend the Homeless Service Provider Grantee Academy on Nov 1 - 2 in Cle Elum. On the first day, we heard from the Washington State Department of Veteran Affairs and learned about the changing demographics of the veteran population. We also learned about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and resources for providers serving this population. If you missed the presentation or want follow up information, reach out to Donald Lachman at DonaldL@DVA.WA.GOV. We also spent time learning about the new HUD Coordinated Entry requirements (even more to come soon!). On the second day, Kim Justice, the director of the Office of Homeless Youth, provided an overview of the youth programs and activities over the last year and introduced Kira Zylstra from All Home who talked about the importance of youth centered planning in developing a broader homeless strategic plan. We were also introduced to the new Performance Impact Model that will help with the Local Plan requirements. Our goal is to make the model available early in the new year.

Welcome Bary Hanson!

Commerce is excited to announce that Bary Hanson has joined the Housing Assistance Unit and will help lead the Office of Family and Adult Homelessness. Bary comes to Commerce after spending over 11 years  working for Catholic Community Services of Western Washington as a program manager and a division director.  Bary led efforts in Housing First, Housing and Essential Needs (HEN), Section 8 housing, low-barrier shelter, and tent-city organization in four different counties.  One of Bary’s most recent project is the new Drexel House Homeless Veterans Housing project in Olympia.  Prior to his work at CCS, Bary spent years as a street advocate organizing various homeless services campaigns and street community awareness petitions and events around the United States.

HUD Coordinated Entry Guidance

HUD Homes

The Office of Family and Adult Homelessness team is working on integrating the additional HUD Coordinated Entry requirements into the CHG guidelines by January 2018. This guidelines revision will keep our grantees updated on changes that need to be made to your Coordinated Entry (CE) systems. Please contact your grant manager with any questions or concerns you have. In the meantime, here is a relevant blog post from Iain De Jong at OrgCode: Let's Review the Basics of Effective Coordinated Entry.

New Low-Barrier Housing Requirement

Beginning July 2018, each county must have at least one low-barrier project serving adults experiencing homeless and at least one low-barrier project serving households with children experiencing homelessness. The Office of Family and Adult Homelessness team is drafting updated information for the revised Consolidated Homeless Grant Guidelines which will be released in January. This requirement aligns with the core elements of a high-performing crisis response system and will help the state get closer to our vision that no person is left living outside. Check out this article from the USICH on implementing emergency shelter within an effective crisis response system.

 If you have questions, please contact your grant manager.

Myths and Facts

Myths and Facts

Myth: I have to exit people from my shelter at 90 days or I will be out of compliance with funders.

Fact:  There is no maximum length of stay in emergency shelters funded by the Emergency Solutions Grant, the Consolidated Homeless Grant, or Office of Homeless Youth Young Adult Shelter grants. Reducing the length of stay in emergency shelters is a national and state homeless system performance measure and important goal. However, there is no funding rule that prohibits people staying in your shelter more than 90 days. Aim to make the length of stay in your shelter program as short as possible, but don’t exit people to homelessness based on this myth.

The 90-day time frame refers to the program design and how a program is classified. Emergency shelters are designed to provide temporary housing, normally up to 90 days. If the program intends for most people to stay for more than 90 days, it would not be considered an emergency shelter. So while there is no rule about exiting people at 90 days, the 90 day ‘design’ factor speaks to the type of program. 

HUD Rapid Rehousing Institute

On Oct. 31 and Nov. 1, OFAH grant manager Julie Montgomery attended the HUD Rapid Rehousing Institute in Los Angeles. In partnership with the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA), HUD brought together homeless housing providers and planners from across the country. The training provided perspective on where Washington is on the continuum of adoption of Rapid Rehousing as a system-wide strategy to end homelessness, (we are fairly far along), as well as additional strategies for landlord engagement, standardizing RRH delivery and how to approach rapid-rehousing systemically. If you are interested in the 107-page packet of slides (at either the practice or system level), please email Julie at

Relevant Resources

Relevant Resources

Fiscal Year 2018 Fair Market Rents (FMR)

HUD released fiscal year (FY) 2018 Fair Market Rents (FMR) on Sept. 1, 2017. The published Fair Market Rents can be found here.

From the Seattle Office of Civil Rights Nov. 1, 2017

Fair Chance Housing legislation becomes effective Feb. 19

In August 2017, the City of Seattle passed Fair Chance Housing legislation to help prevent discrimination against renters with a past criminal record.

The new ordinance prevents landlords from unfairly denying applicants housing based on criminal history. It also prohibits the use of advertising language that automatically or categorically excludes people with arrest records, conviction records, or criminal history. The Office for Civil Rights will enforce the new requirements.

The legislation caps a decade-long effort to address discrimination against people who have served their time and yet face barriers to safe, stable housing.

The City of Seattle convened a stakeholder group to provide input on the administrative rules, and will be collecting comments and concerns from the public. Their office will also offer training opportunities for landlords, tenants, and others to learn about the requirements under the new law.

Upcoming Events

2018 Point in Time Count

The 2018 Point In Time Count (PIT) will occur on Thursday, Jan. 25 in Washington state. Commerce will provide training, including a review of HUD’s 2018 Guidance and opportunity for feedback on survey forms. Last year’s forms can be found here, along with other PIT resources.

A recorded version of the Nov. 30 training is available. You can register for it here:

In-person training sessions are being held locally by request. If your community is interested in having an in-person training session, please email

Webinars on data entry of PIT data will take place in January. Information on those trainings will be sent out soon.

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

Housing First Partners Conference

Housing First

DESC and Pathways Housing First Institute have opened registration for the Housing First Partners Conference, April 9 – 12, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. Information available here:

NAEH Conference on Ending Family and Youth Homelessness


Registration is open for the 2018 NAEH Conference on Ending Family and Youth Homelessness, March 1 - 2 in Los Angeles. Information available here:

Learn About Homeless Sector Services by Spending Two Weeks at a Homeless Service Organization in the United Kingdom!

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2018 Transatlantic Practice Exchange is a partner project between the National Alliance to End Homelessness and Homeless Link with a goal to develop future leaders and nurture transatlantic connections. Five participants from each country are selected through a competitive process to spend up to two weeks with a homelesness organization in their peer country. You can read more about the opportunity, see reports on past exchanges and start your application process here:

The deadline to apply is Dec. 19, 2017.