Office of Family and Adult Homelessness Newsletter

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July 31, 2018

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

Welcome New Office of Family and Adult Homelessness Staff!


Pictured (L to R): OFAH Grant Managers Sarah Harrison, Kathryn Dodge, Julie Montgomery, Megan Kendig and Jessica Simon.

July brought two new staff to the OFAH grant manager team. We are excited to welcome Kathryn Dodge, who previously worked at Commerce in the Office of Crime Victims Advocacy. She brings extensive homeless housing experience to the team, including working at the Whatcom Homeless Service Center on coordinated entry.

Sarah Harrison also joined OFAH this month. She brings recent experience as a Housing and Essential Needs (HEN) case manager at the Community Action Council of Lewis, Thurston and Mason counties, as well as direct service experience at Community Youth Services in Olympia.

OFAH Grant Manager county assignments and contact information:

Sarah Harrison: Asotin, Columbia/Garfield, Island, San Juan, Skagit, Walla Walla, Whatcom counties

Phone: 360-725-5073

Megan Kendig: Clark, Cowlitz, Grays Harbor, Lewis, Okanogan, Pacific, Wahkiakum counties

Phone: 360-725-2920

Julie Montgomery: King, Pierce, Snohomish, Spokane, Yakima counties

Phone: 360-725-2963

Jessica Simon: Benton/Franklin, Clallam, Chelan/Douglas, Jefferson, Kittitas counties

Phone: 360-725-2955

Kathryn Dodge:  Ferry/Stevens/Lincoln, Grant/Adams, Kitsap, Klickitat/Skamania, Mason, Pend Oreille, Thurston counties


New grant opportunity - Continuum of Care (CoC) Program Bonus Funds

All grantees, partners, and interested parties in the 34 counties of the Washington Balance of State Continuum of Care are invited to submit a request for Continuum of Care Program Bonus Funds. New project funding is available through the domestic violence bonus and standard bonus opportunities in the 2018 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development CoC Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA). Eligible project types include rapid re-housing, joint transitional housing to rapid re-housing and permanent supportive housing. Applications are due Friday, Aug. 17. For more information, please visit the Commerce Continuum of Care Program website.   



HEN Expansion Update

Checking HEN Eligibility and Aged, Blind and Disabled (ABD) Enrollment in Benefits Verification System (BVS)

When checking HEN eligibility in the Benefits Verification System (BVS), search by the client’s first and last name, as well as Social Security number or Washington Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) client ID. 

An important change to note is that the first page to appear on the BVS screen indicates whether the client is HEN eligible. Be aware that if the status says ineligible, this pertains only to HEN and not ABD clients. To check if a client is ABD eligible, click on the current month (current month and two month in arrears will show up automatically) to view the benefits the client receives and determine if a client is receiving ABD benefits.

OFAH grant managers recently sent out an email regarding these changes. If you have questions or did not receive this email, please contact your grant manager.

Outreach to HEN Eligible Clients

A reminder that Consolidated Homeless Grant grantees can access a list of all people with a HEN referral from DSHS. Please review the following Q-and-A and reach out to your grant manager with questions.

WHAT is the HEN referral list?

This list is held on a secure file site that contains personally identifying information and contact information for everyone in the state who has a HEN Referral from DSHS. The list is updated monthly. Staff with approved access can sort the list by county to review names of people in their service area.

WHO can see the list?

Lead grantee and sub-grantee staff who have access to the list must understand the confidentiality and data share agreement responsibilities identified in the CHG Guidelines.

HOW do I access the list?

Contact your CHG lead grantee for more information.

Myths vs. Facts

Myth: Clients on Aged, Blind and Disabled (ABD) are not eligible for essential needs items because they are receiving a cash benefit.                      

Fact: Receiving a cash benefit does not make a client ineligible for essential needs. If the requests for essential needs items is greater than what is available, grantees can prioritize those items.