Office of Family and Adult Homelessness Newsletter – October 2019

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

OFAH Header

Oct. 7, 2019

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

Domestic Violence Action Month

Domestic violence (DV) is the leading cause of homelessness for women and children in Washington state, according to the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence (WSCADV). In support of DV Action Month, the coalition offers tools, materials and a kick-off meeting to help your community take action. Access the full list of tools here or join the DVAM Kick-Off Zoom Meeting  scheduled Friday, Oct. 4 from 10 - 10:30 a.m.

In its report Closing the Gap: Integrating Services for Survivors of Domestic Violence Experiencing Homelessness- A Toolkit for Transitional Housing Programs the National Center on Family Homelessness urge housing providers to take action in a different way - by embracing collaboration. The authors highlight some of the many gaps survivors of domestic violence experience when dealing with housing crisis and offer practical solutions for how to close those gaps.

The 58-page toolkit offers a variety of tools to use in evaluating and planning for more cohesive systems for this vulnerable populations. Three levels of integration highlighted in the toolkit include:

1) Awareness and understanding.

2) Communication and coordination.

3) Collaboration.

You can access the full toolkit here.

We would love to hear some of the ways your programs are taking action against domestic violence this October. Email your stories to .

Department of Health Issues Warning Hepatitis A Outbreak

Caution sign

The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) reports a recent outbreak of hepatitis A and asked all homeless service providers to be aware of the outbreak. In their letter to homeless service providers, the DOH provided information on symptoms, precautions that should be taken and where to report increased incidence of illness in a facility. The DOH recommends vaccination for those at high risk of contracting the illness and warns that those experiencing homelessness often fall into this category.

According to the Center for Disease Control, symptoms to watch out for include:

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dark urine
  • Diarrhea
  • Clay-colored stools
  • Joint pain
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)

For more information about case counts, symptoms and prevention of this illness, visit the DOH website here. You can learn more about hepatitis A  from the Center for Disease Control here. For questions about the hepatitis A vaccine or vaccine recommendations, e-mail DOH at

2019 Conference on Ending Homelessness

Save the date

It is almost time for the 2019 Conference on Ending Homelessness where people working to end homelessness around the state of Washington come together to learn, network and advocate. If you are not already registered, remember that Early Bird Registration ends Oct. 10! For more information about rates, registration, or travel information, visit the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance Conference webpage here.

Commerce is excited to present on a variety of topics at the conference this year and we look forward to see youl!  Here is a list of sessions to keep in mind:

HOME TBRA Provider Breakfast, Wednesday, Nov. 6 from 7:45 to 8:45 a.m.

Join TBRA Program Managers Kathryn Dodge and Sarah Harrison to explore what it would look like to integrate TBRA as a true Rapid Re-Housing Program. Keep an eye out for an Eventbrite registration link coming your way soon!

A4: Landlord Mitigation and Tenancy Preservation Program

Join Landlord Resource Administrator, Nicholas Yuva, to learn how to recuperate thousands of dollars’ worth of rental repairs, learn more about the Washington State Landlord Mitigation and Tenancy Preservation Programs, and review changes resulting from Senate Bill  5600.

A10: HMIS Open House

Spend quality time with Commerce HMIS Manager, Talia Scott, and fellow presenters, Stacy Holmes of Bitfocus King County Administrative Team and David Lewis, HMIS Manager for City of Spokane in an open Q&A forum for all things HMIS.

A14: Braiding Housing and Service Resources in Washington State

Join Commerce Behavioral Health Supportive Housing Manager Jeff Spring, DSHS ALTSA Supportive Housing Program Managers Ian Harpole and Whitney Joy Howard to learn more about resources they administer and ways they are working with local partners to braid federal, state and local housing resources and support services to holistically support vulnerable individuals across Washington state. 

A16: Operating a Low-Barrier Housing Project

Join Commerce Specialist Danielle Rylander and panelists from housing projects around the state as they explore operating a low-barrier housing project including how programs are doing it, how it is impacting performance, and how you can join.

A18: It’s Not Complicated: Housing Ends Unsheltered Homelessness

Senior Managing Director of Housing Assistance at Commerce Tedd Kelleher will explore how jurisdictions (even those with high rents) leave dramatically fewer people outside through an adequate supply of subsidized housing and emergency shelter. Tedd will look at the drivers of homelessness and the effectiveness of tools to address those drivers. This session will encourage spirited discussion and feedback to the state regarding what should be done to bring everyone inside. 

B10: Coordinated Entry 2.0

Join Coordinated Entry Specialist Andrea Avila and Homeless Housing Performance Manager Emily Burgess for an interactive session where you will learn about common challenges in Coordinated Entry, such as limited access, role clarification and communication and leave with dynamic system management strategies for improvement. 

Equity Corner

OFAH Equity Corner

Immigrants seeking entry and green cards in the United States are currently facing unique challenges to accessing housing, benefits and other services on the heels of the Public Charge Rule. The rule prescribes a series of factors to use to consider whether an immigrant may be a “public charge” in the future. Some of these factors include income, age, health and education level and previous or current use of public benefits.

The National Alliance on Ending Homelessness (NAEH) published What Does Public Charge Mean for the Homelessness System. This article describes the effects on households experiencing homelessness. The NAEH specifically recommends that, “Continuums of Care (CoCs) work with legal services or immigration attorneys to help navigate eligibility and public benefits guidelines to meet the needs of their clients.”

To learn more about the Public Charge rule and how you can protect immigrants, please visit

Balance of State Continuum of Care Corner

Balance of Care Continuum of Care

2019 NOFA Application Submitted

The Housing Assistance Unit federal team, acting as collaborative applicant, just submitted our 2019 NOFA BoS CoC application to the the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  Thank you to everyone in the BoS CoC for your help with this year’s application!  We were very impressed, as always, with your high quality of work, innovation and commitment to persons experiencing homelessness.  We have a very strong story to tell HUD. We hope to hear back on funding decisions from HUD in December of January.

If you have any questions, please contact:  or

Join Us for a Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) Panel at Upcoming BoS Steering Committee Meeting

Join OFAH and the BoS team for a panel discussion with experienced Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) providers. They will share experiences with operating this intervention -  including challenges faced and what’s been working well. This is targeted toward anyone overseeing or operating PSH projects in their community. This panel will be held from 3 - 4:30 p.m at the in-person BoS Steering Committee meeting in Spokane on Tuesday, Nov. 5 at the Spokane Neighborhood Action Program business office. If you have topics related to PSH that you’d like to hear about, please send them to your grant manager. Stay tuned for more details soon!