Office of Adult and Family Homelessness

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Feb. 12, 2020

Office of Adult and Family Homelessness

Please forward to sub grantees and other interested parties!

Housing Assistance Unit Expanding: Now Hiring!

The Housing Assistance Unit is expanding after promoting three people and creating two new positions! We are seeking qualified candidates for the following four positions:

  • Commerce Specialist 3 with the Continuum of Care (CoC) Program This position works with the Balance of State CoC Program. Do you enjoy working with data and initiatives in rural communities? The new hire will be responsible for federal applications for funding and leading the annual Point-in-Time Count activities.
  • Commerce Specialist 3 with the Office of Supportive Housing (OSH) This position supports the OSH’s work by managing grant agreements with service providers and providing fiscal oversight of OSH programs. The new hire will play a crucial role in expanding the capacity of supportive housing for vulnerable people with disabling conditions who have been discharged from institutions or who have experienced homelessness.
  • Commerce Specialist 3 with the Office of Homeless Youth (OHY) 2 positions available These positions will manage planning, procurement, and compliance related to OHY programs while working with agencies across the state that support youth and young adults experiencing homelessness.

If you are interested in doing meaningful work with big impacts, we invite you to Learn more about these opportunities and apply today!

Apply now

Low-Income Adults Encouraged to Apply for Census Positions: Income will not count against DSHS benefits

A demonstration waiver with USDA allows the Washington Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) to exempt income earned from temporary employment with the U.S. Census Bureau in 2019 and 2020. This means that temporary census income will not prevent otherwise eligible households from qualifying for DSHS food and cash assistance and will not reduce benefits for people already receiving them. In addition, temporary census earnings are not counted as income when determining eligibility and coverage for medical benefits.

Low-income adults are encouraged to apply for these Census positions. Information and applications can be found at: 2020 Census Jobs.

Learn more

Education Ombuds Available to Help Families Navigate the School System and Tackle Tough Issues


Do you know a family struggling with bullying or another issue at school? What about a student needing help resolving a challenging school situation? The Governor’s Office of the Education Ombuds (OEO) might be able to help! OEO offers free, confidential, and impartial support for families and students navigating the K-12th grade public school system. OEO helps by sharing information, facilitating problem-solving with families and schools, or coaching families through difficult conversations.

To learn more about these services you can watch the introductory video or visit their website.

Registration Now Open for Inland Northwest Fair Housing Conference – April 23 in Spokane

Coming soon

Register today to join over 450+ providers, landlords, property managers, housing authorities and more to gain leading edge information on fair housing compliance for housing providers and advocates. The cost to attend is $60 per person. Find out more about the conference and register here.

Building Changes and C4 Innovations Talk Assessment Tools

Building Changes and Commerce are hosting a peer learning call on Tuesday, Feb. 25 from 10 - 11:30 a.m. in response to the recent study released by C4 Innovations about coordinated entry (CE) assessment tools.

You can review the report here. With the results of the study illuminating racial inequities in the VI-SPDAT and the recent energy around reevaluating the assessment tools used in CE, we are hosting a peer learning call.

Join us to learn more about the findings from this report and hear from colleagues about action steps their communities are taking to address disparities in CE.

Register for the CE Assessment Tool Peer Learning Call on Feb. 25 at:

New Funding Opportunity for Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) through Vera Institute of Justice

This funding opportunity is for PHAs seeking technical assistance to plan and implement reentry programs and/or change their admissions policies regarding people with conviction histories. PHAs of all sizes are encouraged to apply regardless of whether they manage their own units or administer Housing Choice Voucher programs. PHAs in the same geographic area with common goals are welcome to apply together if this will increase the local impact of the work.  Applications are being accepted through Feb. 28 at 11:59 p.m.

Click here for more information and the full Request for Proposal

Contact Erica Crew at with any questions about this solicitation.

Did you know?

Did you know?

When a HEN eligible person lives with another person

There may be some confusion about what HEN can pay when a HEN-eligible individual is living with or moving in with someone not on HEN. In this situation, they may consider themselves a household, but HEN can only pay for the HEN-eligible person’s rent portion (RCW 43.185C.220). This would be treated like a roommate situation. For example, if there are two people living together and only one of them is HEN-eligible, HEN could pay half the rent. If the other individual can’t pay their portion of rent, another fund source would need to be used. For Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) data entry in this scenario, you would enter both household members in your HEN project, and make the HEN eligible individual the head of household.

Save the Date: Balance of State (BoS) Continuum of Care (CoC) Conference May 13 - 14


You may have noticed we’re doing things a little different this year! Since the majority of BoS CoC grantees and steering committee members are either lead-grantees or sub-grantees of OFAH programs (CHG and HOME TBRA), we decided to combine forces and bring everyone together for a joint learning opportunity. We’re facing similar challenges and working on the same goals, including operating high-functioning coordinated entry systems and addressing racial disparities in housing services. These important issues require all of our attention. We’re excited for the opportunity to bring everyone together and engage with you on how we can better address homelessness and inequities. Please join us!

Download the Save the Date Flyer here

New Training Webpage Coming in February

We will be launching a new hub for best-practice training later this month. The webpage will include online training videos on topics like rapid rehousing, problem solving conversations and supporting survivors of domestic violence. It will also include links to learn more about in-person training opportunities available to HAU grantees and sub-grantees.

In the meantime, if you would like more information about any of our in-person training opportunities, please access them via the links below:


LGBTQ+ Competency

This training prepares students with the knowledge, skills and confidence necessary to provide safe and affirming care to LGBTQ+ clients.

Click here for more information or to register!  


Mental Health First Aid

This training teaches students to recognize and respond to clients experiencing mental health challenges or crisis. 

Click here for more information or to register!  


Racial Equity First Aid

This training helps students understand how racism shows up in homeless services and provides tools to ensure they are aligned with the values of racial equity and social justice.

Click here for more information or to register!  


Trauma-Informed Services 

This introductory training provides students with an awareness of trauma and its effect on the ability to cope and manage in what is perceived as dangerous environments.

Click here for more information or to register!  


Trauma Responsive Services

This 2.0 training provides students with tools needed to transform their organizational approach to trauma so that it promotes and restores healing, health and well-being for both staff and clients.

Click here for more information or to register!  

Limited HMIS Training Opportunities Throughout 2020

Both in-person and webinar based HMIS trainings will be limited throughout 2020 and agencies should plan ahead to address their HMIS training needs. Remember, all new HMIS users MUST complete an HMIS New User training in-person before they gain access to the system. We recommend planning at least two months ahead as spots fill up quickly!

You can access the HMIS Training Calendar here

Questions? Contact Us!

Contact Us

Consolidated Homeless Grant and HOME TBRA Grant Manager

Jessica Simon

Emergency Solutions Grant, Systems Demonstration Grant and Homeless Student Stability Grant Manager

Julie Montgomery

Consolidated Homeless Grant and HOME TBRA Grant Manager

Kathryn Dodge 

Consolidated Homeless Grant and HOME TBRA Grant Manager

Sarah Harrison

Training and Benefits Verification System Coordinator

Danielle Rylander