Spokane Celebrates $940,000 Grant To End Youth Homelessness

Kirstin Davis, 509.625.7773

Wednesday, October 16, 2019 at 4:33 p.m.

The City of Spokane and Volunteers of America (VOA) received a $940,000 grant from the Washington State Department of Commerce’s Office of Homeless Youth to fund services for youth and young adults experiencing homelessness.

The grant is part of a $4 million statewide budget secured by the Office of Homeless Youth and A Way Home Washington for the Anchor Community Initiative, a project to end youth and young adult homelessness in four communities around the state by the end of 2022.

“This grant is an example of the excellent collaborative work being done in our community to provide services for one of our most vulnerable targeted population experiencing homelessness,” says Mayor David Condon. “These funds assist our One Spokane strategic efforts to be a safe and healthy community.”

With this funding, homeless providers will be able to more efficiently identify young people experiencing homelessness in the public school system and in behavioral health treatment programs and provide resources to quickly house them.

“Around our state, tens of thousands of students experience homelessness on any given night, and hundreds of young people exit behavioral health programs into homelessness,” said Jim Theofelis, Executive Director of A Way Home Washington. “Our communities need these resources so we can help every young person find safe, stable housing.”

VOA also will add 11 new units of transitional housing for young adults. Some of the units will provide medium- to long-term rental assistance (usually 18 to 24 months) and support services to help young adults develop the independent living skills needed to secure and maintain permanent housing.

“Through our continued partnership with the City of Spokane and the Anchor Community Initiative, we are able to serve the most vulnerable young people in our community,” said Bridget Cannon, Youth Services Director of VOA. “These units will be available to house young adults, including those with a history of behavioral health treatment and help them find a path to permanent, stable housing.”

The Anchor Community Initiative helps communities around the state build the capacity they need to serve each young person experiencing homelessness. Through the project, communities will develop a robust data infrastructure that will identify the needs of young people in their area.

“The Anchor Communities Initiative is advancing data-driven solutions so that we can better target state, local and private partner resources toward the most promising approaches to meeting the unique needs of vulnerable youth,” said Dr. Lisa Brown, Director of the Department of Commerce. “Valuable collaborations such as this one strengthen communities by helping to make homelessness rare, brief and one-time for young people in our state.”
A Way Home Washington will host a community gathering on October 22nd to update the community on the Anchor Community Initiative’s progress. Find details about this public event here.

About A Way Home Washington
Between 13,000 and 15,000 unaccompanied youth and young adults experience homelessness in Washington, and homelessness disproportionately affects youth of color and LGBTQ+ youth. A Way Home Washington is a statewide organization dedicated to ending and preventing youth and young adult homelessness through advocacy and community-based solutions. The organization’s flagship project, the Anchor Community Initiative, is a data-driven and equity focused effort to end youth and young adult homelessness in four communities by 2022. For more information, visit awayhomewa.org.