Homelessness

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​What is the county doing to address the HEN and Rapid Rehousing contracts to continue services? 


Update, October 4, 2022: 
As the Thurston County Housing and Essential Needs (HEN) program undergoes a transition to a new provider, the Office of Housing and Homeless Prevention would like to update the Thurston County community on the program status.

First, Thurston County has selected Catholic Community Services of Western Washington (CCS) as the new HEN provider.  The County and CCS are working to finalize the contract which will happen in October.  During October the program will transition from the interim case management provider, Partners in Prevention Education (PiPE) and the payment vendor, LiveStories.  LiveStories will issue payments in October for November rents with CCS assuming payment responsibilities beginning with December rent payments.  Contact information for CCS’s HEN program will be provided after the contract is officially executed. Our expectation is that CCS will be the long-term provider for HEN in Thurston County and no additional transitions are needed.  

Second, due to budget limitations and during this period of transition, the HEN program will need to substantially reduce the number of new in-takes that are conducted and will not be able to pay any costs for clients that are not currently housed with HEN.  We understand that HEN-eligible clients may have “pledge letters” from CAC for HEN funding dating back to the beginning of the year or beyond. These pledge letters are no longer valid. Pledge letters must come from the HEN provider who is responsible for intake and subsequent funding.  Any pledge letters issued by PiPE are also being placed on pause until the program has adequate financial capacity.  

Finally, as the program moves forward, any HEN clients who are still HEN eligible and wish to use the program, must be directly referred to the current HEN provider. Pledge letters must come from the HEN provider who is responsible for intake and subsequent funding. 

We know this period of transition has resulted in confusion and we are excited to move forward with CCS to bring greater stability and clarity for the HEN program and its clients

If you are in a crisis situation, please call the Crisis Clinic at 360-586-2800. This is a 24-hour phone service offering crisis intervention, emotional support, and resource information. crisis-clinic.org

For HEN and Rapid Re-housing clients who have questions about this change, please contact Jessica Olson, jessica.olson@co.thurston.wa.us or 360-485-7501.

On July 1, 2022, Thurston County issued a news release on this matter.  

What is Thurston County doing to address homelessness?

On June 14, 2018, the Thurston County Board of Health (BoH) declared homelessness a public health crisis in Thurston County. The declaration was one of the first steps in taking a proactive approach to understanding and addressing homelessness in our region.  

Additional steps the county is taking to address this issue are:

  • Coordinated with the Olympia Free Clinic and other homeless service providers to offer COVID-19 vaccinations to unsheltered individuals and families
  • In 2019, approved the Thurston County Homeless Crisis Response Plan for 2019-2024   
  • Provided rental assistance to military veterans and their families at the Lacey Veteran's Hub 
  • Supported Thurston Thrives Housing Action Team in implementing strategic goals
  • Promoted healthy and safe rental housing through the Healthy Homes program
  • In 2017, the Hazardous Weather Task Force was created and developed a hazardous weather response plan to save lives, increase sheltering capacity, and coordinate county-wide response during inclement weather
  • Expanded the cold weather season and increased funding to provide more consistent sheltering options for those unsheltered during our coldest winter months 
  • Hired a new Homeless Prevention and Affordable Housing Coordinator to coordinate regional efforts to address the homeless and affordable housing crisis
  • Conducted the county-wide point in time count annually since 2006 
  • Providing funding and support to Thurston County’s Coordinated Entry System to assess needs and connect people to available housing, shelter, and other basic needs

​Contact

Keylee Marineau

Homeless Prevention and Affordable Housing Coordinator

360-490-5910

Keylee.marineau@co.thurston.wa.us


Thurston County’s Coordinated Entry Shelter and Housing Hotline:

1-844-628-7343