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About WSCH
Since 1984, the Washington State Coalition for the Homeless has taken the lead in advocacy, training and education on issues of homelessness in Washington State. Our board of directors represents housing and service providers, ten year plan groups and continuum of care groups from every county in the state. Our general membership is composed of homeless housing and service providers, faith communities, governments, housing authorities, community action agencies, members of the homeless and formerly homeless communities, businesses, advocates and members of the general public, also from every county in the state.

Resources and Links
● ● ● ● ● ● Join WSCH Local Ending Homelessness Groups Statistics, Reports and Ending Homelessness Plans Homelessness in the Media Partner Organizations State and Federal Agencies that Address Homelessness

Board of Directors
Adams County Barbara Anderson Adams County Alan Hanks Benton/Franklin Counties Judith Gidley Chelan/Douglas Phoebe Nelson Clallam County Kathy Wahto Clark County Craig Lyons Clark County Kate Budd Cowlitz County Sherrie Tinoco Cowlitz County Liz Haeck Grant County Tom Bonnington Grays Harbor County Vicki Petitt Grays Harbor County Tracey Jackson Island County Julia Sopalski King County Daniel Malone Kitsap County Sr. Pat Millen, OSF Kitsap County Terry Schroeder Lewis County Michaelle Sorlie Mason County Debra Nielsen Okanogan County Lael Duncan Pierce County Adrian Johnson Pierce County Troy Christensen Skagit County Melissa Self Snohomish County Mary Anne Dillon Snohomish County Nate Marti Spokane County Bob Peeler Stevens County Jenny Jones

Thurston County Theresa Slusher Thurston County Selena Kilmoyer Thurston County Lonna Walden Thurston County Greg Provenzano Walla Walla, Columbia and Garfield Counties Steven Moss Whatcom County Greg Winter Yakima County Beth Dannhardt Yakima County Tim Sullivan Yakima County Lee Murdock

Executive Director Mia Navarro Wells Lobbyist Seth Dawson

Our Mission is to End Homelessness
Homelessness is too often misunderstood and overlooked. We strive to educate and change public opinion about homelessness in order to build the political will to end it.
How many people are homeless in Washington State? What are the causes of homelessness? What is being done to end homelessness in Washington State?

How many people are homeless in Washington State?
On any given night, it is estimated that almost 23,000 people are homeless in Washington State. During the 2007-2008 school year, 18,670 K-12 Washington State public school children were homeless with their families. Over the course of 2008, it is estimated that 87,000 people faced homelessness. Over the course of 2009, it is estimated that over 102,000 people will face homelessness in our state. See these numbers in perspective.

What are the causes of homelessness?
Here are just some of the causes of homelessness in Washington. See an overview of who was homeless in January of 2009 during the point in time count of homeless persons. (Data courtesy of the Washington State Department of Commerce.) Poverty Hundreds of thousands of households simply do not earn enough to afford housing. Even though Washington State has the highest minimum wage in the country, it is still not enough to afford adequate market rate housing in many parts of Washington. Families are being forced to

choose between paying rent and putting food on the table. Learn what it is like to survive at the federal poverty level by watching PovertyUSA. Fleeing Domestic Violence A significant number of families experiencing homelessness are single parents fleeing abuse with their children. For women who have been stay at home moms, finding a family-wage job to support themselves and their children is nearly impossible. Mental Illness Without treatment, medication or family supports, mental illnesses can be debilitating. People experiencing debilitating, untreated mental illness cannot maintain employment. Without employment, they cannot maintain housing. Alcohol and Substance Abuse Addiction is a powerful thing and it can affect anyone, regardless of income. If a person cannot afford treatment, and do not have a stable place to call home, what chance do they have of recovery? Criminal Background The vast majority of former prisoners are eager to start over when they are released from prison. However, employers who will employ them are scarce, and landlords who will rent to them are scarcer still. Without a stable home, returning to crime and to prison is almost certain. Aging Out of Foster Care Each year, hundreds of youth age out of the foster care system. Sadly, many of them end up homeless because they lack the support system and life skills to live independently. How many of us were able to live completely independently at age 18? These are only some of the reasons people become homeless. All too often, people experience a combination of these traumas.

What is being done to end homelessness in Washington State?
In 2005, the legislature passed the Homelessness Housing and Assistance Act, requiring each county in Washington to develop a plan to end homelessness. Housing and service providers across the state implement their plans using a continuum of housing options to meet the unique needs of the people they serve. ● Homelessness Prevention: Rent and utility assistance, first and last months rent, credit repair, moving costs, etc. ● Emergency Shelter: Up to 90 days of shelter. ● Transitional Housing: Up to 24 months of subsidized housing and supportive services like counseling, child care, employment training, budgeting and asset building. ● Permanent Supportive Housing: Ongoing subsidized housing with supportive services. ● Subsidized or Public Housing: Housing that is permanently affordable to people earning 0-80% of the area median income. ● Homebuyer Assistance Programs: Downpayment assistance and flexible loan products aimed at helping low income households purchase a home.

Related Documents
● ● Homelessness in Washington State—Putting the Numbers in Perspective (.pdf) 2008 Point in Time Count Data (.pdf)

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1411 Fourth Avenue, Suite 850 Seattle, WA 98101 Phone (206) 442-9455 Fax (206) 623-4669 Email, street address, directions