Most of the information and assistance from the Council for the Homeless can be obtained from their hotline. This is where residents of Clark County can learn about everything from emergency shelter to the intake process in order to receive one time rent help.
The hotline will often refer people to the Housing Solutions Center. This was created in response to community requests for improvements to the system, and the center is a one-stop access point for families or individuals who are homeless or at risk of it.
The process is much simpler and efficient than the previous system of having to make contact with multiple organizations in scattered locations. By having information on local resources more organized and under one roof, this benefits both client and organization by saving energy, time and money for all that are involved.
Social service agencies as well as non-profits are able to operate more efficiently, eliminating duplication of efforts. Council for the Homeless staff can concentrate on helping clients, while the information at Housing Solutions Center takes care of screenings, intakes and eligibility determinations. Also, the staff will work to monitor trends and fill in any gaps in available resources.
Housing Solutions Center services begin with a face-to-face needs assessment, and this will include an application. This is used to determine the client’s needs and eligibility for any government grants. The location will then use that information to directly connect the client with the most appropriate of the rent or housing assistance programs provided by partnering agencies. The goal is to place low income families in need in programs that will give them the best chance of success.
There are many solutions in Clark County Washington. Programs may include temporary emergency shelter, rental assistance to avoid eviction, loans for security deposits, or more ongoing rent subsidies for people with additional needs, such as the disabled. Currently, the agency will determine eligibility and conduct placements for housing programs, and this is done in partnership with Community Services NW, Share, Impact NW, The Salvation Army, and Winter Hospitality Overflow (WHO), among others.
Information is obtained from the Housing Hotline, and this is the phone number for people to call for help and guidance, including emergency shelter. An intake specialist will perform a screening to determine the most appropriate services, whether it is financial aid or something else. In many cases, people will be referred to a local Clark County community organization, where they can access information and resources.
Individuals in need of emergency lodging are placed into one of the Council for the Homeless shelters, as space becomes available. Those seeking help with obtaining stable housing are connected with assessment specialists for screening and then applications to funds for deposits or rent.
Other forms of assistance are available from the hotline. This will be rapid re-housing, transitional homes, homelessness prevention, and permanent supportive housing. Each is designed for specific populations facing particular circumstances, and all throughout this process applicants can explore Rental Assistance. All resources from the Hotline and the Housing Solutions Center are very limited, and callers will be screened.
Additional services are offered too from the Clark County Council. This will include referrals to landlords who are willing to rent to people with barriers, such as previous evictions, and staff work with people to eliminate barriers to finding rental housing.
Basic needs are satisfied as well. The Navigation Program is made up of volunteer navigators who provide connections with community resources that furnish food, transportation, and applications to public benefits. Council for the Homeless will also help clients access employment, mental health counseling, health-care, transportation, and childcare resources.
For more details, call the Council for the Homeless hot-line at 360-695-9677.
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