Homeless prevention in King County is provided by several non-profit agencies. The organizations will help tenants with stopping an eviction by providing various solutions to them. In addition, if the family is currently homeless, then rapid rehousing may help them find a new home to live in somewhere in the Seattle area.
There are several agencies that offer eviction help in the community. They can even often assist homeowners that are behind on their mortgage. The assistance they try to provide may be a loan or grant for any rental or utility bill arrears, housing relocation if needed, and stabilization services, such as referrals to job placement programs.
The United Way of King County takes a leading role in coordinating the programs. Some only deal with solving evictions, while other offer rapid rehousing. The non-profit works closely with local non-profits such as Solid Ground, Catholic Community Services, King County Bar Association, the DAWN Domestic Abuse Women’s Network, Wellspring Family Services, Neighborhood House and even the Seattle the YWCA
Before any support is provided, the applicant needs to have a referral. The organizations do not offer assistance on a walk-in basis, but they may provide information on how the application process works. There is a Coordinated Entry and Assessment system, which can be reached at 206.461.3200, that offers more information.
Supportive services are provided to people that are struggling to pay their rent or utilities (including water or heating bills) each month. There is also assistance to tenants with an imminent pay or quit/eviction notice from their landlord. There are different scenarios in which a King County resident may be found eligible.
The eviction assistance programs will help individuals or families with overcoming multiple barriers. Financial help is just one small part of this. More often than not homelessness is created due to a lack of budgeting, poor spending patters, or low credit scores. Other tenants may face an eviction due to a crisis situation, such as a medical emergency or death of a spouse. Staff from places like Solid Ground will handle all of these examples and more.
If the landlord issued a vacate notice for a non-monetary reason, such as a noise disturbance or a dispute over a deposit, then the King County Bar Association can sometimes help. Lawyers offer free advice on preventing the eviction, with a focus on whether the notice it is legal or not. This firm can also help deal with unsafe housing, repairs needed to a home, or they coordinate mediation too.
If a family has no place to live, they are sleeping in a park or car or another unsafe place according to the McKinney–Vento Homeless Assistance Act, then assistance will be given. Rehousing will also help the recently evicted, it will move low income families from shelter to permanent housing, and support children or single moms among others. Some of the charities in Seattle, such as the YWCA, specialize in resettling members of the community.
The King County RRHF - Rapid Re-Housing for Homeless Families aims to minimize the amount of time that someone does not have a stable apartment or home to live in. It combines short term support (such as free motel vouchers or placement into a shelter) with social services. This will ensure the client is given the tools they need for stability.
Households with children can also be supported. Rehousing will give them as much as 12 months worth of a rental subsidy. In some cases, energy bill can be paid too. For this form of aid, the child can come from a single parent or married couple, so that is not a restriction.
Women that are pregnant, or that are fleeing from domestic violence, are given priority if they do not have a safe place to stay. What may be commonly used for these crisis situation is providing a hotel or motel voucher to pay that bill for a few nights. When they call the Assessment Line, those individuals should be sure to bring this crisis up as well.
Anyone enrolling into the eviction prevention services or that is struggling with their mortgage, or that is rehoused, will be referred to the Neighborhood House Employment Navigator. This combines job training with placement so that the individual can gain skills to increase their income.
Some of the agencies in King County, such as JourneyHome, also help with other living needs. They may provide not only a grant for the security deposit, but also furniture, address transportation needs of the clients so they have a job to prevent a future eviction, and offer other aid. Case managers will establish goals with the client around these topics.
Homeless prevention services are only available to residents with a referral from the Coordinated Entry and Assessment, and the phone number is 1.800.621.4636. They assist both renters and homeowners. Or tenants with an eviction can also try Family Housing Connection, which is another Seattle based agency.
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