Homeless and Housing Services.
Homeless individuals and families are often passed over for housing because of low or no income, debt, previous evictions, substance abuse, acute physical and mental disabilities, criminal histories, and systemic prejudices. At Valley Cities, we see the strength and resilience of these people and their great potential for housing stability. From street outreach to signed lease agreements, our homeless and housing services staff are alongside each individual and family supporting them in every step of their journey towards independence.
Our Housing Philosophy
Valley Cities commits to the Housing First practice, which means we take in new residents regardless of previous renting challenges; and, as part of this commitment, we do not require residents to participate in our full range of behavioral health care and social services— although many do so voluntarily. We work with both recently homeless individuals and those who have been homeless for years to find them subsidized housing opportunities in their preferred communities of South King County.
New residents learn how to maintain their housing through budgeting, paying rent on time, unit cleanliness, landlord communications, and lease compliance. Case managers have compassionate understanding of each resident’s full behavioral health needs and offer much patience as these people build skills necessary for long-term housing stability.
Families in Shelters
The Families in Shelters (FIS) program provides mental health and substance use outreach to homeless individuals and families with children at selected family shelters and transitional housing sites throughout in King County and Seattle. While these are the only program requirements, FIS focuses on those who are chronically homeless, mentally ill, have a co-occurring disorder and/or a physical disability. The FIS team assists in sourcing housing for clients, and on any given day the program serves 100 clients and their families.
Homeless Family Services
Homeless Family Services offers a range of health outreach programs and services to families enduring homelessness in King County. Mental health, substance use, health care access, and case management services are our specialty. Services are offered on an outreach basis in shelters, transitional housing programs, and a wide variety of other community locations, as determined by the needs of the family.
Homeless Service Enhancement
Homeless Service Enhancement (HSE) assists participants in searching and applying for housing with private landlords who will rent to homeless families. Using a housing first-approach for high needs homeless families who would be traditionally screened out due to drug and alcohol dependence, past or current felony convictions, and ongoing mental health issues, HSE works to help in securing and maintaining housing through case management and rental subsidies. On any given day the program houses 22 families.
Families First provides outreach, intensive case management, mental health and substance use treatment services, rapid crisis response, vocational training, and additional support to high needs homeless families in King County. The primary goal of the program is to assist families in achieving and maintaining housing stability and to reunify families that have been separated by Child Protective Services. Referrals come through domestic violence shelters or other service providing agencies.
Housing Stability Project
We partner with Solid Ground, a community organization based in Seattle, to provide housing stability services in one-on-one meetings between a case manager and client household to assess needs. Services include developing realistic and client-centered budgets and action plans, providing resource referrals and information, and negotiating with property owners and attorneys. Financial assistance is also available to assist the household in stabilizing in housing. King County supports us with client assistance funds to serve 55 households annually.
The Pathways First is a housing and services program designed for homeless families with children with a history of homelessness and barriers to re-establishing permanent housing.
Located in Auburn, Phoenix Rising is a program that provides housing for homeless young adults aged 18-25, combined with specialized services needed to successfully transition from homelessness to independent living.
Streets to Home
Streets to Home provides flexible funds to quickly address the needs of unsheltered people by moving them into safer more stable setting. In partnership with the United Way of King County, the program has an individual approach, allowing outreach workers to assess each individual’s situation and provide discretionary funding to help people get back on their feet.
Eligibility and Access
We work to secure housing for our clients in Valley Cities-owned properties, as well as through managed leases with landlords. We accept referrals from a variety of sources including King County’s Coordinated Entry for All (CEA), 2-1-1, inpatient facilities, jails, domestic violence shelters, and other service agencies. We also accept self-referrals and clients referred by care teams within Valley Cities. Availability varies by program, and a referral does not guarantee housing.