Council approves grants to aid cities
StoryWhile most of the attention on homelessness begins and ends in Seattle, it has become increasingly clear suburban areas and residents are struggling as well. Recognizing this, Metropolitan King County Councilmember Dave Upthegrove secured a $1 million investment to combat the issue and structured the funds to target only areas of need outside of Seattle.
Today, the County Council gave its unanimous support to various countywide investments to assist cities in providing more opportunities for shelter to the homeless. One of those investments was to the day center/overnight shelter hosted by the Renton Ecumenical Association of Churches (REACH).
“We need to invest in our suburbs now if we want to prevent the homelessness crisis that has occurred in Seattle,” said Upthegrove, chair of the Council’s Budget and Fiscal Management Committee, who represents parts of Renton on the County Council. “We need to tackle this with thoughtful, compassionate, and effective programs that will get people off the street. I’m glad the County was able to partner with Renton to invest in REACH to expand their services to the most vulnerable in our community.”
The $70,378 grant to REACH will allow the program, which operates day center/overnight shelter for families and single women, to increase their staff to include a full-time Housing Navigator. REACH notes that the Housing Navigator, which has been a part-time position, has been able to help significantly increase exit rates from shelter to permanent housing.
“Councilmember Upthegrove has visited and been supportive of our shelter over the years,” said Reverend Bianca Davis-Lovelace, Executive Director at REACH. “We were delighted to hear about his leadership in helping secure an investment to allow us to reach more families throughout South King County.”
Adopted as part of the 2017-2018 King County Budget, the grant program that will supply the funding to REACH is designed to aid cities outside Seattle in funding new or expanded shelters, services or programs for people experiencing homelessness. Cities receiving grants were required to provide a cash or in-kind contribution.