King County scores $21 million to help homeless

King County and the City of Seattle have been awarded more than $21.8 million in federal funding for homeless assistance in 2012-13. King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn announced the funding Dec. 20, after the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development had announced over $1.5 billion being distributed nationwide.

In South King County, the Multi-Service Center (MSC) received $26,724 for its Homeless Family Transitional Housing program. That program, according to the MSC, is for people who are “ready and willing to make changes in their lives to become more self-sufficient.”

Those who qualify can live in the housing for up to two years, but must continue to work at moving forward while living in the housing.

“Ending the cycle of homelessness for our most vulnerable residents requires many partnerships, and the renewal of this federal funding for housing and services sustains a critical piece of the safety net for thousands in need across our region,” Constantine said.

McGinn echoed the county executive’s words.

“These annual grants are essential as we work to help people rebuild their lives and find safe and stable housing,” McGinn said. “The federal funds are especially important in our efforts to preserve basic human services in Seattle and throughout the region.”

The $21.8 million in federal funds will help with a total of 1,776 units of housing, 754 of which are transitional like the MSC housing program, and 1,022 that are permanent housing for homeless people and the disabled. Parts of the funding will go toward “supportive housing for homeless adults with severe mental illness,” and also the county’s data collection system for homeless statistics.

“Our efforts are making a difference in helping people to find and maintain stable housing,” said Bill Block, project director for the county’s Committee to End Homelessness. “This award shows that our federal partners value our programs and recognize our progress.”


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