A Clark County homeless advocacy group has announced it’s landed a large grant to help it and its partner organizations better serve two minority populations more likely to experience homelessness.
The Council for the Homeless has been awarded a three-year grant of $679,615 from the Washington Youth and Family Fund, a public-private partnership that seeks to reduce homelessness in Washington, according to a news release. The money will be specifically aimed at helping families with at least one adult member identifying as either a person of color or as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, according to the news release.
According to the 2017 Clark County Needs Assessment Report, 15 percent of the county’s population is not white. Kate Budd, executive director of the Council for the Homeless, said in a statement that the council’s data shows that over 30 percent of the homeless population self-identify as nonwhite. She pointed to national numbers showing that between 30 percent and 40 percent of people experiencing homelessness identify as LGBT.
“This is an exciting opportunity to serve populations that are disproportionately affected by homelessness through formal partnerships that will ensure families are supported in a culturally aware and respectful way,” Budd said. “The data illustrates the need to do more to address inequity among those experiencing homelessness.”
Use existing system
According to the statement, the program will use the county’s existing social services system and will seek to get families who fall into homelessness quickly returned to safe and permanent housing. For the program, the Council for the Homeless will partner with Community Services Northwest, Evergreen Public Schools, Latino Community Resource Group, the Vancouver branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Partners in Careers, Vancouver Public Schools and YWCA Clark County.
Families will be referred to the program through the Evergreen and Vancouver school districts as well as the Housing Hotline, with the goal of increasing the long-term housing stability for 90 families over three years, according to the news release.