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News / Clark County News

Clark County agencies receive grants to help homeless children, youth

Council for Homeless, Janus get about $2.8M

By Mia Ryder-Marks, Columbian staff reporter
Published: July 20, 2023, 4:47pm

Two Clark County agencies will receive an influx of funding to aid in their efforts to alleviate youth homelessness.

In early July, youth who have experienced homelessness gathered in SeaTac to comb through hundreds of applications for agencies that would receive funding. Out of those selected, Janus Youth Programs (Clark and Cowlitz counties) received just over $2 million in grant funding; $765,906 went to Council for the Homeless.

“Hearing from those we serve, particularly those with lived experience of the challenges we are addressing, is core to Commerce’s commitment to equity and transparency in our program design and funding decisions,” said Washington State Commerce Director Mike Fong.

The funding is intended to support housing for youth who have exited foster care, behavioral health services, youth resident in shelters, among other situations. Statewide funding will also support partnerships with K-12 schools and community-based efforts to ensure young people make the transition from public systems (such as juvenile justice and foster care) into safe and stable housing.

The grants come from $37.7 million in state funds and $5 million in U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development funds for the Youth Homeless Demonstration Program available to 11 counties in the Balance of State Continuum of Care.

Recent data pulled from the Homeless Crisis Response System showed that over 920 children ages 0-5 in Clark County experienced homelessness in 2022. Eight hundred and forty-three children ages 6 to 11 years old were identified in homeless data last year. These children are identified with families.

Unaccompanied youth homelessness was stagnant from 2021 to 2022. Data showed 788 children aged 12-17 and young people aged 18-24 experienced homelessness in Clark County.

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This story was made possible by Community Funded Journalism, a project from The Columbian and the Local Media Foundation. Top donors include the Ed and Dollie Lynch Fund, Patricia, David and Jacob Nierenberg, Connie and Lee Kearney, Steve and Jan Oliva, The Cowlitz Tribal Foundation and the Mason E. Nolan Charitable Fund. The Columbian controls all content. For more information, visit columbian.com/cfj.