Comprehensive Plan to End Homelessness

Latest Updates


A new housing initiative is in the works. Pierce County leaders are working to establish a planned community of microhomes, work opportunities, and onsite mental health care, patterned after the stunningly successful Community First Village near Austin, Texas, to address chronic homelessness. County residents can provide comments and sign their name in support of the project here.

Comprehensive Plan to End Homelessness

In March 2022, Pierce County officially adopted a Comprehensive Plan to End Homelessness. This plan aims to document the scale of the need and design a system to end homelessness in Pierce County.

We know that increased funding for services and more affordable housing units are needed to drive real sustainable solutions. Pierce County does not have enough housing for all its residents, and much of its housing is not accessible to our lowest earners, but we are on the way to making significant change through historic funding investments in housing and homelessness - $250 million over the next two years.

This plan aims to achieve “functional zero” – a state where any person starting a new episode of homelessness has immediate access to shelter and a permanent housing intervention. The plan outlines the following six goals:

  1. Create a unified homeless response system, including a unified regional approach  with central decision-making authority of funding and services.
  2. Ensure programs are truly effective for all populations.
  3. Prevent homelessness.
  4. Ensure adjacent systems address needs of people experiencing homelessness or who are at risk of homelessness.
  5. Meet immediate needs of people experiencing homelessness where they are becoming homeless – not requiring them to leave the support networks in their communities to access services.
  6. Expand the permanent housing system to meet the need.

“Targeted universalism” is a methodology underlying much of this work. Targeted universalism sets a single target for everyone – in this case, stable housing. However, different groups need different supports to reach that goal. Programs must be designed to meet the unique need of everyone entering homelessness.

Pierce County Human Services is currently developing the plan implementation framework, but efforts are already underway to improve the homeless response system. 

Goals

Goal 1 - Unified Response

Create a unified homeless response system, including a unified regional approach  with central decision-making authority of funding and services.


View goal progress.

Goal 2 - Intervention

Ensure programs are truly effective for all populations.



View goal progress.

Goal 3 - Prevention

Prevent homelessness.



View goal progress.

Goal 4 - Adjacent Systems

Ensure adjacent systems address needs of people experiencing homelessness or who are at risk of homelessness.


View goal progress.

Goal 5 - Meet the Need

Meet immediate needs of people experiencing homelessness.



View goal progress.

Goal 6 - Permanent Housing

Expand the permanent housing system to meet the need.



View goal progress.

Budget

Budget

Funding is needed from a variety of sources.

Pierce County has pledged historic funding investments in housing and homelessness -$250 million over the next two years, but ongoing funding is needed to sustain these efforts. We currently spend $41 million annually on homeless system operating costs, but need to spend roughly $160 million annually to reach functional zero.

Homelessness is traumatic for those experiencing it and has many community impacts. Excessive pressure on healthcare, justice and other systems creates millions of dollars of direct costs to taxpayers each year, but we can see less impact and less public costs (saving $48 million annually) when functional zero is reached. We estimate a savings of $48 million per year across public systems once functional zero is reached.

Implementation


Implementation of the Comprehensive Plan to End Homelessness is progressing. In many ways, the funding plan is the key to ending homelessness in Pierce County. That plan is due to County Council by late October 2022. The funding plan will provide pathways to increase funding from the current $40 million dollars a year to the $160 million dollars necessary to end homelessness in Pierce County. That additional $120 million would increase the exits served annually from the current 1,750 households housed each year to 5,800 households housed. Initial $9M of new funding currently rolling out is going towards more shelter beds, navigation services, homeless prevention, employment programs and system improvements. 2022 will see another year where shelter capacity increases by hundreds of beds. Shelter beds provide a safe place for households while they work towards permanent housing. 

  1. Goal 1
  2. Goal 2
  3. Goal 3
  4. Goal 4
  5. Goal 5
  6. Goal 6

Goal 1: Create a unified regional response.


Many factors are necessary to end homelessness: effective management, sufficient resources, coordination of those resources, accountability, and skilled leadership. A unified approach will enable an understanding of the entire need in the community and allow the leadership, management and resource acquisition and distribution necessary to meet that need.


Recent Progress Made Towards Goal                                                                                                                                                         Plan Strategy

Technical Assistance is now available to nonprofits currently funded for work in the homeless system or interested in being funded for work in the homeless system. 501 Commons will provide technical assistance in a wide variety of topics, including board development, accounting practices, grant writing, human resources, policies, procedures, and more. (October 2022)
1.6, 2.1
SCP begins research for unified regional approach and interviewing key stakeholders. (September 2022)1.1, 1.2
Social Change Partners, LLC (SCP) was awarded the contract for consultation on a unified regional approach. (July 2022)    
1.1, 1.2
501 Commons was awarded the contract to provide technical support. (June 2022)    
1.6
Develop request for proposal to provide technical support to organizations that serve BIPOC communities. (May 2022)    
1.6
Develop request for proposal for a consultant-led process to develop the regional approach. (April 2022)
1.1, 1.2
  1. Implementation Advisory Board Meetings
  2. Implementation Advisory Board Members

Implementation Advisory Board


The Pierce County Council has directed the Human Services Department to regularly convene a Comprehensive Plan to End Homelessness Implementation Advisory Board comprised of members of the Steering Committee and other community representatives. The board meets monthly, on the first Friday of each month, from 1:00 pm. to 3:00 p.m., starting April 1. 

Join the board meetings:

https://piercecountywa.zoom.us/j/91084688732
Webinar ID: 910 8468 8732
Join by phone: 253-215-8782 or 877-853-5247 (Toll Free)

April 1, 2022 Meeting Packet
April 1, 2022 Meeting Notes
May 6, 2022 Meeting Agenda
May 6, 2022 Meeting Notes
June 3, 2022 Meeting Agenda
June 3, 2022 Meeting Notes
July 1, 2022 Meeting Packet
July 1, 2022 Meeting Notes
August 5, 2022 Meeting Packet
August 5, 2022 Meeting Notes

September 2, 2022 Meeting Packet

September 2, 2022 Meeting Notes

October 7, 2022 Meeting Packet

October 7, 2022 Meeting Notes

October 27, 2022 Special Meeting Notes

November 4, 2022 Meeting Packet

November 4, 2022 Meeting Notes

November 4, 2022 Meeting Recording


Resources



Contact

Gerrit Nyland
Social Services Supervisor
[email protected]