This FAQ is designed for community members looking for information about the Council for the Homeless and our community’s response to homelessness. This page will be updated periodically, so please check back for new information. A separate FAQ is being developed for Housing Solutions Center clients. If you are in need of housing assistance, click here.[toggle_box]
- The Council for the Homeless Housing Solutions Center (where we work with clients) is located at 2306 NE Andresen, Suite A, Vancouver, WA 98661.
- The Council for the Homeless administrative office is located at 2500 Main Street, Vancouver, WA 98660. This is also the mailing address for our organization.
- Operating the Housing Solutions Center, which includes the Housing Hotline, placing people in available emergency shelter, assessments for housing programs and rental assistance to prevent homelessness, navigation to access other community resources, working with landlords, and community voicemail.
- Coordinating the emergency winter overflow shelter known as the Winter Hospitality Overflow.
- Facilitating the Coalition of Service Providers.
- Administering the Homeless Management Information system, which collects homeless service data used to monitor trends and evaluate strategies.
- Educating and advocating for best practice solutions to prevent and end homelessness in Clark County.
While we place people in emergency shelters and housing programs run by other organizations, we do not own or operate emergency shelters, own or manage apartment complexes, or pay rent/give people money to pay their rent.
- operate the Housing Hotline.
- are the access point for over 40 housing assistance programs operated by partner agencies.
- determine client eligibility and conduct assessments to determine the type of housing assistance that will give an individual or family the best chance of success.
- help our clients who have barriers to renting (such as previous evictions) find rental housing.
- help our clients meet basic needs (such as food, transportation, public benefits) by accessing resources through our Navigation program.
The services an individual or family does or does not receive is based on their particular circumstances and resources available through our partner agencies at any given time. Because there are not enough resources in our community to meet the need, we are unfortunately not able to place everyone who is eligible for assistance into an appropriate program.
- People in need have only one place to contact for assistance rather than making multiple contacts with multiple organizations. This saves them time, energy, and money.
- Over 40 housing assistance programs (including emergency shelter) are represented at the Housing Solutions Center. People in need are placed in the program that gives them the best chance of success.
- The Housing Solutions Center helps social service agencies operate more efficiently. By avoiding duplication of efforts, agency staff are freed up to work with clients rather than spend time doing intakes, screenings, and eligibility determinations.
- The one-stop access point helps our community better understand the needs of homeless singles and families. By collecting data, we can monitor trends, close gaps, and evaluate our efforts.
People who are behind in their rent or doubled up with family or friends (and can no longer stay), can call the Housing Hotline to learn if any homelessness prevention programs have openings. If there are openings, we will screen callers to see if they are eligible. Unfortunately, most of the people who call for prevention assistance will not be served because our partner agencies do not have enough resources to meet the need.
One of our intake specialists will assist the person and screen them for services.
- If the person is in need of emergency shelter and space is available, they will be placed into one of the local shelters.
- If the person is in need of help to obtain stable housing, they will have the opportunity to speak with an assessment specialist who will screen them to see if an in-person housing assessment is needed.
- If the caller is in need of homelessness prevention resources, they will be assessed for eligibility when our partner programs have openings.
Currently, we determine eligibility and conduct placements for housing assistance programs offered by Share, Second Step Housing, Community Services NW, Janus Youth, The Salvation Army, and Impact NW. We also manage the eligibility and placements for the Winter Hospitality Overflow (WHO.)
- Housing situation: Different resources are available if you are living in a car, on the streets, or staying in an emergency shelters vs. needing help with back rent.
- Demographics: Different resources are available for different populations, for example teenagers, veterans, or disabled.
- Income: Different resources are available depending on the level of income someone has.
- Available resources including openings in shelters or housing programs: Unfortunately, the need in our community is far greater than the resources available.
- Eligibility: A variety of circumstances may affect a person’s or family’s eligibility for housing assistance.
- Download a copy of the Resource Guide 7.1.17 (updated 7.1.17) to share with people in need. Encourage people to call the Housing Hotline 360-695-9677 if they need help with emergency shelter or housing.
- If you have a room, apartment, or house to rent to someone in a housing assistance program, please contact Charlene Welch.
- Volunteers are golden – click here to learn how you can make a difference today.
- Donors are an important part of our team! Please contribute funds to help us help others. Click here to donate and thank you!
- Encourage people within your personal and professional circles to donate. Your faith community, workplace, social or service group, or others can hold an event or special giving opportunity to benefit the Council for the Homeless.