King County Councilmember Dave Upthegrove secured a $1 million investment to assist cities countywide with more opportunities for homeless shelters. About $70,378 of that investment will go toward a grant for Renton Ecumenical Association of Churches (REACH).
On May 22, the County Council unanimously voted to support these investments.
“We need to invest in our suburbs now if we want to prevent the homelessness crisis that has occurred in Seattle,” said Upthegrove, chair of the Council’s Budget and Fiscal Management Committee, who represents parts of Renton on the County Council. “We need to tackle this with thoughtful, compassionate, and effective programs that will get people off the street. I’m glad the County was able to partner with Renton to invest in REACH to expand their services to the most vulnerable in our community.”
The $70,378 grant to REACH will allow the program, which operates day center/overnight shelter for families and single women, to increase their staff to include a full-time Housing Navigator.
REACH said the Housing Navigator, which is a part-time position, has been able to help significantly increase exit rates from shelter to permanent housing.
“Councilmember Upthegrove has visited and been supportive of our shelter over the years,” said Reverend Bianca Davis-Lovelace, Executive Director at REACH. “We were delighted to hear about his leadership in helping secure an investment to allow us to reach more families throughout South King County.”
Adopted as part of the 2017-2018 King County Budget, the grant program that will supply the funding to REACH is designed to aid cities outside Seattle in funding new or expanded shelters, services or programs for people experiencing homelessness. Cities receiving grants were required to provide a cash or in-kind contribution.