The Compass Veterans Center in Renton is one of 81 nonprofit organizations to be awarded grant money from the Washington State Department of Commerce in order to better operate and maintain permanent housing services and the project’s 59 units.
The Compass Veterans Center, which is run by the Compass Housing Alliance in Seattle, has been awarded the full $358,594 requested from the alliance.
“It’s great to know our state government acknowledges how important this work is, the impact it has on the community, and specifically, how much our work here at the Renton Veterans Center has turned tax dollars into incredible outcomes for our veteran families,” said Senior Program Manager Evan Mack in an email. “We do this work with tight budgets, so this funding means that for the next year, we know that we can pay for the staffing that makes this thing work.”
According to Mack, the center operates “without frills” and that the grant money will free up some existing money that’s been used to pay staff.
“Sometimes we have to scrape together the resources we have and rely on our community partners to do things like hold community events. We’re excited that we may be able to make some upgrades and offer some additional programming. Those sorts of things help people feel connected to our program and our staff,” Mack said.
The grants are for permanent supportive housing and are funded through “expanded document recording fees passed during the 2021 legislative session,” according to the alliance. The total $20.8 million state grant is built upon $19.5 million in continued funding throughout Washington state.
“Permanent supportive housing is critically important for people with serious physical and behavioral health conditions that often place them at risk for homelessness and threaten their ability survive,” said Commerce Director Lisa Brown. “While we have more work to do, I am grateful that the Legislature provided more funding this past session to ensure that more of the most vulnerable members of our communities have safe places to live with access to the services they need.”
The Veterans Center organization in Renton provides 59 units of permanent housing. It also offers services specific to veterans’ needs, for individuals and families.
“The Renton Veterans Program has been around for about a decade now, and during that time, we’ve housed over 500 people who were experiencing homelessness, including over 140 children,” said Mack. “Our team works with residents no matter what the barriers they face, and it’s persistency, grittiness, and being genuinely invested in their success that makes all the difference.”
The Compass Veterans Center in Renton isn’t the only Compass project to recieve new funding. The Shoreline location is recieving $464,126.
For more information on Compass Veterans Center in Renton, call 206-474-1910 or visit www.compasshousingalliance.org.