Funds awarded to help end vet homelessness on North Olympic Peninsula

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An estimated 275 extremely low-income veteran households across a five-county region including the North Olympic Peninsula will benefit from a $648,000 federal grant.

Peninsula participants in the Supportive Services for Veteran Families grant to the five-county Northwest Washington Rural Project, led by the Opportunity Council of Whatcom County, are Serenity House of Clallam County, Olympic Community Action Programs and Peninsula Housing Authority.

The 12-month project will aid veteran families who are homeless or at risk of losing their housing, said Kathy Wahto, Serenity House executive director.

The federal funding for Clallam, Jefferson, Whatcom, Skagit and Island counties was approved July 27 by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

“This award gives us added resources toward our longtime goal of making sure everyone who has served our country in the military has secure housing,” Wahto said.

The added funding for services and financial assistance is expected to be available in September.

Veterans who are homeless or whose housing is at risk will receive help through existing service locations.

Intake offices

Primarily, intake offices are the housing resource centers operated by Serenity House at 535 E. First St. in Port Angeles and 203 N. Sequim Ave., No. 11, in Sequim, as well as a Housing Authority center at 91 Maple Ave. in Forks.

OlyCAP anticipates opening a housing resource center in Port Townsend.

Funds will be disbursed according to documented need rather than geographically, with nearly one-third of the dollars likely to come to needy veterans in Clallam and Jefferson counties, Wahto said.

Northwest Washington Rural Project was one of just two Washington state applications selected for funding by the new Supportive Services for Veteran Families program, which awarded nearly $60 million nationwide to 85 nonprofit community agencies.

The other state recipient is Community Psychiatric Clinic of Seattle, which received nearly $507,000, bringing total Washington state awards to just under $1.2 million.

U.S. Reps. Norm Dicks, D-Belfair, whose 6th Congressional District includes Clallam and Jefferson counties, and Rick Larsen, D-Everett, both wrote letters of support for the application, which was submitted in March.

For more information, phone Wahto at 360-452-7954 or contact Greg Winter of the Opportunity Council of Whatcom County at Whatcom Homeless Service Center, 1111 Cornwall Ave., Bellingham, WA 98225, at 360-255-2091 or at

Last modified: August 04. 2011 10:32PM
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