Direct Services & Programs
Housing & Essential Needs Grant Program
The Snohomish County Housing and Essential Needs (HEN) program provides some rental assistance and essential needs (hygiene products, household cleaning products, transportation support) to individuals approved for either the HEN or Aged, Blind, Disabled (ABD) program through Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS). These programs are intended to serve those who are disabled and unable to work for over 90 days, and eligibility is determined through DSHS, while services are provided by both Snohomish County Human Services and the Everett Gospel Mission. The first step to receiving these services is an application with DSHS, which can be completed either at your local Community Services Office (CSO) or online at https://www.washingtonconnection.org/home/.
Once approved for services on HEN or ABD, a participant may be eligible for rental assistance and essential needs. Essential needs are distributed at the Everett Gospel Mission at 3711 Smith Ave, Everett 98201 on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday between 9:30 and 11:15, and 1:30 and 3:30. Clients will need to provide photo ID and a social security card, or photo ID and their DSHS approval letter with their client ID.
Clients approved for HEN or ABD through DSHS may be eligible for rental assistance dependent on available funding and current living situation. Approval for HEN or ABD through DSHS is not a guarantee of rental assistance. Interested clients should check in with the Snohomish County Community Services Counselors located at our office on the Lower Level at 3000 Rockefeller Ave, Everett WA 98201, or call our information line at 425-388-3360.
Investing In Futures (IIF)
In 2009 the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) started work on a new initiative to end family homelessness in collaboration with King County, Pierce County, and Snohomish County. Snohomish County rolled out a pilot initiative under the BMGF Investing in Families Initiative (IIF) to end family homelessness. The pilot effort blossomed into a system-wide effort to address homelessness which is combined with Continuum of Care planning to form the county's Investing in Futures broader work to end homelessness, alleviate poverty and make Snohomish County a better place for all of our citizens. OCHS is an integral part of the IIF work in providing data support through HMIS, planning activities, and coordination support. OCHS IIF Counselors provide direct coordinated entry services to families.
SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery (SOAR)
SOAR (SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery) is model for assisting eligible individuals to apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in collaboration with the Social Security Administration (SSA). SOAR is active in all 50 states, as well as Washington DC, and is now being developed in Snohomish County.
SOAR Service Providers work with adults who are experiencing a disability that is long term and keeping them from working, and who are either homeless or at risk of homelessness. SOAR Service Providers complete an extensive training provided by the SOAR Technical Assistance center, and are connected to both State and Local leads for continued support in assisting individuals in our community.
Nationwide, in 2017, SOAR Service Providers helped to achieve 3,563 approvals on initial applications, within an average of 96 days to decision. This is in addition to 186 approvals at the appeals level. Washington State continues to be recognized as one of the Top 10 States, with over 200 cumulative decisions in 2017, and a first-time approval rate on average of about 84%. This is in comparison to the average first-time approval rate for persons applying for Social Security on their own, which is about 28.5%, and between 10-15% for persons who are at risk of, or experiencing homelessness.
Snohomish County, in partnership with our local Continuum of Care and the Partnership to End Homelessness, have embarked on a mission to bring this valuable resource and practice to our community. Please contact us for more information on how to get trained and get involved. More information on SOAR can be found at https://soarworks.prainc.com/.