In the fall of 2008, the Governing Board called for the creation of the “Funders Group” of the major homelessness funders. This group consists of department directors and executive directors from King County, City of Seattle, King County Housing Authority, Seattle Housing Authority, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Building Changes, United Way of King County, A Regional Coalition for Housing (ARCH) and suburban cities representatives.
Working together, the Funders Group members establish joint priorities, deliverables and time lines that are reviewed and commented upon by the Governing Board. The Funders Group members coordinate funding through a Joint Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) that includes seven different funders and 17 different fund sources. This results in a funding process that allows the system to jointly select projects and then to ensure that the projects are given a series of awards that include all needed elements, capital, operating, services, mental health, etc., so as to simplify the application process and greatly speed up the process of bring a project to completion.
The initial priorities of the Funders Group were creating new housing, increasing access to existing housing, creating coordinated entry for single adults, creating coordinated entry for families and improving our data system. As those goals have been achieved and new systems put in place, the Funders Group has adopted additional work plans, including better linkages to the K-12 system and the child welfare system, coordination with the national Five Year Plan to End Veterans Homelessness and reviewing and potentially revising our funding models to allow for increased efficiencies and effectiveness. The level of coordination created by the Funders Group is viewed as a national best practice and a model for other systems to emulate.
- Establishes, Governing Board review, priorities and work plans to support the goals of the Ten-Year Plan.
- Coordinates funding so as to increase effectiveness of investments and simplify the process by which providers seek and obtain funding.
- Creates joint evaluations of programs so as to simplify reporting and impose consistent standards.
- Reports to Governing Board on progress so as to create system-wide transparency and accountability.