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Governor Gregoire and the State of Washington recognized for efforts to end homelessness

For Immediate Release: February 6, 2008

OLYMPIA – Gov. Chris Gregoire and the State of Washington were recognized today by the National Alliance to End Homelessness. Gregoire was presented with an award from the organization’s President, Nan Roman, at a reception co-hosted by Building Changes, Washington Low Income Alliance and Washington State Coalition for the Homeless to honor the state’s strides towards ending homelessness.

“On behalf of the state, I’m honored to be recognized by an organization that is making such a positive impact to families in communities across the country,” said Gregoire.

Washington set a goal of reducing homeless by 50 percent by the year 2015. According to the January 2007 point-in-time count, there are more than 3,698 homeless families in the state, represented by 10,000 individuals including minor children. As local economies slow, affordable housing disappears, and the mortgage crisis worsens, the Washington Families Fund fills a growing hole in our social safety net.

Today, Gregoire also took action on current legislation during the reception, signing Senate Bill 6335 that provides $6 million in new state support for the Washington Families Fund. The money will be used to match private donations. The new funding is expected to support 1,000 more families.

“Making sure Washingtonians have secure housing is one of the top priorities of my supplemental budget,” said Gregoire. “I am pleased the Legislature passed this bill quickly so fundraising can begin now for the private dollars.”

The Washington Families fund is a public-private partnership created to expand service-enriched housing for homeless families across Washington State. The services that the Fund provides includes job training, child care and domestic violence counseling, all key elements towards achieving a successful transition to permanent housing instead of repeated episodes of homelessness.

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