Facebook31Tweet0Pin0 Submitted by South Puget Sound RotaryOlympia, WA, January 2013 — Up to 6 families with children will receive financial assistance for rapid re-housing, thanks to the South Puget Sound Rotary and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation partnership.Mike Swarthout, South Puget Sound Rotary president, handed a $10,000 check from the Family Homelessness Grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to Schelli Slaughter, Executive Director of the Family Support Center. The South Puget Sound Rotary will match the grant with an additional $10,000, which will be raised at the South Puget Sound auction on April 27 at the Great Wolf Lodge.The Family Support Center, which is the coordinated entry point for all homeless families with children in the community, will use the funds to rapidly re-house up to six homeless families.Rapid re-housing is an approach that offers time-limited, small rental subsidies to assist the homeless in moving into housing, followed by intensive case management to ensure stability. Rapid rehousing has been used in communities across the country to reduce homelessness as much as 50% in a few short years. It is widely recognized as a “best practice” among strategies to reduce homelessness. The South Puget Sound Rotary anticipates that 5 of the 6 families rapidly rehoused by the grant dollars will maintain permanent housing. A small investment for such a large impact.The South Puget Sound Rotary, and many of the other 8 rotaries in Thurston County, is focused on eliminating homelessness in Thurston County. What does that mean? It means making sure that people on the margins of entering homelessness are diverted from losing housing in the first place. It means someone in the unfortunate position of losing their housing are rapidly re-housed with appropriate services that get them financially able to sustain that housing permanently. It means those few homeless individuals who have chronic issues (less than 10 percent of the population) have a safe place to sleep and supportive services that helps them with their issues and keeps the general public safe.The South Puget Sound Rotary meets every Friday at 7am at Tugboat Annies in Olympia.