Thurston County took further steps to address the homeless crisis by adopting a five-year plan, which aims to make homelessness “rare, brief, and one time.”

The Thurston County Homeless Housing Plan was approved by the Thurston County Board of County Commissioners last week after it was presented by the Thurston Thrives Homeless Housing Hub, a local advisory body. The pillars of the strategic plan include “expanding housing resources, standardizing best practices, and regionalizing public homeless policy.” A homeless response coordinator is being hired to work with local agencies and boards to carry out the plan.

The Homeless Housing Plan is intended to work in conjunction with the state’s homeless housing plan. New guidelines are expected to be made available from the Washington State Department of Commerce in December of this year.

“The number of people without housing in Thurston County has been rising significantly, and the 5-Year Plan presents a strategic vision for tackling the complex challenge of homelessness in our community by working together,” said Commissioner Bud Blake, who serves as the chair of the board. “We are very grateful to the continuum of care members who developed this plan and work hard every day to address the needs of vulnerable citizens.”

The full five-year plan is available here.