Community Lifeline in rural Mason County, WA was a low-barrier, part-time, 6 month, Cold Weather Shelter for individual adults and a Community Meals Program. During the pandemic, instead of shutting down, it expanded to a year-round, 24/7, access point to Coordinated Entry of services and manages the Homeless Management Information System data base emergency shelter to people in need. Now, all guests receive an intake, vulnerability and resource assessment, interface with case management, work with case management to create a person- centered plan for housing and resources, and receive a warm hand off or referral to community resources including health, mental health, addiction and treatment, employment, education, and housing.
Deacon Barbra Weza is the Executive Director & Homeless Advocate for the Diocese of Olympia, WA. Barbra shares what it took to make this happen.