There is no single cause of homelessness. People experience homelessness for many different reasons, and often there is a combination of reasons that lead to housing instability. Many community partners help provide housing and other services for people who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness. We work with them to identify community needs and coordinate a county-wide system to respond to homelessness. It will take diverse efforts to achieve our county’s goal of making homelessness a rare, brief, and non-repeated experience.
Emergency Drop-in Shelters:
If you are at risk of becoming homeless, contact Opportunity Council’s Homeless Prevention Program.
For help with housing or questions about other services, contact the Community Resource Center at Opportunity Council at 1111 Cornwall Ave in Bellingham, or by calling 360-734-5121 Mon-Thurs from 9 am – 4 pm.
Whatcom County Health and Community Services does not provide direct housing services to individuals or families experiencing homelessness. Instead, we provide funding to partners in the community who offer a wide range of services including rental assistance, transitional housing units, permanent housing units, emergency shelters, and housing stability case management.
We use local, state, and federal funding to implement our community’s strategies to reduce homelessness:
Learn more in our Local Plan to End Homelessness.
Homelessness affects and is impacted by the entire community. We strive to incorporate voices of the community in our planning and in our activities. We welcome input from partner agencies, elected officials, the business community, concerned citizens, and people with the lived experience of homelessness. The Whatcom County Coalition to End Homelessness is a great way to get involved! To get connected, call the Whatcom Homeless Service Center at 360-255-2091.
Our housing and homelessness program is guided by the Whatcom County Housing Advisory Committee.. This committee meets every other month to discuss emerging trends, funding, and programmatic strategies to end homelessness. These meetings are open to public attendance and participation.
Every year, we work with the Opportunity Council to complete a survey of people who are experiencing homelessness in Whatcom County called the Point-In-Time Count. The Point-In-Time Count is a county-wide effort to better understand how homelessness in Whatcom County, including demographics, root causes, and potential solutions are changing over time. The survey is conducted by staff and volunteers each winter and is used to help plan services and respond to changes in local needs.
Read more about the most recent Point-in-Time results (PDF).
You can see current contracting opportunities, such as Requests for Proposals (RFPs) for housing and homelessness services on Whatcom County’s purchasing page. To view an existing contract with Whatcom County, search our online contracts database.
As a contract requirement, our partners report quarterly data in the following categories: case management, interim housing and permanent supportive housing. Explore the example PDFs below to see what information our partners include in their quarterly reports.