housing action
Yakima to host the state’s largest conference dedicated to ending homelessness across Washington


Download the press release here.

May 19, 2014

Contact: Joaquin (WAH keen) Uy (wee)
206.427.2999 (text or call),

Over 620 homelessness and housing providers and advocates from around the state will converge in Yakima this Wednesday and Thursday for the 2014 Conference on Ending Homelessness.

Each year, the statewide advocacy coalition Washington Low Income Housing Alliance hosts this conference that alternates between eastern and western Washington. This conference, in its twenty-fourth year, will offer a dynamic mix of sessions, speakers, and exhibits—all focused on ensuring everyone in Washington has access to a safe, healthy, and affordable home.

This year’s conference comes to Yakima at a very timely moment, as Yakima County recently announced a 42 percent decrease in the number of families experiencing homelessness in the county since 2006. Despite the good news, other troubling homelessness trends remain: homelessness among those age 17 and younger increased by 13 percent. Also, homelessness among children age 5 and younger increased 25 percent.

“This conference brings together thought leaders and service providers to share the best practices and newest innovative strategies on how to decrease homelessness in communities all over the state,” says conference organizer Kate Baber. “For instance, advocates are very excited about the potential for the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion to help end homelessness. That’s why we’ve included a whole new track focused solely on Medicaid expansion.”

Statewide, homelessness numbers are a mixed bag. Last year, in January 17,755 people were found to be without a stable home in Washington State. Many officials are predicting a statewide increase for this year. In addition, the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction released figures earlier this year revealing 30,609 homeless students for the 2012-2013 school year.

This year’s conference is also unique because it includes for the first time ever, workshops and activities about self-care. And the keynote speakers include three locally and nationally recognized figures in not only the homelessness community, but also the nonprofit world:

The Washington Low Income Housing Alliance is a statewide member organization leading the movement for creating affordable homes and ending homelessness. We utilize advocacy, education, and organizing to achieve our vision that all Washington residents have the opportunity to live in safe, healthy, affordable homes in thriving communities.###

24th Annual Conference on Ending Homelessness

Wednesday, May 21 to Thursday, May 22

Yakima Convention Center
10 N 8th St
Yakima, WA 98901