Homelessness Response

Every person in Monroe deserves to feel safe and supported. We are a community where people help each other, and together we can ensure we are all housed and have the resources we need to thrive. 

Complex Roots  
The first step in ending homelessness is understanding that the root causes are varied and complex. Some people lose their home because housing and living costs are rising faster than wages. Some fled domestic violence. Some got sick or hurt and could not work. Some struggle with addiction or their mental health. Some lost their job at time when they were living paycheck to paycheck. Many are affected by systemic economic or racial disparities. Many are still working. Some are visibly experiencing homelessness. Many are not. 

All are part of Monroe. 

Current Efforts
The City’s efforts aim to address the root causes of homelessness, meet the immediate needs of people experiencing homelessness, and manage public lands. 

Community Outreach Team: Established in 2017 in partnership Snohomish County, the Community Outreach Team makes consistent contact with people who experience chronic homelessness. The team includes a police officer and an embedded social worker who provide connections to resources, medical assistance, substance abuse treatment, housing, and rides to appointments. Learn more about the Outreach Team’s work in this Snohomish Tribune article and check out their 2019 highlights and monthly contact data.  

Central Coordination: The City has a dedicated consultant who coordinates different organizations that serve people experiencing homelessness. This helps ensure that everything from food banks, to schools, to shelters, to rental assistance programs are aligned in their efforts. The consultant also leads implementation of the Homelessness Policy Advisory Committee’s recommendations.  

Park Clean-Up: When people are illegally camped in City Parks our Outreach Team connects with the campers, offers services, and gives them notice to vacate. City Parks personnel conduct weekly checks of our parks, report encampments to the police, and pick up any debris left behind. 

COVID-19 Response: Illness and economic hardship caused by the recent outbreak has increased the need for housing, food, utility, unemployment, and other assistance. You can learn about COVID-19 resources here.

Bright Spots 
Our City staff, Outreach Team, community partners, local volunteers, and residents make a difference every day. The We Are Monroe WA Facebook page tells the stories of positive impacts being made in our community.

The goal of #WeAreMonroeWA is to elevate commonalities and shared values among Monroe residents, spark connections, and ultimately cultivate empathy that is grounded in shared humanity rather than circumstances. Similar to Humans of New York, #WeAreMonroeWA will feature about the people who make Monroe the amazing community it is. Because we are all Monroe.

Check out these stories on the #WeAreMonroeWA Facebook page.

Future Efforts 
In 2019, the City convened the Homeless Policy Advisory Committee (HPAC) that met every two weeks for nine months. They investigated the root causes of homelessness and lasting solutions. City Council approved their recommendations in January 2020, and in June 2020 established the Community Human Services Advisory Board to advise the Mayor and City Council on implementation of the recommendations.