Salvation Army provides update on coordinated entry program to Lewis County commissioners


The Salvation Army’s coordinated entry program in Lewis County, which aids both the unhoused and those at risk of losing their housing, has assessed 552 households for housing or shelter placements and referred 322 to housing projects since its inception roughly a year and a half ago, Captain Gin Pack told the Board of County Commissioners Tuesday.

During the presentation, Pack said the coordinated reentry program has conducted 1,360 hours of community outreach in the community since October 2022, which includes assisting during encampment cleanouts, outreach from police and community partners and work with the Centralia Police Department.

“Coordinated entry works with outside agencies to provide resources and assessments to housing both temporary and permanent,” according to a description of the program presented to the commissioners. “Coordinated entry pants and implements recurrent outreach within the community.”

The Salvation Army’s contract for the coordinated reentry program began in October 2022 and renews yearly on July 1. Since its inception, Lewis County has paid $150,000 to the Salvation Army for the coordinated entry program, which has spent $75,000 of the funds.

Each week, the Lewis County Salvation Army conducts at least three hours of walk-in assessment time, which typically happens during the organization’s community lunch on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 11 to noon.

“That way, people can actually get a meal, they can go to the restroom, take a shower, and they’re in a good space, and they can do their assessment as well,” Pack said.

During the lunch, community groups set up “mini resource fairs” that Pack said have “turned out great.”

“We’ve had outside agencies, which include mental health (who) comes weekly, housing navigation, drug and alcohol treatment, and access to phones and tablets,” Pack said. “Those are just a couple of the really great ones that that been coming through.”

According to Pack, numbers from the Point in Time count, which was conducted in late January and early February, are not yet available. The count, Pack said, helps give the organization a better understanding of the demographics of the Lewis County residents who experience homelessness.

“It is incredibly sad, when you see some of the numbers, of just women who are fleeing domestic violence, the prevalence of veterans who are currently unsheltered, and what era of time that they served,” Pack said.

The Salvation Army of Lewis County is located at 303 N Gold St. in Centralia.