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How to Enroll 
What the Program Provides
Documentation Requirements
Information for Landlords
Essential Needs Bank





The Housing and Essential Needs Program (HEN) of King County provides program participants rent assistance, utility and transportation assistance, as well as hygiene and cleaning products.

HEN-Quote-2DSHS (Department of Social and Health Services) qualifies people for HEN; Catholic Community Services provides these services to King County eligible participants.

Those located outside of King County, will need to contact the HEN provider in their county for information about the services available. Click here for a HEN directory by county.

HEN is not an entitlement program, and under HEN, participants do not receive any cash. Program services are subjective to funding availability, and may be discontinued or reduced at any time.

Catholic Community Services can only distribute checks to landlords and/or utility companies. Documentation is required prior to payment. For more information on documentation, please view Documentation Requirements.



Qualification for the HEN (Housing and Essential Needs) program is determined by DSHS (Department of Health and Human Services).       

To qualify applicants must have:

  • A disability (physical and/or mental) AND
  • Have zero income*  

Applicants must be evaluated and be deemed HEN eligible by DSHS before enrollment in the program.

Anyone who thinks they may meet the above criteria should go to their local DSHS office and apply.

Once applicant has been notified by DSHS to qualify for the HEN program, they need to schedule an appointment with a HEN Coordinator. To do this, they call the:
HEN Intake Line 

The phone is staffed and emails returned during business hours (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) Monday through Friday. Appointments are scheduled on a first-call first-scheduled basis. All new enrollees must attend an intake appointment before services are provided.

Appointments are scheduled with HEN Coordinators located in five DSHS offices: Belltown (downtown Seattle), White Center (Seattle), Kent, King North (at North Seattle Community College) and Federal Way. Due to the volume of clients served, we cannot accommodate walk-in clients. To schedule an appointment, or for further information please call the intake line at (206) 328-5755 during business hours. We also can be reached via e-mail for questions.



Rent and Utility Assistance

  • The amount of combined monthly rent and utility assistance available is up to $400 per month per person for those living with friends or family members. For those who have a lease or rental agreement, a combine rent and utility assistance of either $600 (those renting a room) or $800 (those in an apartment) is available.
  • One-time move-in, deposit or rental application assistance of up to $800 is available for those intending to rent an apartment and up $600 for those intending to rent a room. Documentation of formal rental relationship is required.
  • For those behind in rent and or utility payments, a one-time assistance of either $400 (those living with friend or family members), $600 (those renting a room) or $800 (those in an apartment) may be available.
  • Rent assistance level is evaluated by HEN Program

Transportation and Essential Needs

  • Transportation assistance (an ORCA bus card, gas voucher or bus tickets)
  • Hygiene and cleaning supplies
  • To receive transportation or essential needs, schedule an appointment (206-328-5755) or attending the weekly Essential Needs bank.
  • Transportation and Essential needs and are subject to availability and funding.

To receive rent, utility and/or transportation assistance, or hygiene and/or cleaning supplies, a person:

  • Must be deemed incapacitated by DSHS.
  • Have Government issued photo ID.
  • For rent assistance, provide either a lease, rental agreement, Pay or Vacate Notice, Eviction Notice, or a completed Certification of Payment Obligation from your family/friend. The person to whom you pay rent must also submit a W-9 form. Click here  to download the W-9 form and have the person to whom you pay rent fill it out and sign it.
  • To receive utility assistance for electricity, natural gas, propane (or other alternative heating sources), water, sewer or garbage, you must provide a utility bill, a utility shut off notice or late payment notice. We cannot assist with telephone, cable or internet bills. If you are asking ONLY for utility assistance and NOT rent assistance, the utility bill must be in YOUR name.


HEN-Quote-3The HEN program works with over 2,000 landlords to provide housing  to clients. Landlords are private businesses, non-profit housing providers, and or friends/family members. Receiving payment through HEN is easy. We need a copy of your W9 form, a complete rental agreement or an Intent to Rent letter and a Landlord Habitability Standards Certification form.

Monthly HEN rental assistance is provided to participants as long as they are enrolled in the HEN program. The HEN program can only provide assistance at the above assistance levels.

Starting January 2014, HEN program will be conducting random inspections of rooms or apartments of program participants. Living spaces must meet basic standards in order for participants to be able to receive funding for their room or apartment.



For those who are currently enrolled in the program and have already attended their initial intake appointment are able to come to the weekly, walk-in basis Essential Needs Bank. No appointment is required.

This is held every Wednesdays from 1pm to 3pm at the Catholic Community Center Randolph Carter Center located at 100-23rd Ave S. Seattle, WA 98144. Clients must bring their government issued ID in order to be served. Clients can pick up essential need items one time per month and transportation assistance every other month.

Click here to download out flyer.


During the 2010 legislative session, the Washington State Legislature decided to end the Disability Lifeline (DL) cash grant.  In November 2011, people who were receiving financial assistance through the Disability Lifeline program no longer received that money and were eligible for assistance through the HEN program. People continued to receive medical coverage through a program called Medical Care Services (MCS). Funding for the program is strictly provided by state funds and reviewed during the legislative budget review process each year. It is currently funded through 2014, however, level of funding may fluctuate depending on demand of program.

Starting January 1, 2014, all HEN existing clients will be eligible and automatically enrolled in Medicaid and their health coverage through Medical Care Services (MCS) will end. HEN participants will still need to comply with DSHS incapacity evaluations and/or reviews to remain eligible for HEN.
  • Can I get a check the day of my appointment?

No, checks will not be issued on site. All checks will be mailed to landlords or utility           companies.

  • I was just cut off benefits, can I still get money?

You must currently be enrolled in the HEN Program to be eligible for this funding.

  • Can I get housing assistance more than once?

Yes, as long as you remain enrolled in HEN you can access rent and utility assistance. 

  • I am homeless and don't have housing can I get assistance?

You may be eligible for transportation assistance, and/or hygiene and cleaning products. Your Coordinator will discuss options for housing search assistance.

  • Will my friend or family member have to pay taxes on the rent paid to them?

Possibly. Your friend or family member may call the IRS at (800) 829-1040 to ask about how these payments may affect their taxes. If they receive government assistance, it may also affect those benefits.

  • Can I walk into the DSHS office without an appointment to get a new ORCA card or gas voucher from a HEN Coordinator?

No,  you must call the intake line (206) 328-5755 or click here to send an email to verify you are eligible for a new monthly ORCA card or gas voucher and reserve an appointment with your Coordinator.



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(206) 328-5755


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W9 Form

Certification of Payment Obligation from Family/Friend

Landlord Habitability Standards Certification

HEN Essential Needs Bank
Support Housing and Essential Needs (HEN)

Mail Donations To:
Catholic Community Services
Attn: Office of Mission
100 23rd Ave. S
Seattle, WA 98144-5797
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(206) 323-6336


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