Open books on a desk with library shelf in the background

Acronyms and Definitions

Learn about common definitions and terminology used when discussing the Regional Homelessness Authority and the work around homelessness.

Common Terminology

Continuum of Care (CoC)

A federally mandated body to coordinate federal funding and ensure compliance with federal law. The CoC lead entity and governing board (currently All Home) carry out the primary responsibilities of a CoC as identified by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD):

  1. Ensure collection of homeless system performance data (a “Homeless Management Information System” or HMIS)
  2. Establish and operate a coordinated needs assessment and referral process (“coordinated entry”)
  3. Perform analysis to identify gaps in regional homeless services needs.

Core Leads

Leaders of the planning and implementation process as identified by County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan.

They include Shannon Braddock, Office of the County Executive; Tess Colby, Office of the Mayor; Kira Zylstra, All Home; Leo Flor, director of the King County Department of Community and Human Services; and Jason Johnson, director of Seattle Human Services Department.

NIS is contracted to lead project management.

Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH)

CSH is a touchstone for new ideas and best practices, a collaborative and pragmatic community partner, and an advocate for supportive housing. They work to advance solutions that use housing as a platform for services to improve the lives of the most vulnerable people, maximize public resources, and build healthy communities.

External Partners Group

A collection of private foundations, philanthropy and businesses that have joined together to break down fragmentation between public and private initiatives and align investments in efforts to address homelessness with the new regional authority. The External Partners Group is directly addressing the goals of Action 8 from the NIS December Report, calling for a public and private partnership and creation of a funders collaborative.

Interlocal Agreement

A written contract between local government agencies such as a city, a county or a school board.

Joint Powers Authority (JPA)

An entity permitted under the laws of some U.S. states, whereby two or more public authorities (e.g. local governments, utility or transport districts), may jointly exercise any power common to all of them.

National Innovation Service (NIS)

NIS is a systems transformation agency that partners with communities to build equitable public institutions.

In August of 2018, King County and City of Seattle partnered with the National Innovation Service (formerly Future Laboratories) to launch a community-driven process of listening and, ultimately, designing a stronger regional response. They adopted the 10 Actions put forth by NIS in December. NIS is now contracted to support the implementation of those actions in a project management capacity through August 2019.

Public Development Authority (PDA)

Special purpose quasi-municipal corporations primarily authorized under RCW 35.21.730, which allows cities, towns, and counties to establish “public corporations, commissions, or authorities.”

Regional Action Plan

A critical tool to guide and align the community’s work forward toward specific, measurable goals and identification of the most effective means for unifying homeless services and drive progress toward ending homelessness region-wide.

Regional Authority

Also referred to as the Regional Entity, the Regional Authority is the new unified system that will oversee the region’s response to the homelessness crisis. That system included the relationships, policies, funding, practices, contracting and program and system evaluation functions necessary to improve our regional responses to homelessness while keeping people experiencing homelessness at the center of that system.


Refers to the people, finances, logistics, technology, politics and lived experience that are part of the system


Refers to all the stakeholders involved in our homelessness response – primarily providers, governments, funding entities and customers

%d bloggers like this: