Housing and Essential Needs

What is HEN?

The Housing and Essential Needs (HEN) program helps people in Spokane County who are both:

  1. Homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless, AND
  2. Have a disability. 

DSHS refers people who are eligible to the HEN program. When people are referred to the HEN program, they receive a housing assessment and are placed on a wait list. People who are assessed as highly vulnerable get the highest priority for service and funding.

How does HEN help?

HEN can help people with:

  • Case management
  • Limited rental aid
  • Housing deposits
  • Application fees, and
  • Utility payments.

Aid is not offered until a person is enrolled in HEN. Aid may be given after enrollment if program staff find it is needed. Enrollment in the program does not guarantee financial aid.

Eligible individuals may also receive essential household needs such as cleaning supplies, hygiene products, other household items, and transportation assistance in the form of bus passes or gasoline vouchers.

The Housing and Essential Needs program is funded by the Washington State Department of Commerce through a grant from the City of Spokane.

Am I eligible for HEN?

  1. Contact DSHS to find out: Call 1-877-501-2233.
  2. You are automatically eligible for HEN if you:
    • Receive the ABD benefit from DSHS
    • Are a Pregnant Women Assistance recipient
If you are already receiving SSI or SSDI, you will not qualify for the HEN program.

I am eligible for HEN. What do I do next?

  1. Call (509) 462-0518. A staff member will put you on the housing assessment list.
  2. After a few days, someone will call you to set up an appointment for the assessment.
  3. After the assessment, you will be put on the wait list.
What if I don’t have a phone?

Come to Goodwill during walk-in hours. Goodwill is at 130 E. 3rd Ave., Spokane, Washington.

  • Monday 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • Thursday 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.


How long will I have to wait for help?

There are more people eligible for the HEN program than can be helped. We help as many people as we can.

If you are eligible for HEN, it is not certain that you will get help from the program.

Help is offered based on need. People who are the most vulnerable are helped first.

When your name is picked from the wait list, HEN staff will contact you to complete a program enrollment. Then you will receive help.

What do I do while on the wait list?

  1. Stay in touch with HEN.
    • If your contact information changes, let HEN know.
    • If you have big life changes, let HEN know. This will help HEN know what your living situation is like.
  2. You must be re-assessed every 90 days (about 3 months) to stay on the wait list.
Scroll to Top
Skip to content