Submitted by Thurston County
Tuesday, March 8, 2022, the Thurston County Board of County Commissioners voted unanimously to authorize the county manager to finalize and sign a contract with Geocko Inc. d.b.a. LiveStories for up to $5,000,000 to deliver rent and utility assistance programs for Thurston County. LiveStories is a Seattle-based company providing similar services for the City of Spokane, and Skagit and Yakima Counties, and is under contract with the Washington State Department of Commerce to provide support for its oversight of rent and utility assistance programs.
Following the suspension of the county’s contract with Community Action Council of Lewis, Mason and Thurston Counties (CACLMT), it was of paramount importance to the county to resume rent and utility assistance as quickly as possible. By contracting with LiveStories, the county has identified a partner that can quickly stand up services for county residents. Within two weeks of contract execution, LiveStories will begin operations of the program. Once the program is operational, the following groups will be prioritized for service:
- Residents with completed and approved applications with CACLMT awaiting payment processing for rent and utility assistance.
- Residents currently working with the Dispute Resolution Center with a 14-day pay or vacate notice.
- Residents with a partially completed application with CACLMT for rent assistance.
- Residents who are working with a partner organization (CIELO, Innovations Human Trafficking Collaboration, Family Support Center of South Sound, and SafePlace) to complete an application.
- Residents who had an appointment with CACLMT for rent assistance that was canceled due to the contract transition.
Thurston County is in discussions with CACLMT to receive the necessary information regarding clients in these priority groups so they can be served by LiveStories.
Thurston County continues to have a contract with Community Youth Services to provide rent assistance support for young adults 18-24 years of age. There is no change to these services.
Thurston County residents who want to receive the latest updates via email from the County on rent and utility assistance may sign up through the county website.
For individuals who have questions, please contact Elisa Sparkman, Thurston County Rent Assistance Communication Lead, Elisa.Sparkman@co.thurston.wa.us or 360-490-7648. Due to a high number of calls and voicemails, email communication is preferred.