Mark Putnam named new director of Committee to End Homelessness in King County

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Mark Putnam

Mark Putnam, a leading expert on homeless housing and strategic planning, has been named the new director of the Committee to End Homelessness (CEH) in King County. He begins his position on December 16.

"Mark brings knowledge, passion and a commitment to ending homelessness that will energize our regional effort at a critical time,” said King County Executive and CEH Governing Board Co-chair Dow Constantine.

Putnam has extensive experience working with government, philanthropy, providers and people experiencing homelessness to develop and implement effective strategies to move people out of poverty and homelessness through stable housing, health care, education and employment.

As a director at Building Changes, he has been responsible for overseeing several program areas, including grant-making and evaluation of a $30 million initiative to end family homelessness in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties. He is an expert on cross systems collaboration, and provided leadership to recent efforts to develop a comprehensive plan to prevent and end youth and young adult homelessness in King County. Putnam has been with Building Changes (formerly AIDS Housing of Washington) for over 16 years. He has volunteered on several community boards, including serving as president of the board of directors for ROOTS Young Adult Homeless Shelter.

"I'm honored to join our region's effort to end homelessness as the director of the Committee to End Homelessness,” said Putnam. “This is the most important work I can imagine doing. I'm looking forward to meeting with the community members and leaders and developing collaborative solutions together."

As of year-end 2012, CEH partners had helped more than 34,000 individuals exit homelessness and created a total of 5,424 new units of homeless housing across King County. The CEH focuses on homeless prevention, building affordable housing, linking housing to the supportive services that help people to maintain their housing and achieve self-sufficiency, and creating stronger regional coordination of resources. Putnam will oversee these efforts.

“The Committee to End Homelessness is gaining a strong leader who has deep experience and a broad understanding of homelessness in our region and nationally,” says Alice Shobe, executive director of Building Changes. “Mark’s proven ability to bring together diverse stakeholders and achieve lasting results will inspire confidence in the community and benefit the hundreds of youth, families, and individuals struggling with homelessness.”

“We have worked with Mark for many years in his role at Building Changes. His expertise and thoughtful leadership have been valuable in guiding our community’s efforts to end homelessness,” said Sue Sherbrooke, chief executive officer of YWCA Seattle| King| Snohomish and co-chair of the CEH Interagency Council.

Putnam will be responsible for managing the work of the CEH Governing Board, Interagency Council and Consumer Advisory Council and moving CEH initiatives forward. These include implementing plans to end family and youth/young adult homelessness and efforts to strengthen the crisis response system for people currently on the streets. Until he joins the CEH in December, Gretchen Bruce will continue to provide support to these efforts.

“I am very grateful to Gretchen for stepping in to serve as our interim director and working so hard to ensure that key initiatives around youth and family homelessness continued to move forward,” said Adrienne Quinn, director of the King County Department of Community and Human Services, which hosts the CEH for King County.

The Committee to End Homelessness was formed in 2005 by a coalition of housing and social service agencies, faith organizations, businesses, government entities, homeless advocates and people who have experienced homelessness. The largest funding partners are King County, the City of Seattle and United Way of King County. Other funders and partners include local cities, and private and nonprofit organizations and foundations.

For more information about the Committee to End Homelessness in King County, visit the website or call 206-263-9085. 


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