Housing and Essential Needs (HEN) – King County

What is HEN?

The Housing and Essential Needs (HEN) program provides access to essential needs items, transportation assistance, and potential rental and utility assistance for low-income individuals who are unable to work for at least 90 days due to a physical and/or mental incapacity and have zero income. Eligibility for the HEN program is determined by the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) and the program is administered by Catholic Community Services in King County.

Program Enrollment Update

The King County HEN Program is currently enrolling eligible people to receive HEN transportation and essential needs services at the Phoenix Center.  At this time, we are NOT able to offer rent and utility assistance to new clients.   As funding and capacity allow, we will prioritize people for rent and utility assistance who are already enrolled in HEN transportation and essential needs services and meet program criteria. Please call our Resource Line (206-328-5755) for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions
Essential Needs Bags

Essential Needs bags contain a variety of hygiene and cleaning supplies and can be picked up once a month for anyone enrolled in HEN. There are currently three locations (listed in the column to the right) for people to pick up their monthly bags during walk-in times with no appointment necessary. If people have questions about where to pick up their bag, or need to make other arrangements, please contact your case manager or call the HEN resource line at 206-328-5755.

HEN Enrollment Flyer – Phoenix Center – Seattle

Kent EN Bank Flyer

Important Forms


HEN Resource Line
Phone: 206-328-5755
Fax: Attn: HEN 206-324-4835
Email: HENKC@ccsww.org
Volunteering: CCSKingCountyInfo@ccsww.org
Hours: Monday through Friday from 9:00am – 2:30pm


The Phoenix Center
HEN Transportation & Essential Needs

2329 Rainier Ave. S.,
Seattle, WA  98144
(Next to Mutual Fish)
Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 10:00am - 2:00pm for walk-ins and to pickup EN Bags.
*Please do not park in the Mutual Fish Parking Lot. You will be ticketed!

The Randolph Carter Center
100 23rd Ave. S.,
Seattle, WA 98144
Hours: Monday through Friday 9:00am - 4:00pm
Please call Resource Line or Case Manager to make an appointment to pickup EN bags.

The Kent Family Center
1225 W. Smith St.,
Kent, WA 98032
Hours: Wednesday 1:00pm - 3:00pm for walk-ins. Other times by appointment.

Information for Landlords

The HEN program works with over 3,000 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. HEN just needs a copy of the landlord’s W9 form, a complete rental agreement* or an Intent to Rent** letter and a Landlord Habitability Standards Certification form.

A lease or rental agreement* must contain the following elements to be approved:

  • Name of tenant
  • Name of Landlord (must own property or in the case of Property Manager, must provide a property management agreement from the landlord)
  • Address of rental property
  • Term of agreement (lease start and end date)
  • Rent rate and date due
  • Signature of tenant/date
  • Deposits (if any and what for/term)
  • Signature of landlord/date

An “Intent to Rent”* letter must contain the following elements:

  • Name of tenant
  • Name of landlord
  • Address of rental property
  • Term of agreement (lease start and end date)
  • Rent rate and date due
  • Deposits (if any and what for/term)
  • Amount of pro-rated (if needed) first month’s rent
  • Signature of landlord/date
  • Statement that payments will be refunded if tenant does not move in.

* HEN has the discretion to approve or deny payment to any rental agreement or lease.

Unlike a Section 8 voucher, HEN rental assistance is temporary. Monthly HEN rental assistance is provided to participants as long as they are enrolled in the HEN program. HEN can only guarantee monthly payments 90 days at a time. At some point, it is expected that HEN recipients will need to begin covering rental assistance with their own resources.

** Accepted in the case of new rentals where the Landlord is requiring that deposits and -first month’s rent to be processed before move in. Lease must be submitted within 30 days after letter.


Landlords should know that the HEN program conducts 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.