January 12, 2023
In early 2022, Skagit County launched the North Star Project, a joint effort between Skagit County and the cities of Burlington, Mount Vernon, Anacortes, and Sedro-Woolley to better align resources and services to address the complex behavioral health and homelessness challenges in our community. As we move into Phase 2 of the project, we would like to provide information about what is to come in 2023.
North Star’s priority population was identified during Phase 1 following a service gap analysis and examination of available federal, state, and local fundings. Resources will initially be focused on people who are chronically homeless and suffer from a disabling condition, such as substance use disorder, serious mental illness, complex medical problems, or severe trauma.
Project goals and strategies will be established using our Guiding Principles and the Vital Conditions framework—the resources and supports we all need to reach our full potential, including food, humane housing, access to meaningful work and wealth, and a sense of belonging.
Some overarching project goals have been identified thus far, including increasing the supply, quality, and diversity of housing by developing a shared housing agenda, and addressing gaps within behavioral health and recovery-oriented services by mobilizing a Care Management Taskforce to better serve the priority population. To improve data sharing between providers, a care coordination software platform will also be launched.
“We are being specific in our approach by utilizing data and best practices to ensure the North Star Project efforts will be time-based, measurable, and effective,” said County Commissioner Lisa Janicki. “I look forward to the next chapter of our work together on the North Star Project to tackle this complex issue our community is facing. Now is the time for action.”For additional information about Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the North Star project, please visit https://www.skagitcounty.net/northstar or call Skagit County Public Health at (360) 416-1500.