The West Coast Poverty Center at the University of Washington serves as a hub for research, education, and policy analysis leading to greater understanding of the causes and consequences of poverty and effective approaches to reducing it in the west coast states. A collaborative venture of the UW School of Social Work, the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs, and the College of Arts and Sciences, the West Coast Poverty Center creates new opportunities for cross-disciplinary exchanges and collaboration among poverty researchers and fosters a network of poverty scholars in the west coast region. At UW, the Center mentors the next generation of poverty scholars and practitioners through faculty awards, research assistantships and dissertation fellowships for graduate students, and graduate programs of study. Beyond the university, the Poverty Center works to bring poverty-relevant knowledge to policymakers and practitioners and to engage researchers and policy practitioners in dialogue through outreach, communications, and events.
From 2005-2011, the Center was one of three regional poverty centers funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (OASPE). The other regional centers were the Center for Poverty Research at the University of Kentucky and the Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin. OASPE also sponsors the National Poverty Center at the University of Michigan.