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Life Lines
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 News about people and programs from the 
 Seattle Human Services Department
MAY 2010
FROM THE ACTING DIRECTOR: Kip Tokuda
 
Updates on budget, director search
 
Kip Tokuda

I want to share brief updates on a couple of important topics: the City budget and the search for a new Human Services Department director.

 

As many of you have heard, the City's 2011 budget situation is bleak, with a projected shortfall of more than $50 million in the General Fund budget. What's more, City departments will need to make mid-year cuts in their 2010 budgets.

 

We are working now on making proposed 2011 cuts as part of the overall budget process.

Mayor McGinn has said he wants to preserve direct services, so we will focus on administrative reductions to the extent possible. Throughout the budget process, we'll be using a race and social justice "lens" to minimize disproportionate impacts. The Mayor will review and make decisions about the budgets of all City departments over the next few months and will submit his proposed budget to the City Council in September.

 

Regarding the director's search, we received 46 applications by the April 9 deadline. The City's Personnel department will help review and winnow down the list to about a dozen applicants. This month the director search steering committee will select candidates to interview, conduct the interviews, and recommend a short list of top candidates to Mayor McGinn by the end of the month.

Human services and 2010 legislative session

 

Capitol buildingOn April 12, the State Legislature reached agreement on a budget and revenue package, and for the most part, human services were spared from drastic cuts. Legislators were faced with a $2.8 billion shortfall and closed the gap with a combination of added federal funds, new taxes, budget reserves and targeted spending cuts. Here is a summary of key measures:

  • GAU now "Disability Lifeline": General Assistance-Unemployable (GAU) benefits were preserved at lower level than budgeted; the program was also reorganized and renamed "Disability Lifeline."
  • Housing Trust Fund: $30 million was appropriated for low-income housing instead of the hoped for $100 million; of this amount, $25 million will support workforce housing.
  • Early Learning: Four bills supported early learning, including making voluntary pre-school available to all at-risk three- and four-year-olds by 2018; development of a comprehensive birth-to-three plan; development of a plan for a voluntary program of early learning; and extending the time low-income families can receive state-subsidized child care.
  • Basic Health Plan: Fully funded. Some public health program cuts.
  • Senior Citizens Service Act: Preserved at current funding level.
  • Medicaid: Adult Day Health was retained at a slightly lower level. Slight decrease in home care rates and hours for some clients. Case management stays at current rate

Program provides transportation to senior meals

 

APAC logoWhile meal programs throughout King County provide elders with nutritious hot lunches, getting to these meal sites can be challenging for ethnic elders. Through funding from the Seattle Human Services Department's Aging and Disability Services (ADS) and a partnership with King County Metro, the Senior Services Transportation program serves some of these elders.

 

"We have shuttles designated for specific meal programs. Shuttle drivers pick up participants from their home or designated area and take them to the meal site," says Transportation Program Director Cindy Zwart.  "Elders who share the same culture and language feel more comfortable riding on our shuttles. If possible, we match drivers that speak the same language with the community they transport."

 

ADS funds 11 agencies serving meals at 45 meal sites throughout the county. More than 20 of these sites serve an ethnic-specific clientele, including Ethiopian, Eritrean, Filipino, Hmong, IndoChinese, Japanese, Jewish, Korean, Laotian, Latino, Mien, Native American, Oromo, Polynesian, Somali, Ukrainian and Vietnamese seniors.

 

In 2009, of the 1,600 clients served by the Nutrition Transportation program, 85% were an ethnic minority, 74% were limited-English speaking, and 64% were from the refugee/immigrant community. For more information about the Transportation program or to request a ride, please call the Senior Shuttle office at 206-727-6255.

 

(by Angela Miyamoto)

KUOW radio airs series on aging

 

(Photo by Ruby de Luna, KUOW Public Radio)
APAC logo
KUOW radio aired a three-part series on aging in late April that featured Mayor's Office for Senior Citizens intern (and jobseeker) Katherine Kirsch in the story "
Work: The New Retirement Plan." A story on affordable housing for seniors, "A Quiet Crisis," refers to the Seattle Human Services Department's  Aging & Disability Services (ADS) division projections that the number of seniors living in poverty will double by the year 2025. A third story, "Who's Caring For The Caregiver?", discusses services to help caregivers cope with stress. KUOW reporter Ruby de Luna worked closely with ADS staff on these stories.

Youth perform play on Native American activism

Native American play 

On March 28, Red Eagle Soaring Youth Theatre performed "Resurrection City" at Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center in Discovery Park. The play is a musical re-enactment of the takeover of Fort Lawson by Native American activists led by Bernie Whitebear in 1970, resulting in the formation of Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center and United Indians of All Tribes. The Seattle Human Services Department (HSD) funds the youth theater program to engage youth with a variety of culturally and age-appropriate activities to help them succeed in school; strengthen their social, academic and leadership skills; and increase ties to their community. For more information please contact Elyn Blandon, HSD, at 206-386-1026 or elyn.blandon@seattle.gov.

Schools' Community Alignment Initiative Report

 

National research shows that students make academic, social and emotional gains through participation in high-quality early learning, after-school and health programs. The Seattle Public Schools' Community Alignment Initiative 2008-09 Report showed similar results with more children in school-based pre-K programs ready for kindergarten and more K-12 students in after-school programs, and school-based health centers showing academic improvement and improved school attendance rates.

 

Collaborating partners of the initiative include the Seattle Human Services Department, Seattle Parks and Recreation, Public Health - Seattle & King County, School's Out Washington and 93 school-based early learning, afterschool and health centers in 79 K-12 schools. In the 2008-09 school year of the 15,156 pre-K to 12 students served in alignment sites, 43% were low-income, 56% were students of color and 11% were English language learners. The City of Seattle invested $11.8 million in aligned programs in the 2008-09 school year. For more information, please contact Kathleen Groshong, Planner, Early Learning and Family Support division, 206-684-0520, kathleen.groshong@seattle.gov

Young adults complete stimulus-funded internships

 

SDOT youth internA March 31 celebration at the Downtown YMCA honored the achievements of 25 young adults who completed eight-week internships at 16 different sites, including work in high-growth job sectors such as the environmental field, health care, skilled trades, and computers. The participants also received job-readiness training, and five interns attended applied math class to improve basic math skills relevant for skilled trades.

Early trauma predicts delays
 

Dr. Alicia Lieberman
Alicia Lieberman
At a recent conference, Dr. Alicia F. Lieberman presented compelling evidence that early trauma in children age birth to three predicts biological, social, emotional and cognitive delays. According to the National Center for Children in Poverty, between 4 and 6 percent of preschoolers have serious emotional or behavioral disorders and are expelled three times more often than children in kindergarten. Boys are expelled from preschool 4.5 times more than girls and African American boys are expelled at twice that rate. In response to these and similar findings, the Seattle Early Education Collaborative (SEEC) provides training and professional development to early childhood teachers to reduce the expulsion rate in preschool and improve long-term outcomes for children. Convened by the Seattle Human Services Department and the Office for Education, SEEC is funded through the Families and Education Levy, the City of Seattle, and Washington state.

Career awareness program seeks students of color

APAC logoThe Accounting Career Awareness Program (ACAP) provides a one-week, live-in program at the University of Washington for minority high school students who have interest in accounting, finance, computer science, or business as a career. This year, the program will run from Aug. 15 to 20. The deadline date for applications is May 28.

The program includes sessions on personal money management, goal-setting, interviewing techniques, economics, mathematics, and use of computers. Participation in the program is limited to 60 students. For more information contact John J. Ocampo, Executive Director of ACAP; at 206-370-4949 or acapseattle@live.com or visit www.acapseattle.org.

Senior Farmers Market applications available

 

APAC logoApplications for the 2010 Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program are now available. The deadline for applying is May 28, 2010.The program distributes $40 in checks to eligible seniors for fresh fruits and vegetables redeemable at participating farmers markets throughout Seattle and King County.

 

Program details and application forms in nine languages are downloadable from the Web site.

Need child care downtown? Apply soon!

 

APAC logoApplications will soon be available for a new infant and child care center in the King County-owned Chinook Building, located at 401 5th Ave. The new center is expected to open this September. The center will be operated by Northwest Center's Child Development Program and is expected to serve approximately 60 infants and children. Click here for application information.

 

Due to the high demand for infant and child care in downtown Seattle, Northwest Center is planning to hold a lottery among applicants. Online applications for the lottery will be available in early May, and Northwest Center plans to close the lottery and select families in June.

 

The new center is the first center to receive funding, approximately $1 million, from the City of Seattle's Child Care Bonus Program. As a condition of receiving these funds, at least 20% of the families served will have annual incomes equal to or less than 80% of the area median income. For more information about Northwest Center's Child Development Program see this Web siteFor information about the city's Child Care Bonus Program e-mail Ken Astrein, Seattle Human Services Department, at ken.astrein@seattle.gov.

How to avoid Census fraud
 

APAC logoBeginning May 1, U.S. Census workers are visiting households that did not mail back their 2010 Census questionnaires. Opportunists may want to take advantage of this once-a-decade national effort. The U.S. Census Bureau has issued guidance to help residents avoid fraud and scams. Workers will wear ID badges, explain confidentiality codes and ask the same questions that were on the official form. They will never come into your house, and never ask for money, bank account or credit card information, Social Security number, driver's license number or immigration status.

 

In the event residents want to verify that the census takers are legitimate employees of the US Census Bureau, they are encouraged to call the Seattle Regional Census Center at 1-877-471-5432. Residents also can ask census workers to provide them with a Local Census Office's telephone number, which they can call to verify employment status. If residents feel threatened, they should call local law enforcement or 911. Learn more about the 2010 Census at www.2010.census.gov.

Healthy Aging Fair on May 26

 

The Mayor's Office for Senior Citizens' Healthy Aging Fair will be held on Wednesday, May 26, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., in the Central Building, 810 3rd Ave. The Healthy Aging Fair features free bone density, blood pressure, and spinal tests, and other demonstrations on health promotion, fitness, disease prevention, and senior wellness.

For more information, see this flier, call 206-684-0500 or e-mail seniors@seattle.gov.
In This Issue
From the Director
Legislative Session
Senior Transportation
KUOW on Aging
Native American Play
Schools Alignment
Stimulus Internships
Trauma & Delay
Career Awareness
Senior Farmers Market
Child Care Downtown
Census Fraud
Healthy Aging Fair
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Life Lines is published by the City of Seattle's Human Services Department (HSD). The mission of the department is to connect people with resources and solutions during times of need so we can all live, learn, work and take part in strong, healthy communities. We welcome your comments. Visit us on the Web for more information. For more timely or breaking news visit our new blog, Human Interests. If you have questions, please contact David Takami, HSD, at david.takami@seattle.gov or 206-684-0253.