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Life Lines
 News about people and programs from the 
 Seattle Human Services Department
JUNE 2010
You are in good hands!
Kip Tokuda

As my work as Acting Director draws to a close, I want to thank all of our community partners for your patience and continued good work during a period of uncertainty and transition.


It's been an eventful last few months, and besides making sure the work of the department continued without interruption (as the need for human services was greater than ever), my most important task was to help find a good leader of Seattle Human Services Department.


I chaired the search committee and we interviewed a pool of dozen candidates, recommending three excellent candidates for the Mayor to interview. His decision will be announced very soon--keep an eye on our blog, Human Interests, for the latest news--but I can assure you that whoever it is, the department will be in good hands.


On another topic of interest, we have begun discussion with the Mayor's Office regarding our 2011 budget. The Mayor will submit his proposed budget to the City Council by September 2010. 

My last official day will be July 1. It's truly been a privilege and honor working for HSD and with all of you. Together, we make a great team!

2009 Annual Report


Annual Report CoverThe Seattle Human Services Department just released its 2009 Annual Report, providing an overview of programs and accomplishments from the past year in stories, photos and data. For more information about the report, please contact David Takami at 206-684-0253 or by e-mail.

Case workers help seniors, adults with disabilities live independently


Lester TranIt's Tuesday morning and Lester Tran arrives at the Columbia Place apartments in Southeast Seattle to a chorus of greetings from a group of residents sitting in the common area adjacent to the lobby.


Lester is a case manager for the Seattle Human Services Department's Aging and Disability Services division, and as soon as he sits down at a table, a man with a cane approaches. "Mr. S." is from Ethiopia and recently took an extended trip to his home country. When he returned, he found out that all of the services he had been receiving--food stamps, Social Security benefits, and home care services--had been cut off. He now needs help getting them resumed. Making a quick assessment, Lester helps Mr. S. fill out forms and gives him pointers on how to get the services he needs.


A few minutes later, an elderly Chinese woman stops by the office clutching a stack of mail, and Lester helps her sort through the papers, keeping the important letters, and tossing the junk mail.


After she leaves, Lester visits a bed-bound woman who is facing eviction for the unsafe conditions of her apartment. "Carol" is a hoarder and has stacked belongings so tightly in her bedroom that she has to sleep in the living room. Today, Carol is also distressed because she can't complete a form needed to receive Metro Access transportation services for people with disabilities. Lester fills out the rest of the form for her.


The day is still young, and at Columbia Place and the five other buildings Lester visits or monitors, he will help residents with various needs. For some, he'll arrange for a home care worker to help with personal care needs such as bathing, toileting and meal preparation. For others, he'll go over bills and finances or help them prevent eviction due to non-payment of rent. For still others he'll respond to behavioral complaints or hoarding activity.


Lester is one of more than 60 ADS case managers and nurses who work in Seattle and south King County to meet the needs of elderly adults and adults with disabilities. Lester works on a team of case managers that serves residents of 52 Seattle Housing Authority (SHA) buildings in Seattle. Since he speaks Chinese and Vietnamese he's able to help residents who speak those languages. Funded by the federal Medicaid program, the ADS case management program helps approximately 6,000 clients remain in their homes and live independently each year. The SHA program also receives funding from the City of Seattle and SHA.


Lester loves his job for the endless variety--he never knows what to expect--and for satisfaction of helping others. "The little things I do can make a big difference in people's lives," he says.


For more information, please visit this Web site.

Free summer meal program for youth starts June 28
Sack lunchThousands of Seattle children ages 1 through 18 will enjoy free breakfasts and lunches this summer through the Seattle Human Services Department's Summer Food Service Program. The U.S. Department of Agriculture-funded program, also known as "Summer Sack Lunch," is open to children at qualifying sites. From June 28 through Aug. 27, meals will be served at approximately 100 sites across the city. These include designated community centers, Seattle park playgrounds, Boys and Girls Clubs, YMCAs and YWCAs, and other community sites throughout Seattle and parts of King County. For a complete list of sites and hours for the Summer Food Service Program, please call 206-386-1140 or visit the progam Web site.

Barista program helps homeless young adults


Kevin, a formerly homeless young adult, recently graduated from YouthCare's Barista Education and Training Program (funded in part by the Seattle Human Services Department and run in partnership with FareStart). He received stellar references from the FareStart training staff.  A Safeway employee visiting the program was impressed by Kevin's customer service skills and invited him to interview for a Starbucks barista position at a Safeway Starbucks.He was offered the job. Kevin also plans on applying to college. For more information about this program please contact Marci Curtin, Seattle Human Services Department, at 206-684-0550 or by e-mail.

HSD programs win human services awards


SHC awards logoTwo of the six annual awards given by the Seattle Human Services Coalition this year are projects closely affiliated with the Seattle Human Services Department (HSD):

         The African American Child Care Task Force was recognized for its work to address the "cradle to prison pipeline." The task force studied inter-generational poverty and the disproportionate incarceration of African Americans, and their work has led to local efforts and investments to address poverty and the well being of all children of color.

         The African American Elders Program was also recognized. Started by HSD's Aging and Disability Services in the early 1990s, the program identifies chronically ill, low-income African American seniors and helps them receive social and health services through ongoing case management, support and referrals. The department continues to provide core funding, now through the current program operator, Catholic Community Services.

Youth hired by Fred Hutchinson center


As an example of the difference the Seattle Youth Employment Program (SYEP) is making, one SYEP youth, Elizabeth, will work as a laboratory technician at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center starting this fall. Elizabeth worked as a laboratory tech intern last summer and her supervisor, the lab manager, was so impressed by her maturity and job skills, she continued her work during the school year through SYEP's School Year Internship Program. Previously, Elizabeth received training to get her nursing assistant certification (NAC). Currently, she is a freshman at the University of Washington.


New city Web site tracks stimulus money

Recovery logoMayor Mike McGinn recently announced the launch of a new city Web site to track how federal stimulus money is used in Seattle. The Web site shows how the city is using money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) in seven investment areas: economic development, community development, social services, public safety, environment, energy, and transportation. So far, Seattle has received about $107 million through ARRA. Basic grant information will be updated weekly on the Web site. 


Stimulus dollars directly benefit local businesses and nonprofits throughout the entire city. Says Carol Mullin, Director of Jewish Family Service, "Previously, clients received two 'pre-packed' bags. Now, however, clients actually shop, according to personal needs, for approximately 25 pounds of food and non-food items. The expansion has also increased our capacity to store and deliver food by as much as 100 percent, reducing the need for off-site ware­housing and related transportation costs." The Jewish Family Service Polack Food Bank received a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant.

What's in store for aging boomers?


AYW logoLearn about upcoming "Aging Your Way" meetings that will help establish a community vision for healthy aging and identify services and programs for this growing population. Also, take a survey about senior centers. See this Web site for more information.

Youth and Families plan moves along

Youth & Family InitiativeThe next phase of the Youth and Families Initiative will take place on Saturday, June 5 when the Kids and Families Congress will convene to consider input

and ideas raised at the recently held community caucuses. Congress delegates (appointed from previous workshops and caucuses) will focus on refining priorities, talking about solutions, and building action plans to address priority issues. At the close of the Congress, Action Planning Groups will be formed to further refine plans and identify needed resources. For more information and to keep current on the Youth and Families Initiative visit this Web site.

Seattle the 'Next Frontier'


In a preview of what the 2010 Census may reveal, a new study by the Brookings Institution, "The State of Metropolitan America," shows the demographic transformation that is taking place in the U.S., especially in urban areas. Along with several other U.S. cities, Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue is termed a "Next Frontier" area because it

exceeds national averages on population growth, diversity and educational attainment. For the Seattle Times article on this report, click here.
In This Issue
From the Director
Annual Report
Case Management
Summer Meals
Barista Program
Human Services Awards
Fred Hutch Hire
Tracking Stimulus $$
Future for Aging Boomers
Youth/Families Plan
Demographic Study
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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 or 206-684-0253.