City Logo JPG

Life Lines
 News about people and programs from the 
 Seattle Human Services Department
Taking the helm
Dannette R. SmithAs the new Department Director, I am delighted and honored to be providing leadership to the City of Seattle's Human Service Department.
While I am new to Seattle and City government, I am no stranger to human services. My background in human services both in the private sector and government will support my leadership in this new role. My most recent leadership responsibilities were with the State of Georgia, Fulton County Department of Family and Children Services, as the Regional/County Director.
In the upcoming weeks, I have asked my Executive Leadership team to develop an orientation schedule that will allow me to visit other City departments, key stakeholders, community organizations and the constituents who we serve. I am eager to visit and engage you in a dialogue about the delivery of human services in Seattle. I hope through our mutual partnership, we can continue to strengthen and develop a "state of the art" human services delivery system that will enhance the quality of life for the citizens of Seattle.
Please know that I am passionate and committed to the work with families and persons of all ages, utilizing a community-based perspective. I am looking forward to meeting you and developing a productive working relationship.
Seattle receives grants to promote active living
Children eatingThe fight against tobacco use and obesity just got a big boost. The Seattle Human Services Department (HSD) was among the recipients of 51 Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) grants totaling $8.9 million from Public Health - Seattle & King County to fund school districts, community-based organizations, and local governments to improve nutrition and physical activity, and decrease tobacco use. HSD received two awards:  
  • $200,483 to the Aging & Disability Services division to reduce the price of fresh produce for 17 congregate meal sites and one home-delivered meal provider by cooperatively purchasing directly from local farmers.
  • $73,000 to Early Learning and Family Support division to increase availability of healthy foods and children's physical activity in early learning and afterschool programs serving children ages birth through 12.
For details about this federal stimulus-funded grant program, please see this press release and the CPPW Web site. If you have questions, please contact Jerry DeGrieck, HSD, at or 206-684-0684.
Seattle receives $920,000 for homeless housing
In July, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced nearly $190 million in McKinney Homeless Assistance grants and Seattle-King County received the full amount of its request of $920,226 on behalf of the two permanent supportive housing projects.  The projects are located in Seattle and will provide the operating support for 103 permanent supportive housing units. The projects are:  
  • Bakhita Gardens at Noel House $279,300. Funds will support 20 semiprivate cubicles in this 90 unit project. These units will operate with a very low barrier to entry and with intensive wraparound services focused on housing retention for chronically homeless women. 
  • The Downtown Emergency Service Center's Canaday House $640,926: Funds will support 83 units for chronically homeless, single men and women who are high utilizers of publicly funded crisis services. 
For more information, see this press release.
HSD staff profile: Amy Heyden
Amy Heyden HeadshotAmy Heyden brings a unique perspective to helping domestic violence victims by way of the former Soviet Union. A planner with the Seattle Human Services Department's (HSD's) Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Prevention Division, Amy spent eight years, including two years living and working in Ukraine, helping women in the former Soviet Union find economic opportunities to avoid becoming victims of  human trafficking - being forced into prostitution or other kinds of human slavery.
Amy joined HSD in 2006. Among Amy's current responsibilities is assessing and improving how the City of Seattle and surrounding community respond to domestic violence. This involves working with the Seattle Police Department, the City Attorney's Office, the court system and service providers to determine what works well, where the gaps are and how to make improvements. As part of this work, she helped develop the 2010-2012 Strategic Plan on Seattle's Criminal Justice Response to Domestic Violence.
While Amy excels at such "big picture thinking,'" she also "likes the opportunity for innovation and creativity." An example of that is her leading role in developing the Day One Program in Seattle. Based on a program in Minnesota, Day One connects 20 local agencies in seven Washington counties to available shelter for domestic violence victims in one call. The system uses Web-based real time shelter bed inventory that is continually updated. "The turn-away rate for women seeking shelter is still 18 to one in King County (18 victims are turned away for every one who finds shelter)," Amy says. "The goal is for Day One to eventually go statewide, thus more effectively utilizing domestic violence shelter beds around the state."
Local agency celebrates Pride Month with Pres. Obama

Connie Burk at White HouseConnie Burk, Executive Director or the Northwest Network of Bisexual, Trans, Lesbian & Gay Survivors of Abuse, and Eli Kimaro, NW Network Board President, pose outside the White House after a reception with President Obama in June in honor of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month. The Seattle Human Services Department provides $135,000 in annual funding to NW Network in support of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ) youth and young adults. Services include support for homeless and at-risk LBGTQ youth, helping other agencies improve services to LBGTQ youth, domestic violence advocacy, and strengthening community connections.
Strategic plan to end homelessness
On June 22, the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness released Opening Doors: The Federal Strategic Plan to End Homelessness. The report has a set of 10 objectives with more than 50 strategies to reduce and end homelessness in the U.S. The Seattle Human Services Department funds and supports many of these strategies including  transitional housing, rapid re-housing, support for veterans, youth and families in need.
Engage Seattle: Want to get involved?
Mayor McGinn recently launched the Engage Seattle initiative to help ensure that anyone who wants to get involved can do so in a meaningful way.
  • Improving access to government: The Public Outreach & Engagement Calendar provides opportunities to engage with City representatives in your neighborhood; you can view it in map form or list form and search for events near you. For information, contact Sol Villarreal, Civic Engagement Coordinator in Mayor McGinn's office, at or 206-233-2656.
  • Leveraging volunteer service: Seattle's citywide service plan includes initiatives that use volunteer service to make a measurable impact on the city's most critical issues. Working with many community partners, this plan focuses on education and youth development priorities identified through the Mayor's Youth & Families Initiative. Contact Lynda Petersen, Chief Service Officer in Mayor McGinn's office, or 206-684-7020. 
  • Training future leaders: Apply for the Mayor's Leadership Project. In four two-hour sessions, we will partner with community organizations to give participants the tools they need to be organizers for change within their communities, advocate for their communities, gain a basic understanding of how the City budget affects them. Contact Sol Villarreal (see above).
Produce farmProduce power!
Homebound elders will again receive home delivery of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables this summer. The program serves 665 low-income elders with fresh, organic produce grown by local farms. Seattle and King County residents will receive 2,660 bags of fruits and vegetables in July, August and September, thanks to federal stimulus money. This program is part of the Seattle Farmers Market Nutrition Program of Seattle Human Services Department's Aging and Disability Services. For more information, contact Robi Robins at 206-684-0654 or
Community development video
Community Development videoProduced by the Seattle Human Services Department's David Berrian, a new film, "Community Development in Seattle" explores Seattle's approach to community development in areas such as homelessness intervention, neighborhood engagement and planning, community policing, affordable housing, workforce development, and business assistance. 
Fill out Walk Bike Ride ballot
WalkBIkeRide logoThe Walk Bike Ride Ballot asks Seattleites to vote for their transportation priorities, among options for walking, biking, and riding transit.
Find out more about Mayor McGinn's Walk Bike Ride program here. Then fill out the ballot to list your priorities.
Organize a supply drive to help homeless people 
APAC logoThousands of people experiencing homelessness will be gathering at Qwest Field on Sept. 24 for United Way of King County's Community Resource Exchange, and United Way needs your help collecting vital supplies for the event.  Organize a supply drive at your company, community group or place of worship for backpacks, books, clothes or toiletries. The Community Resource Exchange is a part of United Way of King County's annual Day of Caring.  Click here now to sign up to host a supply drive.
In This Issue
Taking the helm
Health grants
Housing funding
Amy Heyden
Pride Month in D.C.
Plan to end homelessness
Engage Seattle
Produce power
HSD video
Help the homeless
Join Our Mailing List!
Click on the link above to subscribe to Life Lines.