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July 2011

Shifting the paradigm: a new approach to shelter investment 

Shelter investment meeting

The Human Services Department has launched a new initiative that will develop a vision and plan for the City's future investments in emergency shelter, transitional housing, day centers/hygiene centers and supportive services for people who are homeless. This will involve a fundamental shift in the paradigm of how we invest in programs and services for homeless people.


The initiative brings together community members, shelter and housing providers, businesses, faith communities, the Committee to End Homelessness, and other stakeholders in meetings and discussions from May through October 2011.


HSD held a launch event for the initiative on May 26th, with more than 60 people from 33 organizations participating, including social service and housing providers, advocacy groups, homeless clients, Seattle Public Schools, suburban cities, and the Committee to End Homelessness.


Moving forward, the initiative involves a highly collaborative process. An advisory council with more than 30 agency representatives are meeting monthly in intensive working group sessions. The first of these meetings was held on June 16th. One of the highlights of that meeting was a creative, collaborative exercise in which meeting participants diagrammed and discussed their collective vision for a seamless services system.


I think this is an excellent example of how HDS's Strategic Plan is coming to life - staff working across divisions and programs in collaboration with community providers and constituents to make a difference in the lives of Seattle families and communities. For more information about the initiative, please visit this Web site


Dannette R. Smith

Director, Seattle Human Services Department

 Summer time!
HS students in medicine

Students in the Seattle Youth Employment Program's High School Students in Medicine summer program.

Summer has arrived and several HSD summer programs are already in full swing:

  • Summer Food Service Program. Operating from June 27th, 2011 to Aug. 26th, the program provides free nutritious breakfasts, lunches and snacks for thousands of kids and teens at 90 sites in Seattle. This year, the Walmart Foundation awarded a $225,000 grant to the City to enhance the summer food program.
  • Seattle Youth Employment Program. SYEP's summer internship program provides youth with the opportunity to learn about the world of work and help prepare them for future careers. Approximately 400 youth have been placed in seven-week internships in fields that include technology, skilled trades, green jobs, and health.
  • Upward Bound. This college preparatory program moved to Seattle University for the summer. Though Aug. 5, more than 50 students will take classes in core subject areas-math, language arts, science-as well as prepare for SAT tests.
  • Seniors Farmers Market Nutrition Program. The program provides one-time $40 vouchers for 2,000 eligible seniors to receive fresh produce, and the program delivers produce to homebound seniors.
State budget impacts on human services

The recent passage of the $32 billion state budget for the 2011-13 biennium reflected reductions of more than $5 billion, affecting a wide range of programs and services. While the state budget preserves a framework for health, education and social services, a number of programs that serve vulnerable residents were affected. Key reductions or changes in program scope include:

  • Reform of the Disability Lifeline program that will end the existing program and create three new programs
  • Reductions to the Basic Health Plan for low-income working adults
  • A 10 percent reduction to personal care hours for seniors and people with disabilities
  • Reduction to the State Food Assistance Program for legal immigrants

The budget maintained or slightly expanded the following programs that were potentially slated for reduction:

  • Early Childhood Education Assistance Program
  • Home visiting
  • Working Connections Child Care
  • Disability Lifeline
  • Housing Trust Fund

HSD is working with United Way of King County and other funders to prepare a report that addresses the impact of state and federal cuts on the health and human services needs of people in King County.

HSD to receive $100K for elder abuse program

HSD will receive a $100,000 grant to provide advocacy and service coordination to survivors of elder abuse, neglect and exploitation, age 50 and older. The King County Prosecutor's office, with funding from the U.S. Department of Justice - Office on Violence Against Women, is the grantor for this one-year pilot project. The services provided, through a full-time designated Aging and Disability Services case manager, will include safety planning, information and assistance, supervised referrals, court accompaniment, coordination of services and one-to-one advocacy. The target start date is October 2011.

HSD in the news!
Mayor Farm2Table

Mayor McGinn visits Farm to Table site.

Farm to Table: Seattle Times columnist Nicole Brodeur featured the Mayor's visit to a Farm to Table project administered by the Human Services Department, bringing farm fresh produce to local preschools and senior meals programs.


Summer Food Service Program: KOMO TV and the Seattle Channel ran stories on this important food program for kids.


Student success: Q13 TV featured the inspirational example of high school senior Ressie Brown in a story about high school graduation rates. For several years, Ressie received counseling services at the school-based health center at Chief Sealth High School funded in part by HSD through the Families & Education Levy.


Program increases Latino graduation rates

El Centro de la Raza's partnership with Proyecto Saber, funded in part by HSD, has been very successful in helping Latino youth graduate from high school and middle school. This year 71 out of 74 seniors (96%) in Proyecto Saber at Ballard and Chief Sealth High School graduated compared to the average Latino graduation rate of 49% in 2010. Sixty-two of 64 (97%) 8th graders at Denny were promoted to 9th grade.

Search for division director continues

The search for a division director for HSD's Youth & Family Empowerment Division goes on after a candidate who originally accepted a job offer, rescinded her acceptance because of a change in her family circumstances. HSD is committed to recruiting the best candidate for this position and the department plans to re-launch recruitment efforts this fall. Jerry DeGrieck will continue to serve as the interim division director Jerry is available at 206-684-0684 or

Human Services Coalition gives awards
Human Services Coalition award LARGER

Adrienne Wingo received the Mayor's Award from the Seattle Human Services Coaltion.

The Seattle Human Services Coalition presented the 19th annual Human Services Awards on June 2, 2011 at Seattle City Hall. This year's winners reflect a diversity of backgrounds and experiences, but all of the honorees share a passion and commitment for service.

  • Mayor's Award: Adrienne Wingo for her long-time advocay for early learning
  • Outstanding Organization Award: St. Vincent de Paul Society of Seattle/King County
  • Ron Chisom Anti-Racism Award: YWCA of Seattle | King County | Snohomish County
  • Innovative Program Award: Pathways to Wellness
  • Stewardship Award: U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott
  • Excellence in Advocacy: Remy Trupin

For more information about award winners, please visit the coalition Web site.


Aging Your Way

Want to know what boomers are doing to get their communities ready to support the "Age Wave"? After one year and nine gatherings in neighborhoods in King County, 600 people have participated in an initiative called "Aging Your Way," sponsored by Senior Services. Boomers created visions of what their communities will have to look like to support them as they age, then brainstormed projects that would make those visions a reality. To find out more about these visions, the action teams that are working on the projects (maybe you'll join one?) and what's next for this exciting program, visit this Web site and click on "Aging Your Way."

Former Aging & Disability Services Advisory Council chair wins award

Don Moreland

Don Moreland, Vice Chair of the State Council on Aging (and past chair of the Aging and Disability Services Advisory Council) has received a Silver Honoree Community Champion award from the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging for his effective leadership and advocacy on behalf of older adults and people with disabilities.


Don was one of 26 exceptional volunteers receiving the award from a pool of more than 160 nominations.


Seeking comment on Plan on Aging

The development for the 2012-2015 Area Plan on Aging is under way. The process includes: 1) research and community input to inform the content, 2) public review of the draft plan, and 3) state review and acceptance. For more information please visit this Web page. The Human Services Department's Aging and Disability Services division will host three public hearings to accept comments on the draft plan (which will be available on July 25th):

  • Wednesday, July 27, 10 a.m., Renton City Hall, Council Chambers
  • Tuesday, August 9, 10 a.m., Bellevue City Hall
  • Monday, August 8, 12:00 p.m., location TBD

For more information, see this Web site.


Veterans & Human Services Levy 2010 Report

VHS Levy report

The recently released Veterans and Human Services Levy 2010 Annual Report provides a wealth of information about how the levy has helped veterans, military personnel, their families, and other people in need. Approved by King County voters in 2005, the levy provides $13 million a year through 2011. Seattle Human Services Department programs that are partially supported by the levy include services that provide home visits by nurses to young, at-risk mothers, treatment for minor depression for seniors, connection of clients to primary health care, coordination work with landlords to help homeless people access housing, the Safe Harbors homeless information management system, and more. The levy is up for renewal on the August 16th, 2011 primary ballot.

HSD logo

Life Lines is published monthly by the City of Seattle's Human Service Department. Our mission 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. For more timely or breaking news, visit our blog, Human Interests, or visit our Web site. If you have questions, please e-mail David Takami or call 206-684-0253.

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