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November 2011

Dannette R. SmithMeeting with community on "Future State," contracting 
Engaging our community stakeholders in some of the changes the Human Services Department (HSD) is proposing is one of my highest priorities. In the past few weeks, I've been especially busy meeting with numerous groups to discuss the department's plans to revamp our contracting processes and plan for our "Future State," a framework that will allow the department to implement our Strategic Plan. The meetings will continue into November but so far, we have briefed the Mayor's Office and met individually with almost all City Councilmembers.

Among the community groups that we met with are the Seattle Human Services Coalition, Minority Executive Directors Coalition, Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault agencies, Aging and Disability Services (ADS) Advisory Council, ADS providers, Committee to End Homelessness Funders Group, and the Asian Pacific Islander Directors Coalition.

I am pleased that the reception has been very positive-our partners understand the need for us to organize ourselves in a way to provide the best possible programs to the people we serve. In particular, the Mayor's Office and City Councilmembers were receptive to the four "asks" we presented to them to consider:
1.    Preserve HSD staff capacity to implement the new vision.
2.    Recognize the impact of reengineering effort on staff and community.
3.    Consider enhancements to HSD's technology infrastructure.
4.    Help champion this effort with providers and other stakeholders.

We plan to meet with the same groups and others twice during the next few months to report on our progress.

Dannette R. Smith
Director, Seattle Human Services Department
Council reviews HSD budget
The City Council's Special Budget Committee heard an overview of the Seattle Human Services Department's proposed budget from Council Central Staff on Monday, Oct. 24th, 2011. Central Staff also highlighted issues of interest or concern. See the video of the meeting here.
Belltown and Pioneer Square walking tours
In September, Seattle Human Services Department (HSD) Director Dannette R. Smith and staff took late-night walking tours of the Belltown and Pioneer Square with representatives from several service providers serving homeless people. For the past several weeks, HSD has working in collaboration with providers, Seattle Police, the Mayor's Office, community residents and businesses to address issues and concerns about crime and public safety. The group is committed to working together to preserve the quality of life in these neighborhoods while continuing to serve people who need assistance the most.
Governor proposes deep cuts to health and human services
Governor Gregoire released her plan to reduce the state's $2 billion budget deficit on October 26th, and the proposal, if adopted by the State Legislature, would make more than $600 million in cuts to health and human services programs, including pre-school and child care, education, domestic violence prevention, basic health care, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), food assistance, Disability Lifeline, chemical dependency services, long-term care, dental care for persons with developmental disabilities, and much more. Seattle Human Services Department staff are analyzing the direct and indirect impacts of these proposed cuts and will post this information on our blog, Human Interests. For a full list of cut options and a look at the governor's preferred choices, visit this Web site
Mayor visits day center for homeless women
Last month, Mayor Mike McGinn visited Mary's Place, a day center forMayor at Mary's Place homeless women in downtown Seattle. He took a tour of facility, then met with about 100 women in the common room, to hear their stories and answer questions. Said "Miss Gwynette" at this meeting: "I've been homeless for four and a half months. All the ladies here are family to me. When I first came here I was lost, but they look out for me. Thanks to Mary's Place I found shelter and have a new stroller." Open weekdays from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Mary's Place serves 150-180 women a day with services such as meals, showers, laundry facilities, naturopathic clinic, thrift shop, and case management information and referral on housing. For more information about Mary's Place, see this Web site.
HSD receives federal grant to prevent violence against women
The Seattle Human Services Department has been awarded a two-year $921,000 grant from the federal Office of Violence Against Women to develop and strengthen responses to violence against women. The Grants to Encourage Arrests Policies and Enforcement of Protection Orders (Arrest) Program encourages communities to treat domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking as serious crimes by strengthening the criminal justice response to these crimes and promoting a coordinated community response. Victim safety and offender accountability are the centerpiece of projects funded by this grant program.
Domestic violence awareness is focus of awards
On October 11, the Seattle Human Services Department co-hosted the Domes

City Attorney Cindi Williams, SPD Detective Nadia Fiorini, Mayor Mike McGinn and City Attorney Peter Holmes


tic Violence Awareness Month Awards Ceremony with the City Attorney's Office, King County Prosecutor's Office and King County Department of Community and Human Services. Mayor Mike McGinn and King County Executive Dow Constantine acknowledged the efforts of the City and the County in combating domestic violence and maintaining funding for this essential service. In 2010, Seattle domestic violence agencies worked with 1,638 adult victims by providing education, safety planning and case management. Another 1,118 women and children who fled their homes because of domestic violence sought refuge through motel vouchers, Seattle domestic violence emergency shelters and transitional housing programs. Among the awardees were four officers from the King County Sheriff Department and the Seattle Police Department who went above and beyond the call of duty to investigate, refer and assist in the prosecution of domestic violence perpetrators.
Farm to Table training video
A new training video shows the key lessons learned from the first year of the Farm to Table program. Funded by Public Health - Seattle & King County through a federal "stimulus" grant, Farm to Table provides seniors and preschool children with healthy meals and snacks prepared from fresh and local produce. The Seattle Human Services Department's Aging & Disability Services (ADS) division and Youth & Family Empowerment division are working with the Puget Sound food Network, local farmers, other partners and HSD-funded senior meal programs and child centers. The video provides information about food procurement and distribution, meal planning and cooking, and overall coordination and requirements. Filmed at the SnoValley Senior Center, one of ADS's congregate meal sites, the video was produced by the Washington State Department of Agriculture in cooperation with Senior Services.
Safe and Stable Housing update
The Seattle Human Services Department concluded a series of advisory council meetings for the Communities Supporting Safe & Stable Housing Initiative last month. Five community meetings were held from May through September with more than 45 agencies (79 different individuals) participating. The meetings are informing our planning for the 2012 Request for Investment in emergency shelter, transitional housing, day centers/hygiene centers and supportive services for people who are homeless. In addition to the advisory council meetings, HSD staff held focus groups with youth community and clients, domestic violence (DV) providers, DV survivors and families, and single adults in homeless shelter and day programs. For updates and details of these meetings, please visit the initiative Web page.
Delay of refugee youth RFI
At the request of City Council, the Request for Investments (RFI) for Integrated Job Readiness Training for Immigrant/Refugee Youth & Families has been delayed until after the City budget process. The RFI was originally scheduled for release on Oct. 13th, 2011.
Financial Planning Day

Financial Planning Day on Saturday, Oct. 22nd helped more than 150 lowFinancial advice- and moderate-income people obtain free professional financial planning advice and get connected to a variety of financial empowerment services including credit/debt assistance, foreclosure prevention, applications for public benefits, and more.


Among the event sponsors were the City of Seattle, Seattle-King County Asset Building Collaborative, Financial Planning Association, U.S. Conference of Mayors, and United Way of King County. If you need more information about City of Seattle public benefits, please visit this Web site.

Early enrollment for kindergarten 2012-2013 under way
The Seattle Human Services Department is partnering with Seattle Public Schools to host early kindergarten enrollment nights at seven elementary schools and other community locations in Seattle this November, December and January. For more information and a list of enrollment night locations, please see this news release. Families who attend will have a chance to meet school principals and hear from kindergarten teachers and family support workers about what to expect in kindergarten.
Thanksgiving meal programs
During the week before, during and after the Thanksgiving holiday, a number of churches and community organizations in Seattle offer free or low-cost Thanksgiving meals for individuals and families in the area. Here is a list of Thanksgiving meals being served during the month of November.
School attendance campaign under way
The Seattle Mayor's Office, in partnership with Seattle Public Schools, the Alliance for Education and Get Schooled, have launched a citywide campaign to encourage students to get to school. "Be Here. Get There." is a research-driven, incentive-based campaign to increase community focus and awareness on the important link between school attendance and a student's future success. For more information, please visit this Web site.
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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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