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May 2012

Mayor Launches Draft Investment Plan for Homeless Programs  


Dannette R. SmithOne of the most important jobs of the Seattle Human Service Department is to prevent people from becoming homeless and to move toward our goal of ending homelessness in our community.

A new draft plan announced by Mayor McGinn on May 11 - Communities Supporting Safe & Stable Housing Investment Plan - provides a framework for this work. For more than a year we held community discussions with hundreds of people including clients of services, community members, shelter and housing providers, businesses, faith communities, charitable foundations, schools, local governments and elected officials.

Our goal is to get people out of shelters and into housing as quickly as possible. This approach will improve our effectiveness at preventing and ending homelessness while allowing us to maintain our commitment to helping people who need a shelter bed and supportive services.

The new framework emphasizes investments in three areas:

  • Homelessness Prevention - providing assistance to prevent people from entering the shelter system.
  • Intervention Services - connecting people who are homeless with the resources they need to get into stable housing.
  • Housing Placement, Stabilization and Support - Helping people find and remain in stable and safe housing. 

At the heart of the plan is a set of Guiding Principles that all agencies receiving City funds must demonstrate. The principles touch on the quality standards we expect of our providers, the data we need in order to provide people with the right services at the right time, coordination with other service providers, and much more.

This is a partnership. While the plan asks more of our providers, we are also asking more of ourselves. HSD is revamping its contracting and funding processes to make them more consistent, accessible and equitable. The City is also making a commitment to our contractors that the support and technical assistance they need will be available.

The plan requires that a small amount of funds will be distributed through a competitive process. At the same time, we will be working with providers to implement the Guiding Principles and help them build capacity. Starting in 2015, we will begin to gradually increase our overall investments in homelessness prevention, rapid re-housing and housing stabilization services.

For a copy of the draft plan, executive summary, Guiding Principles, and related documents, please visit this Web page.  

For latest information on the Investment Plan and subsequent Request for Investment process, please visit HSD's blog.  


Dannette R. Smith
Director, Seattle Human Services Department


Immigrant, refugee youth will prepare for work world

At an April 20 press conference at Asian Counseling and Referral ServiceMayor with recipientss, Mayor McGinn announced grant awards to six community agencies for an innovative new program to help immigrant and refugee young people age 15-20, prepare for the workplace with training that is coordinated with support for parents. The City will provide $465,000 for the program, funding that was awarded through a competitive Request for Investment (RFI) process. HSD issued applications for the RFI were issued in January 2012. Seventeen agencies applied of which six were selected for funding:

*  Asian Counseling and Referral Service
*  El Centro de la Raza
*  Refugee Women's Alliance
*  Horn of Africa
*  Vietnamese Friendship Association
*  Open Doors for Multicultural Families

For more information please see this news release.
80 new Americans take citizenship oath
In a moving ceremony hosted by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
Photo by Anthony Harris
(USCIS), the Seattle Public Library, and Seattle Human Services Department, 80 people recited the oath of citizenship and become naturalized U.S. citizens. Mayor McGinn gave the keynote address. HSD's New Citizen Program (NCP) provides $746,000 in 2012 funding to 14 community-based organizations that help low-income immigrants and refugees apply for U.S. citizenship and prepare for the required English and U.S. history and civics tests. For more information on NCP, please visit this Web site.
Vouchers provide fresh produce for low-income seniors 

VegetablesApplications are now available for the popular Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program, which provides low-income seniors with $40 in voucher checks that can be exchanged for fresh produce at farmers markets, roadside stands, and community-supported agriculture programs throughout King County. Applicants must be King County residents age 60 or older (age 55 or older if American Indian/Alaska Native) and low-income below 185 percent of Federal Poverty Level. Completed applications must be submitted by mail and postmarked by June 4, 2012. All applicants will receive a letter by early July informing them of their status. For applications and more information, please visit this Web site.

Upward  Bound teams with Habitat for Humanity

On April 18, 2012 eight Upward Bound students joined Habitat Upward Bound Habitat

with Humanity and worked a full day on a home in Federal Way. Students worked on various projects and learned construction site safety, how to build a fence, install railroad tiles for landscaping and painted. They look forward to the opening when the house is finished.  

Somali seniors enjoy lunch program

A photo journal in the Seattle Times highlighted activities at the Somali Community Services of Seattle (SCSS). The Human Services Department's Aging & Disability Services funds the senior lunch program. SCSS is a partner with Refugee Women's Alliance (the ADS contractor). ADS also supports van transportation to and from the senior lunch program through a grant with Senior Services. 

Video lists HSD programs for seniors
A recent Seattle Channel video on Seattle senior centers included information about City of Seattle/Human Services Department senior programs. Senior Center

HSD funding opportunities  
The Seattle Human Services Department (HSD) currently has two funding opportunities for qualified service providers:
  • Neighborhood shelter RFI: The Neighborhood Shelter Fund Request for Investment (RFI), was released on April 30, 2012. HSD is seeking investment proposals to increase a community's capacity to provide shelter services for homeless persons and families. Approximately $65,000 is available for the period September 2012 - August 2013. The deadline for applications is June 15, 2012.
  • Levy Early Learning Assessment RFQ: For this Families & Education Levy Request for Qualifications (RFQ),HSD and the Office for Education are seeking proposals from qualified organizations and individuals interested in providing assessment services to City-supported programs that serve low-income, three- and four-year old children and their families in Seattle. Approximately $130,025 is available through for the period of September 2012 - August 2013. The deadline for submittals is June 6, 2012.
For more information please visit the funding page on HSD's Web site.
Seattle early learning programs cited in study
The National League of Cities (NLC) held a webinar on April 30, 2012 on "Educational Alignment for Young Children: Profiles of Local Innovation," which coincided with the release of NLC's case studies on your cities' educational alignment efforts. The webinar highlighted the work of Seattle and four other cities. Sonja Griffin, Strategic Advisor spoke about Seattle's alignment work around curriculum, assessment and professional development. For more information, please visit this Web page.

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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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