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October 2012

Mayor's Proposed Budget boosts human services

Dannette R. Smith


Mayor McGinn once again showed his commitment to human services in his Proposed 2013-2014 Budget, which was unveiled to the City Council on September 24th. I wanted to highlight a few of the new human services investments included in the budget.


In a press conference at El Centro de la Raza on September 19th, Mayor McGinn announced an expansion of a City program providing child care to low- and moderate-income families, assistance to homeless families with children, and an increase in funding for human services providers to cover the costs of inflation. For more information on these programs, please see this news release or watch the press conference.

On October 2nd at Mt. Zion Baptist Church, the Mayor detailed support for the Career Bridge pilot project, an innovative partnership among the City of Seattle, the Seattle Jobs Initiative, and grassroots community groups to help low-income individuals who face significant barriers to employment begin on a pathway to a living-wage job and career. "We are committed to building a city where everyone in our community has the opportunity to prosper," said Mayor McGinn.

Career Bridge will work with community partners to provide personal support and mentoring, needed services, job search skills, and career development to help low-income adults find good jobs and become self-sufficient. The project is being piloted this year, and over the next two years, this partnership will serve an estimated 360 individuals, providing them with training, wrap-around supports, and job placement services help them find meaningful, good-paying jobs that are in demand in our growing economy. For more information, please see the news release or see the press conference in which community members shared inspiring personal stories. 

Dannette R. Smith
Director, Seattle Human Services Department
Basic information about Mayor's Proposed Budget

The Mayor presented his Proposed 2013-2014 Budget to the City Council on September 24th. For details about the budget and a link to the Mayor's September 24th budget speech click here. The City Council will hold two public hearings on the Proposed Budget, one that just took place on October 4th and the other on October 25th, 5:30 p.m., City Council Chambers.

HSD on Facebook, Twitter!

FacebookYes, even the human services world has entered the realm of social media. Many service providers are on Facebook and Twitter, and so is the Seattle Human Services Department. It is another way to stay connected and hear about the latest news and information about funding opportunities and other need-to-know. Please visit us on Facebook and "like" our page. Follow us on Twitter @SeattleHSD 

HSD opens winter shelter for 6 months

Cold weatherAs the nights grow colder, the Human Services Department is working to protect vulnerable residents from the elements. The City opened its two winter shelters for homeless people on October 1st, 2012. They will remain open through March 31st, 2013. The City Hall shelter, serving adult men and women, is located on Fourth Avenue between James and Cherry streets. Shelter doors open at 8:30 p.m. and closes the following morning at 7 a.m. Capacity is 75 people. The Frye Hotel provides shelter for adult women only. The Frye is located at Third Avenue and Yesler Way in downtown Seattle. The shelter opens at 8:00 p.m. and closes the following morning at 7 a.m. Capacity is 25 people.


King County decided to move up the date of opening its homeless shelter in the King County Administration Building to October 2nd instead of November 1st. The King County Women's Winter Response Shelter also opened on October 2nd. 

Easing the impact of ending the Ride-Free Zone

After nearly 40 years, Metro has eliminated its ride-free bus zone in downtown Seattle. This will have a significant impact on many people served by human services agencies in the area. To help mitigate the impacts of this closure, Solid Ground, a community human services agency, is providing free rides on its Downtown Circulator Bus for people living on low incomes and those who need access to health and human services. Beginning on October 1st, 2012, two large vans will travel a fixed 4.5-mile route, Mondays through Fridays, starting and ending at Harborview Hospital. This pilot project is funded by Metro and the City of Seattle (Seattle Department of Transportation). The Human Services Department has been working with Solid Ground on spreading the word among agencies that serve homeless and low-income people. For more information, visit this Web site.


In addition, the City and King County have developed a program that gives motor vehicle owners an option to donate bus tickets with the renewal of vehicle registration with King County. Donated tickets from this program with an estimated total value of $92,000 have been added to the existing Human Services Reduced Fare Bus Ticket Program and were split evenly between the City and the County. The Human Services Reduced Fare Bus Ticket Program allows agencies serving primarily homeless clients to purchase bus tickets at 20% of the cost, with Metro subsidizing the remaining 80%. If agencies need more information or would like to apply for 2013, they can e-mail HSD's Lindsey Zimmerman at HSD has allocated the additional bus ticket subsidies to four agencies that have historically requested additional tickets: Operation Nightwatch, FareStart, Mary's Place, and SHARE/WHEEL. The County ran a separate allocation process. 

HSD puts new funding policies and procedures in place
The Human Services Department (HSD) recently launched a new funding processes as detailed in Funding Process Manual: A Guide to Human Services Department's Funding Policies and Procedures. The new processes, which will guide HSD's investments of more than $80 million a year in community-based agencies, are a key recommendation in HSD's strategic plan, Healthy Communities, Healthy Families. The manual was developed following research on funding practices in other jurisdictions, interviews with peers, agency partners and other stakeholders, and feedback from HSD staff. Key changes include:
1. Significantly expanded and comprehensive community engagement
2. Emphasis on use of data to prioritize needs and to guide funding
3. Standardized methods of communication to agencies
4. Clarified roles and expectations of the proposal review committee
5. An improved appeals process with clearer, detailed information
6. Mandatory site visits to determine whether the proposed program can meet investment expectations

Several funding opportunities released by HSD this year have used or piloted the improved funding process, available resources and templates. For more information, please e-mail Sara Levin, at

 HSD hires public health advisor

Heidi Albritton began work at the Human Services Department as Strategic Heidi AlbrittonAdvisor for Public Health on September 12th. Most recently, Heidi served as an Ouray (Colorado) County Commissioner, an elected position, for seven years. As commissioner, she helped supervise an $8 million county budget, 11 county departments and five elected offices.


Heidi excelled in policy evaluation and advocacy, project management and strategic planning. Heidi can be reached at or 684-0684.

'Silver Tsunami' candidates forum draws 200

On October 1st, more than 200 advocates, policy makers, and candidates for the State Legislature participated in the "Silver Tsunami: A Candidate's Forum on Washington's Aging Readiness" at the Mercer Island Community Center. This lunchtime event was coordinated by the Advisory Council on Aging and Disability Services, and sponsored by a diverse group of nonprofits and advocacy groups, including AARP Washington, the Bellevue Network on Aging, the ElderCare Alliance, and the Washington State Senior Citizens' Lobby. Nineteen candidates from across King County responded to a panel on Washington's Aging Readiness, and answered questions.

City seeks comment on future of Fire Station #39

The City has recommended using the former Fire Station 39 site in Lake City to create housing for homeless and/or low-income families, with ground floor uses that serve building residents and the community at large. The City wants community feedback before it makes a decision on the property. Two meetings will be held at Nathan Hale High School Cafeteria (10750 - 30th Ave. NE) on the following dates:

* Saturday, October 6th, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
* Monday, October 15th, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

If you have any questions, please contact Richard Gholaghong, Finance & Administrative Services, at 206-684-0621 or Or see the meeting flier.  

Medicare re-enrollment topic of October Senior Coffee Hour

The Mayor's Office for Senior Citizens presents the monthly Senior Coffee Hour on Thursday, October 18th, at 10 a.m., in the Central Building, 810 3rd Avenue (between Columbia and Marion Streets) in downtown Seattle.


Featured speaker is Andrew Tartella, Center for Medicare & Medicaid, who will talk about Medicare re-enrollment.


Free financial advice on Financial Planning Day

Piggy BankSeattle Financial Planning day is here again on Saturday, October 13th from 10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Garfield Community Center. Free on-on-one professional financial planning advice is available, as well as credit/debt counseling and housing counseling. Get help with budgeting, investing, small business planning, and applying for public benefits. Workshops on managing your money, credit reports and scores, and debt collection To learn more go to this Web page.

Energy, Utility & Resource Summit on Oct. 25 at ACRS

Sponsored by the Seattle Human Services Department, Seattle Public Utilities and Seattle City Light, this summit will provide information about electric and water rate discounts, conservation and weatherization programs and more October 25th, 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Asian Counseling & Referral Service, 3639 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way S, 98144.

Video on anti-depression program

PEARLS logoOn September 26th, the Seattle Human Services Department's Aging & Disability Services (ADS) released a digital story about the PEARLS program. PEARLS is an in-home program to help older adults with minor depression. With the King County Human Services and Veterans Levy, ADS funds outreach to veterans. Case manager Paul Snow, a veteran, shared his personal story and ADS planner Karen Winston produced the video.

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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