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July 2013

Ensuring the continuity of service


Catherine Lester It has been my privilege to serve as Deputy Director of the Seattle Human Services Department (HSD) under Dannette R. Smith for the past two years. As I begin my new role as Interim Director, I am eager to keep the department focused on moving forward on the path we have established with our Strategic Plan, and to maintain the strong and productive relationships our department has with service providers and other partners.

I would like to share with you my priorities for the department through the end of this year:  

  1. Managing the transition - ensuring continuity of services for our clients by continuing to support our staff and community partners in this work
  2. Launching the outcomes framework - completing the outcomes framework as the strategy for transforming the department into a seamless, equitable and data-driven organization
  3. Supporting HSD leaders - supporting department leaders with additional leadership and professional development
During this transition, my contact information will remain the same - telephone 206-386-1143 and e-mail Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns you might have. In my absence you may also contact my assistants, Michael Taylor-Judd at 206-684-0111 or, or Deborah Harris at 206-684-8852 or

I look forward to working closely with many of you over these next few months! 

Catherine Lester
Interim Director, Seattle Human Services Department
FREE meals for kids this summer

SFSPOn Friday, June 21st, Mayor McGinn kicked off HSD's Summer Food Service Program, which offers FREE breakfasts, lunches and snacks to kids age 1 to 18 at approximately 100 community sites. During the school year, thousands of children receive free and reduced-price breakfast and lunch through Seattle Public Schools. When school lets out, many of these children face a higher risk for hunger. The Summer Food Service Program helps fill the nutrition gap to make sure children get the nutritious meals they need. The program runs from June 24th to Aug. 23rd, 2013. For more information, call 206-386-1140 or see this press release or view this Seattle Channel video.  


Winter shelters extended through summer

In mid-June, Mayor McGinn announced that shelters providing beds for 115 individuals slated to close on June 15 will remain open through September 30th, offering a safe place for men and women needing overnight emergency shelter. After September 30th, the regularly scheduled operations of the winter shelters go into effect from October 1, 2013 through March 31, 2014. Shelter extensions through September 30, 2013 include: 

  • Seattle City Hall: Serving adult men and women, located on 4th Ave. between James and Cherry streets. Shelter doors open at 7 p.m. Capacity is 75 people.
  • Angeline's Center for Homeless Women: Serving women only, located at 2030 3rd Ave. Intake begins at 6 p.m. Capacity is 40 women.

For more information, please see this news release.  


Also in June, King County decided to extend 50 beds in the winter shelter at the County Administrative building until mid- to late September.    

Nickelsville update
The Seattle Human Services Department is working with other City of Seattle departments, Public Health - Seattle & King County and the Union Gospel Mission to develop a plan to meet the housing needs of the residents living at Nickelsville. The plan, funded by $500,000 in funding recently approved by the City Council, will include counselors and case managers to work one-on-one with Nickelsville's 160 residents to place them in stable housing situations through partner institutions. 
Preparing for the NEXT heat wave

Heat waveSeattle and surrounding areas experience a mini heat wave during the first couple of days in July and it was a good reminder of what steps we can take if we face another more prolonged spell of hot weather.  


Many of the tips for keeping cool are common sense: staying out of the sun, drinking plenty of fluids and checking on elderly relatives and neighbors to make sure they are safe and hydrated.

Many homes in Seattle are not equipped with air conditioning and may get very hot during the day. The City offers many locations for you to cool down when the temperatures start to rise. Visit 18 of the City's libraries, senior centers or Seattle Center facilities for some relief to today's record-breaking heat. For more information, see this news release, information about parks facilities, and tips on caring for your pet

Youth wins national art contest 

Abraham TSeattle Youth Employment Program participant Abraham Tesfelaise recently won an art contest and his painting will soon be displayed in the U.S. Capitol! 


See this article in the Seattle Times

July Coffee Hour to feature Jesse Eller

Jesse EllerPlease join us at the Mayor's for Senior Citizens' Senior Coffee Hour, this month featuring Aging & Disability (ADS) Director Jesse Eller. ADS is a division of the Seattle Human Services Department.

Event details: Thursday, July 18, 2013, 10:00-11:00 a.m., at the Central Building, 810 3rd Ave., between Columbia and Marion streets.
Volunteers help answer questions about Medicare

Do you have questions about Medicare and health insurance? See a 

trained volunteer at the Mayor's Office for Senior Citizens. The office is now hosting the Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors (SHIBA) program, part of the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner. Trained volunteers to assist the public with free, unbiased, and confidential assistance with Medicare and  health care choices. Senior Services sponsors the program in King County. The Mayor's Office for Senior Citizens is part of the Seattle Human Services Department. For more information see this news release.

Like us on Facebook!

Yes, even the human services world has entered the realm of social media. 

TwitterFacebookMany 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 information. Please visit us on Facebook and "like" our page. Follow us on Twitter @SeattleHSD.  


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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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