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December 2013

Human services preserved and enhanced in 2014 budget


On November 25th, the City Council approved the 2014 Budget. Fortunately for HSD and the vulnerable individuals and families we serve, human services remained a priority for both Mayor McGinn in his Proposed Budget, and the City Council. After several weeks of deliberations, the Council largely left the Mayor's Proposed Budget intact, preserving and enhancing human services. (See my message on the Mayor's Proposed Budget, sent out in September 2013.) The Council added funding for some key program areas, and reduced funding in other areas. The combined result (Mayor and Council) was more than $6 million in budget adds to HSD for a total department budget for 2014 of $130 million. Highlighted below are the key Council actions.

Council Actions - Additions
For homeless individuals and families
* Homeless families path to housing: $580,000
* Unsheltered families shelter and services: $200,000
* Road to Housing Program: $100,000
* Housing stability services: $100,000
For domestic violence victims
* Domestic violence legal advocate: $15,000
For early learning programs
* Expand Early Learning Academy: $168,000
For food programs
* Fruit gleaning (collecting leftover fruit from fruit trees) for food banks: $58,000
For seniors and adults with disabilities
* Senior Centers: $240,000 (in addition to $210,000 in the Mayor's Proposed Budget)
For public health services
* North Seattle Health Clinic: capital funding $250,000

Council Actions - Reductions
* Reduction of $400,000 to the Center City Initiative, which includes Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) and the Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT); total funding for 2014 is now $1.1 million.
* Reduction of $400,000 for the proposed phase 2 of Career Bridge involving Early Language Learners
* Reduction of $365,000 to Comprehensive Child Care Program; total funding for 2014 is now $2.3 million
* Reduction of $406,000 backfilling for lost federal funding for county (not City) services for seniors; total funding for the backfill is now $225,000
* Elimination of $240,000 in funding for the newly proposed Young Adult Violence Prevention Program
For more information about the budget please visit this Web page.

Catherine Lester
Interim Director, Seattle Human Services Department
Severe winter shelter open during cold snap

Cold weather In response to night-time temperatures in the 20s and high teens, the Seattle Human Services Department opened a severe weather shelter for homeless people at the Seattle Center's Rainier Room - capacity 100 persons - beginning on Tuesday, Dec. 3rd. The shelter is scheduled to close on Wednesday, Dec. 11th, unless the cold weather continues. The recently passed City budget provides funding ($112,000) to keep the shelters at City Hall and Plymouth Congregational Church (for women only) open throughout the year. Previously, these two shelters were only open six months in a year from October through March. 

Funding awards announced for senior meals
The Seattle Human Services Department last month announced funding awards for two agencies to provide home-delivered meals to homebound seniors in Seattle and King County:
* $324,904 was awarded to Lifelong AIDS Alliance for the Chicken Soup Brigade to serve 74,690 meals to 411 participants.
* $840,070 was awarded to Senior Services for Meals on Wheels to serve 357,476 meals to 1,920 participants.
A total of four proposals were submitted ($1,734,137 in funding requests). Two applicants were selected for the $1,164,974 in available funding.
Video promotes campaign to combat human trafficking

The Seattle Human Services Department's Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Prevention staff helped create and staff a display and video on human trafficking at the national conference of the National League of Cities, held in Seattle from November 13-15 at the downtown Convention Center. To view the video, "Not on Our Watch," please click here. Human Trafficking was also the subject the Seattle Channel's recent City Inside/Out program. See this link

HSD teams with King County, others to 'rapidly re-house' homeless families
The Rapid Re-Housing Pilot has launched. This partnership between the City of Seattle, Seattle Housing Authority, Building Changes, King County and United Way will select three to five agencies to participate in a pilot project to test a new rapid re-housing program that will assist homeless families in moving quickly into their own housing. All families will be referred through Family Housing Connection and will primarily come from shelters. The program will connect families with employment services, as needed, and will test elements of the promising practice of "progressive engagement," building on lessons learned nationally and locally. The pilot is expected to move approximately 300 families out of shelter into rental housing during 2014.
City partners with United Way to offer FREE tax preparation
The Seattle Human Services Department and United Way of King County's Free Tax Campaign are partnering to offer free tax preparation at drop-in sites across Seattle. From January 14th to April 15th, anyone making under $52,000 a year can drop-in and have their taxes prepared for them at the Seattle Public Library, Rainier and Rainier Beach Community Centers, El Centro De la Raza, Seattle Goodwill, Lake City Neighborhood Service Center, YWCA in Greenbridge, or Phinney Neighborhood Center.

In addition to tax help, benefits volunteers will also be on site to help with health care enrollment, credit pulls, and money for college or food. This service is always free, and is provided by hundreds of trained local volunteers. To learn more this service, or to join the team as a tax preparer or benefits volunteer, visit this Web page
Diabetes on the rise
Did you know that nearly 26 million Americans have diabetes, a serious disease in which blood glucose (blood sugar) levels are above normal? Most people with diabetes have type 2, which used to be called adult-onset diabetes. At one time, type 2 diabetes was more common in people over age 45. Now more young people-even children-have the disease because many are overweight or obese.

Diabetes affects everyone in some way. It not only affects the individual with the disease, it also affects those who live with him or her and those who are related. This year's theme for National Diabetes Month (November) was "Diabetes is a Family Affair."'

For more information about diabetes, including the risk factors and steps to controlling the disease, visit this Web page, or contact Mary Pat O'Leary, RN, a planner with the Seattle Human Services Department's Aging & Disability Services division at or 206-684-0683.
New grant will establish Financial Empowerment Centers
Finance On November 13, 2013, the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation announced its largest grant ever in social services: $1.8 million to the City of Seattle to implement Financial Empowerment Centers (FEC), a three-year grant, $600,000 per year. Through this grant, the City has the opportunity to bring financial empowerment services to scale and provide these services to clients in City-funded programs. The FEC will provide free high quality one-on-one financial education, counseling, and coaching with the objective of helping people to become financially stable.

The grant will be administered by the Human Services Department. The Mayor's Office was instrumental in advancing the City's role in financial empowerment and in obtaining this grant. Neighborhood House will operate the full-time FEC hub site in Rainier Vista and six satellite sites throughout Seattle. FEC services will be co-located with City-funded and other social service programs. Five FEC counselors will provide services at the sites.

For more information, please contact Jerry DeGrieck at 206-684-4029 or
January Coffee Hour features Councilmember Burgess
The January 2014 Senior Coffee Hour offered by the Mayor's Office for Senior Citizens, features Seattle City Councilmember Tim Burgess.

The event is on Thursday, Jan. 16th, 10-11 a.m., in the Central Building, 810 3rd Avenue, in downtown Seattle. There will be no Coffee Hour in December 2013.

Other Coffee Hour guests in 2014 include Paula Houston, Executive Director of Senior Services, on Feb. 20th, and Councilmember Bruce Harrell on March 20th.
HSD names new finance director
Stan Lewis has joined the Seattle Human Services Department as the Finance and Contracts Director. Stan worked for the Finance Department at the City of North Bend for 13 years, most recently as the Finance Manager.

Previously, he was an accountant for the Seattle law firm Bogle & Gates. Stan has extensive experience in budget preparation and administration and all other aspects of financial management.

Mark Putnam to head Committee to End Homelessness
Mark Putnam has been named the new Project Director for the Committee to End Homelessness (CEH). Putnam brings a strong understanding of our local community, and is an acknowledged expert on local and national best practices and homeless policy. He most recently worked for Building Changes, where he was the key leader in bringing together the funders and providers to prevent youth homelessness. Putnam replaces Bill Block, who resigned earlier this year. Block was recently appointed to the position of U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Regional Administrator for Region X by President Barrack Obama. Putnam will join CEH on Dec. 16th. 
Seattle Channel program focuses on homelessness
The Seattle Channel, the City of Seattle's municipal television station, features the City and county's response to homelessness on the program "City Inside/Out." Among the featured guests is HSD Interim Director Catherine Lester. The program explores the issue of homelessness and the region's efforts to prevent and end homelessness, including the City's Center City Initiative. To view the video, please click here
United Way helps agencies manage volunteers
United Way logo Need help managing your volunteers? United Way of King County is helping local agencies broaden volunteerism and use volunteers more effectively. This strategy is especially important as the need for services grows and resources decline. The program is called Volunteer Impact Partnership or VIP. For more information about VIP, please visit this Web site.
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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