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May 2014

May is National Older Americans Month


"How did aging get such a bad rap? Isn't it what we're meant to do?" asks Aging and Disability Services Advisory Council chair Tony Provine in Turning the Tide on Your Attitude about Aging. I had to laugh-of course, that's exactly what we're meant to do!


Aging is a fact.  "Old" is a state of mind. Consider these accomplished individuals:

  • At age 62, Diana Nyad swam 103 miles-from Cuba to Florida. Never mind the sharks, later she had the courage to compete on Dancing with the Stars!
  • At age 65, when Maggie Kuhn was forced into retirement, she founded a national organization that works for social and economic justice and peace for all people.
  • At age 76, Dotti Lydon started volunteering in the Chicken Soup Brigade kitchen at Lifelong AIDS Alliance and then put her friends to work assembling condom kits.
  • At age 89, IDIC activities coordinator Dolly Castillo still advocated for immigration reform.
  • At age 96, tech enthusiast Bill Sleeper was named Geek of the Week.


May is national Older Americans Month 2014. It's a time to recognize that there is no limit to what older people can accomplish, as long as they stay healthy and physically and socially active. I hope you will join Mayor Ed Murray, Executive Dow Constantine, and the Aging and Disability Services (ADS) division in recognizing the older adults who make a difference-at home, at work, and in our community-and also help children, youth, and younger adults understand the importance of staying healthy and active.


This year's Older Americans Month theme is Safe Today. Healthy Tomorrow. Some health and safety topics benefit people of all ages-and really pay off later in life. These include how to communicate effectively with your health care provider, how to avoid or manage chronic health conditions, how to manage medications, how to make your home environment safe (to avoid falls, fires, and toxins), how to reduce caregiver stress, defensive driving skills, personal safety, and financial empowerment.


ADS provides valuable aging information, resources, referrals, and more. Family, friends and clients who are age 60-plus can call Senior Information & Assistance (also available in the Mayor's Office for Senior Citizens at 206-684-0500). Older adults who cannot access services due to barriers such as language, culture or location can contact one of ADS' Community Information & Assistance providers.


Another excellent resource is Encore, a City of Seattle web portal for people age 50+ that ADS developed in collaboration with DoIT.


Starting with Older Americans Month, let's get over the notion that "aging" means "old" and embrace healthy aging-it's what we were meant to do, and we're in it together. If we stay safe, healthy, and active, there's no limit to what we can accomplish! 


Catherine Lester
Interim Director, Seattle Human Services Department


Low-income seniors: Apply now for farmers market produce checks

Applications are now available for the popular Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program, which provides low-income seniors with $40 "checks" to exchange 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 (FPL). In real terms, that means someone who meets the age requirement must have an annual income at or below $21,588 (or $1,799 monthly) if he or she lives alone or $29,100 ($2,425 monthly) if he or she lives with one other person. For larger households, the FPL formula adds $625 per month per person.


"Many King County seniors have been inspired by visiting their local farmers market-perhaps for the first time-and eating fresh, nutritious, unprepared, locally-grown fruits, vegetables, herbs, and honey," said Maureen Linehan, interim director of the Aging and Disability Services division. "This has been a great investment in senior nutrition."


Applications are available online ( or by calling any of the organizations listed below.

  • African American Elders Program: 206-328-6840
  • Asian Counseling & Referral Service: 206-695-7510
  • Chinese Information & Service Center: 206-624-5633 ext 4178
  • Latino Information & Assistance: 206-764-4700
  • Neighborhood House: 206-461-4522
  • Russian Information & Assistance (Irina at JFS): 206-861-8787
  • Seattle Mayor's Office for Senior Citizens: 206-684-0500
  • Senior Information & Assistance (206-448-3110 or 1-888-4ELDERS)

Because funds are limited, a random selection process is used to select recipients. Completed applications must be postmarked on or before May 15, 2014. All applicants will receive mail notification of their status on or before July 1.


A searchable list of local markets can be found on the Washington State Farmers Market Association website (


Senior Coffee Hour features City and County Transportation Policy Advisors

Join us at this month's Senior Coffee Hour for a conversation with Chris Arkills, Transportation Policy Advisor to King County Executive Dow Constantine, and Andrew Glass Hastings, Transportation Policy Advisor to Seattle Mayor Ed Murray. Following the defeat of King County's Proposition 1 to increase funding for Metro transit and roads, come learn what's next for bus service and how it will affect you.


Sponsored by the Mayor's Office for Senior Citizens, the Coffee Hour will be held at 10 a.m. on Thursday, May 15, 2014, at the Central Building, 810 3rd Avenue, 1st Floor Conference Room, in downtown Seattle. The Mayor's Office for Senior Citizens is a unit of the Seattle Human Services Department.

Celebrating Seattle's newest citizens and HSD's New Citizen Program (NCP)

On Monday, April 14th, Interim HSD Director Catherine Lester was honored to join Mayor Murray at the annual Naturalization Ceremony at the Downtown Library, where approximately 80 people from more than 30 countries took the oath of citizenship and became naturalized U.S. citizens.


This special event celebrates the accomplishments of Seattle's newest citizens and recognizes the great public service that the City libraries and HSD's New Citizen Program (NCP) provide to communities throughout Seattle and King County.


NCP provides $755,460 in 2014 funding to 14 community-based organizations that provide free citizenship services to immigrants and refugees. In accordance with the City's Race and Social Justice Initiative (RSJI) principles, NCP aims to end racial and service equity by expanding access and services to communities most in need who otherwise would not be able to navigate the language and legal barriers. Services are prioritized for:

  • low-income City of Seattle legal-permanent residents (LPRs)
  • LPRs with physical or mental disabilities;
  • LPRs 65 years and older;
  • victims of domestic violence and/or human trafficking; and
  • refugees receiving SSI or ABD assistance

For more information on NCP, go to:


Seattle, County receive more than $22 million in federal homeless assistance
Seattle HSD logoFederal homeless assistance funds totaling more than $22.7 million have been awarded to the City of Seattle and King County for 2014-2015, making it possible to continue a range of housing and supportive services for individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.


King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announced the renewal grants following the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announcement of nearly $1.6 billion awarded nationwide.


"Those who are homeless want to get back on their feet and contribute to society, but that's difficult to if they don't have safe, reliable shelter," said Executive Constantine, co-chair of the Committee to End Homelessness Governing Board. "Renewing this grant will not only provide short-term relief to some of the most vulnerable men, women, and children in our communities - it will also help us address the underlying causes of homelessness."


"Our efforts are making a difference in helping people to find and maintain stable housing," said Mayor Murray. "Ending the cycle of homelessness for our most vulnerable residents requires many partnerships, and the renewal of this funding shows that our federal partners value our programs and recognize our progress."


The $22.7 million award supports 70 community-based projects for a total of 2,024 units of housing: 727 units of transitional housing and 1,297 units of permanent housing for homeless people with disabilities.


For more information on this award and the programs and projects funded by the McKinney Continuum of Care grant funds, please visit King County's website

Safe Harbors: Measuring the extent of homelessness in Seattle and King County

Safe Harbors Logo

Safe Harbors is King County's web-based Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) used to measure the extent of homelessness in our community. Data collected is used to create statements of need to funders at the local, state and federal levels through a variety of reports created from the information collected by our partner programs.


Safe Harbors is administered by HSD, and is a joint project of the City, King County's Department of Community and Human Services, and United Way of King County. In addition to the three sponsoring partners, Housing and Urban Development (HUD) regulations require that an HMIS be governed by the locally-designated "Continuum of Care," which in King County is the Committee to End Homelessness (CEH).


Safe Harbors provides information that will allow the Committee to End Homelessness in King County and the broader community to:

  • understand the workings of the existing homeless services system and the needs of homeless people;
  • coordinate systems and funding to efficiently deliver the long-term housing and supportive services that homeless individuals and families need to stabilize their lives, get healthy, find work, and live independently; and
  • measure our progress in ending homelessness.

For more information on Safe Harbors, please visit their website:

Funding to Support Assistance for Low-Income Tenants in Seattle
The Seattle Human Services Department announced on April 22, 2014 the award of $100,000 to The Tenant's Union of Washington. Through a partnership with Solid Ground, the funds will support expanded service capacity to provide tenant outreach, education & technical assistance to low- and very low-income tenants in Seattle, with a focus on underserved communities. The funds will support additional service hours at tenant hotline and walk-in clinics, additional workshops through the Tenant's Union and Solid Ground, increased distribution of materials, and expand outreach to new community partners. The contract is set to begin 5/15/2014 and end 12/31/2014.
Notice Of Funding Availability (NOFA)

This summer the Human Services Department will release our first Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA). The NOFA will provide an overview of HSD's guiding principles, investment priorities, theory of change and the new Outcomes Framework pilot, a results-based accountability strategy recently approved by the Mayor. Additionally, the NOFA will announce HSD's upcoming investment opportunities and standard submission requirements for agencies interested in applying for funding. Two Requests for Investment (RFI) that align with the Outcomes Framework pilot will be released in the weeks following the NOFA, for HSD's Senior Centers and Food & Meal investments. The individual RFIs will provide additional details on each funding opportunity and application requirements specific to each investment area. Releasing the NOFA prior to the release of the RFIs will allow interested agencies to review HSD's investment priorities prior to applying for funding through the Senior Centers and Food & Meal RFIs.

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Life Lines is published monthly by the City of Seattle's Human Services 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 Michael Taylor-Judd or call 206-684-0266.

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