Did you miss last week’s MODVSA-sponsored event, “Engaging African American Males in Ending Gender-Based Violence: Increasing Pathways to Safety, Justice, Reconciliation and Healing” at Seattle City Hall, featuring a panel of speakers including Dr. Oliver Williams, professor at the University of Minnesota with 35 years in the field of domestic violence, and Bettie Williams-Watson, Executive Director of Multi Communities and 33 years in the fields of domestic violence and sexual assault?
The Youth and Family Empowerment (YFE) Division of the City of Seattle Human Services Department (HSD) is seeking applications from consultants interested in developing a public awareness campaign about sugary drinks by supporting two strategies recommended by the Sweetened Beverage Tax Community Advisory Board:
- Mass media counter-marketing campaign led by a community-based organization (CBO) – Support a CBO to develop and test messages and design a paid and earned media sugary drink counter-marketing campaign. Then, implement the campaign in multiple communication channels (e.g. ethnic/community specific radio, TV, newspaper and social media channels, CBOs, youth organizations)
- Youth-led counter-marketing campaign led by a community-based organization (CBO) – Support a CBO to develop and design an approach to engage youth in developing and leading a peer-to-peer sugary drink counter-marketing campaign. Then, implement the campaign in multiple communication channels (e.g. ethnic/community specific radio, TV, newspaper and social media channels) and through coordinated work of CBOs and youth.
Up to $473,046 in 2019 and $236,523 in 2020 of contract funds are available through this RFP. Funding awards will be made for the period of October 15, 2019 to December 31, 2020, for an estimated 15-month contract, or until work is completed.
This is an open and competitive process. Completed application packets are due by 4:00 PM on September 30, 2019. For more information, and all application materials click here.
If you have any questions about this Safety RFP, please contact: Amaury Ávalos at (206) 386-1561 or by email at email@example.com.
The Seattle Human Services Department (HSD) is pleased to announce the results of the 2019 YFE Safety: Addressing Impacts of the Criminal Legal System Request for Proposals (RFP) that closed on June 13. Applicants were invited to provide systems navigation and address trauma for 18 to 24-year-old people harmed by the criminal legal system in Seattle. The RFP guides the investment of more than $4 million in HSD General Fund dollars for the January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020 contract period.
HSD received 24 eligible applications from organizations reviewed by a committee whose members represented and worked with the focus and priority populations of this RFP. Reviewers also had content expertise addressing the impacts of the criminal legal system in the City of Seattle, King County, and Washington State. Raters were age, gender, and ethnically diverse and represented multiple cultures and communities: Black, African American, Native, Black/Mexican, Black (mixed), Brown (mix), South Asian, Asian/Filipino, Asian, African American/Pacific Islander, Middle Eastern, Hispanic/Latino, LGBTQ, bilingual, and white.
HSD and the review committee recommended funding 14 proposals from the following applicants:
- African American Leadership Forum
- CHOOSE 180
- Community Passageways
- Consejo Counseling and Referral Service
- Freedom Project
- Progress Pushers
- Public Defender Association
- ROOTS Young Adult Shelter
- Somali Family Safety Task Force
- Southwest Youth and Family Services
- Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle
- Walk Away City Collaborative
- YMCA of Greater Seattle – Accelerator
The funding will support a number of activities such as healing and accountability circles for incarcerated men and trans women; leadership training for community leaders directly impacted by systems of violence; training on nonviolent communication, mindfulness, and racial equity; peer support programs and family-integrated transitions; peacemaking circles; and felony diversion for a diverse range of communities in Seattle.
New student orientations on college campuses are nearly finished as many students across the nation prepare to start their college campus lives. Upward Bound will have 23 graduating seniors this year heading to a wide variety of post-secondary schools in Washington State: including University of Washington, Seattle University, Western State University, Eastern Washington University, Seattle Pacific University, and Bellevue College.
I think orientation is something all incoming freshmen should do because it allows them to view the campus and their future dorm, as well as shows the students who they will be going to school with.
2019 Garfield graduate Khabirah had selected Eastern Washington University as her school, but she wasn’t sure about attending student orientation. Fortunately, her Upward Bound counselor strongly encouraged her to attend and ultimately, she was able to go. Smooth transitions to campus life can play an important role in a student’s success. Being oriented to dorm life, the idea of roommates, campus resources, etc. is all part of it. As Khabirah said after her orientation last week, “I think orientation is something allincoming freshmen should do because it allows them to view the campus and their future dorm, as well as shows the students who they will be going to school with.”
One student, Hermela, has participated in Upward Bound from 9th grade through to high school graduation. With program guidance, she earned a full-ride scholarship to Carlton College in Minnesota. She also received a Seattle School District Scholarship of $3,500. Hermela was highlighted in Carleton’s brochure as an incoming freshman.
Seeing Upward Bound graduates go off to college is exciting and bittersweet. She recently shared that, “Upward Bound is like my second family. From the start of freshman year to now, they have always been there for me, whether it was to celebrate or to comfort.” We will miss Hermela, but we look forward to hearing about the continued personal journey of all our graduates!
Forty-five years since the first U.S. domestic violence shelter was opened, 25 years since the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was passed in the U.S., and 13 years since Tarana Burke founded the #MeToo movement, gender-based violence remains a sadly and stubbornly common occurrence in our society. Compared to women of other races, African American women experience a disproportionate rate of gender-based violence. According to the 2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, 43.7% of non-Hispanic Black women have experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime. The disproportionality of their experience is reflected in study after study: A study of confirmed sex trafficking survivors in the U.S. found that 40% were African American, while the percentage of African-Americans in the U.S. population is approximately 12.7%. From 2005-2010, data shows that African American girls and women 12 years old and older experienced higher rates of rape and sexual assault than white, Asian, and Latina girls and women. Of particular concern is the finding that Black women are two and a half times more likely to be murdered by men than are white women.
African American survivors of gender-based violence disproportionately experience other negative outcomes, including: being more likely to be criminalized for defending themselves against violence, being less likely to call the police for help partly due to fear of police brutality against their abuser, being less likely to reach out to supportive services due to a lack of culturally-appropriate services or due to previous experiences of discrimination by service providers, and being at a higher risk of removal of their children by the state.
For girls of color, an additional horrifying outcome of experiencing sexual abuse is entering the sexual abuse to prison pipeline. As described by “The Sexual Abuse to Prison Pipeline: The Girls’ Story”, “…in a perverse twist of justice, many girls who experience sexual abuse are routed into the juvenile justice system because of their victimization. Indeed, sexual abuse is one of the primary predictors of girls’ entry into the juvenile justice system. A particularly glaring example is when girls who are victims of sex trafficking are arrested on prostitution charges — punished as perpetrators rather than served and supported as victims and survivors. Once inside, girls encounter a system that is often ill-equipped to identify and treat the violence and trauma that lie at the root of victimized girls’ arrests. More harmful still is the significant risk that the punitive environment will re-trigger girls’ trauma and even subject them to new incidents of sexual victimization, which can exponentially compound the profound harms inflicted by the original abuse.”
There is good news, however, and that is that gender-based violence is preventable, and everyone has a role to play in its prevention. We know that engaging men and boys to end gender-based violence is an essential part of the work. Some people still think that ending domestic violence, sexual violence, and commercial sexual exploitation is a “women’s issue” and interpret that to mean men and boys don’t need to care about it or get involved in ending it. We need every voice speaking out against gender-based violence. Most men do not abuse their partners and do not sexually assault others, but many men are uncomfortable speaking out against the harmful attitudes and beliefs that underlie abusive behavior.
For African American men and boys, speaking out against gender-based violence may be more difficult than for men and boys of other races. This is because they have experienced violence when interacting with the same systems that African American gender-based violence survivors (overwhelmingly women and gender non-conforming people) do. The organization Men Stopping Violence offers all-African-American classes for men interested in ending gender-based violence, with a focus on the intersectionality of racism and sexism in the lives of African Americans.
This is also what stops and silences many African American women from seeking help when they are being abused by their partners or when they have been sexually assaulted. They are trapped between potentially exposing another African American person to the discrimination in the criminal justice system or suffering in silence. It is a terrible choice that no one should have to make. Without African American men joining in the discussion around how to keep African American women and girls safe, a huge opportunity for change and transformation is lost.
The City of Seattle is responding to gender-based violence by investing over $8 million annually in local programs and services, including: advocacy, shelter and housing, therapeutic services, legal assistance, batterer intervention, outreach, prevention and systems improvement. In the Human Services Department’s 2018 Request For Proposal for Gender-Based Violence Survivor Services, one of the focus populations identified was Black/African Americans, given the high disparities in the investment area. In addition, when Mayor Jenny Durkan announced an additional $100,000 in funding for prevention of gender-based violence on July 9, 2019, the funding was allocated for programs focusing on marginalized populations most impacted by gender-based violence, including the African American community. By investing in a wide array of services that represent and serve traditionally under-funded communities, we know that we will be able to empower more survivors to lead the way for change and, ultimately, to end gender-based violence.
We are excited to co-sponsor an event on September 4, 2019 featuring two incredible experts: Bettie Williams-Watson and Dr. Oliver Williams. They will offer their combined 60+ years of experience and expertise on engaging African American men and boys in ending gender-based violence at the event, co-sponsored by the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and the Seattle University School of Law. Ms. Williams-Watson and Dr. Williams will speak to the importance of addressing racism, healing trauma that men and boys have themselves experienced, and bringing communities together protect African American women and girls. There are pathways to safety, justice, reconciliation and healing, and the speakers will discuss these issues and help attendees to build upon the expertise that already exists in the community to engage African American men and boys in ending gender-based violence.
This event is open to anyone interested in learning more about gender-based violence in the African American community. Click here to register on Eventbrite for FREE tickets. Refreshments will be served.
The Seattle Human Services Department (HSD) is pleased to announce the results of the 2019 Farm to Preschool and Out-of-School Time Request for Proposals (RFP) that closed on July 1. Applicants were invited to support food procurement, food equity, and connections between Washington State farmers and Seattle public preschools and before and after school programs serving low-income children and families in Seattle. The RFP guides the investment of more than $200,000, including funding from Seattle’s Sweetened Beverage Tax (SBT).
HSD received a single application which was reviewed by a committee whose members recommended fully funding the proposal from Farmstand Local Foods, which has a strong background in implementing a food ordering and delivery program that provides affordable, nutritious, and wholesome produce from farm to preschool and OST programs.
They have worked closely with local small-scale farmers and are responsive to their needs. The rating committee feels they have staff with experience and capacity to successfully:
- Conduct food procurement
- Provide nutrition education
- Build partnerships
- Convene a group of stakeholders
- Work with local farms
“It is a true pleasure to spearhead this work and help bring local youth better access to our region’s beautiful and nutritious agricultural bounty. Very much looking forward to another year of advancing this worthy mission with the City of Seattle. A sincere thank you for the continued opportunity!”Austin Becker, Farmstand Local Foods Manager
Farmstand Local Foods currently runs a Farm-to-Table program with funding from the SBT, which makes grant funds available to site directors and cooks at childcare centers and allows them to purchase and prepare locally grown food for children in the Seattle area. They are also starting to work with local food banks.
“We drastically reduce the distance between Seattle’s innovative community of chefs and wholesale purchasers and the farmers from who they source product by creating an efficient sales channel for our city’s surrounding farms,” Farmstand Local Foods proudly proclaims on their website. “We partner with local small-scale producers who are committed to using regenerative practices, and buyers who strive to make conscious decisions about where they source their ingredients. We offer in-field experiences for foodservice professionals and retailers and provide insight to our growers about demand trends in the culinary industry.”
Ultimately, they believe in helping to establish an economically and environmentally sustainable food system by facilitating and maintaining connections between producers and consumers to demonstrate the value and importance of viable local farms.
SEATTLE (August 15, 2019) – The Seattle Youth Employment Program (SYEP), sponsored by the Seattle Human Services Department, announces the launch of a new year-round pre-employment program to support 200 youth and young adults in growing as community leaders and preparing for future work and career opportunities. This is an expansion to the current summer-only SYEP internship program. The new model will provide job-readiness skills, career navigation, exploration, and skill building through job readiness workshops, employer site visits, and professional networking opportunities. The skills and knowledge gained in the year-round program, along with SYEP support services, will prepare participants for success in their summer internships.
The year-round model will run from October 2019 to August 2020. Beginning in October, participants will attend weekly sessions and career discovery days, and participate in team activities, skills workshops, one-on-one coaching and support services, and assessments. Participants will earn a maximum stipend of $300 per module. Those who complete the series will have a guaranteed 150-hour internship that pays $16 per hour in the summer of 2020.
The change comes as part of the Mayor’s response to better meet the needs of youth and young adults within the regional economy, especially low-income youth who often lack access to meaningful career connections and opportunities in their teen years. The goal of the expanded program is to prepare youth for entry-level jobs in Seattle and increase their ability to pursue careers that are meaningful and pay a livable wage.
SYEP will be accepting applications for the year-round program from August 15‒
September 9, 2019. (**UPDATE 9/6: The application deadline has been extended to Midnight on Monday, September 16) To be eligible, applicants must meet the minimum eligibility criteria:
- Commit to a year-round program with weekday and some weekend activities;
- Live within Seattle city limits;
- Be between the ages of 16‒24 years old by start of program; and have
- Household income at or below 80% of the 2019 HUD median income for Seattle/King County.
For more information, guidelines, and the application, please visit www.seattle.gov/syep.
The Seattle Human Services Department (HSD) released Quarter 2 (Q2) performance metrics for the City of Seattle’s Navigation Team, which is comprised of outreach workers, field coordinators, and police officers that work to connect people living unsheltered to shelter and support services. The Q2 data shows the team working at a higher capacity, connecting more people to shelter when compared to the first quarter of 2019, and increasing operational capacity to better address unmanaged encampments posing public access, health, and safety concerns.
“I’m incredibly grateful to the members of the Navigation Team for their life-saving work. This new data shows that our Navigation Team is doing more than ever to connect people with the services and housing they need, and help them come inside. The investments we have made are having an impact. We will continue to invest in the strategies we know are making a positive difference – like our Navigation Team and enhanced shelters that provide services and a better path to permanent housing,” said Mayor Durkan. “With improved data, we can now better measure our progress each quarter and ensure that we improve on what is working. We know our Navigation Team is connecting more people with services and we are looking for ways to improve their work. I hope that the City Council will continue to support our investments expanding the Navigation Team.”
When compared to Quarter 1 (Q1), the Navigation Team saw the following increases in Q2:
- 16 percent increase in unique individuals engaged by the Navigation Team;
- 10 percent increase in unique individuals referred to shelters;
- 47 Navigation Team reserved beds available daily, rising from 17 beds available in Q1 — meaning more beds available in basic shelters, tiny house villages, and enhanced shelters; and
- 79 more referrals to enhanced shelter and tiny house villages than in Q1.
This increase in outreach results in Q2 occurred during a period when the Navigation Team also expanded its operational capacity, removing 18 more encampments under 72-hour notice protocols and 36 additional obstruction removals from the public rights-of-way when compared to Q1. The team also removed 405 tons of garbage, waste, and debris from Seattle’s streets during this time, a 14 percent increase over the previous quarter. The team also completed 160 more site inspections in Q2 than Q1.
“The recent data shows investments made by Mayor Durkan and City Council are working in concert, connecting vulnerable people to shelter while making sure public health, safety, and access is improved in Seattle,” said Jason Johnson, director of HSD. “From investing in over 500 more shelter spaces last year, to the hiring of System Navigators to increase outreach and increases in data support this year—changes to the Navigation Team and the homelessness response system are creating positive results.”
The full report includes detailed metrics on several data sets and can be found here.
I’m incredibly grateful to the members of the Navigation Team for their life-saving work. This new data shows that our Navigation Team is doing more than ever to connect people with the services and housing they need, and help them come inside. The investments we have made are having an impact.
The Q2 data allows policymakers and the public to effectively compare the Navigation Team’s performance over a period of time. Many of the resources and strategies utilized by the Navigation Team today were not yet developed when the team launched in 2017. Over time, it became clear that more robust support was necessary to sustain the Navigation Team’s long-term mission to connect vulnerable people to shelter and services and to better measure the team’s output.
To address these realities, Mayor Durkan made historic investments to create over 500 new shelter beds in 2018 and added staff to the Navigation Team. Between 2017 and 2019, the team expanded to 38—which includes police officers, REACH outreach workers, additional Field Coordinators, data analysists, and System Navigators to expand outreach —the latter beginning work in June 2019.
While the new data capacity strengthens understanding of the team’s impact, it also highlights an evolution in how outreach data can be examined. The way outreach data was collected and measured between 2017 through 2019 differs. For example, 2017 data was manually collected by various groups and entered manually by a single individual. 2018 data provided by the City’s contracted outreach provider included duplicated information. Also, in 2018, the team’s operations moved to HSD, which created challenges and opportunities for improvement. Now—thanks to the addition of HSD staff dedicated to data collection and protocols—the outreach and operational data is more robust and can now be more easily measured quarter-to-quarter moving forward.
The Q2 data was submitted as part of a quarterly report to the Seattle City Council. Data from the Q1 report is available here.
I started working as an Advocate supporting survivors of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking in 2007. In my first year of advocacy, I interacted with survivors whose abusers were using technology against them. This looked like sending intimate images to their workplaces, creating fake Craigslist ads with rape fantasies, or simply just repeated and unwanted contacts via many platforms.
When I was approached by Dana Lockhart of SPD’s Victim Support Team in 2016 to start doing more work on this space in our community, not enough had changed. I felt I still wasn’t giving survivors sufficient solutions to what we now call Tech-Enabled Coercive Control (TECC). Dana began organizing the Tech-Enabled Coercive Control (TECC) Working Group; and we partnered with community-agencies, the University of Washington, and other City of Seattle departments to start digging into what we could do.
We trained advocates. We also developed a community-based resource in partnership with New Beginnings called the TECC Volunteer Clinic. This clinic pairs a survivor with a specially trained volunteer who can help them to see if there is spyware on their device, develop safe passwords, new accounts, etc. It is essentially advanced tech safety planning.
We have to move beyond thinking of domestic violence as incidents of physical abuse. It is a pattern of behavior designed to terrorize and control. TECC extends the pattern of using threats of harm, dependence, isolation, intimidation, and/or physical forms of violence to include the ways technology facilitates coercive control. Forms of TECC include cyberstalking, monitoring, impersonation, harassment, and distribution of intimate images.
Recently, my research partner, Dana Cuomo, PhD., and I released our research paper, “Gender-Based Violence and Technology-Enabled Coercive Control in Seattle: Challenges and Opportunities.” This was based on interviews with folks who work with survivors, ranging from advocates to police to prosecutors, and interviews with survivors themselves. Our goal in conducting this research is to provide a resource for advocates, the civil and criminal legal systems, policy makers, and others in the community to better serve survivors who are experiencing TECC. We helped identify the ways that TECC is showing up, and how we can disrupt it. Now we hope to partner with public and private sector folks, to really dig into the recommendations and make conditions safer for survivors in our community. We can’t let the landscape evolve around us, we have to evolve too.
Natalie Dolci, LICSW, currently works as a Planning & Development Specialist with the Mayor’s Office on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.
If you are concerned about the dynamics in your relationship after reading this, or want to support a friend, Natalie encourages you to New Beginnings at 206-522-9472 or reach out to the National DV Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.
The Seattle Human Services Department announced today that its Aging and Disability Services division—which is designated by the State of Washington as the Area Agency on Aging for Seattle-King County—and its Age Friendly Seattle team have been honored with a National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) 2019 Aging Achievement Award in recognition of their efforts to promote accessible events and meetings.
Age Friendly Seattle Accessible Events & Meetings was among 48 local aging programs to receive honors at the n4a annual conference, held July 27–31 in New Orleans, and the only one to win in the Community Planning & Livable Communities category. Age Friendly Seattle produced a 40-page Community Guide to Accessible Events & Meetings (a free download) and has coordinated and presented trainings locally and at national conferences. The most recent was a public forum at Seattle City Hall on May 30 called “How to Plan An Accessible Event,” presented by individuals with disabilities (view on The Seattle Channel or YouTube).
“n4a is thrilled to present the Aging Innovation and Achievement Awards to a diverse and talented group of Area Agencies on Aging,” said Sandy Markwood, Chief Executive Officer of n4a. “The work the AAAs have done to deliver innovative and successful programs in their communities is remarkable.”
“Our Aging and Disability Services division, through our Age Friendly Seattle initiative, has put new energy into making events welcoming and inclusive,” said Jason Johnson, director of the Seattle Human Services Department. “Across City departments and among community-based organizations, we’re far more aware now of ways to help people with disabilities have a comparable event or meeting experience to those who do not have hearing or vision loss or physical or cognitive challenges.”
“Age Friendly Seattle is an initiative to make Seattle a great place to grow up and grow old,” Johnson continued. “With approximately one-quarter of the population reporting some form of disability, an age-friendly community must be disability-friendly, too.” For more information about Age Friendly Seattle, visit www.Seattle.gov/AgeFriendly.
N4a’s primary mission is to build the capacity of its members so they can help older adults and people with disabilities live with dignity and choices in their homes and communities for as long as possible. For more information, visit www.n4a.org.