The City of Seattle Human Services Department stands ready to partner with the community to explore how we can all work together to best serve people in need of food or shelter.
The Human Services Department met yesterday (Monday, January 21, 2013) with Bread of Life Mission to discuss the issue of feeding homeless people in city parks. Also in attendance were the Pioneer Square Alliance and OPERATION: Sack Lunch (which runs the Outdoor Meal Program, located at 6th and Cherry Street, under I-5), and Seattle Parks and Recreation.
We had a cordial and productive discussion and agreed to the following strategies:
- The four agencies will work on a long-term strategy to coordinate feeding programs for homeless people, but in the interim, the Bread of Life Mission can resume its “Drive-by Feeding Services” for the homeless on the third Saturday of the month at City Hall Park.
- The Seattle Human Services Department will explore options with agencies that serve homeless people to see if there’s an interest in partnering with community agencies to have their residents participate in meal services at their facilities.
- As a long-term strategy, the agencies agreed to develop a coordinated system for faith-based organizations and other community groups to serve meals to homeless people – both in Seattle and in surrounding communities.
In 2012, the Seattle Human Services Department invested more than $3 million in the emergency food network for the city’s most vulnerable population, including nine meal programs ($428,000), 17 food banks ($984,000) and home delivery of food ($721,000).