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HSD Announces Results of Homeless Investments to Serve American Indians/Alaska Natives RFP

The Seattle Human Services Department (HSD) is pleased to announce the results of the 2020 Reentry/Rerooting Indigenous Community Healing Request for Proposal (RFP) that closed on April 14. The RFP sought applications from organizations and coalitions interested in providing services to support Native/Indigenous people returning to their communities after incarceration through Native/Indigenous-led community healing practices. These practices may include cultural, spiritual, and/or ceremonial activities such as drumming circles, sweat lodges, canoe journey, woodcarving, and other practices that focus on healing, building connection and trust, and providing a sense of community.

The Seattle Human Services Department (HSD) is pleased to announce the results of the 2020 Homeless Investments to Serve American Indians/Alaska Natives Request for Proposal (RFP) that closed on March 24. The RFP sought applications from agencies interested in providing services for American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) homeless individuals.

Homeless Native American man facing camera with blanket on his shoulders
Photo Credit: David Entrikin

This RFP guides the investment of approximately $1M available per Council Budget Action (CBA) HOM-10-B-2 to specifically support this community; and funding is intended to result in permanent housing exits. $395,000 of the $1M is one-time only (2020) funding, and the remaining $605,000 is expected to be renewed in 2021. In addition, a minimum of $375,000 of the $1M must be used for Rapid Re-Housing. This $375,000 is ongoing funding.

HSD received seven applications that were reviewed and rated by a diverse review committee that included American Indians/Alaska Natives and people with lived experience of homelessness. Due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, raters reviewed all applications remotely and met via Skype to review their scores.

The rating committee recommended funding multiple proposals from two agencies:

  • Chief Seattle Club
  • United Indians of All Tribes Foundation

The funding will support a number of activities such as Rapid Re-Housing, Homelessness Prevention, Day Center/Diversion services, and Outreach resources.

Located in Seattle’s historic Pioneer Square district, Chief Seattle Club provides a safe and sacred place to rest, revive, and nurture the spirit of urban Native people in need. They are proud to serve Native adults 18 years and over, offering two hot meals a day; health and wellness services; housing case management; an art room; computer, internet, and phone access; and personal hygiene resources, all with support of traditional and cultural practices.

“If you’re Native and live in Seattle you are ten times more likely to be homeless; every night there are about 1,100 American Indian/Alaska Natives experiencing homelessness. As a home away from home, our urban Native relatives come to Chief Seattle Club for help, food, and traditional support,” said Colleen Echohawk, Executive Director. The Chief Seattle Club is very proud of its success in reducing barriers before obtaining housing, but that success means “we have greater demand than we have funding; this is an opportunity to make a substantial change through investment.”

United Indians of All Tribes Foundation has been serving urban Natives in Western Washington since 1970, providing an extensive array of culturally responsive services and programming to Seattle and King County’s urban Native community. The organization began as a small group of Northwest Native Americans and their supporters, led by the late Bernie Whitebear, who occupied Fort Lawton to reclaim a land base for the urban Indians living in and around Seattle. A twenty-acre site was eventually secured for this purpose in what is now Discovery Park.

The Foundation’s mission is “to provide educational, cultural and social services that reconnect Indigenous people in the Puget Sound region to their heritage by strengthening their sense of belonging and significance as Native people.”