On Monday, Oct. 11, the Seattle City Council unanimously confirmed Dannette R. Smith to be Director of the Seattle Human Services Department. A few minutes later, she was sworn in to office by City Clerk Monica Simmons. To view the Seattle Channel video click on this link and advance the tape about 1 minute 50 seconds.
Mayor McGinn appointed Ms. Smith in early June 2010. She is the former director of the Fulton County Department of Family and Children Services , part of the State of Georgia Department of Human Services.
Household incomes shrank for a second year in 2009, as the recession eroded the share of American families earning more than $100,000 and swelled the ranks of people who are poor or barely making it. Income estimates out on Sept. 28 from the American Community Survey, a wide array of census statistics reported annually, show the recession’s effect on millions of families.
The median income of $50,221 is down about 4 percent from its peak since the recession began in December 2007. Median household income that year was $52,384. About $1,500 of that loss occurred last year. The story was no different in the Seattle area. In King County, the median household income was down 4.7 percent, to $67,806. Snohomish County households fared slightly better, slipping 3.1 percent to $64,658. The percentage of King County households making $100,000 and more declined from 32.2 percent to 31 percent, and the percentage of those making less than $25,000 increased from 15.8 percent to 16.7 percent.
For more details read this article in the Seattle Times.
Mayor Mike McGinn presented his 2011-2012 Proposed Budget to the community and City Council Sept. 27, and the good news is that the Mayor made every effort to preserve direct human services. Funding will be maintained at 2010 levels for most services that meet basic needs including homeless services, emergency food support, child care subsidies, and youth programs. This is the eighth straight year that funding for direct services to homeless people will be preserved.
However, because of a continued decline in revenue and the slow economic recovery, the Seattle Human Services Department (HSD) has had to make a 5 percent cut ($2.7 million) to its general fund budget in 2011. In order to preserve direct services as much as possible, the department looked at other ways of making reductions, including eliminating or reducing department administrative staff, and eliminating inflation adjustments to our agency contracts.
The City Council will now review the Mayor’s proposal, make adjustments, and vote of a final budget by the end of November. For more details on the Mayor’s Proposed Budget, visit the Mayor’s home page at http://www.cityofseattle.gov/mayor/
Microsoft will award $4 million cash, $6 million software, and technology training curriculum, over two years, to eligible U.S.-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations and their partner organizations which may include: workforce agencies, community colleges, labor organizations,and other nonprofit organizations. Organizations will be funded to provide individuals with the support needed to help people find employment. The services provided by grant recipients, to ensure a fully supportive experience for participants, will include technology skills training, job placement and strong employer connections and may also include career counseling and other support services such as childcare, transportation and housing. The deadline for applications is Oct. 8. For more information, click here and click on the tab “Information for Organizations.”
The Seattle Foundation, one of the nation’s largest community foundations, recently launched a new Web site, the Giving Center. The site provides information for prospective donors on 675 nonprofits doing a wide range of work. Financial and evaluation information is included for each organization described. Launch of the site was covered in the Seattle Times and New York Times.
King County Department of Community and Human Services, City of Seattle Human Services Department, United Way of King County, Seattle Housing Authority and King County Housing Authority are pleased to announce a Request for Proposals process as part of the Fall 2010 King County Combined Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA). Approximately $10.65 million for Services, Operating Support, and Rental Assistance, and up to 90 Section 8 subsidies are available to be linked to non time-limited housing for people experiencing homelessness in King County. Application materials are now available on the King County website.
United Way of King County’s “Basic Needs Indicators” have been updated with 2nd quarter data for most indicators and July data for unemployment. The economic indicators show the impact of economic conditions on people in our community and provide an immediate barometer of how people are faring during these difficult times. The indicators include unemployment, home foreclosures, emergency food distribution, requests for financial assistance and more.
Highlights of the update:
- Most indicators of need related to economic stress remain at elevated levels, but are no longer increasing.
- The unemployment rate is dropping slightly, and overall employment is increasing slightly, when adjusted for 2010 Census jobs. This reflects the slow economic recovery.
- Two indicators of need continue to climb: requests for rent assistance and public benefits caseloads.
- Requests for rent assistance may continue to increase as people remain out of work for longer periods, using up personal reserves, and as unemployment benefits are exhausted.
- Public benefit caseloads are still climbing mainly because people continue to stay on benefits as the job market remains difficult.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced on Aug. 25 that it is making $189 million in grants available to transform public and assisted housing and to revitalize communities. The applications for two initiatives, The Choice Neighborhoods FY 2010 and the HOPE VI FY 2010, are available at this Web site. For more information on these programs see this press release.
Choice Neighborhoods Planning and Implementation Grants: The $65 million Choice Neighborhoods pilot expands HOPE VI’s redevelopment toolkit to allow for redevelopment of both public and other HUD-assisted housing properties. The application deadline is Oct. 26, 2010 .
HOPE VI Revitalization Awards: These grants have transformed severely distressed public housing developments to mixed-income communities. The application deadline is Nov. 22, 2010.
Continued access to local telephone service can be the difference between finding help and feeling isolated. The Washington Telephone Assistance Program (WTAP) offers eligible residents a low-cost landline phone for about $8 a month. If you, or someone you know, is receiving assistance from the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS), you may quality for the WTAP program. For more information on the WTAP program or landline telephone services, contact the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission by phone (1-888-333-WUTC (9882)) or e-mail.