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$200,000 in grants to increase safety among immigrant and refugee youths and families


City of Seattle and King County launches $200,000 in grants to increase safety among immigrant and refugee youths and families

SUMMARY

The City of Seattle Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs (OIRA) in partnership with King County’s Office of Equity, Racial and Social Justice (OERSJ) launched the new 2023 Immigrant Safety Access Network (ISAN). The program will award approximately $200,000 in grants to community-based organizations providing coordinated responses to youth and families from immigrant and refugee backgrounds that are disproportionally impacted by violence and criminal legal systems.

STORY

Seattle (February 9, 2023) – Today, the Seattle Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs (OIRA) in partnership with King County’s Office of Equity, Racial and Social Justice (OERSJ) launched the 2023 Immigrant Safety Access Network (ISAN), a new program that will award approximately $200,000 in grants throughout Seattle and King County.

Funds will support programming to reduce community violence for youth and young adults from immigrant and refugee backgrounds and bolster support for those communities when violence occurs. OIRA will contract with community-based nonprofit organizations or partnerships that serve residents of Seattle and King County. The application portal is now open at welcoming.seattle.gov/2023-isan-rfp and closes March 8, 2023.

“Truly building One Seattle requires seeking sustained and meaningful input from immigrant and refugee communities, learning from their experiences to address unique needs, and working in partnership to develop solutions that make our city the inclusive, welcoming, equitable place we want it to be,” said City of Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell.

"Confronting and reducing violence in our community is critical for the safety and health of all our residents," said King County Executive Dow Constantine. "This new network builds on King County's continued partnership with the City of Seattle to break down silos across government and work with the community and community-based organizations, broadening our options for how we deliver genuine and just safety, and helping to end harmful cycles that will bring about systemic change."

Immigrant and refugee community members have continued to call on the City of Seattle and King County to reduce barriers to accessing information and receiving services from government entities involved in responding to violence.

In the fall of 2022, OIRA hosted a community listening session where participants emphasized the need for improving access to and delivery of services including but not limited to culturally relevant outreach; victim and family support services; criminal-legal systems navigation; critical incident response; court and hospital accompaniment; violence prevention; restorative justice; and community healing.

Community feedback and requests for support regarding violence mirror the current local and national context around police-community relations and regional increases in gun violence, compounded by the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis.

The City of Seattle and King County want to build upon the success of existing approaches by partnering with community-based organizations and trusted community messengers to invest in targeted and coordinated responses to youth and families that are disproportionally impacted by violence and criminal legal systems. Through this funding, OIRA and OERSJ are interested in supporting interventions and activities that help young people and their families know their rights, navigate victim support services, understand law enforcement systems, and ensure that communications in languages other than English are available throughout criminal-legal processes.

“The impact of crisis situations and unexplained deaths is physical, psychological, and economic,” said Hamdi Mohamed, Director of the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs. “Mayor Bruce Harrell recognizes that it takes partnership, coordination, and collaboration to provide culturally relevant services to immigrant and refugee families with the support they need during such devastating times. We’re not naïve about the challenges, but we know the urgency of this work and in providing equitable access to information, services, and resources in preferred languages.”

"Every person and every community in King County must have equitable access to the information and support services needed for their peace and safety,” said Anita Whitfield, Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer and Director of King County’s Office of Equity, Racial and Social Justice. “Ensuring that immigrant and refugee communities have culturally relevant services and access to information and resources in the language they prefer reinforces the County’s commitment to investing where needs are greatest.”

ISAN Applicant Selection and Awards Timeline

Community-based 501(c)3 organizations or community-based organizations under fiscal sponsorship by a 501(c)3 entity are invited to apply at welcoming.seattle.gov/2023-isan-rfp. Services must be delivered within the City of Seattle and/or King County, even if the applying organization is located outside the service area.



Please contact OIRARFP@seattle.gov for any questions related to the application process. Applicants may email questions until Wednesday, March 1. Stakeholder question answers and program updates will be posted to welcoming.seattle.gov/2023-isan-rfp by Friday, March 3, 2023.

Interpretation and translation requests related to the RFP process can also be directed to the email above or by calling (206) 561-7114.