City announces $10.4 million to Community Organizations Focused on BIPOC Safety


Programs cover a range of services and upstream investments from violence prevention to restorative justice

Seattle (July 21, 2021) – Mayor Jenny A. Durkan and the Seattle Human Services Department (HSD) announced awardees of the 2021 Community Safety Capacity Building RFP. The City is providing $10.4 million in one-time funding for 18 months for 33 organizations working toward community-led solutions to end violence and increase safety in Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities. These investments will support organizations providing an array of programs, services, and upstream investments meant to improve outcomes and contribute to overall community safety and wellbeing.

“By working together and deeply investing in community, Seattle can lead the way in building a new model for community safety. While the City of Seattle continues to focus on creating and expanding alternatives to 911 calls and sworn officers, these community-led solutions focus on restoration efforts and important violence prevention efforts, especially as cities across the country are seeing an increase in gun violence,” said Mayor Durkan. “Throughout 2020, the calls from community to invest in alternatives to policing were consistent, loud and clear. Seattle City Council answered that call by appropriating $16 million to invest in community-led organizations that are creating community safety on the ground every day in Seattle," said Councilmember Lisa Herbold (District 1, West Seattle/South Park). "Last year, the Human Services Department moved quickly to award $4 million to the Seattle Community Safety Initiative, which is building community safety hubs and wraparound services in three Seattle neighborhoods under the leadership of Community Passageways. This new investment will bring together a cohort of organizations dedicated to reimagining how community safety can be achieved in Seattle, and gives them the resources they need to lead the way in creating safety in our City.”

Intended Outcomes

The community organization’s focus and work include several community safety strategies. The RFP was designed to promote community-led solutions, allowing community members and agencies to define safety investments. Most applicants and awardees self-reported in their applications that their agencies work in spaces dedicated to interrupting the cycle of community violence, expanding trauma-informed practices, and youth, family, or community engagement. Community organizations primarily submitted proposals for prevention and restoration efforts rather than creating alternatives to 9-1-1 calls and policing.

Together, these investments strengthen community organization’s ability to address institutionalized inequities that result in BIPOC communities being underserved and unsafe.

Funded Activities

33 organizations will be awarded funding through the RFP. Funding awards will range between $123,068 to $585,410 per organization. The funded organizations span a range of services and focus areas, with some agencies receiving City funds for the first time and other programs expanding existing services. HSD received over 70 applications, totaling $40 million in requested funds. Many proposals also aligned with other City of Seattle programs and investments focused on food security, education, homelessness, and re-entry.

HSD and the review committee recommended funding activities with the following organizations:

Academy for Creating Excellence Creative Justice Oromia Community Center in Washington African Community Housing & Development East African Community Services PlusPositively LLC Africatown Community Land Trust Empowering Youth and Families Outreach POCAAN (People of Color Against AIDS Network) Alphabet Alliance of Color Evergreen Treatment Services REACH Public Defender Association Collective Justice API Chaya Fathers and Sons Together Rainier Beach Action Coalition Arms Around You Freedom Project Seattle Neighborhood Group Black Star Line Fresh Start Sexual Violence Law Center Chief Seattle Club King County Equity Now Somali Family Safety Task Force CHOOSE 180_Community Leaders Roundtable of Seattle Korean Community Service Center Surge Reproductive Justice Community Passageways Mother Nation The Northwest Network of Bi, Trans, Lesbian and Gay Survivors of Abuse Consejo Counseling and Referral Services Multi-Communities WA Therapy Fund Foundation

In general, services and strategies include:

· activating neighborhood-based strategies to reduce crime rates at hotspots

· de-escalation support in response to shots fired

· re-entry services

· case management

· community awareness about disproportionality in criminal legal services

· family support to prevent youth from entering the criminal legal system

· supports to address family and gender-based violence

All awards are pending final appeals, which will conclude on July 27. Following the appeals process, HSD will share additional information on program details and final investment figures.

Background & Process

Protests against police brutality, especially in Black communities, spread across the United States and internationally after the death of George Floyd. Calls for racial justice and community-led solutions to ending violence, led by Black organizers allied with multi-racial and multi-cultural coalitions, echoed and built on ongoing efforts in Seattle. Through this organizing, Mayor Durkan committed $100 million in the 2020 budget to improve outcomes for Seattle’s BIPOC communities to begin to address the systemic harms caused by racist policies and generations of disinvestment. The legislation to increase funding for community-led safety models is a portion of the $100 million investment.

The RFP was launched on March 1, 2021 and closed on April 9, 2021. Technical assistance was made available to provide additional support for organizations to develop their proposals and prepare for interviews. The RFP process included a panel to review and rate applications. The review panel was made up mostly of over 20 community members that hold content expertise in community-led solutions to end violence and to reimagine safety in the BIPOC communities throughout Seattle, King County, and Washington state.

Awards are pending the final appeals process, which will conclude on July 27.