HSD Announces Over $3.8 Million to Support Families in Seattle
Awarded agencies will each receive up to $300,000 in funding to strengthen Seattle’s support system in culturally responsive ways for families and youth who live, work, or attend school in Seattle.
Seattle - The Seattle Human Services Department (HSD) is pleased to announce the results of its 2023 Family Support Request for Proposals (RFP), which is funding organizations that help low-income families create connections with each other and their communities, while building on cultural strengths and community assets.
The funding process resulted in 22 proposals receiving annual awards ranging from $86,000 to $300,000. Contracts will begin January 1, 2024, and organizations are eligible for renewal over four years. Funded programs have expertise providing culturally specific services to communities including Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) families, refugees and immigrants, fathers, kinship families, and families experiencing trauma or homelessness.
Programing will include workshops or classes about culturally specific child and youth development, adjustment to life in the United States for refugees and immigrants, and self-actualization principles and practices for parents and families. This funding will also create opportunities for families to gather for mutual support and resource sharing, learn about culturally specific parenting practices, build resilient family relationships, and for youth and families to suggest, create, or facilitate cultural activities or learnings that are of particular interest to families.
“Coming out of the COVID pandemic, we know it’s critical to focus on supporting families,” said HSD Director Tanya Kim. “For families, and especially children, to thrive they need connection—connection to cultural traditions, their communities, and their practices. This connection builds resilience, it improves educational and life outcomes, and it helps counteract the racism and discrimination many children experience outside their families.”
“This is an investment in services rooted in community and often led by community,” said Shukri Olow, HSD’s Youth & Family Empowerment Division Director. “Many of the 22 programs funded are new HSD partners with deep connections to BIPOC families, and their work will result in improved access to resources.”
In response to this RFP, HSD received 35 proposals, a 37% increase from the most recent family support RFP in 2018. The 35 proposals totaled $9,488,750 in requests—more than double the amount of available funds. Of the awardees, 15 programs are receiving first-time Family Support awards from HSD.
The increase is owed in part to expanded, deliberate outreach to community-led programs—including City Councilmembers, culturally relevant media, the WA State African American Council, and the Mayor’s Inaugural Native Summit. Intentional efforts were made to reach Native and Indigenous community organizations with assistance from the City’s Indigenous Advisory Council Liaison.
The 13-member rating panel reviewed proposals and recommended funding that aligned with the RFP’s goals. The rating panel included community members, parents, a grandparent, staff from community agencies and Seattle Public Schools, University of Washington graduate students, and former City staff. Many raters brought multiple perspectives and combined lived experience, work experience, and academic qualifications.
Here is what some of the awardees are saying:
“The funding from HSD allows the Native Family Learning Lodge to provide language resources to support our multi-language immersion program, nature-based curriculum, and food sovereignty activities for family engagement,” said Leanne Rye Brock and Alayna Eagle Shield, who serve as co-Executive Directors at the Native Family Learning Lodge, a childcare center serving Native children in South Seattle. “This funding ensures our children, and their families have access to these resources and will strengthen our communities.”
“These funds will enable us to strengthen the threads that connect our Native youth to their cultural roots,” said Esther Lucero(Diné), President and CEO of Seattle Indian Health Board. "This connection is imperative to our preventative behavioral health work and ensuring the overall wellbeing of our youth.”
“This is a major step forward to strengthen families and community at a grassroots level in South Park,” said Crystal Brown, Director of Cultivate South Park. “We’ll embark on an inter-cultural, multi-generational arts experience called ‘Walking Together: All Our Relations’ that enriches, enlivens, and sustains solidarity. By merging the indigenous wisdom of elders with modern stories and events, we will honor seven generations beyond Chief Seattle and the original Duwamish settlers right in Seattle’s oldest, most forgotten territory.”
“Voices of Tomorrow is both honored and thrilled to use the Family Support RFP funding as a resource to help implement our Community Centered Healing Program (CCHP),” said Rhea Panela-Caoile, Communication and PR Manager for Voices of Tomorrow. “90% of the families we serve are East African immigrants and refugees, and 100% are low-income. CCHP will serve parents and extended family caregivers from the East African immigrant and refugee community, with a focus on Somali families. With the help of the funding from the City of Seattle, we hope to bring families together to learn about culturally responsive trauma healing and mental health support.”
Congratulations to all of the 22 agencies receiving funding awards:
African Community Housing & Development
Atlantic Street Center
Black Star Line ACFEC
Children’s Home Society of Washington
Chinese Information and Service Center
Communities of Rooted Brilliance
Cultivate South Park
Divine Alternatives for Dads Services (DADS)
Eritrean Association of Greater Seattle
Families of Color Seattle (FOCS)
Hummingbird Indigenous Family Services
InterCultural Children and Family Services
Native Family Learning Lodge
Open Doors for Multicultural Families
Seattle CARES Circle of National Cares Mentoring Movement
Seattle Indian Health Board
Southwest Youth and Family Services
Voices of Tomorrow
Washington Therapy Fund Foundation