February 13, 2013 at 5:11 PM
City restores funding for day centers for the homeless
CORRECTED: A previous version of this story incorrectly said funding was restored to all nine centers.
ORIGINAL POST: The City of Seattle will restore funding to eight of nine day centers where the homeless shower, do laundry and get help finding jobs.
Dannette Smith, director of the Human Services Department, notified the providers today that $200,000 in city funding allocated for 2013 would go to the eight programs whose funds were cut by about 5 percent from last year, despite the increase in homelessness and demand for services. A Seattle Times story detailed the cuts earlier this month.
In the wake of those cuts, the Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness and other advocates urged Smith to restore the funding. The Department had chosen to fund two new programs while cutting the budgets of the existing nine. It also hadn’t allocated the additional money appropriated by the City Council despite the Council’s directive that it do so expeditiously.
In its letter, Coalition executive director Alison Eisinger said the cuts “will result in a net loss in services to people experiencing homelessness in Seattle. Without exception, the nine programs that received funding cuts are struggling to maintain service levels, and cannot currently meet the daily demand. Staff must already ask people to wait for access, and turn away people every day from hot showers, clean laundry, and assistance in securing housing and jobs.”
The coalition said it strongly supported the department’s decision to add new providers, but noted that the total available services would decline as a result of the funding cuts.
Eisinger said that the City Council appropriated an additional $200,000 for 2014, but that Human Services hasn’t decided yet how to allocate those funds. She said the organization is concerned that the day and hygiene centers might face the same funding shortfall next year.
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The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
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