NUHSA Updates

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  • 21 Aug 2014 8:04 PM | Beth Green (Administrator)


    Care Day
    The Progress of Compassion and a Matter of Happenings

      “It’s not what you believe that counts; it’s what you believe enough to do.” - Richard Stearns

    What if we told you that a group of five ordinary community members decided to take it upon themselves to replicate an event that large, well-funded, Nonprofits host on an annual basis? An event that serves thousands of homeless and low-income people with the food, services, and supplies that will help them to regain their footing amidst difficult circumstances.

    You might be skeptical now…  But what we haven’t told you is that this group of five had enough perseverance and passion to make that vision a reality.

    In the summer of 2013, the group came together to read a book called, “The Hole in Our Gospel.” After finishing it, they knew they had to do something for those in need in the Northshore area, where they live. Their volunteering with Northshore Baptist had shown them the struggling people that often got overlooked in this affluent area. They went to find a volunteer opportunity like the Community Resource Exchange (CRE) or Project Homeless Connect (PHC) in Bothell that would reach the whole community. But there was nothing like that in Bothell. They had to do something. Care Day was coming.

    The group approached Northshore Baptist Church with the idea of starting a CRE-like event in Bothell, called Care Day. The church introduced the team to the Northshore School District, with whom they had built a trusting and mutually beneficial relationship. The Care Day team’s support network expanded further when they met two of United Way of King County’s AmeriCorps VISTAs, placed with the North Urban Human Services Alliance (NUSHA). Through NUHSA’s Americorps VISTAs, the group was able to access the wisdom and experience of the staff at United Way of King County. They gleaned information and networked by coming to the most recent CRE and United Way of Snohomish County’s Project Homeless Connect (PHC). Through their consistent efforts they also partnered with several churches and around 60 nonprofits.


    With several planning meetings under their belts, the team brought NUHSA on board as their fiduciary agent and began their quest for supply drives and donations. Hundreds of phone calls, emails, and dozens more meetings later, it was finally August 15th.

    Care Day took place on the campus of Bothell High School. Despite the rain and the logistical problems that plague every first time event, the team remained calm and positive. This positive energy radiated throughout the event. The leadership team solved problems creatively and directed people graciously, and in the end pulled off an event that brought 60 providers and 180 volunteers together to serve approximately 250 men, women, and children in need. “There's a need in our community, and for one day we put a dent in it,” said Tim King of Care Day’s leadership team. Everyone from the volunteers to the providers to the school staff complimented the organization of the event and asked if there would be a “Care Day 2015.”  We are pleased to announce that there will be.

    Quick Glance Stats
    250-300 people served from the community

    Age range of adults varied from 23 to 77

    25% reported current or recent homelessness

    58% had kids in school

    80% were seeking employment

    54% received food stamps

    36% came from the city of Bothell

    17% travelled from either Seattle or Snohomish County

  • 20 Aug 2014 11:50 AM | Beth Green (Administrator)


     NUHSA's Public Policy Committee sent a letter of support for the soon to open International Community Health Services (ICHS) and their efforts to offer Women, Infants and Children (WIC) services at their new Shoreline location. The WIC program offers important health screening and nutritional services for infants and mothers. Currently there are four WIC sites in North Seattle and North King County, but three of those four sites are located in Public Health Seattle King County Clinics slated to be closed in 2015. To ensure improved access to this important preventive service, NUHSA supports ICHS’ application to become a WIC site. (For more information on both organizations, please visit ICHS Shoreline and WIC Program)

  • 13 Aug 2014 4:09 PM | Beth Green (Administrator)


    end homelessness

    You are invited to drop in at a public forum to discuss and comment on the King County Consortium’s Consolidated Housing and Community Development Plan for the period of 2015 through 2019.

    meetings will be held in early September to provide information and receive input from stakeholders and interested citizens on the Consolidated Plan. 
                    Pabla Punjabi Palace, September 4 at 4:00 to 7:00pm
                    15245 International Blvd, Suite 250, Tukwila
                    Bellevue Library, September 9 at 4:00 to 7:00pm
                    1111 110th Ave NE, Bellevue 
                    Third Place Commons, September 10 at 4:00 to 7:00pm
                    17171 Bothell Way NE, Lake Forest Park
    The Consolidated Plan is the guide to the investment of approximately $6 million per year in federal housing and community development funds, and an additional $47 million per year in other federal or related state and local funds, to address housing, homelessness, and community development needs throughout the King County Consortium. The Consortium includes nearly all cities and towns in King County and the unincorporated areas of King County outside of the City of Seattle. This is a casual setting and people are welcome to bring their children.

  • 24 Jul 2014 4:42 PM | Beth Green (Administrator)

    NUHSA took to Shoreline City Hall to advocate for exempting affordable housing from transportation impact fees. Shoreline’s Transportation Master Plan calls for impact fees to be placed on new construction as of January 1, 2015. Without an exemption, non-profit agencies that build affordable housing would have faced additional financial barriers. Ed Sterner, a NUHSA board member and Public Policy Committee member, joined representatives from the Shoreline faith community, local social service and housing agencies, and concerned citizens speaking out at the July 21st City Council Meeting. NUHSA and others spoke about the need for affordable housing in our area and how fee exemptions are a way for the city to support affordable housing. Kayla Schott-Bresler, from the Housing Development Consortium which represents non-profit housing developers, testified that 26% of Shoreline renters spend more than 50% of their income for housing.  In the end, the strong advocacy from NUHSA and concerned individuals and agencies in the community helped the Council decide unanimously to grant non-profit housing developers an exemption to the transportation impact fees.  The ordinance defines affordability as not paying more than 30% of one’s income for housing. Income eligibility was set at 60% of the King County median income, which is $47,640 for a three person household.  

  • 24 Jul 2014 4:16 PM | Beth Green (Administrator)


    Did you know that Public Health - Seattle & King County is facing huge cuts that will close the Northshore, Auburn, Federal Way, and White Center Public Health Centers in January? Plus, here in East King Co. there will be a 2/3 cut to Family Planning Prevention services that prevent teen pregnancy and STDs. Concerned? Contact King County Executive Dow Constantine:

  • 23 Jul 2014 11:18 AM | Beth Green (Administrator)

    Affordable Housing Leads to Smarter Kids

    A new study finds a link between how much families spend on housing and children's intellectual ability.

    According to the study, kids' reading and math abilities suffered in families that spent more than half or less than 20 percent of their household income on housing. AP/Matt Rourke


    In the world of human services, everything is linked, and one of the main axles around which things connect and spin is stable, affordable housing. If ever there was any doubt about housing's importance, particularly where it relates to the healthy development of kids, a new study erases it.

    Looking at how much families spend on housing and then comparing that to a child's intellectual achievement, researchers at Johns Hopkins University found that though how much a family spent "had no affect on a child's physical or social health, when it came to cognitive ability, it was a game changer."

    In families that spent more than half their household income on housing, kids' reading and math abilities suffered, according to the study. At the same time, children in families that spent less than 20 percent of their income on housing also suffered cognitively. "It's worse when you pay too little and worse when you pay too much," says study author Sandra J. Newman, a Johns Hopkins professor of policy studies and director of the university's Center on Housing, Neighborhoods and Communities.

    Newman attributes this finding to the fact that families that spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing spend less on things like books, computers and educational outings. Meanwhile, families that don't invest enough in housing are likely living in rougher, probably more chaotic and challenging neighborhoods, which is not at all conducive to building basic brainpower. "The markedly poor performance of children in families with extremely low housing cost burdens undercuts the housing policy assumption that a lower housing burden is always best," says Newman. "Rather than finding a bargain in a good neighborhood, they're living in low-quality housing with spillover effects on their children's development."

    In other words, the sweet spot is right in the 30 percent range, says Newman. "Those families were spending significantly more on educational enrichment." They invested an average of almost $100 or more on their children, which she admits isn't a lot of money but is apparently enough to make a difference.

    The report -- which gauged kids' abilities not by standardized academic or IQ tests but by basic cognitive skill tests -- focused on families with incomes at or below 200 percent of the poverty level.

    None of its findings, of course, ought to be surprising to anyone: In order to learn, kids need nutritional food, a stable home environment, a decent night's sleep and an adequate cash flow for school supplies. Given that, the study's assertion that what families spend on housing had "no effect on a child's physical or social health" seems misguided. Maybe not directly, but as stated at the beginning, everything in the human services world is connected to everything else.

    Jonathan Walters | Senior Editor, Governing Magazine

  • 17 Jul 2014 2:28 PM | Beth Green (Administrator)

     Please Help! The $15 minimum wage increase is happening in Seattle, and we know it will affect wages throughout the region.  King County policy makers have asked us for estimates of the impact of human services programs in the region bringing their staff salaries up to this level. We want to be able to explain the complexities and the costs of implementing a $15 minimum wage and the impact if there is no additional funding to offset those costs.

    You may already be collecting some of this information at the request of King County.  That may make responding to these questions easier! However they are NOT asking what the impacts will be on services if cost offset funding is not provided.  This information is critical to help policy makers understand the potential impact of an unfunded mandate.

    For this reason we are asking you to do a preliminary “back of the envelope” estimate of the costs to implement a $15 minimum wage and send it in to us before Friday, August 1st.

    There are three pieces of info that would be most helpful:

    1.       How many FTE’s staff from your agency make less than $15.00 and will be affected? How much will it cost you to bring your staff to that level?

    2.       Are you concerned about the cost of equity adjustments for your employees who are currently close to the $15/hr. threshold, the issue which you may have heard referred to as “compression?”  How many additional FTE’s will be affected and at what cost?

    3.      Do you know what services would have to be reduced or eliminated if your agency implemented a $15 minimum wage without any new revenue to offset the costs?  Who are your program participants and what would the impact be on them if these services had to be reduced or eliminated?

    Your participation could impact funding for human services.  Please send your answers to these questions before Friday August 1st to Pam Raphael,  

    Thank you,

    ~ Merril Cousin                     

       Executive Director, King County Coalition Against DV

       Co - Chair, King County Alliance for Human Services 


    ~ Mike Heinisch

       Executive Director, Kent Youth & Family Services

       Co - Chair, King County Alliance for Human Services   

  • 17 Jul 2014 2:07 PM | Beth Green (Administrator)

     Opening Doors Input

    The United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) and the Committee to End Homelessness in King County invite you to participate in an Opening Doors online survey.

    Background Information:
    Since the launch in 2010 of Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness, USICH has been working together with local communities to change the trajectory of homelessness in America, with our progress documented in the reductions seen in the annual Point-in-Time Count data nationally.  This progress demonstrates that Opening Doors is the right Plan and that it sets forth the right set of goals and strategies. Opening Doors is working because we developed the Plan together and because around the country we are implementing it together. Opening Doors brings the right people to the table--providers, practitioners, policy-makers from every level of government, advocates, and people with firsthand experience of homelessness.
    We can see that our progress is accelerating and gaining momentum, but we also believe that every strategic plan should be a living document, strengthened by new information and lessons that are learned through its implementation.  For example, we further strengthened Opening Doors in 2012 through an amendment focused on youth homelessness and educational outcomes for children experiencing homelessness.
    Intent of the Forum:
    As USICH embarks on the fifth year of the implementation of Opening Doors, USICH is intending to amend Opening Doors again, incorporating the changes made through the previous amendment, as well as incorporating new information and strategies that reflect new data, approaches, and insights into what works to end homelessness. We want to make sure any amendment reflects the perspectives, insights, and lessons learned from communities across the country.  We have created an on-line forum at through which you can share and vote for the ideas you think would have the greatest impact in an amendment to Opening Doors.

    end homelessness

  • 03 Jul 2014 2:06 PM | Beth Green (Administrator)


     NUHSA AmeriCorps VISTAs, Amy Pepper and Adriana Zazula, are starting a north King County-based professional network for volunteer managers. It is called Mini VAN. It is a subgroup of the Volunteer Administrator’s Network, a Seattle-based professional association for Volunteer Managers like yourself. This should be a great chance for to network, work on  professional development, and share (and get!) resources.

    Kick-off meeting July 23rd at Friends of Youth in Kirkland, 10 - 11:30 AM.

    This first meeting will be an informal ‘meet-n-greet’ followed by a group discussion to decide what facilitated discussion topics for the bi-monthly meetings.


    Questions about the group or VAN, feel free to email and

  • 03 Jul 2014 2:05 PM | Beth Green (Administrator)


    Did You Know The State of Washington Offers Tax Payer Relief?

    State law provides tax relief programs for older adults, the disabled and those on limited income of any age. Income, residency and other criteria apply. Certain medical and long-term care costs may be deducted to calculate disposable income. The exemption program is a grant and the amount of the tax reduction ranges from full to partial, depending on assessed value of the property and your income. The two deferral programs require repayment of the tax amount loaned when the home is sold, the applicant passes away (unless there is a qualifying survivor), the home is no longer used as a primary residence or the home owner chooses to leave the program. If you were not aware of the program, refunds for up to three prior years may be submitted.

    • ·        Senior Citizen /Disabled Property Tax Exemption Program - The exemption program provides a property tax reduction to qualified senior citizens and disabled persons.

    • ·        Senior Citizen/Disabled Property Tax Deferral Program – Under the deferral program, Washington State  pays the second installment of your property tax and special assessments, due October 31, after you have paid the first half due April 30. The Department of Revenue oversees the program and gives final approval. Think of this as a loan, allowing the State to pay part of your property taxes and assessments, in exchange for placing a lien on your property until the amount deferred, plus interest, is repaid.

    • ·        Property Tax Deferral Program for Homeowners with Limited Income- operates similarly to the deferral program for Senior Citizen /Disabled. Department of Revenue approves applications.

    Eligibility Requirements Senior Citizen Exemption Program

    • ·        Annual household income of $35,000 or less.

    • ·        Own and occupy a house, mobile home, condo or coop

    • ·        61 years of age by December 31 of the previous year, or

    • ·        Retired because of disability or

    • ·        Veteran with a 100% service connected disability

    • ·        You are a widow, widower or state registered domestic partner, at least 57 years of age, whose spouse or state registered domestic partner had an exemption at time of death.

    • ·        Refunds for prior years are available because of a mistake, oversight or not knowing about the  exemption program

    • ·        Must reapply every four years

    Eligibility Requirements Senior Citizen/Disabled Deferral Program

    • ·        60 or older or retired because of physical disability

    • ·        Income of $40,000 or less

    • ·        Owned property for  five years

    • ·        Have enough equity to secure the interest of the State of Washington

    • ·        The first half of your property taxes, due April 30,, must be paid before applying for the deferral on your second installment due October 31.

    • ·         Must reapply annually

    Property Tax Deferral Program for Homeowners with Limited Income

    • ·        Available to homeowners with disposable incomes of $57,000 or less

    • ·        Live in home for five years

    • ·        Have enough equity to secure the interest of the State of Washington

    • ·        State pays second installment of property taxes after homeowners pays first

    • ·        Must reapply annually

    The application deadline is September 1 of each year for the Limited Income Program and March 31st for Deferral Program. There is no deadline for the senior/disabled exemption application. For further information or to obtain an application, call the King County Assessor’s Office, 206-296-3920. Download applications at

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