One of the things I value most in our work is our partnerships. The issues of housing, homelessness and personal crises we deal with every day are big and complex, and require the collective expertise and resources from many sources. Simply put, we cannot do this work alone. I want to highlight a couple of important partnerships we utilize on a regular basis.
Two local organizations we work closely with are Ballard Food Bank and St. Vincent de Paul; together we coordinate financial assistance plans for individuals and families to ensure we are providing the most efficient and effective help possible. Our shared goal is to prevent homelessness and by combining resources we are leveraging our dollars to keep people securely housed and prevent evictions. When a client comes to us needing more assistance than we are able to provide, we refer them to these other agencies. But then we go a step further. We contact those agencies, share any information we have about the situation, and coordinate services so together we are meeting the client’s needs and maximizing our impact. Additionally we continually discuss our programs and policies with each other to share best practices, make sure we’re relaying accurate information to clients, and offer as seamless a continuum of services as possible. While Ballard Food Bank and St. Vincent de Paul are the two primary agencies we partner with in this capacity, we also coordinate efforts with other city-wide agencies with similar missions; the village of social service providers is well-connected and collaborative.
We’ve also established valuable relationships with the offices of elected officials. Representative Pramila Jayapal’s office has several case managers on staff who have been extremely helpful in advocating for or intervening on behalf of clients caught in bureaucratic tangles. Additionally State Senator Reuven Carlyle’s office has been a great partner helping with issues our clients have encountered at the state level, such as delays in receiving unemployment benefits. Please read the stories below of how these elected officials are working hard on behalf of all of their constituents.
Facilitating these connections for clients is part of the myriad supportive services we offer, which can also include providing contacts for legal assistance, helping identify and access resources to reduce expenses such as childcare, transportation or medical care, assisting with applications for utility discount programs, providing financial literacy training, and helping with employment opportunities.
Of course our most important partnership is with all of you, our supporters. None of what we do would be possible without your financial, in-kind, and volunteer support. Every day we benefit from your help (see our long list of thank-you’s at the end of this newsletter!). As always, we are extremely grateful for all you do.