Human Services Department restores funding to day centers for homeless
After cutting funding to day centers that serve the homeless, Seattle’s Human Services Department (HSD) has put the money back in the budget.
The change comes in response to protests by social service providers and their advocates.
Hygiene centers, where homeless people can take a shower or do laundry, account for a third of the funding HSD designates for housing and homelessness.
Like all city-funded homeless and housing services, day centers must now provide more data on how many they serve — and who those people are — in order to receive funding.
On Jan. 31 HSD announced it would fund two new day centers — at the Seattle Indian Center and the Pike Place Senior Center — and cut the funding for existing day centers by 4.5 percent, a loss of $8,000 to $50,000 each.
Officials from the day centers protested, arguing that the money had already been made available.
The Seattle City Council allocated an additional $200,000 for day services for 2013 and 2014, but that money was held back this funding cycle.
In response to the protest, HSD expedited the process to restore the funding. Some day centers also got more. For example, Low Income Housing Institute’s Urban Rest Stop, received an additional $50,000.
Sharon Lee, executive director of LIHI, said the organization will likely use the money to serve homeless youth.
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