12-08-2016  2:08 pm      •     

NAACP Urges City to Take Race into Account When Addressing Mayor Murray’s State of Emergency Over Homelessness

Allocate Resources to Solutions that Address Root Causes

The Seattle King County NAACP released a statement Wednesday calling on local leaders to take race into account when addressing the State of Emergency over homelessness.
While Seattle is one of the whitest cities in the country, the homeless population is largely Black people. Despite the fact that African Americans make up 7 percent of Seattle’s population, they are tripled in the city's homeless population, according to reports by the Seattle Times in 2013.

The numbers increase even more for families: around 60 percent of homeless families in shelters were listed as black or African American in the 2012 Seattle Annual Homeless Count. Homeless youth also are more likely to be people of color.

As Seattle calls for a State of Emergency over homelessness, the NAACP wants to see financial resources allocated to solutions that address the root causes leading to the disproportionate rate of black homelessness, including:

  • End racial discrimination in housing by landlords;
  • Expand ban-the-box protections to include rental applications;
  • Create jobs paying living wages with targeted hiring for black employees.

 

USDA to Establish First-Ever SNAP Employment & Training Center of Excellence in Seattle

Innovative Center Will Provide Tailored Assistance to States Working to Help SNAP Participants Gain Employer-Valued Skills and Find Jobs

Last week Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the creation of the nation’s first Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Employment and Training (E&T) Center of Excellence. The Center of Excellence will build on the Administration’s commitment to job-driven training. It will build on best practices that help SNAP participants gain the skills they need for jobs employers are looking to fill today.

The USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service selected the Seattle Jobs Initiative (SJI) to establish and operate the Center of Excellence for the next two years. SJI is partnering with Abt Associates in this effort. SJI has a long-standing history of providing technical assistance in SNAP E&T; the organization was a critical partner in building a leading E&T program, Washington State’s Basic Food Employment and Training (BFET).

The Center of Excellence is central to FNS’ efforts to leverage SNAP E&T so more states can help SNAP clients work toward economic self-sufficiency. In collaboration with FNS, the Center of Excellence will support, guide, and empower select states to build better, stronger E&T programs. It will serve as a "hub" that provides all states the tools they need to build job-driven programs. In addition, a targeted group of states will have an opportunity to receive enhanced technical assistance.

SNAP E&T is a critical tool in each state’s workforce development system that can provide employer-valued skills training to low-income, low-skilled Americans. SNAP E&T can help unemployed workers get back on their feet and can offer workers in low-wage jobs additional skills training to advance in their careers.

Even when the economy is improving, many Americans may continue to need additional support putting food on the table for their families as they try to get back on their feet. SNAP helps many hard-working Americans supplement their family’s nutrition and to make ends meet.

USDA's Food and Nutrition Service administers 15 nutrition assistance programs. In addition to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, these programs include Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, the National School Lunch Program, and the Summer Food Service Program which together comprise America's nutrition safety net. For more information, visit www.fns.usda.gov.

 

Ethnic Heritage Council Hosts Free Storytelling Workshop Saturday

The Ethnic Heritage Council will host a free storytelling workshop, “We All Have An Ethnic Heritage – Telling Our Stories” from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. this Saturday, Nov.  at the Nordic Heritage Museum, 3014 NW 67th Street. Children and youth are welcome to join.

Workshop sessions include:

  • John and Joann Nicon: Preserving and Sharing Our Heritage, featuring "Greeks in Washington" - a virtual, online museum
  • John and Joann Nicon: Conducting an Interview
  • John Sharify: The Power of Video Storytelling
  • Midori Okazaki: Online and Local Research Sources

Participants will need to bring a lunch. Beverages and light snacks will be provided. Register at: info@ethnicheritagecouncil.org. For more information www.ethnicheritagecouncil.org.

 

For more Seattle and Portland area events, see the Community Calendar.

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