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By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 04 February 2009

SEATTLE – The Seattle Foundation announced today it is awarding more than $800,000 in grants from the Building Resilience Fund to help Puget Sound families hit hard by the tough economy.

The targeted grants were awarded to five multi-service agencies and will help an estimated 800 people and 352 families in the Puget Sound area.

The Foundation reached out to Puget Sound's leading philanthropists and corporations last fall to create the Building Resilience Fund to address urgent and long-term community needs resulting from the region's ailing economy. The Foundation hopes to raise more than $6 million for the collaborative fund over the next three years. Key partners include The Seattle Foundation, Microsoft Corporation, The Boeing Company, Medina Foundation, Safeco, Starbucks, United Way of King County, and the Lawrence True and Linda Brown Foundation.

"Our goal is to help families hit hard by the economy by connecting them to the best assistance in the Puget Sound area," said Foundation President/CEO Phyllis Campbell. "We believe investments in multi-service agencies are an effective and highly-leveraged way to prevent people from falling into further crisis."
Campbell emphasized that multi-service agencies are trained and staffed to break through language and cultural barriers that often prevent families from obtaining essential survival services such as eviction prevention, utility subsidies, groceries, and unemployment benefits.

Neighborhood House - $210,000 - Will serve clients with a wide range of needs from crisis to self-sufficiency

Solid Ground - $100,000 - Will focus on eviction and foreclosure prevention

YWCA - $255,000 – Serves women and children affected by domestic violence

Catholic Community Services – $150,000 - Will assist homeless families

Hopelink - $90,000 – Will help families preserve self-sufficiency through crisis intervention and employment-related services

A survey of service providers last fall found that rising foreclosures, rent increases, utility costs and layoffs are pushing people into crisis at record rates. The research also indicated that prevention and recovery efforts can help minimize the number of families slipping into crisis, and keep problems from growing worse and harder to solve.

"These agencies are adept at consolidating the critical services people need to stabilize and thrive," said Fred Kiga, vice president of State and Local Government Relations and Global Corporate Citizenship for the Boeing Company. "We believe this strategic approach leverages philanthropic dollars to maximize impact for families who need it most."

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