Somers awards $500,000 for Youth and family Resource Centers
Snohomish County, Wash., April 14, 2023 – Executive Dave Somers announced that Snohomish County has awarded a total of $500,000 to Korean Community Service Center and The Clearwater School to operate Youth and Family Resource Centers in South County. Resource Centers provide individualized services ranging from public benefit navigation to employment connections and much more. The awards result from the Request for Proposals (RFP) issued in January and the funding comes from the County’s federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) allocation.
“The pandemic has been challenging for working families across our county, which means the need for supportive services skyrocketed,” said Executive Somers. “That’s why we’re continuing to invest our federal recovery dollars in Youth and Family Resource Centers. They have a proven positive impact on our most vulnerable communities and create opportunities for families to receive personal assistance from a community-based provider focused on meeting their needs.”
“Families are the backbone of our community and I am incredibly proud of the resilience that Snohomish County has demonstrated throughout our recovery from the pandemic. This investment in Youth and Family Resource Centers is a great opportunity to support the work that community organizations are doing to serve families in need,” said Snohomish County Council Chair Jared Mead (District 4).
“These two Resource Centers will be instrumental in building community throughout our county and will help showcase the wonderful diversity we have here in the third district and beyond,” said Councilmember Strom Peterson (District 3).
Youth and Family Resource Centers are operated by community-based organizations uniquely designed to respond to the local needs of the communities they serve. They provide a critical point of contact for individuals and/or families at or below 60 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI) to address their immediate needs while building connections to additional local services. Services provided have a specific focus on mitigating socio-economic harm caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Youth and Family Resource Centers support these five core tenets:
- Family Centeredness: Families as integral to the program’s success
- Family Strengthening: Supporting families to be strong, healthy, and safe
- Family Diversity: Acknowledging and respecting families’ diverse backgrounds
- Community Building: Engaging families in community building processes
- Evaluation: Continuous quality improvement to achieve positive results for families
Snohomish County awarded $250,000 in capacity-building funds to Korean Community Service Center (KCSC) to support efforts to become a certified Youth and Family Resource Center. KCSC provides direct services to address the impacts of structural inequities, including pro bono legal aid, Medicaid enrollment, mental health counseling, access to public housing, senior services, and case management. Pandemic response efforts including addressing food insecurity, providing rental assistance, promoting digital equity, providing COVID-19 tests and vaccine access.
“Over the past decade, our local Korean American community has continued to grow. The pandemic and rise in anti-Asian sentiment have revealed barriers to meeting basic needs, accessing culturally appropriate health and behavioral health services, and supporting resilient families and youth. KCSC is very excited about this wonderful opportunity to invest in the health and wellness of Snohomish County families and community,” said Joomi Kim, Executive Director, KCSC.
Snohomish County has also awarded $250,000 in capacity-building funds to The Clearwater School, in partnership with WAGRO Foundation and Mujeres con Actitud Latina, to support efforts to become a certified Youth and Family Resource Center. The organizations’ collaboration – the Family Well Being Center – provides pandemic prevention and care through resource distribution, vaccination clinics, education and wrap-around services in neighborhoods and communities. The organizations also provide workshops on issues ranging from parent and youth education, health and wellness, food access, and support for LGBTQIA+ youth and families.
“We are very excited and grateful to receive this support from Snohomish County. Through our work in crisis response to the COVID-19 pandemic we saw broad discrepancies in access to services across diverse communities. Many immigrant, refugee and BIPOC families face barriers in obtaining basic care. We draw on trusting relationships with community members to more effectively bring culturally sensitive and relevant services into neighborhoods where people gather,” said Stephanie Sarantos, Executive Director, The Clearwater School. “Our multicultural youth and family resource center is an exciting extension of our work. Our Well Being Center seeks to improve mental and physical, spiritual and emotional health, and provide services that are directed by community voices and available to all. In addition to providing services, we are actively building connections and creating a sense of belonging and support. The strength of our work comes from leading with love.”
Executive Somers established the Office of Recovery & Resilience to guide the County’s recovery work by ensuring federal pandemic relief is administered quickly, effectively, and equitably. Information on the County’s recovery work can be found at www.snohomishcountywa.gov/recovery.