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Asian Counseling and Referral Service 

Description

Since 1973, ACRS has been a recognized hub for the Asian Pacific American (APA) community, offering a comprehensive range of services for APAs of all ages. For culturally and linguistically isolated immigrant and refugee APAs, ACRS represents a single entry way to needed services and for opportunities to support each other towards achieving self sufficiency.

Mission Statement
Asian Counseling and Referral Service (ACRS) is a nationally recognized nonprofit organization offering a broad array of human services and behavioral health programs to Asian Pacific Americans in King County. ACRS is the largest multiservice organization serving all the different Asian Pacific American communities - immigrants, refugees and American born - in the Pacific Northwest.
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Asian Counseling and Referral Service
3639 Martin Luther King Jr Way S 
Seattle 
WA
98144-6847 
(206) 695-7600 

Ms. Diane Narasaki 
Executive Director 

Programs

Asian Counseling and Referral Service Programs

ACRS' services change the lives of individuals and families by empowering the most vulnerable members of our community to achieve their highest level of self sufficiency and well being. As a result, the overall health of our community is improved. The Asian Pacific American (APA) community, the fastest-growing racial group in King County, has over 21 distinct ethnic groups with their own languages, histories, traditions, strengths and needs. Many struggle in poverty and language isolation, making multilingual services vital to their survival and well being. ACRS represents a single, and often the only, entry way to critically needed safety net services. Through the agency’s largely bilingual professional staff of over 200 employees who speak over 30 languages and dialects, ACRS’ 13 programs helps clients attain their highest levels of self-sufficiency. As a result of the quality of services provided by ACRS, people’s lives are changed for the better. For example, our Children, Youth and Family Services program believes in the potential of APA young people and offers a variety of programs that promote their safe and healthy development. Services are provided in the language of the young people and their families, with an understanding of their culture. Our Food Bank is one of the most-used food banks in King County and assists more than 5,000 unduplicated individuals each year. It is also the only food bank in Washington that regularly distributes foods for Asian and Pacific Islander diets.

Recent Successes and Current Challenges

In 2008, ACRS opened its new headquarters in one of the most culturally diverse neighborhoods in the country to meet the growing demand for its services. In its vision of expansion, ACRS realized that there was a greater opportunity present to engage the community in activities that would provide increased access to its vital services. This vision added capacity for holistic integrated services and has transformed what would be traditional office space into a community asset. By creating space for education, recreation, arts, and culture, ACRS is not only a community center but also a model for holistic service provision.               

ACRS is seeking and would be grateful to receive general support and funding for the following programs:                
  • Employment and Training Services               
  • Food Bank and               
  • Children, Youth and Family Services.

Evaluation


Asian Counseling and Referral Service (ACRS) provides a variety of services to help clients achieve self-sufficiency in Western society, while maintaining cultural identity.

Proven Success
Asian Counseling and Referral Services (ACRS) is regarded as a national model for delivering services to under-served communities because it combines language and cultural knowledge with expertise in mental health/social work. ACRS helps Asian Pacific Americans at every stage of life. ACRS is a community center as well as a model for holistic service. They are located in the heart of their client-base in Rainier Valley near a Light Rail station and bus stops.

ACRS is integrated into the community and has developed many projects and initiatives that have saved lives, reversed injustice and made lasting impacts that benefit communities of color, immigrants and refugees and low-income people.

Use of Best Practices
In partnership with Lutheran Community Services, ACRS began the Pathways to Wellness project. The project helps emerging refugee populations towards successful psychological and cultural integration into the new country. In 2012, Pathways expects to screen 300 to 500 refugees at Public Health Seattle and King County. They are integrating this screening in other communities outside of King County were there are high numbers of refugee arrivals.

ACRS started the Wellness for Asian and Pacific Americans (WAPA) project in 2011. This project improves the overall wellness and physical health status of at-risk limited English proficient APAs with a serious mental illness through a person-centered, collaborative and culturally competent care system based in a community mental health setting. They projected serving 200 participants in 2012 and to date have enrolled over 350 clients.

Health care reform will present ACRS with many opportunities and challenges. ACRS converted to a new electronic records system in April. The system will reduce paper, help manage caseloads and scheduling and above all improve the client’s overall experience and health through faster response times and increased coordination of care. They will continue to address the health disparities for the APA population and promote solutions that improve the overall health and well-being of the APA population as well as address mental health disparities and the need for integrative healthcare solutions.

Accessibility and Cultural Competency
Many struggle in poverty and language isolation, making multilingual services vital to their survival and well being. Over 30 APA languages and dialects are spoken at the agency ensuring that people receive the best service possible. Over 94 percent of ACRS clients have incomes below 50 percent of the median income and 45 percent are immigrants and refugees. For culturally and linguistically isolated immigrant and refugee APAs, ACRS represents a single entry way to needed services and for opportunities to support each other towards achieving self sufficiency.

Sustainability
ACRS consistently has high performance on public contracts, solid reputation in the community and prudent fiscal management. ACRS has operated without a deficit, expanded programs, served more clients and grown an average of 11 to 12 percent yearly over the last decade.

ACRS increased the number of private grants sought and successfully hosted two fundraising events. Their Walk For Rice benefits the ACRS Food Bank, which is the second most-used food bank in King County.

Grant History with The Seattle Foundation:

Grants Awarded through The Seattle Foundation Grantmaking Program:

DateAmountPurpose
12/15/2013 $1,500.00support the food bank and meal program operations.
12/10/2013 $15,000.00provide general operating support.
12/10/2012 $20,000.00provide general operating support.
12/10/2011 $20,000.00support general operating expenses.
6/10/2010 $30,000.00support general operating expenses.
10/18/2007 $40,000.00support general operating expenses.
6/16/2005 $75,000.00support the capital campaign.

Financials

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