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Neighborhood House 

Description

From our early beginnings in 1906, through the depression, two World Wars and the recent recession, Neighborhood House continues to be there for our region’s most vulnerable residents. From building a strong foundation for a baby's healthy development, to addressing a lack of transferable job skills for a recent refugee, to keeping a family in safe, stable housing - our goal is to find relevant, neighborhood-level solutions to some of the greatest challenges of poverty.
Mission Statement
Neighborhood House helps diverse communities of people with limited resources attain their goals for self-sufficiency, financial independence, health and community building.
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Neighborhood House
905 Spruce St Ste 200 
Seattle 
WA
98104-2474 
(206) 461-8430 

Mark Okazaki 
Executive Director 

Programs

Neighborhood House Programs

Safety Net and Self-Sufficiency
NH provides a comprehensive response to the self-sufficiency challenges facing our clients with a flexible continuum of housing and supportive services. Intensive case management addresses barriers, but also provides emotional support to clients as they overcome hurdles such as accessing health care, or locating affordable, permanent housing. Our bilingual team offers a range of emergency services including rent, utility and food assistance and support components (housing advocacy, eviction prevention, transportation (bus tokens, van service, etc.) and child care.

Child and Youth Development
We serve pregnant mothers, infants, toddlers, pre-schoolers and their families through Early Head Start, Head Start, the Parent Child Home Program and Play and Learn. For young people 5-18 we offer a range of programs to address varied needs and interests. Some concentrate on academic achievement, others support foundational skills for leadership or career exploration as well as school-based services for middle schoolers.

Employment
Our employment services staff speaks seven languages, providing the essential linguistic/cultural bridge to help limited English speaking job seekers. A strong focus is on making job training accessible and relevant.  We meet people where they are and provide training on the range of skills necessary for job success, including job readiness taught through the lens of a particular industry sector, and support to strengthen English skills.

Recent Successes and Current Challenges

Recent Success
Since our start as a settlement house, Neighborhood House has understood that the best way to address poverty was to live and work within the communities we served. That philosophy continues to inform our work today, with all of our neighborhood centers located within low-income communities in Seattle and King County. We continue to expand our reach into underserved areas in South King County. In 2011 we expanded to the Birch Creek Center in Kent where we offer employment, ESL, citizenship and tutoring services.  This past year we were able to expand our Parent Child Home Program so that we could meet the needs of low income families living in Tukwila.  Most recently, we added an additional site to our afterschool tutoring program at Firwood Circle in Auburn.

2012 also brought the creation of our new Housing Stability Division. This division integrates housing assistance with employment services and eviction prevention support.  Using a Housing First framework, we move homeless families and individuals into permanent housing and provide them with comprehensive support and training so that they can access living wage jobs, and increase thier financial independence and self-sufficiency.

Current Need
Our communities are extremely diverse, with barriers beyond language impeding full community participation. Immigrants and refugees face historic challenges to engaging in civic activities, as many come from countries where civic action or speaking out can result in prison or worse. In this time of accelerated economic pressures, there is a high need to build resident skill and leadership to identify solutions to help low income families meet their needs for safety, strong schools and economic advancement.

Evaluation


Neighborhood House (NH) helps diverse communities of people with limited resources attain their goals for self-sufficiency, financial independence, health, and asset building.

Proven Success
The Board of Trustees approved the 2012-2015 Strategic Plan at the beginning of the year. Two programmatic goals of the plan are; High Point Promise, efforts to create a cradle to college pipeline of programs, services and strategies to help all of the low-income children of the High Point public housing redevelopment graduate from high school on time and go on to postsecondary education; and expanding services to new communities in South King County. This includes life skills, mentoring and academic programs in the Firwood Circle public housing complex in Auburn and the expansion of their Parent Child Home Program early literacy home visiting services to families in Tukwila.

Accessibility and Cultural Competency
NH continues to place a major emphasis on serving populations who struggle to become self-sufficient. Their staff speaks 43 languages and dialects. NH currently has six community advisory councils to help direct their work in different program areas and help to adapt their services to the cultural needs of our communities. They collaborate with other providers to ensure quality services. They have a “no wrong door” philosophy and connect people to all their services.

Collaboration
NH has a strong track record in delivering high quality social and educational support to their clients. They have been quite successful at building partnerships to address the needs of the communities they serve. For this effort, they are working closely with the Seattle Housing Authority, Seattle Public Schools, and other organizations that are working to improve academic outcomes for children.

Sustainability
Over the last 12 months, Neighborhood House has invested in: 1) adding internal evaluation capacity to help implement evidence-based programs and best practices and to improve programs; 2) internal staff skill development, such as coaching skills; 3) purchasing software to help staff, board members and other stakeholders interact with and understand program data; 4) increasing their Volunteer Coordination staffing and adding an AmeriCorps team to enlist the energy of the community; 5) increasing their investment in major donor development.

They have experienced increased demand for assistance for all of the basic needs: housing, rent, utilities, food and transportation. They make referrals to other community partners for the services they cannot provide and those resources are stressed.

They have managed costs very carefully. When there has been limited money for cost of living adjustments, they have looked for ways to develop staff and improve their compensation through internal promotion opportunities and are constantly seeking efficiencies. They initiated a wellness program that paid off in the first reduction in health insurance costs in the last 12 years.

Grant History with The Seattle Foundation:

Grants Awarded through The Seattle Foundation Grantmaking Program:

DateAmountPurpose
3/10/2013 $20,000.00provide general operating support.
6/10/2012 $10,000.00to support a summer kindergarten readiness program. YGB 2012
3/10/2012 $25,000.00support general operating expenses.
3/10/2011 $20,000.00support general operating expenses.
12/10/2010 $50,000.00support planning activities of the High Point Promise Neighborhood Initiative (HPPN).
12/10/2008 $75,000.00support general operating expenses.
10/5/2006 $75,000.00support general operating expenses.

Financials

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