South Park Information and Resource Center Programs
SPIARC serves as a community anchor where neighbors can connect with one another, groups, projects and obtain access to information and resources. More than 700 people visit the information center each year and as the SPIARC staff and our organizational capacity continues to develop we expect this number to grow.
SPIARC staff and volunteers help people to navigate various issues regardless of language, literacy, computer literacy/access, or other circumstances. When possible, we provide direct assistance on issues that can be easily navigated from the Center. Some of these include resumes and employment application assistance, translation and interpretation services. In other cases we direct customers to outside services and resources, like energy-payment assistance, medical, dental and mental health resources, housing and shelter programs, Immigration and legal resources, child care resources, meal programs, senior programs,you name it. We offer important links to community groups and regional service providers like Sea Mar, Consejo, Seattle Public Library, Concord International Elementary, South Park Community Center, South Park Neighborhood Center, South Park Neighborhood Association, South Park Business Association, South Park Merchants Association, South Park Arts, Marra Farm, etc.
SPIARC continues to partner with other agencies to provide English conversation, and basic computer literacy classes to residents connecting them with local volunteers.
Through a recently awarded grant, we established a women's group focused on leadership, community support and resource sharing.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
SPIARC serves many needs on a small budget and we utilize our funding very efficiently. in 2012, we saw an increase of 300% in number of clients served. We would appreciate your support to help ensure that we can continue to provide free multi-lingual resources for the residents of South Park and surrounding areas. Our services include, but are not limited to the following:
- Connecting low-income residents to state and federal benefits. SPIARC coordinates and fosters several relationships with regional programs that provide access to state and federal benefits as well as tax credits.
- Connecting our residents to Centerstone (formerly C.A.M.P.), Utility Discount Program and People Point and provide onsite registration for these programs.
- Partnering with other agencies to provide English conversation, basic English and computer literacy classes to residents connecting them with local volunteers.
- Developing programs that focus specifically on women and their families gaining new skills for jobs and connecting them to others in the community. This includes the well-established Promotoras women's group focused on leadership, community support and resource sharing.
- Facilitating open access to job forms and applications. Clients who visit the Center are able to research and apply for a variety of employment opportunities and receive help with applications, resumes, online forms, and translation/interpretation assistance.
- SPIARC has also become an important resource for homeless or transitional families and individuals. We provide multiple links to community-based food banks and meals on wheels programs as well as referrals for shelters and clothing banks.
- We also serve as a community hub weaving people together to form partnerships in an effort to help reduce duplication of services, projects and programs, and build community.
Finding sustainable funding sources is our greatest challenge. 2012 cuts to the city budget have brought the center to near-closure, as our funding has been drastically cut while the need for our services remains in high demand. Any support or contribution is essential to our continued operation. Please help us to continue to provide programs and resources to the South Park community.