Seattle Foundation Blog

Communities of Opportunity 2016 Systems and Policy Change Grants Announced

$1,226,000 in grants awarded to 18 local efforts leading systems and policy change work in King County

April 22, 2016

Seattle Foundation, in collaboration with King County is pleased to announce $1,226,000 in grants to 18 local efforts leading systems and policy change work in King County.

These 18 organizations and partnerships are regional leaders in the Communities of Opportunity focus areas of housing, economic inclusion and health.  They have proven track records of success at multiple levels of systems and policy interventions from critical victories at neighborhood schools to state-wide policy wins.  The awardees demonstrate strong capacity to affect broad change, as well as strong community leadership and engagement necessary to achieve such progress.

Seattle Foundation is proud to elevate solutions that results in cross-cutting community and regional benefits.  As the Puget Sound region grapples with challenging questions of housing affordability, economic inclusion and growing health disparities there has never been a more important time to invest in systems-level interventions.

2016 Communities of Opportunity Systems and Policy Change Grantees are:

Church Council of Greater Seattle

Community Based Organization – Housing – $35.5K a year for 2 years

Multi-faith-based advocacy project to address the affordable housing needs in South Seattle and South King County. Included in this approach is the conversion of faith-based organization owned property into affordable housing.

Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition

Community Based Organization – Health and Economy –$50K a year for 2 years

Integrating community participation in the development and implementation of interdepartmental teams recently created at both the County and at the City of Seattle to address the needs of workers and residents in the Duwamish Valley. The creation of these interdepartmental teams is the results of organizing and data gathering led by DRCC.

Ethiopian Community in Seattle

Grassroots – Housing – Seattle – $30K one year grant

Development of an Ethiopian coalition to address the lack of services for the growing population of homeless immigrants arriving to the U.S. on diversity visas. Their approach combines aligning community assets and strengthening community partnerships with service providers.


Community Based Organization/ Grassroots– Health –$60K one year grant

Youth-led effort to reform food policy within Highline High Schools in order to adopt a youth created menu and meals addressing the need for healthy and culturally appropriate foods.

Latino Community Fund, Entre Hermanos, Para los Ninos, SPIARC, Colectiva and Puentes

Community Based Organization (with many grassroots partners) – Health, Housing and Economy– $75K a year for 2 years split among partners

Launch of a King County Latino policy agenda with coordinated advocacy and civic engagement strategies addressing policy concerns.


Intermediary – Housing, Health and Economy–$50K one year grant

Funding will support state level advocacy on affordable housing as well as promoting health and equity goals within the King County Comprehensive Plan.

Healthy King County Coalition

CBO – Health –$50K one year grant

Funding will support technical assistance to community-led groups in the development of local advocacy efforts to address health food access, healthy living or tobacco prevention.

Housing Development Consortium

Intermediary – Housing –$30K a year for 2 years

Advocacy and policy changes effort addressing affordable housing, specifically around the Real Estate Excise Tax (REET) and Preservation Tax Exemption (PTE).

LGBTQ Allyship

Grassroots – Housing – $20K a year for 2 years

Organizing effort to connect the needs of the LGBTQ community, particularly youth vulnerable to homelessness, to policy efforts aimed at addressing affordable housing in Seattle.

Living Well Kent

Community Based Organization (many grassroots partners) – Health – $50K one year grant

Collaborative approach to addressing healthy food access in Kent. This partnership of grassroots organizations is seeking to create education and training programs as well as community council to work with the City of Kent and the Kent School District.

Mercy Housing Northwest

Intermediary – Housing – Seattle based organization focusing on Seattle and S. King - $50K one year grant

Further development of their community health promoter model to demonstrate results in advance of the State’s Medicaid waiver application that could potential scale and replicate services.

OneAmerica and Transportation Choices Coalition

Intermediary – Economy and Housing – $100K one year grant split among partners

As part of their Transit for All coalition, OneAmerica and TCC are leading organizing efforts across South King County to influence Sound Transit 3 development and raise support for its passage, while simultaneously aligning supporters to influence the ST3 board. 

Open Doors for Multicultural Communities

CBO – Education and Economy – S. King - $50K one year grant

Multicultural organizing strategy among parents of children with disabilities to increase and ensure language access within schools.

Puget Sound Sage

Intermediary – Economy and Housing –$100K one year grant

Sage’s approach includes policy work in three areas, affordable housing, transit and the environment. Policy goals in each of these areas are strengthened by the intentional placement of graduates of their Community Leadership Institute on related boards and commissions.

Somali Youth and Family Club and Coalition of Refugees from Burma

CBO – Housing – S. King - $50K one year grant

Community education and engagement process intended to improve housing condition within refugee communities by connecting them to landlords and policymakers.

Tenants Union of Washington State

Grassroots – Housing – $40K one year grant

Anti-Displacement program addressing rent increases and displacement occurring throughout Rainier Valley and South King County. Policy agenda tied to increasing renters rights and built off best practices from other cities that have experienced gentrification.

Washington CAN!

CBO – Economy – Statewide Seattle based organization focusing on S. King – $50K a year for 2 years

Funding would support an organizing strategy in South King County to support a statewide minimum wage campaign. If unsuccessful at the state level, momentum built from the statewide campaign would be channeled toward a local $15 minimum wage campaign.

Yesler Community Collaborative, Capitol Hill Housing, Centerstone, InterIm CDA and Seattle Chinatown International District PDA 

Intermediary – Housing – Seattle - $75K one year grant

Coordinated approach to promoting anti-displacement actions by the City of Seattle affecting the Yesler Terrace, the International District, Capitol Hill and the Central District. 



Nonprofit Partners


grantseconomic opportunityphilanthropistshealthy community frameworksocial equalityaffordable housingBasic Needscommunities of opportunityearly interventioneducationChildren and youth

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