Seattle Seahawks Players Announce 2018 Grants
Eight organizations working on homelessness, criminal justice reform and education receive a total of $225,000
October 10, 2018
The Seahawks Players’ Equality & Justice For All Action Fund announced its second round of grants to community nonprofits on October 10.
At the heart of the fund’s philanthropic mission is the goal to create lasting change rooted in equality and justice for all in our society. Working with Seattle Foundation advisors, the players decided this year to support local organizations working to lift people out of homelessness, others focused on criminal justice reform, and a new effort to provide college scholarships to African American males.
Seahawks left tackle Duane Brown made the announcement at a press conference. “We appreciate all the work these organizations are doing to address these issues and we are honored to support their work. We’d like to thank those that have continued to donate to the Players Fund and the Seattle Foundation for its partnership in our efforts,” he said.
Brown added: “It really shows that guys aren’t just talking about it; everyone is putting things into action, putting money behind it. As players in our position, we’re obligated to help the community. Everyone is pretty passionate about it in these different areas—homelessness, criminal justice and education—they’re things that can really, really affect our future.”
The nonprofits they are supporting include programs that provide emergency shelter to mothers and children experiencing homelessness and others that offer long-term housing, job training and mental health support to end chronic homelessness. They also include programs that successfully divert people from jail and offer innovative alternatives to the cash bail system that creates lasting financial difficulties for many. The players were also moved by a new college scholarship program that provides funding for African American male high school graduates.
Numerous Seahawks, head coach Pete Carroll, team owner Paul Allen and hundreds of fans both local and worldwide have contributed to the Players Justice & Equality For All Action Fund. The Fund has raised more than $1.2 million and counting since its creation in 2017.
The 2018 Players Fund grants support the following organizations:
Serving Snohomish County, Cocoon House empowers young people to break the cycle of homelessness through dedicated outreach, housing and prevention services. They also provide emergency supplies and food, school support, job training and help accessing other community services. They are currently raising funds to develop a new housing complex that will provide 100 youth with secure housing each year.
Community Justice Project
This organization, led by crime survivors who were also formerly incarcerated, builds innovative responses to the harm of crimes rooted in restorative justice principles. The Project is piloting a 12-month circle program in Washington prisons, to explore topics such as trauma, resiliency and accountability in a supportive setting. In 2019 they plan to expand the program in two prisons. They also host support circles for survivors of crime with opportunities to share their stories, find healing and advocate for policy change.
This organization brings mentor artists together with youth participants to consider the root causes of incarceration and focus on the positive role youth can have in building a more equitable justice system for the region. Working with the King County prosecutor’s office, Creative Justice offers arts-based instruction for youth, who can have criminal charges reduced or dropped by successfully completing the program. It helps divert young people from crime and helps them advocate for positive changes in the justice system.
Through its Adult Culinary Program, FareStart transforms the lives of homeless men, women and families by empowering them with life skills, job training and employment in the food service industry. Students receive 500 hours of on-the-job training in FareStart’s food service businesses learning culinary skills to prepare them for jobs in restaurants, catering, corporate dining and grocery stores. Last year, 90 percent of their graduates found employment within 90 days of graduating. At six months, 85 percent were still employed. In 2017, FareStart served 647 homeless individuals.
With 10 shelters throughout King County, Mary’s Place provides temporary housing to 680 individuals nightly with a primary focus on women and children. They offer many other services, including support for mothers with newborns, employment resources, case management, a kids’ club, and health, food and nutrition support.
This organization was formed by community volunteers to support the academic goals, social-emotional learning, and cultural identity of Black children. Formed of diverse Black men and fathers from the community, MoHundred first developed at the National African American Parent Involvement Day at a Seattle public school in 2016. They are raising $100,000 for scholarship awards for black male high school graduates to attend college.
Northwest Community Bail Fund
This nonprofit helps people pay for bail who would otherwise spend pre-trial time in jail, and advocates for bail reform. They provide cash bail for people who are unable to pay due to poverty, who are charged with misdemeanors in King and Snohomish counties and have no other holds in the criminal justice system. In less than two years, NCBF has prevented more than 5,900 days of pre-trial detention, saving taxpayers over $1 million. They have posted an average bail amount of $1,600 to free over 100 people.
Public Defenders Association
This Association works in advocacy, litigation and organizing on issues that affect people who are in or are likely to be involved in the criminal justice system. Through one program, supports individuals and communities to organize for solutions to drug use that are rooted in health, safety and compassion. PDA’s Racial Disparity Project works to improve police accountability and reconsider the role of the police in the community. Another effort, Project LEAD works with police officers to find alternatives to arrest by diverting individuals to a community-based intervention program for low-level criminal offenses like drug possession.
The Seahawks Players made their first grants in December 2017, investing $125,000 in seven organizations in the Seattle metro region.