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Staff at a healthy nutrition event in the Rainier Beach neighborhood of Seattle
Participants in a physical activity event in the White Center neighborhood of West Seattle

Latest from COO

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)

Our challenge

Communities of Opportunity is one actionable response to the health and social disparities which are increasing in our region.

Significant numbers of people in the County are being left behind as demographics shift, and the region now experiences some of the greatest inequities among large US metropolitan areas.

  • Life expectancy ranges from 74 years in the lowest 10 percent of census tracts to 87 years in the highest 10 percent of census tracts;
  • Frequent mental distress ranges from 14 percent to four percent; and,
  • Income below 200% of poverty ranges from 54 percent to six percent.

In addition to these inequities, sharp increases in housing costs in the Seattle Metropolitan Area continue to put many communities and long-time residents at risk for displacement.

Low-income people and people of color have borne a disproportionate share of the burden of under- invested neighborhoods in the last 20 years.

Our opportunity

The environment where a child, youth or young adult is raised is a strong contributor to their ability to thrive and reach their full potential.

As the diversity of our region's population grows, full inclusion is necessary to achieve shared prosperity. Meaningful inclusion must address the needs and harness the assets, talents and potential of communities so that they are full partners in building our region's future.

From our partners

Participants in a COO meeting

A local organization's perspective on why Communities of Opportunity is receiving national attention

In King County, many have taken note of Communities of Opportunity (COO), a ground-breaking partnership between community, the Seattle Foundation and King County to address inequities in health, social, racial, and economic outcomes. Now this approach is getting national attention.

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julián Castro honored Communities of Opportunity. The Seattle Foundation received the Secretary’s Awards for Public-Philanthropic Partnerships in Washington D.C. at the Council of Foundations annual conference.

Seattle Foundation and Public Health - Seattle & King County logos