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King County Executive
Dow Constantine


King County, City of Seattle and Seattle Foundation announce $2.25 million in emergency funding to provide critical services to immigrants and refugees

Summary

Nearly 40 nonprofits successfully competed for a combined $2.25 million in emergency funding from King County, the City of Seattle, and Seattle Foundation to provide critical services to immigrants and refugees and other vulnerable residents whose health, safety, and human rights are at risk.

Story

King County Executive Dow Constantine, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, and Seattle Foundation today announced a combined $2.25 million in emergency funding for critical services for immigrants, refugees, and other residents whose health, safety, and human rights are at risk.

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Seattle Mayor Ed Murray logo
Seattle Foundation Logo

The 38 nonprofits that successfully competed for the funding will provide a wide range of services, such as training for educators and mental-health providers who teach or provide treatment to immigrants and refugees. Other examples include providing critical legal services, preventing wage theft, launching a Know Your Rights campaign, and engaging the most vulnerable populations in the immigrant and refugee community.

“We proudly uphold the American promise that we are a nation that welcomes those fleeing oppression, seeking opportunity, and yearning for freedom,” said Executive Constantine. “We have created partnerships that will reinforce King County’s reputation as an inclusive community where all are welcome to build a better life.”

"I signed legislation in April establishing a $1 million dollar immigrants’ Legal Defense Fund because immigrants are being targeted by a presidential administration that has embraced White Nationalism,” said Mayor Murray. “Today, with additional money from our partners at King County, we are awarding those defense fund dollars to community organizations like the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, Kids in Need of Defense, and West African Community Council, because they advocate for immigrants every day in what’s now a larger fight to preserve core American principles of Democracy.”

"Today we are proudly standing together as a region against actions that single out and unfairly target residents through hateful words and actions," said King County Council Chair Joe McDermott. "The work that will happen through the Resilience Fund, Legal Defense Fund, and Resource and Information Hub will bring to life our unwavering commitment toward creating a safe, secure, and welcoming community for everyone who calls King County home."

“Congratulations to each of the awardees of Seattle/King County’s pilot Legal Defense Fund," said Seattle City Councilmember Lorena Gonzalez. "It is my sincere hope that funding these organizations will provide much needed protections against deportation for families that have built lives in the Seattle area. These organizations are committed to defending the constitutional rights of immigrants and refugees by providing access to quality civil legal aid. Together, our community navigators and civil legal aid organizations are on the frontline of protecting immigrants and refugees from ongoing attacks by the Trump Administration.”

“It is our highest duty to stand for those among us who do not have a seat at the table,” said Tony Mestres, President and CEO of Seattle Foundation. “The Resilience Fund grantees are safeguarding the rights and well-being of our residents, something that is deeply embedded in the values of our country and community. The Resilience Fund reflects our commitment to ensure that all people are valued and included in our community.”

The partnership between King County and Seattle Foundation – called the Resilience Fund – will provide critical services to a broad range of marginalized populations, including people in the LGBTQ community, African Americans, people who have disabilities, workers who earn a lower wage, and women.

Expanding successful programs that are already helping immigrants and refugees

King County and the City of Seattle have each allocated $1 million in one-time emergency funding, combined with $250,000 from Seattle Foundation and its partners, to provide services.

In addition to providing assistance to residents who are at immediate risk, the investments will strengthen community-led programs that help children, adults, and families thrive.

The investments will help nonprofit organizations expand successful programs that are already helping people in the immigrant and refugee community. 

Legal Defense Fund

The Legal Defense Fund provides pro bono guidance and referrals to legal services to people living in King County who need legal representation for issues related to their immigration status.

The City of Seattle invested $1 million to establish the fund along with $550,000 from King County.

Resilience Fund

A partnership between Seattle Foundation and King County has established the Resilience Fund to strengthen community support for immigrants and refugees who are at most risk. It also provides flexible funding to respond to unanticipated challenges that organizations serving women and girls, LGBTQ individuals, people with disabilities, African Americans and other communities who are experiencing changing federal policies and declining funding.

King County is investing $350,000 in the fund in addition to a $250,000 investment by Seattle Foundation and its philanthropic partners. Seattle Foundation is launching the second round Resilience Fund grant applications today, with a deadline of Sept. 29.

Strengthen Information and Resource Hubs

King County will strengthen information and resource hubs operated by nonprofits so that everyone in King County – including those who want to support immigrants and refugees – knows where to go for resources, alerts, and opportunities.

King County is investing $75,000 in the information and resource hubs.


Resilience Fund

A partnership between Seattle Foundation and King County has established the Resilience Fund to strengthen community support for immigrants and refugees who are at most risk. It also provides flexible funding to respond to unanticipated challenges that organizations serving women and girls, LGBTQ individuals, people with disabilities, African Americans and other communities who are experiencing changing federal policies and declining funding.

King County is investing $350,000 in the fund in addition to a $250,000 investment by Seattle Foundation and its philanthropic partners. Seattle Foundation is launching the second round Resilience Fund grant applications today, with a deadline of Sept. 29.

Read more Organization Locations Ethnic Populations Served Issue Description
21 Progress South King County Immigrant and African American Youth and leadership training 21 Progress provides programs that empower leaders among the hard working people of Washington and advances bold ideas for economic and social justice. Through popular education, civic engagement and arts & culture, 21 Progress assists emerging leaders – especially young adults and immigrants – to claim their place in building a more just society and reaching their dream.
API Chaya Seattle, South King County Asian, Pacific Islander Part-time community organizer for Rapid Response Team API Chaya seeks to end systemic violence in our communities. The organization has served thousands of people regarding prevention of sexual and domestic violence, exploitation, and human trafficking. They understand the cultural norms and stigmas associated with such violence and believe in the inherent strength and potential of each person and our communities to address situations in which there has been systematic emotional and/or physical violence. The proposed project increases API Chaya's capacity to respond to threats within immigrant and LGBTQ communities by building skills of community organizers in our marginalized communities.
CAIR-WA Primarily East King County All Muslims Support during hate attacks, ICE improper procedures, organizing, advocacy The Council on American-Islamic Relations is the nation's largest Muslim civil rights organization. The organization's mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding. The proposed project enables King County Muslims to receive free legal assistance when faced with discrimination based on race, religion, religious appearance, ethnicity, and/or national origins.
Casa Latina North and South King County Latino Empower the Latino immigrant community with knowledge and support Casa Latina empowers low-wage Latino immigrants to move from economic insecurity to economic prosperity and to lift their voices to take action around public policy issues that affect them. The proposed project funds "Know Your Rights" trainings, family emergency plans, and community rapid response plans for Latino immigrant day laborers at informal hiring sites.
Congolese Integration Network South King County Congolese refugees Advocacy against anti-immigrant rhetoric, racial and linguistic discrimination Congolese Integration Network brings the community together to increase support for Congolese refugees, remove language barriers, provide access to information and build relationships with the community.
West African Community Council South King County West African immigrants, refugees and Muslims Assist with immigrants legal status and permission to work The West African Community Council’s mission is to advocate, organize, assist, educate and support West African community members while preserving tradition, culture, social, religious and moral beliefs. The organization envisions and works toward a community in which diverse traditions are respected and honored, families are given equal opportunities, and individuals are valued regardless of their country of origin, ethnicity, and gender. The proposed project will help residents who have been released from Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention with housing, food, and moral support. Assist them with their applications for employment authorization documents. The organization will prioritize victims of domestic violence, human trafficking, or female genital mutilation.
World Relief South King County Refugees and immigrants Create an immigration legal clinic in Kent World Relief Seattle envisions every local refugee and vulnerable immigrant welcomed by community, rooted in community, and empowered for community. The project will allow the expansion of legal clinic services to add an immigration attorney, a Department of Justice accredited representative and staff to greatly increase the capacity of the existing legal services.
Eastside Legal Assistance Program East King County Immigrants and staff members of non-profit organizations Host safety plan and Know Your Rights workshops Eastside Legal Assistance Program provides high-quality, no-cost civil legal aid to low-income residents of East King County. The proposed project will expand the organization's capacity to do "Know Your Rights" workshops and safety plans for members of the immigrant and refugee communities.
Eat with Muslims South King County Muslims, Somali, interfaith Organize performances and intimate dinners to combat Islamophobia Eat With Muslims was established after the contentious election and growing anti-Muslim sentiment to support the need for increasing understanding and building broad community. It helps educate and brings together diverse communities. Eat With Muslims believes that sharing an intimate meal with someone from a different background and having an open dialogue is a powerful way to do this. The project will engage with at least 450 program participants by funding five plays and facilitating five dinner events.
EmPower South King County BIA accredited Provide legal access EmPower’s main focus is to support, empower and unite our immigrant communities in South King County in the work to defend and protect the rights, liberties and traditions of immigrant populations we live among and serve. This grant will fund efforts that will lead to an increased number of fully accredited Board of Immigration Appeals representatives and protective strategies in South King County to defend against the unprecedented and rising number of immigrants being unjustly targeted and detained by Immigrantion and Customs Enforcement.
Entre Hermanos Seattle, South King County Latino LGBTQ (including immigrant, refugee and undocumented) Fund new position for intake for low-bono legal representation. Entre Hermanos promotes the health and well-being of the Latino gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning community in a culturally appropriate environment through disease prevention, education, support services, advocacy and community building. The grant's funding will go directly into expanding the organization's capacity to provide legal consultation and referral to Latino gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning community.
Fair Work Center Seattle, South King County Low-wage workers including people of color, LGBTQ, immigrants, refugees, women Expand legal services Fair Work Center supports workers to understand and exercise their rights on the job. They provide "Know Your Rights" and "Train the Trainer" workshops to educate workers and community-based organizations on workplace rights — including health and safety standards, wage and hour laws, and other labor standards. They also operate a free legal clinic that provides legal information, advice and representation to low-wage workers who are victims of workplace violations. This grant will expand their capacity to provide free legal services to low-wage workers most likely to experience workplace violations – primarily immigrants and refugees, people of color, women, young people and people in the LGTBQ community – by engaging with them in their own communities.
Horn of Africa New Holly/Rainier Vista East African mothers Provide capacity and leadership training for East African mom groups in two distinct neighborhoods Horn of Africa has a vision of seeing East African immigrants and refugees in King County become socially integrated, politically engaged, educationally successful, and economically self sufficient and who contribute to the general well being of the County. This grant will fund capacity development training and organizing efforts to equip with knowledge, skills, and practical methods for East African women so that they can lead their communities in becoming more actively involved in pursuit of their rights for social, economic and political equity.
Iraqi Community Center of Washington Kent and South King County Arabic speaking and Muslim communities Support community engagement efforts Iraqi Community Center of Washington is dedicated to ensuring the economic success and effective integration of the Iraqi community, and other refugee communities, through cultural competent services, advocacy, leadership development and civic engagement. This funding will help the Iraqi Community Center of Washington in supporting community engagement efforts including: Meals with Muslims, monthly workshops focused on empowering and educating our clients, and Arabic classes that will help children maintain their native language.
Legal Counsel for Youth and Children South King County Primarily Latino youth but open to all youth Provide safety plans for youth and Know Your Rights training Legal Counsel Youth provides holistic legal services to youth and children in child welfare and juvenile offender matters, those who are seeking special immigrant juvenile status and those youth -- ages 12 to 24 years -- who are at risk of experiencing homelessness in King County. This funding will expand the number of families who benefit from the safety plan, increase direct legal services to children in immigrant families, proactively lead policy changes to decrease trauma and increase family stability for children.
One America South King County Multi-ethnic Advocate for more just and equitable immigration refugee practices and policies One America's mission is to advance justice and democracy by building the power of immigrant and refugee communities, with key allies. One America focuses its work on organizing and advocacy in immigrant and refugee communities throughout Washington state, including in South King County in communities like SeaTac, Tukwila and Kent. This grant will allow One America to train a team of community leaders in the Muslim, Sikh, Latino and East African communities in SeaTac, Tukwila and Kent to know their rights and directly engage and negotiate with regional leadership of Customs and Border Protection on the treatment of ethnic and religious minorities with allies in Congress, the labor movement and other community-based organizations in South King County.
Open Doors for Multicultural Families Kent Black, African, Asian, Latino Customize leadership and advocacy training program for parents of people with disabilities as well as adults with disabilities Open Doors for Multicultural Families provides and advocates for culturally and linguistically relevant and responsive information, services, and programming to culturally and linguistically diverse families of persons with developmental and intellectual disabilities. The youth, adults, and families served are primarily immigrants, refugees, and/or people of color. This grant will fund development and implementation of an advocacy and leadership training program for racially/linguistically diverse families of persons with disabilities and adults with disabilities.
Puentes South King County Latino Provide mental health training and outreach Puentes mobilizes mental health resources to help families directly affected by immigration policies. Puentes works to make therapeutic spaces accessible and culturally relevant to immigrants in our community by centering their perspective in the design of our therapeutic interventions. This grant is funding a network of community care workers, defined as individuals primarily affected by immigration policies, trained to provide mental health support through peer-relationships and facilitate access to relevant community information.
ReWA South Seattle, SeaTac, South King County African, Asian, Latino Citizenship applications, increased case management and safety planning, "Know Your Rights" workshops Refugee Women's Alliance supports immigrants and refugees to thrive through case management, early childhood education, after-school tutoring and enrichment programming, homelessness intervention and prevention assistance, domestic violence and sexual assault victim support. The project funds culturally-competent refugee immigration case management and workshop services to increase refugee/immigrant families ability to advocate for themselves, and protect their families against hate and discrimination.
Skyway Solution Unincorporated King County Young people of color Offer black and brown leadership program, ages 18 to 24 Skyway Solution is a place-based community development organization, promoting community-building, equitable development, and neighborhood revitalization through organized community projects, meaningful learning opportunities, and creative investment of resources. This grant funding will fund a portion of the Next Generation Leadership program to engage 20 Black and Brown emerging leaders -- ages 18 to 24 -- to connect to employment and leadership opportunities.
Somali Family Safety Task Force To be determined Somali women and girls Trainings and conversations to teach providers about community issues Somali Family Safety Task Force creates a culturally appropriate environment where Somali families in King County can share their experiences and work together to support each other and to advocate for their needs.
Somali Health Board + CARE Center South Seattle, South King County Somali, East African, Muslim Combatting Islamophobia, capacity building for Somali and East African families The Somali Health Board was established in 2012 to address the increasingly worrisome health disparities impacting the Somali population in King County. It has grown to create a forum to build relationships and collaborations between health systems, service providers, and Somali community and health leaders. This grant will be used to provide organizational capacity to empower, educate, and organize the Muslim and East African community through community dialogue and workshops to mitigate the current negative political climate.
Somali Youth & Family Club Kent, Tukwila, SeaTac Somali Business development and support to boost resilience Somali Youth & Family Club serves more than 4,500 families and individuals a year through engagement and social services, providing essential services to Somali and other under-served communities in South King County. This grant will help fund bringing the community up and the support systems down so they meet in a middle ground where they can share their strength to collaborate for the best interest of the community.
South Park Information and Resource Center South King County Latino primarily Offer neighborhood -based safety plans and trainings South Park Information and Resource Center serves as a community anchor where neighbors can connect with one another to obtain access to information and resources designed for low and very low income individuals and families. This grant will fund community organizing strategies that emphasize relationship building within the community and their allies that will result in direct action in response to threats from executive orders, court decisions and legislative actions related to immigration reform, deportations, ICE sweeps, the tenuous status of DACA students, hate crimes, and police interactions in South Seattle and South King County cities.
Washington CAN! Kent and Auburn Latino primarily Community organizing Washington CAN! organizes and develops the leadership of youth, people of color, and people in poverty, who drive initiatives to defend the well-being and self-determination of our communities. Washington CAN! believes that the people most impacted by the issues must be at the center of the efforts to change systems that cause inequities.
Washington Defender Association King County Legal advocacy groups Promoting government policies that are inclusive and welcoming The Washington Defender Association’s Immigration Project’s main goals are to ensure local governments restrict use of their resources to collaborate with or enforce federal policies that target vulnerable communities, particularly immigrant and Muslim communities. This grant will fund the continuation and sustainability of the Justice Advocacy Network.

Legal Defense Fund

The legal defense fund provides pro bono guidance and referrals to legal services to people living in King County who need legal representation for issues related to their immigration status.

The City of Seattle invested $1 million to establish the fund along with $550,000 from King County.

King County Equity and Social Justice Network Fund

King County will strengthen information and resource hubs operated by nonprofits so that everyone in King County – including those who want to support immigrants and refugees – knows where to go for resources, alerts, and opportunities.

King County is investing $75,000 in the information and resource hubs.

Read more Organization Amount awarded Description
Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network $25,000 Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network is focused on supporting organizations that protect and empower immigrant and refugee communities by establishing statewide mobilization and resistance to immigration activities and galvanizing communities for collective action across the state. The network is spearheading efforts in King County to create hubs that share information and resources. The network provides all of these opportunities through a vast network of diverse organizations, the development of technical tools, and detailed on-the-ground rapid response training.
Church Council of Greater Seattle $25,000 The Church Council of Greater Seattle is a nonprofit connecting churches and congregations of many faiths for the common good. This grant will result in a mobilized network of 50 faith communities that host six central hubs of resources, information, shelter, and rapid response. Collaborating with other community-based organizations, direct service, and backbone agencies, this Faith Network will affirm the rights and well-being of immigrant and refugee people.
Rainier Valley Corps $25,000 Rainier Valley Corps strongly believes in including the perspective of the communities they serve. They prioritize having strong relationships with key community leaders, such as the board members and key staff leaders of partner organizations. All organizations they partner with host fellows from communities of color. This grant will help the organization sustain and grow a community alliance project to create substantial new capacity among organizations addressing urgent and emerging needs among immigrants, refugees, and other communities of color throughout Seattle.

Relevant links


Quotes

We proudly uphold the American promise that we are a nation that welcomes those fleeing oppression, seeking opportunity, and yearning for freedom. We have created partnerships that will reinforce King County’s reputation as an inclusive community where all are welcome to build a better life.

Dow Constantine, King County Executive

I signed legislation in April establishing a $1 million dollar immigrants’ Legal Defense Fund because immigrants are being targeted by a presidential administration that has embraced White Nationalism. Today, with additional money from our partners at King County, we are awarding those defense fund dollars to community organizations like the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, Kids in Need of Defense, and West African Community Council, because they advocate for immigrants every day in what’s now a larger fight to preserve core American principles of Democracy.

Ed Murray, Seattle Mayor

Today we are proudly standing together as a region against actions that single out and unfairly target residents through hateful words and actions. The work that will happen through the Resilience Fund, Legal Defense Fund, and Resource and Information Hub will bring to life our unwavering commitment toward creating a safe, secure, and welcoming community for everyone who calls King County home.

Joe McDermott, Chair of the King County Council

Congratulations to each of the awardees of Seattle/King County’s pilot Legal Defense Fund. It is my sincere hope that funding these organizations will provide much needed protections against deportation for families that have built lives in the Seattle-area. These organizations are committed to defending the constitutional rights of immigrants and refugees by providing access to quality civil legal aid. Together, our community navigators and civil legal aid organizations are on the frontline of protecting immigrants and refugees from ongoing attacks by the Trump Administration.

Lorena Gonzalez, Seattle City Council

It is our highest duty to stand for those among us who do not have a seat at the table. The Resilience Fund grantees are safeguarding the rights and well-being of our residents, something that is deeply embedded in the values of our country and community. The Resilience Fund reflects our commitment to ensure that all people are valued and included in our community.

Tony Mestres, President and CEO of Seattle Foundation

For more information, contact:

Chad Lewis, Executive Office, 206-263-1250
Will Lemke, Mayor Murray's Office, 206-684-7991
Kristin Dizon, Seattle Foundation, 206-622-2294

King County Executive
Dow Constantine
Dow constantine portrait

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