InterIm has been working to continuously connect with community members, despite the changing times of the past few months. With the help of our Community Engagement, Employment, Housing, and WILD (Wilderness Inner-City Leadership Development) Youth support groups, we have been doing outreach and finding new ways to connect to and support the residents of the Chinatown-International District.
As you may have seen on Facebook, InterIm has provided groceries on a weekly basis, with help from volunteers and staff at Asian Counseling Referral Services, throughout the months of March through July. With everyone’s help, we were able to provide 6,760 grocery bags delivered to 1,200 duplicated households!
On top of that, the Community Engagement team was able to connect with over 60 families to provide emotional support through phone calls, in addition to weekly wellness checks to 168 families. We have even connected with 27 senior residents and helped them pick up using modern day technology through Chinese multi-purpose messaging platform, WeChat, to participate in weekly cooking and virtual exercise classes. The groups have now helped garnered friendships among the seniors and helped them close the distance during a time when it is most important to create connections and bonds with others.
For the younger generation, the WILD program has worked with 51 youth and 37 unduplicated youth in similar programs to the senior residents. The cooking club had an attendance of 18 youth participating in the virtual Spring Cooking Club, which provided weekly Zoom lessons on nutrition, food justice, and kitchen skills while also utilizing learned skills at home with their families. The Green Team, which is a team of six youth, has learned about the environmental impacts in communities of color during COVID-19, and about the ongoing climate movement and its activists. The Garden Crew, a team of 13 youth, participated in an at-home version of the Danny Woo Community Garden’s activities – receiving basic window gardening kits to grow their own crops at home, and sharing their progress and lessons learned while discussing food justice and radical healing. College preparation and readiness lessons were provided to six youth, and eight youth participated in our quarterly Fellowship program, with this quarter’s emphasis on leadership, outreach, and discussing systemic racism.
In our current times of uncertainty, our Employment Navigation team has helped 84 clients receive information and/or employment, with 34 receiving benefits. They have also managed to provide 20 of our beloved restaurants in the Chinatown-International District with information on the Plate Fund, which is a locally established donor-funded effort to provide financial support to restaurant industry workers who have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, and may have otherwise been inaccessible.
As of date, the Homeless Prevention and Housing Stability team have served a total of 444 unduplicated clients, serving roughly 129 during the last week of July. The team provided ongoing case management support, house search, rental assistance to 17 families through the Rapid Rehousing program, seeing each family up to three times, and assisted 70 households with Housing vouchers to find homes – even helping multiple families move into permanent housing! They’ve also served 21 domestic violence survivors with holistic case management services.
With the upcoming election season, civic engagement is more important than usual. InterIm has worked to get 18 residents’ voter ballots submitted, 10 to register for the 2020 census (with 67 registrations in total!)
See Henry, Community Engagement and Education Program Manager, in action in videos here:
We want to give a special thanks to the volunteers, local veterans group Mission Continues, and the Seattle Police Department that have helped in our weekly grocery distribution, Seattle Mask Brigade for donating 48 hand sewn masks, ACRS, Sun Ya, and Viet-Wah for providing bags, groceries, and volunteers, and Purple Dot Café, Tamarind Tree, and Young Tea for providing lunch and refreshments to our staff and volunteers. We wouldn’t have been able to serve our communities without you!