InterIm CDA is committed to helping the community achieve housing stability in these unprecedented times. We are carrying on our tradition of providing culturally responsive, holistic housing case management services to help people attain and maintain safe, healthy, and affordable housing so that they can be successful and stable. We know that having a home sets people up to be able to thrive in other areas of their lives, and our housing services department has been working hard to find creative ways to continue serving clients safely during COVID-19 to ensure that our community has access to important resources and supports to navigate economic hardships.
InterIm CDA’s homelessness prevention program has been providing housing support and rental assistance to residents of Seattle and the CID for years. Our team knew when Washington state announced the stay at home order in March that many households would be at risk of losing their employment and their homes. Our homelessness prevention staff have been working hard to share information on the latest eviction moratorium updates with at-risk households so that our community knows their rights as renters. We’ve continued to provide case management to connect households with public benefits, employment, and basic needs such as food, clothing, and childcare resources. Many Seattle residents have contacted us to receive assistance with their rent payments while they navigate income loss and unemployment during the pandemic.
InterIm CDA’s housing services program is the proud recipient of additional rental assistance funds administered by the City of Seattle as part of the CARES Act to help Seattle residents reduce their rental arrears and work towards housing stability. These funds are available to City of Seattle residents who have had their income impacted by COVID and can demonstrate that they have been unable to make rental payments in the past one to three months.
While some of our community members, such as seniors and those living with disabilities, are continuing to receive a fixed income during the COVID-19 pandemic, it can still be a struggle to meet basic needs with limited funds for essentials like groceries, utilities, etc. Earlier this year, InterIm housing services staff helped to enroll our low-income neighbors in the City of Seattle’s Fresh Bucks program to help combat food insecurity. The Fresh Bucks program provides grocery vouchers that participants can spend on fruits and vegetables at Seattle Safeway stores and has been supplemented by additional emergency grocery vouchers during the pandemic to help households meet their needs and have access to healthy and nutritious food. These vouchers, as well as other resources share by our housing services team, have been helping our clients navigate economic challenges and break out of food insecurity so that they can continue to maintain their housing stability and their overall wellbeing.
Our unsheltered neighbors in the CID are often left out of the conversation about safety and stability, especially during this health emergency. Our housing services team has been conducting dedicated outreach to our unsheltered neighbors to provide essentials like masks, hand sanitizer, water, snacks, and- now that the weather is getting cooler- hats and gloves to stay warm. We make sure that unsheltered individuals have information about shelter and housing and we have assisted multiple people to get into permanent housing, including in some of InterIm’s affordable housing developments.
We know that this school year looks very different for our clients and their children, and our staff have partnered with the Seattle/ King County Coalition on Homelessness again this year to provide backpacks full of school supplies to families experiencing homelessness and housing instability in our community.
From school supplies to rental assistance, we know that holistic services are necessary to support our clients to achieve stability, and our housing services department is working hard to connect our community to resources so that they can take care of themselves and their families both now and in the future.