United Way of King County

 

 July 7, 2011

 HEADLINES

 Federal
 Leaders ask officials to stand by earlier budget compromises
 Gates funds study of impact of tax proposals on the charitable sector
 State
 Summer meals available for families
 Draft Race to the Top/Early Learning Challenge requirements open for comment
 WIN 211 reduces telephone hours of operation
 New loan program can save homes from foreclosure
 Local
 Committee to End Homelessness (CEH) releases Mid-Plan Report
 Homeless Youth Count Results
 Redistricting plans available for comment
 Local impact of health care reform to be explored


Federal

Leaders of national organizations ask officials to stand by precedents from earlier budget compromises
Deficit reduction talks between Congress and the White House are ramping up as the August 2 default deadline approaches. A recent letter sent to the President and congressional leadership from over 25 national religious, civil rights, charitable, economic-research and low-income serving organizations including United Way Worldwide have called for a bipartisan deficit reduction effort that does not result in increases in poverty. The text of the letter and background can be viewed here.

Gates funds study of impact of tax proposals on the charitable sector
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded a $1 million, three-year grant to the Urban Institute to study the impact of tax proposals such as reducing or eliminating the charitable deduction, revoking charities’ exemptions from property taxes, simplifying the excise tax, and requiring foundations to give away more of their money each year.  The results should contribute to a better understanding of the long term effects of tax changes on the charitable sector.


State

Summer meals available for families
More than 450,000 Washington children were enrolled in the free and reduced-price meal program this school year. Now that school is out, Summer Meal Programs are available at community centers, schools and parks throughout the state to help low-income families feed their children wholesome food during these months. To find a summer meal program, go here and learn about United Way of King County’s work to significantly extend the reach of these programs here.

Draft Race to the Top/Early Learning Challenge requirements open for comment
Proposed requirements for the Race to the Top/Early Learning Challenge grant were released by the federal departments of education and health and human services on July 1. To view the competition requirements and to provide comments (by July 11) to the U.S. Department of Education, go here. The competition is focused on improving access to high-quality early learning and development programs for low-income children from birth to age five. To keep abreast of Washington state’s progress on applying for the grant, visit the state Department of Early Learning web page.

WIN 211 reduces telephone hours of operation
Due to reductions in overall system funding, WIN211 is requesting that the seven 211 telephone call centers serving Washington state move to minimum 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. hours of operation Monday-Friday effective August 1, 2011 – in order to maintain quality services, consistent with WIN211’s contract with the State of Washington for FY 2011-2013. The WIN 211 computer data base can be accessed at any time.  King County 211 (Crisis Clinic) will continue to provide telephone services from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on weekdays to respond to increased call volumes and its local contractual obligations.   Other call centers may, at their discretion, offer extended hours beyond the system minimum as their resources permit.   To check hours of operation for call centers outside of King County, visit the 211 website.

New loan program can save homes from foreclosure
Recently, HUD announced their Emergency Homeowner’s Loan Program (EHLP) for Washington State residents.   Washington homeowners who have experienced a drop in income of at least 15 percent due to circumstances beyond their control may qualify to for a 0% APR, forgivable loan that pays past due mortgage payments and past-due charges for a maximum loan amount of $50,000.   This support can help save a family home from foreclosure.   To learn more about the program and to connect with the on-line application, click here.


Local

Committee to End Homelessness (CEH) releases Mid-Plan Report
The King County Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness released its Mid-Plan Review identifying accomplishments since 2005 and refinements for moving the plan forward. The CEH Governing Board discussed whether to alter the regional timeline to be parallel to the National Strategic Plan and decided not to change the ten-year time frame, but instead to revise some of its goals.

Homeless Youth Count Results
On May 25th, United Way of King County and a collaboration of homeless youth providers from across the county orchestrated a synchronized event called “Count Us In” to gain a better understanding of youth homelessness. 341 youth filled out a survey at various events held across the county. The results: 93% were between 12 to 24 years old; 56% were male; 21% identified as LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgendered); 56% identified as a racial minority (with 25% African-Americans, 13% Hispanics, and 10% selecting multiple ethnicities), and; 81% indicated that they had been or are currently homeless.

Next Tuesday, July 12, at 3:30 p.m. Eastern the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will hold a webinar on international models for ending youth homelessness. The webinar will be available by clicking on the "Watch today's webcast" heading on the right hand side of this page.

Redistricting plans available for comment
The King County Districting Committee is working to redraw King County Council district borders to reflect population changes and ensure each district represents roughly the same number of constituents. Four draft plans are now available for public comment, which can be made at an upcoming hearing or online.  Public hearings are July 7 and 12.

Local impact of health care reform to be explored
Health care reform will bring substantial changes to publicly-funded health care programs in our state as well as offer options to those who are currently uninsured. Public Health Seattle-King County and King County will be hosting a forum on July 28 from 8 a.m. to noon to begin discussions on service delivery design for vulnerable county residents with complex and chronic health conditions. You can register here.