SPIARC is a community organization that serves the South end of Seattle and King County. Our
services include direct assistance, education and leadership programs and other services that serve
the low income and diverse population of South Park and surrounding areas.
Direct Services: Our office is open 24 hours per week and provides a welcome place for clients to
find a way to solve daily challenges, including assistance with a wide range of issues: translations of
documents, bills, letters for school or health services, rent, Department of Social Health and
Services (DSHS) issues, ORCA Lift enrollment, Utility Discount Program (UDP), and wage theft, just
to name a few. We serve an average of 700 clients per year.
Education: In partnership with Concord Elementary School, South Seattle Community College,
Amigos de Seattle, Círculo de Mamas, and South Park Library, we provide English classes twice a
week. Fifty students for the neighborhood attend these classes where we offer free childcare.
Promotoras: The leadership incubator program is our advocacy branch. Community members
engage, advocate and mobilize other residents in issues that most affect the Latino community.
Fifteen volunteers conduct outreach to provide information and resources to neighbors, residents,
and families. The Promotoras help improve access to services and break barriers to job
opportunities and education, health, healthy food and public transportation, housing, childcare, and
immigration. We partner with Casa Latina, Western Washington Chapter of the National Association
of Hispanic Nurses (WW-NAHN), and the University of Washington (UW).
Domingos en Familia: A Sunday program at the South Park Community Center that provides
relevant cultural and educational events and training open to all community members.
Currently we offer these programs:
- Women Driving, Women Advancing (Mujer al Volante): In partnership with Círculo de
- Mamas, we offer a workshop twice a year that helps participants to pass their written driving test.
- Self-esteem classes: Provided in partnership with Amigos de Seattle.
- Healthy Life – Vida Saludable: Free basketball workshops for the community
- Family Events – Eventos Familiares: Each year we implement and offer about ten events that involve families and children.
RECENT SUCCESSES AND CURRENT CHALLENGES
SPIARC serves many needs on a small budget and we utilize our funding very efficiently. Over the past 2 years, we have seen an increase of 300% in clients served. We would appreciate your support to help ensure that we can continue to provide free multi-lingual resources for the residents of South Park and surrounding areas. Our services include, but are not limited to the following:
- We connect low-income residents to state and federal benefits. SPIARC coordinates and fosters several relationships with regional programs that provide access to state and federal benefits as well as tax credits.
- We connect our residents to CenterStone (formerly C.A.M.P.), Utility Discount Program and People Point and provide onsite registration for these programs.
- SPIARC continues to partner with other agencies to provide English conversation, basic English and computer literacy classes to residents connecting them with local volunteers.
- New programs are focusing on women and their families gaining new skills for jobs and connecting them to others in the community. Through a recently awarded grant, we have begun to establish a women’s group focused on leadership, community support and resource sharing.
- SPIARC hosts People Point’s Washington Connection program where staff and volunteer specialists help low income individuals and families discover and sign up for social services for which they are eligible.
- We assist low income individuals in finding employment, earning higher wages, furthering education, and obtaining better quality jobs. SPIARC facilitates open access to job forms and applications. Clients who visit the Center are able to research and apply for a variety of employment opportunities and receive help with applications, resumes, online forms, and translation/interpretation assistance.
- SPIARC has also become an important resource for homeless or transitional families and individuals. We provide multiple links to community-based food banks and meals on wheels programs as well as referrals for shelters and clothing banks.
- We also serve as a community hub weaving people together to form partnerships in an effort to help reduce duplication of services, projects and programs, and build community. We compile a monthly calendar of neighborhood events which we then distribute using the South Park ListServ, the West Seattle blog and various key locations within the community.
- Through the help of community volunteers, we have been able to reach out to our Vietnamese-speaking community to provide them with resources.
- We have been able to expand our advisory board membership from 7 to 10, to include key advisors from the greater Seattle area.
Finding sustainable funding sources is our largest challenge. Recent cuts to the city budget threatens the closure of the center, as our funding will be drastically cut. Any support or contribution is very important to our continued operation. Please help us to continue to provide programs and resources to the South Park community.