A One Stop Shop for Coordinated Resources

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Every day I am learning a little bit more about the homelessness crisis and every day realizing that being homeless and working to become re-engaged with our community is harder than most of us can fathom.

Over the past ten days I have met with judges from our King County Superior Court, District Court, and the City of Seattle Municipal Court.  I have driven around with the Union Gospel Mission surveying the SoDo community, walked early in the morning with our Downtown with the Millionair Club’s Job Connection program lead, and pursued coordinated service options with providers and advocates.


Seattle’s Municipal Court houses the Court Resource Center

I can only imagine how hard it would be to find housing, food, a job, and needed financial help when agencies designed to help are spread across the city. Finding a job and housing with a criminal record is nearly impossible – and is part of our social problem nation-wide.

We know that homelessness is a multifaceted problem often intersecting with mental health issues, drug dependency, criminal histories, and a lack of adequate education, resources and opportunities.  To that end, I am especially interested in successful programs that are bringing people and resources together.

Today I visited the Seattle Municipal Court Resource Center, an amazing facility delivering on-site social services and treatment programs to both defendants with criminal records and others in the community who simply hear about the program and walk in.

Our Municipal Court judges direct defendants to the services they need on the 2nd Floor of their Court building, and walk-ins are also welcome.  In 2015 this Resource Center had 3,900 clients and offered an array of coordinated services on site including:

  • Department of Social and Health Services, such as food stamps, financial and medical assistance.
  • Access to the Orca Lyft Program
  • Library computer training
  • Employment resume work shops
  • A clothing bank and hygiene kits
  • Fare Start training
  • Housing assistance
  • Domestic Violence Treatment
  • Mental Health Intake and Counseling Services
  • Substance Abuse Services
  • GED prep and Life Skills training

Terrific Staff of the Court Resource Center

This is a one-stop shop that assures when clients leave the center, they have something tangible in their hands and they are ready for the next step of their journey.  The Municipal Court Resource Center offers a coordinated way for people to access the services they need, in one place.

Most importantly, the judges and those who are part of the Resource Center treat their clients with dignity, respect and care. The extraordinary staff at this center who met with me said they often hear from their clients in amazement, “You treat me like I am a real person.”   If we want to see significant change, this is the appropriate gold standard.  Bravo.