Resource Corner: Solid Ground

On the Solid Ground website appears a picture of staff members stretching a string to create,  “a web of connectedness.” The image captures the mission and impact that Solid Ground strives to create. The Washington State supported organization leverages its resources to eliminate and combat poverty and racism from grass roots programs to legislative measures. Whether community advocacy and activism, housing, nutrition, transportation and access to national services, Solid Ground seems to address every facet that plagues poverty and racism. As a result, many of the King County Bar Association’s volunteers may better serve clients by making referrals to this valuable resource.  The variety of services provided is coordinated and accessible only by referral from the Washington State information network, and may be reached by dialing 2-1-1.

Solid Ground’s Homeless Prevention Program offers services that maintain housing for individuals and families, renters and homeowners.  There are web portals to Washington State and Seattle Municipal legal code specific to landlord/tenant disputes, as well as foreclosure mediation guides. Featured on the website are guides to Renter Best Practices, giving information on what to look for in a lease, as well as supplying a walk through checklist.

As the mortgage crisis of 2008 has lasting affects currently, many homeowners need assistance with loan modification or mortgage services; and may find valuable resources through Solid Ground.  Free workshops are periodically offered and provide information on homeowner rights and responsibilities. Housing grants through the Seattle Housing Stabilization Service are available to Seattle residents who are lower income individuals or families facing sleeping on the streets without the assistance of the grant.  Housing location assistance is also available to those looking to know available housing options in the Seattle area.

Solid Ground recognizes that there are urgent challenges members of the community face and city residents require more than education, political action and skill development. Emergency resources, therefore, are available for those who are days or weeks away from living on the street. Solid Ground maintains shelter facilities that are available for families who may stay for up to four weeks for short-term assistance or three months for long-term assistance. The shelters are fully furnished apartments in centrally located neighborhoods in the Seattle area.  Some referents may access Bethlehem House for up to six months.  Other Shelters include Broadview and Sand Point Community Housing.

Often times, women and children suffering from situations involving domestic violence face homelessness. Solid Ground provides emergency shelter as well as transitional housing without length of stay restrictions especially for domestic violence survivors. As an added component to secure housing, life skills development for self-sufficiency accompanies housing placement services.

Solid Ground recognizes that sufficient credit and financial literacy is a barrier to combatting homelessness.  The Financial Fitness Boot Camp teaches money management skills with the end goal being financial freedom through one-on-one sessions that last from one day to up to six months. Credit counseling and banking resources are available to reduce or eliminate the extra cost related to service fees incurred at check cashing businesses.

Solid Ground also addresses transportation needs for low-income community members.  The free downtown circulator bus travels from Harborview Medical Center to Boren & Seneca, Monday thru Friday from 7AM to 4PM.  The circulator leaves Harborview every 30 minutes and is available to help those working to improve their livelihood conducting. The transportation service provides access to necessary resources, some of which may include access to quality food choices.

Food programs offered through Solid Ground address health initiatives that highlight access to fresh food. Some initiatives include combatting youth obesity, feeding the hungry and programs that teach proper nutrition.

For property owners that have over bearing fruit trees, there are referrals to programs that will prune trees or will collect the fruit harvested and share within Seattle area food banks.  Assistance is available for creating neighborhood gardens and making fresh produce accessible in low-income neighborhoods.  Additional long term approaches to healthy food choice initiatives incorporate healthy living and nutrition demonstrations for community organizations to counter obesity by offering information regarding healthy lifestyle options.  With a focus on positive lifestyle choices, Solid Ground programs go beyond food, housing and transportation.

Solid Ground is strongly encourages community involvement and activism.  Solid Ground seeks to make the voices of community members resonate with policy makers.  Thus, service recipients and city residents are encouraged to first, maintain stability and then help others in a similar situation by advocating against policies that perpetuate poverty and racism. The community activism, in which Solid Ground engages, supports their core mission to eliminate poverty and racism through a network of resources and individuals.

Meanwhile, individuals and families, youth and seniors, may utilize the programs offered through Solid Ground to help those in need of poverty prevention services.  Solid Ground is located at 1501 North 45th Street, Seattle, WA 98103 and may be reached by phone at, 206.694.6700.

Lesa Curvey is a freelance Video Producer who volunteers with the King County Bar Association’s Neighborhood Legal Clinic as a Legal Assistant; and is also a volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocate for King County.

 

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