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Got a Good Idea? We’ve Got the Funds!

The City of Seattle’s Human Services Department (HSD) is piloting an Innovation Fund of $225,000 to test new ideas that focus on results and racial equity in the following areas:

  • Preparing Youth for Success
  • Addressing Homelessness
  • Supporting Affordability and Livability
  • Responding to Gender-Based Violence
  • Promoting Public Health
  • Promoting Healthy Aging.

HSD recognizes that the traditional way of building capacity, such as hiring extra staff and sharing resources, needs to change to have greater impact on individuals and families. The goal of the innovation fund is to move beyond the traditional methods by supporting the type of capacity developed through experience and the ability to take a risk to try something new.

As part of the City’s Age-Friendly Seattle initiative, HSD is designating $125,000 of the total Innovation Fund to support up to six projects at $21,000 each. These projects will need to advance the “Promoting Healthy Aging” impact area, and align with one or more of the Age-Friendly Seattle goals:

  1. Increase social participation
  2. Decrease displacement
  3. Increase racial equity, and
  4. Increase awareness of the positive contributions of older adults.

In July 2016, Seattle joined the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities, an affiliate of the World Health Organization’s Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities and Communities. This Network is focused on eight domains for an age-friendly community:

  1. Outdoor Spaces and Building
  2. Housing
  3. Transportation
  4. Social Participation
  5. Respect and Inclusion
  6. Civic Participation and Employment
  7. Communication and Information
  8. Community Support and Health Services.

The balance of the Innovation Fund will be awarded to five projects at $20,000 each. These remaining projects will need to advance one of HSD’s other five impact areas.

If you’re a non-profit organization, for-profit company, government agency, researcher or an individual, we want to see how you’d make a difference. Tell us in 500 words or less how you would get results and focus on racial equity as outlined above.

The Innovation Fund Request for Proposal (RFP) will be released on June 1, 2017.

Contributor Meg Olberding directs external affairs for the Seattle Human Services Department.