Seattle CARES Mentoring Movement

Seattle CARES awarded City of Seattle grant to support learning and healing

Seattle CARES Mentoring Movement received $180,000 recently from the City of Seattle’s Human Services Department to offer disadvantaged families additional services centered on learning, healing and fostering connections.

City of SeattleThe Family Support Services program is a new outreach initiative started by the city in 2024. The program invests in community-based organizations skilled in building opportunities for connection and family support while celebrating culture and heritage. Programs must take place within the city limits and involve one or more adult caregivers, either expecting a child or with children up to the age of 24.

Seattle CARES is a respected regional leader in developing programs to serve this audience. The organization provides weekly Community Wellness Circles that provide a safe space for adults, primarily women, who may be struggling to be more effective parents while working on healing themselves. Voices for Change is a monthly webinar launched two years ago that features national experts on wellness and recovery, personal healing, life skills and other important topics.

In April, Seattle CARES will launch InSight, a quarterly presentation that offers tools and techniques which families can use to improve their lives. The first topic will be on building family resilience.

“We are pleased to have this support from the City of Seattle that will allow us to better serve families in our community,” said Don Cameron, Seattle CARES executive director. “The funds will help us enhance and expand our Community Wellness Circles and our virtual and in-person presentations so we can continue to improve lives and transform futures.”

Seattle CARES, founded in 2008, offers innovative programs that provide critical skills and positive support systems to help Black youth and their families succeed and flourish. Guided by the latest research on education, mentorship, race and opportunity, the organization’s results-oriented approach was created by some of the nation’s top educators, wellness professionals, counselors and advocates.


Voices For Change Speaker Series: March – April

Join us for Voices For Change Speaker Series

Hear From A Distinguished Subject Matter Expert: Dr. Kenika S. Holloway – Activating Wellness Within

  1. March 21, 6 – 7:30 pm
  2. March 28, 6 – 7:30 pm
  3. April 4, 6 – 7:30 pm
  4. April 11, 6 – 7:30 pm

Open To The General Public

Pre-register for the class online

Download the PDF

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Dr. Kenika S. Holloway has been a licensed professional counselor for more than 15 years. As the owner of Activating Wellness Within, a private counseling practice, she meets with clients online to support them with a variety of issues. Dr. Holloway earned her bachelor’s degree at Florida A&M University and both her master’s and doctoral degree from Mercer University in Atlanta, Georgia. She specialized in marriage and family counseling.

We’re excited for you to join us!

Seattle CARES Mentoring Movement Partners with the Liberated Village

Thanks to our partnership with Seattle’s Liberated Village, we have expanded our group mentoring program to reach young men and women in grades 7-12.

Mentoring can propel Black youth and other youth of color to greater success in school and in life!

Led by CARES-trained mentors, our group mentoring program meet twice a month, and offer a safe space to talk, share experiences and learn from a supportive role model.

What is the Liberated Village?

Formerly known as Trauma Informed and Restorative Practices (TIRP), the Liberated Village is a community of 30 partners who are working together to implement innovative anti-racist trauma-informed and restorative practices across 55 schools in ten school districts.

By bringing students, families, teachers, school districts, community-based organizations, and local government together, the Liberated Village partners recognize that it takes a community to help children and youth succeed.

HSD Announces Over $3.8 Million to Support Families in Seattle

Press Release

For Immediate Release

Contact Information
Kevin Mundt,

HSD Announces Over $3.8 Million to Support Families in Seattle

Awarded agencies will each receive up to $300,000 in funding to strengthen Seattle’s support system in culturally responsive ways for families and youth who live, work, or attend school in Seattle.

Seattle – The Seattle Human Services Department (HSD) is pleased to announce the results of its 2023 Family Support Request for Proposals (RFP), which is funding organizations that help low-income families create connections with each other and their communities, while building on cultural strengths and community assets.

The funding process resulted in 22 proposals receiving annual awards ranging from $86,000 to $300,000. Contracts will begin January 1, 2024, and organizations are eligible for renewal over four years. Funded programs have expertise providing culturally specific services to communities including Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) families, refugees and immigrants, fathers, kinship families, and families experiencing trauma or homelessness.

Programing will include workshops or classes about culturally specific child and youth development, adjustment to life in the United States for refugees and immigrants, and self-actualization principles and practices for parents and families. This funding will also create opportunities for families to gather for mutual support and resource sharing, learn about culturally specific parenting practices, build resilient family relationships, and for youth and families to suggest, create, or facilitate cultural activities or learnings that are of particular interest to families.

“Coming out of the COVID pandemic, we know it’s critical to focus on supporting families,” said HSD Director Tanya Kim. “For families, and especially children, to thrive they need connection—connection to cultural traditions, their communities, and their practices. This connection builds resilience, it improves educational and life outcomes, and it helps counteract the racism and discrimination many children experience outside their families.”

“This is an investment in services rooted in community and often led by community,” said Shukri Olow, HSD’s Youth & Family Empowerment Division Director. “Many of the 22 programs funded are new HSD partners with deep connections to BIPOC families, and their work will result in improved access to resources.”

In response to this RFP, HSD received 35 proposals, a 37% increase from the most recent family support RFP in 2018. The 35 proposals totaled $9,488,750 in requests—more than double the amount of available funds. Of the awardees, 15 programs are receiving first-time Family Support awards from HSD.

The increase is owed in part to expanded, deliberate outreach to community-led programs—including City Councilmembers, culturally relevant media, the WA State African American Council, and the Mayor’s Inaugural Native Summit. Intentional efforts were made to reach Native and Indigenous community organizations with assistance from the City’s Indigenous Advisory Council Liaison.

The 13-member rating panel reviewed proposals and recommended funding that aligned with the RFP’s goals. The rating panel included community members, parents, a grandparent, staff from community agencies and Seattle Public Schools, University of Washington graduate students, and former City staff. Many raters brought multiple perspectives and combined lived experience, work experience, and academic qualifications.

Here is what some of the awardees are saying:

“The funding from HSD allows the Native Family Learning Lodge to provide language resources to support our multi-language immersion program, nature-based curriculum, and food sovereignty activities for family engagement,” said Leanne Rye Brock and Alayna Eagle Shield, who serve as co-Executive Directors at the Native Family Learning Lodge, a childcare center serving Native children in South Seattle. “This funding ensures our children, and their families have access to these resources and will strengthen our communities.”

“These funds will enable us to strengthen the threads that connect our Native youth to their cultural roots,” said Esther Lucero (Diné), President and CEO of Seattle Indian Health Board. “This connection is imperative to our preventative behavioral health work and ensuring the overall wellbeing of our youth.”

“This is a major step forward to strengthen families and community at a grassroots level in South Park,” said Crystal Brown, Director of Cultivate South Park. “We’ll embark on an inter-cultural, multi-generational arts experience called ‘Walking Together: All Our Relations’ that enriches, enlivens, and sustains solidarity. By merging the indigenous wisdom of elders with modern stories and events, we will honor seven generations beyond Chief Seattle and the original Duwamish settlers right in Seattle’s oldest, most forgotten territory.”

“Voices of Tomorrow is both honored and thrilled to use the Family Support RFP funding as a resource to help implement our Community Centered Healing Program (CCHP),” said Rhea Panela-Caoile, Communication and PR Manager for Voices of Tomorrow. “90% of the families we serve are East African immigrants and refugees, and 100% are low-income. CCHP will serve parents and extended family caregivers from the East African immigrant and refugee community, with a focus on Somali families. With the help of the funding from the City of Seattle, we hope to bring families together to learn about culturally responsive trauma healing and mental health support.”

Congratulations to all of the 22 agencies receiving funding awards:

  • African Community Housing & Development
  • Atlantic Street Center
  • Black Star Line ACFEC
  • Children’s Home Society of Washington
  • Chinese Information and Service Center
  • Communities of Rooted Brilliance
  • Cultivate South Park
  • Divine Alternatives for Dads Services (DADS)
  • Eritrean Association of Greater Seattle
  • Families of Color Seattle (FOCS)
  • Hummingbird Indigenous Family Services
  • InterCultural Children and Family Services
  • Mary’s Place
  • Native Family Learning Lodge
  • Neighborhood House
  • Open Doors for Multicultural Families
  • Seattle CARES Circle of National Cares Mentoring Movement
  • Seattle Indian Health Board
  • Solid Ground
  • Southwest Youth and Family Services
  • Voices of Tomorrow
  • Washington Therapy Fund Foundation