To ensure no one falls through a funding gap in this time of extraordinary need, the Snoqualmie Valley Local Advocacy Team (SVLAT) is working with cities and nonprofits to increase funding for human services.
This collaboration was formed last year through the King County Alliance for Human Services in an effort to build awareness of human service needs among local government leaders. The SVLAT is focused on increasing available funding from cities within the valley to support all people in reaching their potential, a press release from the advocacy team said.
“Right now, the largest piece of how we're working with cities is trying to help them understand what the needs are in the valley,” said Laura Smith, executive director of the Snoqualmie Valley Community Network.
Nonprofit agencies in the Snoqualmie Valley aim to care for all people trying to navigate through life. This support includes everyone from young children to seniors, those in need of food or shelter, at-risk teens, individuals with disabilities, people struggling with addiction or mental health challenges, veterans, survivors of domestic violence and more.
Smith said special funding is occasionally available to the agencies through unique grants. However, most nonprofits still lack consistent and reliable funding. As a result, human services agencies often compete against one another for funding.
Rather than working against each other, SVLAT intends to bring these organizations together by creating long-term strategic partnerships to benefit all residents. This important advocacy often starts with sharing data and stories about the needs faced by those living in the Snoqualmie Valley.
According to the press release, city and county leaders are reaching out “more than ever before” to help their residents as the pandemic continues to wreak havoc. By sharing information and resources with local agencies, this partnership is the beginning of a sustained commitment to strengthen the community’s health and human service infrastructure.
“There are a lot of unmet needs in the valley,” Smith said. “And while all the cities do contribute to human services funding, we're a long way from meeting the needs.”
As the valley continues to grow rapidly, the need for services is large and the cities are small. Smith said this partnership with nonprofits in the area will help to ensure all residents receive the help they deserve.