Human Services

Solid Ground Washington

Building Community to End Poverty

aka Solid Ground

Seattle, WA

Mission

Solid Ground works to end poverty and undo racism and other oppressions that are root causes of poverty.

Ruling Year

1975

Interim President and Chief Executive Officer

Caitlen Daniels

Main Address

1501 North 45th Street

Seattle, WA 98103 USA

Formerly Known As

Fremont Public Association

Keywords

housing, shelter, food, poverty, advocacy, volunteer, senior, literacy, counseling, tenant counseling, homeless prevention, domestic violence

EIN

23-7421892

 Number

0233248275

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Human Services - Multipurpose and Other N.E.C. (P99)

Civil Rights, Social Action, and Advocacy N.E.C. (R99)

IRS Filing Requirement

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Social Media

Blog

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve

Between 2006 and 2016, the number of Washingtonians living in deep poverty—less than $10,080 for a family of three—rose by 17% or 55,000 people. Poverty disproportionately affects people of color. 27% of American Indian/Alaska Natives, 23% of Blacks, 20% of Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders, and 19% of Latinos live in poverty, compared to an 11.3% statewide poverty rate.

In King County, deep poverty reveals itself most visibly in the homelessness crisis. As of January 2017, there were 11,643 people experiencing homelessness with 5,485 people without any form of shelter. The ways that people experience poverty, homelessness, and racism are varied and complex, resulting from barriers to education, employment, financial planning, and personal stability. Solid Ground focuses our efforts in stabilizing individuals and families with housing programs, as well as resources to thrive such as food, nutrition education, transportation, financial planning, and opportunities for advocacy.

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Housing and Homelessness Prevention

Hunger & Food Resources

Transportation

Broadview Emergency Shelter & Transitional Housing

Sand Point Housing

Family Shelter

Statewide Poverty Action Network (SPAN)

Where we work

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have they accomplished so far and what's next?

Established in 1974, Solid Ground has become a vital part of King County's fight against poverty. We currently provide 20+ services that address basic needs, educate residents, and advocate for structural reform for 76,000 people annually who face homelessness, hunger, and other barriers. Our program goals include:

Advocacy: Our Statewide Poverty Action Network builds grassroots power to end causes of poverty and create opportunities for everyone to prosper. With a membership of 14,000 people, we give advocates a platform to create change in their communities through direct contact with legislators. Poverty Action also Benefits Legal Assistance provides direct legal representation, advice, and counsel for benefits of State aid programs, with the goal of 250 cases each year with favorable outcomes.

Residential Services works to provide a continuum of housing services from emergency shelter to permanent supportive housing for up to 900 individuals and families annually through Broadview Emergency Shelter & Transitional Housing, Sand Point Housing Campus, and Family Shelter. These residential services include case management and onsite services that support long-term housing stability and greater self-sufficiency.

Stabilization Services aims to support over 2,100 individuals and families each as they secure and sustain housing. Through four distinct programs (Housing Stability, Journey Home Rabid Rehousing, Tenant Counseling, and the North Regional Access Point) we offer personalized services that prevent homelessness and facilitate secure housing.

Hunger and Food Resources combats hunger and malnutrition by increasing access to food and teaching people about nutrition and eating healthy on a budget. Our Community Food Education aim to work with over 2,000 students and families each year. Food System Support organizes and improves Seattle's emergency food network.

Solid Ground Transportation facilitate door-to-door transportation for people with limited mobility who are unable to ride the regular King County Metro bus system. Our goal is to provide 310,000 rides each year.

Volunteer Services: Our volunteer services work to create opportunities for people to make a real difference in their communities. Our Retired and Senior Volunteer Program creates a network of elders engaged in serving their communities, delivering nearly 160,000 service hours to local nonprofits. Other volunteer positions tap into community support for one-time or ongoing opportunities that result in nearly 153,000 hours of volunteering annually.

With the understanding that a stable home is foundational to ending poverty, Solid Ground provides housing and homeless prevention in combination with services that meet basic needs to allow individuals and families to rebuild and thrive. We work with our participants to nurture success by providing tools, training, and counseling for long-term stability through a multigenerational approach. Embedded in our mission is an Anti-Racism Initiative, recognizing we exist within a flawed system and supporting our staff to remain on a growing edge. Our key strategy areas are to Meet Basic Needs, Nurture Success, and Catalyze Change. Meeting Basic Needs: • Supporting 365 survivors of domestic violence (DV) with safe housing, therapeutic children’s services, and an individualized combination of DV legal advocacy, long-term stability planning, and culturally relevant community connections for clinical and therapeutic care. • Providing three levels of housing and supportive services for 225 households, including 224 children and 109 New Americans, recent immigrants, and refugees, escaping homelessness through seven residential buildings on our Sand Point campus located in the beautiful greenspace of Magnuson Park. • Diverting 334 individuals away from the at-capacity homeless response system to more permanent housing by granting one-time financial assistance, facilitating transportation through bus tickets and rideshare programs, offering mediation support for roommate challenges, and more. 80% of the participants assisted through Diversion in 2019 were people of color. • Supporting the network of the Seattle-area emergency food system through our coordination of the Seattle Food Committee’s (SFC) 25 food bank members, in addition to delivering thousands of pounds of food and goods to local food banks. • Providing over 280,000 rides for King County residents who cannot access Metro’s fixed-route service, connecting our community members living with disabilities to critical health and human services. Nurturing Success: • Facilitating Financial Fitness Boot Camp (FFBC) hosted 953 participants in peer-supported workshops in partnerships with affordable housing providers. • Leading coordinated and comprehensive steps to prevent eviction through a tenant counseling services that supports 1,167 renters and people experiencing homelessness through our 77 RentSmart workshops and 413 calls to the Bilingual Tenant Hotline. • Assisting people accessing Medicaid, Home and Community Based Care, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Food Assistance, and Aged Blind and Disabled benefits. In total, our Benefits Legal Assistance team closed 193 cases in 2019. Catalyzing Change: Our Statewide Poverty Action Network joins with community members to advocate for the rights and equitable treatment we all deserve. • We conduct listening sessions in communities experiencing poverty throughout the state to create an annual advocacy agenda for the State Legislature.

Solid Ground's capacity and relevant organizational experience is that of more than 46 years serving people living on very low incomes, including 35 years of delivering residential services. In 1982 we opened our Family Shelter program, and the following year, opened our Broadview residence to deliver emergency domestic violence shelter services; our Sand Point campus broke ground in 1993 and now serves nearly 400 people every year. We have been recognized as a leader at the forefront of housing and human services during our 43-year history, pioneering innovative models years before others and advocating for dozens of stabilizing laws that protect people living on low incomes, including the Housing Levy in 1986 and the Washington State Housing Trust Fund in 1992. We have created innovative programs that now operate independently or were taken over by other agencies, such as Fremont's curbside recycling, Seattle Workers Center, Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI), Home Care services, Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, and Family Works. We pioneered our Journey Home rapid-rehousing program in 1997 and founded the Non-Profit Anti-Racism Coalition (NPARC) in 2001.

Our agency seeks to prevent intergenerational poverty through a two-fold method:

(1) Intervention: meeting immediate needs (safety, security, food, housing, transportation, and healthcare). By offering people immediate solutions to most basic needs through low-barrier services, we can ensure families have a safe place to sleep and nutritious food to eat. By then linking to more comprehensive care by connecting people to individualized resources, we ensure they build a foundation from which they can stabilize their lives.

(2) Prevention: ensuring long-term changes "stick" so families prevent a return to poverty. By empowering people to learn new skills, access available resources, develop safety nets, and advocate for themselves, people are better equipped to maintain stability in their lives long-term. By linking community members with platforms to voice their opinions and tell their stories to political leaders in Seattle and in Olympia, we encourage community members to advocate for themselves and the changes they want to see in their communities. Through additional advocacy at the State level, we can prevent harmful legislation from being enacted into laws that continue to suppress people's ability to exit the cycle of poverty.

We have 20+ programs that serve 76,000 people annually, and each program has program-specific goals. We closely monitor how well our programs work: throughout the course of a year, we conduct hundreds of evaluations, ranging in surveys to focus groups to in-depth statistical analysis of our data. This due diligence not only ensures we meet the expectations of our donors and are good stewards of the public's support, but more importantly, that we ensure we meet the needs of our community. We perform regular program oversight to monitor impact in our communities that we serve. As a Community Action Agency, we also conduct a formal Community Needs Assessment every three years to ensure we address changing community needs.

Most of our programs track program participant data in using the HUD-mandated database, also known as HMIS. Additionally, programs maintain separate data systems to track additional metrics not required in HMIS. These data points are tracked and monitored at a program level to support program oversight and decision-making, and these outcomes are rolled up to show overall department and agency impact.

Lastly, Solid Ground is in the process of implementing an agency-wide database (to support long-term tracking of program participants' stability) and community committees and councils (to get direct input from the community). Through this enhanced centralized system and on-the-ground community access, we will better understand the ongoing needs of our community, improve delivery of service to program participants, and identify trends ahead of crises. Through these efforts, we will better identify which efforts have the deepest and most profound impact on our clients' livelihoods.

Despite the changing local economic landscape, Solid Ground has remained steadfast in approach to serving people experiencing homelessness or living on low incomes. Solid Ground began as a clothing bank and handyman service, grew to include recycling services, at-home care for seniors and people with disabilities, and transitioned to serve those most at risk of instability in our community with more than 20 services, including homelessness prevention, housing for formerly homeless people, nutrition education, food system support, transportation for people with disabilities, state and local advocacy for people to have a platform for their voices to make lasting legislative change, and community volunteer opportunities. Our staff and volunteers embrace anti-racist/anti-oppressive values and actively work to integrate these values into their daily duties. This has been most prevalent through the development of an Anti-Racism Initiative, which includes a dedicated leader to guide the initiative and protected time for ARI training, identity-based caucusing, and program-based implementation of anti-racist principles and values. Furthermore, our recent strategic plan has allowed us to re-center our values at the forefront of our path forward. From 2016-2020, Solid Ground will strengthen our people-centered approach and use social justice strategies to better align how we work to our mission and increase the well-being of the people we serve. Our community is stronger when all people can realize their potential. We will be more ACCOUNTABLE to communities impacted by poverty People know best what they need and should be involved in decisions that affect their lives. We will:▶▶ implement new ways to meaningfully engage people to inform our decisions ▶▶ seek and utilize input from people we serve and others living in poverty to ensure our services increasingly align with their needs ▶▶ develop and support collaborative relationships with participants, partners and funders We will take an INDIVIDUALIZED APPROACH to addressing needs People face unique barriers to stability, and those barriers are increasing. One size does not fit all. We will: ▶▶ tailor our service approach to meet people's individual needs ▶▶ deepen external partnerships and internal coordination to deliver better outcomes for people we serve ▶▶ develop and implement comprehensive services for children and youth in our residences We will successfully ADVOCATE to achieve equitable laws and policies To end poverty and achieve social justice existing systems and institutions must change. The people we work with bring important voices to this work. We will: ▶▶ empower people to bring their lived experience to the political process to promote systemic change ▶▶ identify and change systems and policies that create and maintain barriers to opportunity ▶▶ mobilize people to increase our impact on anti-poverty and anti-racism issues.

External Reviews

Awards

Ron Chisom Anti-Racism Award 2007

Seattle Human Services Coalition

Photos

Financials

Solid Ground Washington

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

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  • Forms 990 for 2017, 2016 and 2015
  • A Pro report is also available for this organization.

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Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

Yes

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Yes

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Yes

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

Yes

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?

Yes

Organizational Demographics

In order to support nonprofits and gain valuable insight for the sector, GuideStar worked with D5—a five-year initiative to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in philanthropy—in creating a questionnaire. This section is a voluntary questionnaire that empowers organizations to share information on the demographics of who works in and leads organizations. To protect the identity of individuals, we do not display sexual orientation or disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff. Any values displayed in this section are percentages of the total number of individuals in each category (e.g. 20% of all Board members for X organization are female).

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Gender

Race & Ethnicity

Sexual Orientation

This organization reports that it does not collect this information for Board Members, Senior Staff, Full-Time Staff and Part-Time Staff.

Disability

This organization reports that it does not collect this information for Board Members, Senior Staff, Full-Time Staff and Part-Time Staff.

Diversity Strategies

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We track retention of staff, board, and volunteers across demographic categories
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We track income levels of staff, senior staff, and board across demographic categories
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We track the age of staff, senior staff, and board
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We track the diversity of vendors (e.g., consultants, professional service firms)
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We have a diversity committee in place
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We have a diversity manager in place
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We have a diversity plan
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We use other methods to support diversity
Diversity notes from the nonprofit
To support our staff in addressing the community’s diverse racial needs, Solid Ground developed our Anti-Racism Initiative (ARI), an internally facing initiative that supports all staff in addressing personal biases about more than just race. We strive to be accountable to the people we serve. The initiative supports policies, procedures, and practices for hiring, promoting, and providing services to people of color (POC); training with structured curricula; and safe spaces to discuss current events and interpersonal relationships. These opportunities offer staff the foundation necessary to listen to, analyze and understand, challenge their own biases, and incorporate actionable strategies related to their direct roles in order to dismantle systems of oppression and fairly provide services to clients from all races, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, abilities, criminal histories, and veteran statuses.