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City Restores Funding for Homeless Kids in Rainier Valley

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RAINIER VALLEY – Wellspring Family Services announced this week that the City of Seattle has reinstated funding to provide comprehensive services, including child care, for young homeless children and families.

The reinstatement of funds will provide $243,000 for the Wellspring Early Learning Center, and will ensure that its four Early Learning classrooms remain open.

“We are thrilled to receive confirmation that the City will reinstate funding for homeless children and families,” said Ruthann Howell, Wellspring CEO. “Our Early Learning Center provides a critical service in our community, and is uniquely positioned to mitigate the effects of trauma in children who are experiencing crisis by promoting social and emotional developmental skills.”

The confirmation of funding comes after the City did not include it in the original 2013 budget, as it believed that other Human Services Department funded child care and related services would be able to meet the needs addressed by the program.

However, the community response to the loss of funding prompted the City to review the decision. The City confirmed its conclusion this week that homeless children would not receive the comprehensive services they needed unless the contract for the Wellspring Early Learning Center was fully funded. In an effort to avoid a gap in services and loss of capacity, the 2013-2014 City of Seattle budget includes funding for Wellspring, and services to children and families will remain uninterrupted.

“On behalf of homeless children and families and those we serve at Wellspring, I want to extend our thanks to Mayor McGinn and the Seattle Human Services Department for conducting this review and for their continued support for young, homeless children in our community,” said Howell. “I would also like to express my appreciation to all of our supporters who advocated for this review, including the Seattle Human Services Coalition.”