Building a More Equitable Future for All

We are committed to helping people help themselves through direct services, community action and advocacy.

Providing Safety-Net Services

For more than 50 years, we have provided Seattle residents with basic human needs—a warm home, food on the table and immediate financial relief—so they can break the cycle of poverty and build self-sufficiency. Our programs include housing and energy assistance, a food bank, and personal finance resources, with special attention given to emergency situations, such as power shutoff and eviction.

Our clients come from all parts of the city, with varied social, cultural and ethnic backgrounds. They include refugees and immigrants, the elderly and the disabled. Most live at 150% or more below the federal poverty level.

To ensure we effectively meet the needs of the community, we periodically conduct a citywide assessment to determine the services most valued by Seattle residents. As a member of the Washington State Community Action Partnership—a network of 30 agencies serving low-income families and individuals—we also work to identify statewide issues and social and economic trends so that we can respond to our client’s most critical needs.

Learn more about our services >

Building Community and Advocating for Equity

We are committed to engaging our community, to collective action and to advocating for more equitable opportunities so everyone has the chance to build a good life.

With a history of serving the African American community in the Central District, we bring special focus to helping overcome the challenges of racism, supporting groups in our communities that have unique social and cultural needs.

As the leader of the Seattle Community of Practice, we collaborate with other community organizations to address specific challenges and opportunities for African Americans, including access to and quality of education, housing, jobs and health care.

Learn more about our community building and advocacy work >

Creating an Equitable Future in Washington State (2015) focuses on economic, political and social barriers to progress.

Voices Rising: African American Economic Security in King County (2017) delves deeper into economic security issues.

And So We Press On: A Community View on African American Health in Washington State (2019) continues the dialogue about experiences of health and well-being.

“I love Byrd Barr Place. I am grateful for the food bank. I don’t need it weekly like most, but when I need it, you are always here. I appreciate you having the food I need and want and always serving me with a smile.”