The 27th Annual Human Services Awards is

Thursday, June 13th! 


Join your fellow service providers in recognizing and celebrating this year's awards recipients! 

5:30-7:00pm at City Hall 

The event is free, but we ask that you RSVP by emailing by June 3rd, so we have enough appetizers and refreshments for everyone to enjoy!


And the winners are...

The Seattle Human Services Coalition is proud to announce


Outstanding Organization Award - Ingersoll Gender Center

This organization is making a quiet difference in the lives of hundreds of people and represents the best of what small human service organizations can be. Ingersoll is trans-led, an important statement that it walks the talk with its own governance. It operates efficiently and effectively to provide safety, peer support, economic and practical assistance, and advocacy centered on the experiences of trans communities. 

Innovative Program Award - Juma Adventures

Juma is a unique nonprofit that uses the power of social enterprises to provide Seattle's most at risk youth a combination of services including employment and job training, financial capability, as well as educational and career support. Juma's social enterprises serve as a real-life learning lab that has proven to equip youth with tools and skills important to employers and positions them to enter high-quality jobs with career mobility. Ultimately, Juma's long-term goal is to ensure that by age twenty five, young people are on a career trajectory toward a living wage, economic well-being, and reaching their full potential. 

Excellence in Advocacy - Daniel Vasquez

Daniel started off as the LatinX Family Advocate at Southwest Youth and Family Services & has added the role of QTPOC (Queer and Trans Persons of Color) Resource Specialist. In addition to going above and beyond to help families advocate for themselves, Daniel has also noted and supported where he could lend his talents and expertise within the agency. He has supported colleagues' tech and data system needs. He has also led a Computer Literacy session for our staff Spanish speaking staff, and has facilitated Queer 101 sessions for our students. He also started a Latin Moms Math night based on the populations of students in our GED/Credit retrieval classes & the apparent need for more math knowledge.

Stewardship Award - Mark Okazaki & Neighborhood House

Neighborhood House is not just one of Seattle's premier human services agencies due, in part to Mark's steady hand and thoughtful leadership. Neighborhood House has also been the fiscal sponsor for the Seattle Human Services Coalition for over two decades. In this role Mark and many other staff members at Neighborhood House have lent their expertise in human resources, accounts payable, and grant contracting to SHSC staff and members allowing, SHSC to focus on our forté: policy advocacy. All of our successes achieved together through SHSC have been possible due to the foundational support and stability provided by Mark and the crew at Neighborhood House.

The Ron Chisom Anti-Racism Award - Cierra Sisters 

Bridgette Hempstead, the founder and Executive Director of Cierra Sisters, created the organization after she was diagnosed with breast cancer herself. With this driving force and personal experience, Cierra Sisters goes above and beyond in the fight for racial equity in our health care system, by centering the communal knowledge of Black people experiencing cancer. Whether they are hosting support groups for survivors, providing education to community, or consulting with white cancer doctors and health care systems, their work centers their constituency, and sheds light on inequities in the health care system that result in the preventable death of Black women locally and nationally.

Mayor's Award & Proclamation - Janis Avery & Treehouse 

Treehouse has committed to a successful launch into adulthood while continuing to meet material and community engagement needs of children and youth in foster care. Janis Avery, CEO, has led Treehouse since 1995 and has been an unwavering partner in countless collaborative efforts on behalf of children and youth. Under Janis' leadership, Treehouse has dramatically improved high school graduation rates for youth in foster care and continues to expand that impact statewide. Janis recognizes the deep disproportionality in outcomes and systemic racism children and youth of color face, and is committed to structuralizing racial equity at Treehouse. Janis is a true partner and trusted thought leader among her peers and community.

It's Time to Celebrate! 

We invite YOU to join the celebration of the 2019 Human Services Awards, which will take place on Thursday, June 13th from 5:30-7 pm, in the Bertha Knight Landes Room in City Hall! 

You can RSVP to We hope to see you June 13th!


The 2018 Human Services Awards took place on Tuesday, June 5th in the Bertha Knight Landes Room at Seattle City Hall from 5:30-7pm

The 2018 Human Services Award Recipients


Mayor's Award & Proclamation - Joe Gruber of University District Food Bank

This year, the Seattle Food Committee (SFC) recognizes the outstanding work of Joe Gruber.  Joe has worked tirelessly for more than a decade as an advocate for food justice. As Executive Director of University District Food Bank he led a capital campaign and the building of a new food bank that serves clients with dignity. Beyond his leadership with U-District however he has been a fierce advocate and leader within the Seattle Food Committee, Seattle Human Services Coalition, Washington Food Coalition, and Anti-Hunger and Nutrition Coalition. He has testified at the city and state level as well as advocated nationally. Joe has been a mentor for many food bank staff in our community and a partner in the work of policies that end poverty and promote food justice. He listens to the needs of our neighbors in needs and elevates their voice so that more in our community understand the importance of addressing hunger in Seattle.


Outstanding Organization Award - North Seattle Family Resource Center of Children's Home Society

The North Seattle Family ResourceCenter (NSFC) is being recognized for their commitment to offering accessible and culturally diverse services to our community.  NSFC gives families the tools to raise healthy, happy children. They help families build on their strengths, find support networks, and promote overall well-being.  NSFC are also conveners, bringing together service providers in Northeast Seattle for quarterly networking meetings where providers have the opportunity to connect to each other and figure out how they can work together to better support the people they serve.  NSFC, Lake City Future First, and Lake City Neighborhood Alliance have received a $550,000 multi-year neighborhood grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation which will allow NSFC, partners, and residents to implement a neighborhood plan that will help improve the quality of life for children and families in the Lake City neighborhood.  The comprehensive, resident-driven neighborhood plan includes the development of a new Lake City community center, public park improvements, enhancing as an online community portal, establishing a youth advisory board, and funding for community navigator positions. 


Innovative Program Award - People's Harm Reduction Alliance

People's Harm Reduction Alliance (PHRA) is a leader in combating the opioid crisis through their needle exchange, NARCAN (overdose reversal drug) distribution, and Hepatitis C testing programs.  They take a fresh innovative approach to the needle exchange model and non-profits in general.  Their NARCAN distribution program has saved thousands of lives by reversing overdoses.  They distribute 4000 needles and properly dispose of over 30 pounds of needles a week.    Their Hepatitis project has worked with dozens of positive testing participants and helped them receive treatment.  PHRA stands up for its participants and advocates for them on a regular basis.  They were on the Heroin Task Force in Seattle and are leading the charge on Safe Consumption Sites.  They actively break down stigma of people who use drugs and people who are experiencing homelessness through radical love and acceptance.  They are an innovative organization saving lives.  


The Ron Chisom Anti-Racism Award - Nonprofit Assistance Center 

The Nonprofit Assistance Center (NAC) has a majority-POC board which includes both indigenous and immigrant community leaders of color,  is led by a woman of color from a refugee family, and 4-5 staff (and all interns) are people of color.  NAC aims to hold itself accountable to the communities of color they serve and come from, in all that they do, and they continuously implement new ways to nourish the collective movement towards social justice.  Their cohort programs are designed by, and continuously improved through, the iterative feedback loop they have with their partner organizations, both current and alumni.  NAC aims to build the authentic relationships between organizations, in order to nourish the possibility of collective work and organizing.  They are a part of a collaborative of POC-led capacity builders, working on building a new model of capacity building for communities of color called the Delta Model. 


Excellence in Advocacy - Sorya Svy of SafeFutures. 

Sorya joined SafeFutures when the organization primarily served the South East Asian community.  He recognized that with the right staff, connected to their community, the group could engage hard-to-reach youth from many backgrounds.  Sorya is also facilitating a cohort of peer human service organizations (Glover Empower Mentoring Program, Horn of Africa, and others) to jointly pursue funding and provide culturally responsive services, like the King County Best Starts for Kids: Theft 3 and Mall Safety Pilot Program. On another level Sorya has long been an outspoken advocate for refugees, immigrants, and other youth and families he serves in South King County.   


Stewardship Award -Jerry Large 

Jerry Large, now retired, was a social justice reporter with the Seattle Times for decades.  Through this work Jerry Large opened the eyes of the general public to the important contributions of human services agencies and their role in our communities.  He has written passionately and sensitively about human rights, social justice, and the lives of persons made vulnerable by our social systems.  His consistency in raising these issues and themes through ethical journalism has contributed to the depth of human understanding his readers have applied to finding a way forward together. 

Celebrating Our Accomplishments and Honoring Local Heroes

Since 1993, each year, the Seattle Human Services Coalition encourages agencies and individuals to acknowledge the work of those who have touched their life and others through their advocacy, dedication, and effort to make a difference in human services in one or more of the award categories: Outstanding Organization/Program, Excellence in Advocacy, Innovative Program, Stewardship, and the Ron Chisom Anti-Racism Award.  In addition to these five awards, one SHSC member coalition is requested to provide the name of an individual or program to be recognized with the Mayor's Award.

Many thanks to our 2018 sponsors!

Pictures from the 2018 Human Services Awards, taken by Alison Alfonzo Pence

Pictures from the 2016 Human Services Awards, taken by Michael B. Maine.


Read about the Human Services Awards Recipients from previous years:

More pictures from the 2015 Human Services Awards

Pictures from the 2015 Human Services Awards, taken by Regent Brown.

More pictures from the 2014 Human Services Awards

Pictures from the 2014 Human Services Awards taken by Timothy Firth.