In the early 1980’s, cuts at the federal level began to impact people on the local level in Seattle. Several groups of community health and human service providers began advocating to the City of Seattle for investments needed locally to help people meet their basic human needs. This group led a successful campaign for the first low-income housing levy in 1986 and then went on to form the Seattle Human Services Coalition in 1987 ensuring that there would always be a unified voice to advocate for meeting basic human needs. The City made its first investment in community-based direct human services in 1987 for $500,000. With steadfast advocacy and education, current annual funding is now over $50 million a year in general funds alone, plus locally levied funds. Persistent work by members led to this degree of local investment- found nowhere else across the country. Over two decades later the members of SHSC continue to carry that work forward. By being part of the Seattle Human Services Coalition you are cultivating both your organization, in order to better serve the community, and the common good of the community as a whole.
SHSC has broadened and deepened our impact over decades, but we all have stayed focused on our shared goal and vision to help our communities meet their basic human needs.


The Agenda for a Just & Thriving Community - Seattle & King County can build a just and thriving community if we make it a community priority, and if we remove institutionalized barriers that keep this from occurring. The resources currently exist within our community to sustain the basic human needs of each of our community’s members if we choose to direct them towards that goal. Acting together and putting people first, we do have the power to reach our shared vision of a Just & Thriving Community.

The Agenda for a Just & Thriving Community (AJTC) goes beyond strategic or public policy planning: it is a process that defines and calls for the steps necessary to create a just and thriving community.

Learn more about the Vision for a Just and Thriving Community →

Creation of the 2020 Vision - in 1999-2001 coalition and community members began exploring the question "What would it take to meet basic human needs, including eliminating institutional racism, in King County by the year 2020?"  This three year visioning process identified a broad but powerful shared goal that tied all of the diverse pieces of our community together.

See the 2020 Vision →

Identifying Institutional Racism - The Identifying Institutional Racism (IDIR) Folio is a result of a collaborative commitment to eliminating racism.  The IDIR Folio was created by human service providers to help an agency or program identify racism within the organization and provide tools toward eliminating it.   

Register to download the IDIR Folio →