Impact on People in Need
We engage with and provide resources and services to underserved and high-need individuals and families who have much to gain from Library services.
Summary of Programs for People in Need
Wi-Fi hot spots
- 675 Wi-Fi hot spots circulated nearly 8,000 times.
- 250 additional Wi-Fi hot spots were checked to our neighbors most impacted by the digital divide, including 214 through community partners and 36 that were installed long-term in tiny house villages, ensuring uninterrupted internet service and all its benefits for residents.
- Almost 70 percent of community hot spot users who responded to a survey lived in low-income, Section 8 or other subsidized housing; and 35% indicated they are not able to regularly access the internet without a Library hot spot.
- 92% identified as people of color.
Community resource specialists
- Our community resource specialists, who connect patrons to shelter, food and utility assistance and other social services, made more than 909 social-service referrals for 775 people.
Help for veterans
- Our veteran outreach specialists offered drop-in sessions for veterans struggling to get back on their feet, including sessions specifically for veterans of color and their families, reaching about 100 veterans.
- Services are available regardless of discharge status. We provide resources related to Veteran Administration’s pension and disability compensation, crisis counseling, vocational rehabilitation, mental health resources, employment, housing assistance and more.
- Nearly 7,000 patrons received Tax Help in preparing their tax returns through services at Library locations.
- $3.1 million in tax refunds were filed at the Central Library alone.
Other key 2019 initiatives
- “Read To Me!,” a pilot program at King County Correctional Facility, provided early literacy training to incarcerated parents, who recorded themselves reading stories for their young children.
- 90,000 books and materials circulated to homebound and disabled patrons, senior centers and day cares that support low-income families.
- We continued drop-in programs for youth experiencing homelessness.
- The popular Kids’ Cafe after-school meals continued at select branches.