The proposed 2018 Federal Budget would mean significant cuts for essential and important services in Seattle. For Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR), we are particularly concerned about the elimination of the Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG), which helps fund programs that foster a healthy economy, like the Seattle Conservation Corps.
The Conservation Corps uses these dollars to employ and train individuals who are homeless in nature restoration and maintenance work throughout our parks and city. Without these funds, SPR would be forced to seek out another funding source to support these employees, their development, and their support of our city’s park system.
In a given year, over half of the members who enter the program finish it and improve their living situations. More than 80 percent leave with stable housing, and more than 90 percent leave for long-term employment paying an average wage of $15.00 per hour. Since 1986, the Corps has launched more than 800 people into full participation in the community.
This program is one of the most treasured parts of our organization, and an incredible asset to our city.