Korean Women’s Association CARES grant and COVID-19 training

KWA Receives $555,800 CARES Grant

KWA Receives $555,800 CARES Grant

TACOMA, WA – June, 2020 – Korean Women’s Association (KWA) announced it has accepted a $555,800 grant from Pierce County Human Services CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund to support rental assistance in Pierce County for people directly impacted by COVID-19 pandemic.

These funds will allow KWA to provide $800 worth of rental assistance for 200 households over three months. Approximately $480,000 will be used to directly provide rental assistance services. The eligibility requirements include employment or income loss due to COVID-19, current income is at or below 50% AMI and all must be Pierce County Residents.

This funding will allow us to provide assistance to residents of our low-income housing properties as well as clients who wish to maintain their permanent housing during the COVID-19 pandemic. With this funding, KWA can assist individuals and families who reside in Pierce County.

KWA has a long legacy of providing affordable housing and rental assistance for low-income persons and seniors. KWA owns and manages a varied portfolio of properties – with more than 200 units of affordable housing for working, disabled, and seniors with various incomes. We currently operate two low-income housing properties, The Hotel Olympus and The Orchard Project.

The Hotel Olympus, which was originally constructed in 1909, advertised a free TV in every room and food and entertainment available in the coffee shop and the Mirror Room in Downtown Tacoma. Now, the Hotel Olympus is home to individuals who value the convenience and style of downtown living along with the comfort and dependability of a professionally managed community.

The Orchard Project includes five single-family homes in Roy, Washington, for those with low income. Developed in 2006, The Orchard Project boasts five passive solar and energy-efficient homes in a rural setting of gardens and an 8-acre apple orchard overseen by a KWA caretaker. The homes have three bedrooms, 2 baths, fireplace, covered front and back porches, fenced yard, and access to community gardens. The apple orchards annually produce fresh apples that are donated to local food banks.

The Orchard project signage at the property; Image courtesy Korean Women’s Association

Pacific Villa is a low-income senior housing development that offers comfortable, safe, and convenient units for low-income seniors, 62 or better. It is located on the grounds of KWA’s current headquarters in Tacoma, WA and broke ground on the facility in 1997. Doors opened on April 30, 1998 with 43 tenants.

KWA provides services and care to the state’s most vulnerable populations and these funds will allow the organization to address the following operational efforts. Continuing to care for people at risk of isolation, lower-income elders, housing insecure persons, communities who need culturally-specific communication and care, and much more.

Responding to the growing economic and health crisis presented by COVID-19, KWA will continue its operation until told otherwise. The communities of people who depend on KWA services, ranging from benefits enrollment, domestic violence assistance, in-home care, senior services and more, are often those who are marginalized, at heightened risk of isolation and needing services in multiple languages.

KWA Trains to Help Seniors Navigate COVID-19

TACOMA, WA – June 2020 – Staff with the Korean Women’s Association (KWA) Senior Centers took trainings voluntarily, and certified for National COVID-Ready Caregiver and for Dementia Friends. KWA staff at the Beacon and Lighthouse Senior Centers in Tacoma are now able to provide much need resources and support to seniors in the region.

KWA Center Manager, Kristine Kim said “DSHS Washington was offering free National COVID-Ready Certification training and we all took that, and we are well trained for how to deal with COVID 19.” This is a critical component to providing services and care at senior centers, she says. When operating a community center for seniors, having the knowledge to keep this vulnerable population safe is key to success.

“I have been reaching out to communities to bring in some resources for some of our senior center participants and found out Lutheran Community Services was offering a session for Dementia Friends. Me and my staff were happy to join since we do have some seniors who have dementia,” says Kim.

During COVID-19 closures, Center staff have been using this time to learn new skills such as communicating with dementia patients, providing a safe and welcoming environment for seniors in light of the COVID-19, and keeping their facilities at the forefront of services and resources provided to seniors.

Pete Ansara, KWA CEO is proud of the initiative senior-center staff demonstrated. “Even during this difficult time, KWA Senior Center staff is working to adapt and gain knowledge to serve seniors in our region. They are the heart of the KWA mission – to provide multi-lingual, multi-cultural services to the area’s most vulnerable communities,” says Ansara.

KWA is committed to continuing to provide services which allow seniors to age in place and give those with disabilities support to remain as independent as possible. Through in-home care services, social services, and community health services, communities across western Washington are being served in creative and thoughtful ways.

Beacon and Lighthouse Senior Centers are operated in partnership with the City of Tacoma and boost a number of recreational programs health, fitness, personal enrichment activities, benefits enrollment assistance, and health screenings for breast, cervical and colorectal cancers.

About Korean Women’s Association: Korean Women’s Association provides multi-cultural, multi-lingual human services, regardless of race or ethnic background, to diverse communities through education, socialization, advocacy and support. Since 1972, KWA has responded to the needs of Western Washington communities with programs for affordable housing, senior wellness, in-home care support, and benefits enrollment. In addition, KWA advocates for individuals seeking immigration and naturalization, escaping domestic violence situations and needing health screenings. KWA serves all of Western Washington through 15 offices and employs more than 1400 employees.

– Korean Women’s Association

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