March 16, 2020
Dear SWYFS Community,
I am aware of the heightened anxiety and concern that is present in our youth, families, and the wider community currently regarding the possible spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). I want to assure you that Southwest Youth & Family Services remains committed to providing you with information to help in planning and preparing for a potential impact of this illness.
Based on recommendations from the State of Washington and King County health officials, Southwest Youth & Family Services will temporarily close March 12 through April 27. We are also postponing all programs and counseling intake until we reopen our offices. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you.
In the meantime, New Futures will be providing remote resource and referral services. In addition, our counseling and education center staff will remain available to schedule phone sessions to support you. We will let you know if we begin to utilize a secure video platform for health and education programming. Also, our BAM counselors will be providing phone check-ins to BAM scholars. We encourage youth to check in with their school counselors should something arise. Counselors and school support, please feel free to contact us with concerns about any current clients. Clinicians are working remotely and will be checking voicemails throughout our extended closure.
During this time, please reach out to your therapist directly if you need support from SWYFS. If you do not have their phone number, you can contact (206) 279-0833, leave a message and you will receive a call assisting with a connection to your clinician. If you need crisis support you can call the Crisis Clinic at (206) 461-3222, in case of emergency, please contact 911.
Tips for your mental health:
- Limit how often you check the news.
- Remember to go outside at least once a day.
- Limit how often you are on technology – instead read a book, cook a meal, go for a walk, play a game with a friend or family member, listen to music.
- To the extent possible, drink enough water, eat healthy food, wash your hands, and try to get 7-9 hours of sleep per night.
If you would like to continue to help support SWYFS’s efforts while we are temporarily closed, we would be most appreciative. Donate today and help our youth and families during this difficult times for our region.
Community Information & Resource
Student Meal Support:
Beginning Monday, March 16, Seattle Public Schools will be distributing lunches from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. every weekday at 26 school sites throughout the city. All SPS students can participate. Click here for meal locations.
Highline Public Schools will also be providing meals to all students under the age of 18 starting this Monday. No forms or registration are required. Students can drop by to pick up a meal. Click here for meal locations.
For parents and caregivers:
- Seattle Help for Parents & Caregivers During COVID-19 Facebook group
- From OSPI, re. COVID-19
- Parent guide on novel coronavirus in K-12 schools.
- School closure Q & A document.
- Q&A on services for students with disabilities during the pandemic.
Utilities, Food & Miscellaneous:
- Comcast is providing free internet access for 60 days to low-income families, free internet at Xfinity hotspots, and suspending their data plan rules.
- Map of food banks and school food pickup sites.
How to protect yourself and your family
To reduce your risk of catching or spreading COVID-19 (coronavirus), the CDC recommends practicing personal hygiene etiquette:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
- Clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces like doorknobs and light switches.
- Stay at home and away from others if you are feeling ill.
The safety and wellbeing of our community is of greatest importance to me and my staff. If you have further questions or concerns, please reach out to our Delridge office at (206) 937 – 7680 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow SWYFS on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for regular updates.
For specific program questions, please click the links below to email:
BAM – Rosario Nava
Counseling – Larisa Wendfeldt
Family Resource Center – Daniel Ixchel Vasquez
ParentChild+ Program – Nancy Scheimann
New Futures – Heather Hallman
Youth Development – Debra Williams
Education Center – Bryan Hayes
Development – Jim Laugen
Thank you for your support as we work together to help our community stay safe and healthy.