Home | En Español | Contact Us | A to Z 

2000 Best Practice Awards

Best of the Best Winners: Washington


Best Practice: Housing at Sand Point

The redevelopment of a former Naval Station that will result in 200 units of transitional housing for the homeless

Sand Point, Washington. The city of Seattle estimates that on any given day there are 5,500 homeless persons in the Seattle and Kent County region, of which 2,500 are homeless youth, teen mothers and families. As a result of a three-year reuse planning process, many of them will have a safe and healthy home while they learn needed skills to help them become self-sufficient.

Neighborhood groups, civic organizations and homeless service providers developed the plan, which called for the redevelopment of the 151-acre Sand Point Naval Station, which the U.S. Navy decommissioned

Photo of Darwin Anderson receiving Best of the Best award
Darwin Anderson (c) receiving Best of the Best award from Secretary Cuomo (l) and Deputy Secretary Ramirez (r)

in the mid-1990s. The property was transferred to the city for the purpose of providing housing, supportive services and employment opportunities for the homeless.

The Sand Point Community Housing Association, under a master lease with the city, has overseen the redevelopment of the former naval station, which will result in 200 units of transitional housing for the homeless. The first phase, which was completed in early 2000, includes the following components:

  1. 26 units for families with children, which will be managed by the housing association;

  2. 6 units for mothers and their children, 8 units for youth aged 16-18, and 8 units for youth aged 18-21, all managed by Friends of Youth and Youthcare; and

  3. 41 units for single men and women, which will be managed by the Low Income Housing Institute.

Through HUD’s McKinney Act Program, the city has provided in excess of $5 million to the project. Multiple nonprofit organizations are involved in the actual management of the various projects and provision of a wide range of supportive services to residents. The groups include the Catholic

Services, the Church Council of Greater Seattle, El Centro de la Raza, the Salvation Army, the Seattle Conservation Corporation and the Private Industry Corporation.

Contact: Tom Byers, Phone: (206) 684-8105
Tracking Number: 2794
Winning Category: Geographic


Best Practice: Cultivating Communities

Agricultural Enterprises Springing up in Seattle's Urban Communities

Seattle, Washington.
For Asian and African immigrants in Seattle’s public housing, growing produce for purchase allows them to feel connected to their neighbors and adjust to an unfamiliar language and environment while maintaining a semblance of self-sufficiency. Participation in the Cultivating Communities program, a community-supported agriculture enterprise, helps residents—many of whom are from Eritrea, Ethiopia, Cambodia, Somalia, Laos and Vietnam— feed their families and supplement their often extremely limited income.

Cultivating Communities is an outgrowth of a community gardens program begun in 1995 to fulfill a need identified by public housing residents for clean gardening sites. (Much of the soil around the World War II era buildings is contaminated with high levels of lead. As a result, residents cannot grow food next to their units.) The program operates three market gardens in three of Seattle Housing Authority’s (SHA) large public housing garden communities. Involved in the program are two sets of participants: the public housing residents who grow the organic produce in each of the market gardens and the subscribers from around Seattle who purchase a summer’s worth of fresh, local vegetables from their public housing neighbors.

Subscribers pay $350 per season and receive a large bag of fresh vegetables each week during the growing season from mid-May to Mid-October. They can pick up their vegetables at the garden and meet the gardeners or take advantage of pick up sites at local churches.

Each gardener is responsible for at least one garden plot (a minimum of 10’ x 40’) and commits to working in the garden every day during the growing season and participating in weekly governance meetings with

the other growers. Each garden has its own character, reflecting the spirit of the community in which it is located. The terraces of the “Rainier Vista Sunrise Garden” overlook Mt. Rainier. At “the Most Abundant Garden Project,” the beautiful bamboo fences and trellises surround the garden plots and colorful banners wave in the breeze. A local artist who had traveled widely in Asia and a Cambodian public housing resident built the fences.

Cultivating Communities is a partnership between the Friends of P-Patch (FPP), the City of Seattle and the SHA. FPP provides direction and fiscal management and seeks funding. The city provides office space and program supervision. SHA supplies land and materials and services for garden construction and operation. The program is also a collaboration with a wide variety of agencies and community associations. Local churches and neighborhood councils identify subscribers. Other partners include the King Conservation District, Rainier Vista Leadership Team, and the High Point and Holly Park community councils.

Together, residents, agencies and associations are transforming spaces that were once littered with garbage and drug paraphernalia into vibrant community gathering spots. Market gardens have generated approximately $30,000 in produce sales, provide fresh organic produce to 40 public housing households and provide each family an average supplemental income of $500 annually. A total of 150 families have subscribed and developed personal relationships with the gardeners through potlucks and regular garden visits. Gardeners have developed friendships and share gardening tips and recipes with other gardeners from their native countries and from around the world.

Contact: Martha Goodlett, Phone: (206) 978-6372
Tracking Number: 2973
Winning Category: Program (Public and Indian Housing)

Return to Best Practices 2000 Best of the Best Winners

Content Archived: April 20, 2011

FOIA Privacy Web Policies and Important Links [logo: Fair Housing and Equal 

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
451 7th Street S.W.
Washington, DC 20410
Telephone: (202) 708-1112 TTY: (202) 708-1455