Our King County Veterans Program (KCVP) offices in Tukwila and Seattle are usually buzzing with activity, but on March 19th KCVP transitioned to providing remote services to maintain social distancing to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Since then, KCVP Social Service Professionals (SSPs) have been hard at work continuing to serve King County’s veterans, servicemembers and their families while adapting to a new way of providing services. Offices have been quiet, but phone lines have not, as KCVP is seeing a greater need for emergency stabilization services such as help with rent and utility payments, gas and food.
How do remote services work?
As calls come into the KCVP Tukwila and Seattle phone numbers, the program’s friendly administrative specialists will answer to gather basic information and set appointment times, most often that same day, with a KCVP SSP. When the appointment time arrives, SSPs will call the client at the phone number they provided. SSPs then have conversations similar to the ones they had during face to face meetings, discussing needs and eligibility.
Many SSPs say they miss the face to face connection with the veterans, servicemembers and their families that come through the doors of KCVP offices but are grateful to use phones and online technology to continue to provide services to our community members in need directly from their homes.
KCVP is aware of the challenges that remote services may have for some clients. Every week for a few hours two SSPs provide no contact pick up of resources, by appointment only, for clients who may not have a home address for resources to be mailed.
What services are available?
To best serve our community during the COVID-19 pandemic, KCVP is focusing on providing the most critical services. We encourage all veterans, servicemembers and their family members to call if they have any questions.
- Eviction Prevention
- Utility shut-off prevention
- Food/Gas assistance
- Other (This category helps KCVP staff provide assistance in emergency situations. They will work with their supervisors to determine what additional services can be provided).
KCVP Social Service Professionals can be reached by phone at:
206-477-7022 (Tukwila Office)
206-477-8282 (Seattle Office)
Although we are not in our offices, we are maintaining our operating hours of 8:30am – 4:30pm. This is the best time to reach KCVP staff.
Responding to community needs
In addition to transitioning to providing services remotely, our SSPs are adapting to be responsive to our communities’ most pressing needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. King County’s response to COVID-19, including self-isolation of vulnerable community members and unemployment due to business closures, has unfortunately increased food insecurity across the region. In response the Veterans, Seniors and Human Services Levy (VSHSL) is providing meals to VSHSL funded provider partners to serve King County residents from vulnerable communities. KCVP SSPs participate in organizing and distributing the meals to VSHSL participating partners. VSHSL partners distribute the meals at pickup sites or do no-contact deliveries of the meals to the homes of impacted community members. As of April 27th VSHSL partners delivered 6,102 meals and anticipate providing 24,000 meals by the end of May.
For more information about the King County Veterans Program visit: www.kingcounty.gov/veterans