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VIDEO: Meet a member of the new King County Parks crew connecting people to jobs and housing

Summary

The new King County Parks Beautification Crews are now restoring and enhancing regional parks and trails while connecting crew members who are experiencing homelessness to jobs and housing support. One crew member, Fredrick Reed, shares his personal story in a video profile.

Story

In a video profile, Fredrick Reed shares his experience as a member of the new King County Parks Beautification Crews, an early success of the Jobs and Housing Program that Executive Dow Constantine included in a pandemic recovery package earlier this year.

Reed was hired after attending a recruitment event that King County Parks conducted at an emergency shelter in Seattle, earning a salary that can help him and his family transition to permanent housing and connecting him with housing support.

Reed and other members of the King County Parks Beautification Crews are restoring and enhancing regional parks and trails, performing tasks that include landscaping, maintaining athletic fields, building and maintaining trails, removing invasive weeds, and more.

The program will increase King County Parks’ seasonal crews by 36 people who earn between $20 and $25 per hour. Partner organizations also help crew members secure permanent housing, applying the Rapid Rehousing model developed by the King County Department of Community and Human Services.

King County Parks and the Jobs and Housing Program team have conducted recruitment events at emergency shelters in Seattle, South King County, and East King County. Once background checks and physicals are complete, King County Parks provides crew members with on-the-job training while partner organizations assist with securing housing and career counseling. The Parks Beautification Crew positions are the first of several county job opportunities that are planned for the Jobs and Housing Program.

Executive Constantine included funding for the new program in the combined $600 million COVID-19 supplemental budget he proposed in March. It has multiple funding sources, including the American Rescue Plan, FEMA, and the county’s General Fund. The County Council approved $38 million for the Jobs and Housing Program in May.


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For more information, contact:

Doug Williams, Department of Natural Resources and Parks, 206-477-4543