The following information about Somali service agencies and community organizations in and around Seattle was originally prepared in Winter/Spring 2004 by the Somali Community Services of Seattle, and updated by EthnoMed in September 2009. Information about the Somali Health Board (SHB) was added in September 2014. In August 2015 the SHB made additional updates to the following information.
Seattle’s Somali residences are mostly concentrated in SeaTac, Tukwila, Yesler Terrace, Rainier Vista, New Holly, Washington apartments, MLK apartments, High Point, and White Center, while there are also Somalis living scattered throughout the Seattle area as far north as Lynnwood and Everett and south to Federal Way and Renton. Most Somalis in Puget Sound live in King County, with small numbers also in Snohomish and Pierce Counties.
Somali Health Board
The Somali Health Board (SHB) is a coalition of King County Somali health leaders and health systems representatives working in collaboration to improve health outcomes of Somali residents. The SHB seeks to improve health outcomes in King County Somali communities through meaningful partnership development, mutual education of providers and community leaders and advocating for culturally appropriate and relevant policies and services. The board meets quarterly with an agenda focused on presentations about priority health topics and updates about subcommittee work around efforts like perinatal care and community health services, and organizes an annual health services fair.
The SHB Leadership Team is made up of the following positions: Chair, Vice Chair, Secretaries, Prenatal Subcommittee Chair and Community Liaison.
Somali Community Services of Seattle
8810 Renton Ave South Seattle WA 98118
(206) 760-1181, (206) 760-1115 Fax: (206) 760-1186
Somali Community Services Website
A group of Somali intellectuals, social workers, and elders realized the need to establish a community center to serve the demands of Seattle’s increasing Somali population as early as 1995. The founders put their resources together and started offering basic services. Government agencies and some non-profit organizations supported the emerging organization. SCSS started to employ an executive director and supporting staff to replace the part time volunteers. It was incorporated in 1997 as a community based non-profit organization.
The Somali Community Services of Seattle’s (SCSS) mission is to work for the success of refugees in assuring a smooth transitional process, and attaining a self-sustainable status in their new country. Somali Community Services of Seattle serves East African refugees through a variety of services including case management and referrals, children and youth programs, senior program, and educational courses and workshops such as refugee parent education, computer classes, social justice leadership training, and natural environment conservation.
The organizational set up consists of a Board of directors, Executive, and supporting staff.
- Referral service & outreach
- Training programs
- Translation and interpretation
- Job search & employment referral
- Family & Youth Programs
- Youth & Sports
- After school program
- Parent education
- Housing assistance to homeless families
- Cultural & behavioral orientation
- Counseling and case management
- Senior Program (Education & Nutrition/Activity)
- Open Internet Lab for the community
- Drug and tobacco prevention program
- Admin & Finance
- Routine office work
- Accounts & Bookkeeping
- Public Relations
- Fundraising & grant writing
Somali Community Services Coalition
15027 Military Road South–Suites 2-3, SeaTac, WA 98188
The Beginning of SCSC
Since the collapse of the Somali government in 1991 and the start of the civil war, over 50,000 Somalis have fled to and settled in the United States of America. The number of the Somali refugees who settled in Seattle alone is estimated to be as high as 8,000. The settlers are coming from a war-torn country. These refugees have a multitude of unique needs.
The SCSC is a charitable organization that formed in 1998 to help Somali refugees in the State of Washington. The SCSC assists the Somali refugees in their resettlement activities, and supports their efforts in maintaining their language, culture and values.
Mission of SCSC
The sole mission of the SCSC is to further the common welfare and well-being of the Somali community in the State of Washington and also to promote and instill in them the American ideals that will help them and result in their eventual successful settlement in the U.S.
Programs and Services
The needs of our refugees dictate the types of services the organization provides and the programs it offers. The following is a list of the current and potential services and programs of the SCSC:
- Housing assistance: Emergency housing, transitional housing, rent assistance and referrals for first time renters
- Employment assistance: job training skills and referrals
- English as a second language instructions (ESL)
- Somali language classes
- US Citizenship classes
- Advocacy and referral services: providing links to other community resources
- Interpreting and translating services
- Youth Programs
- Senior Programs
- Family counseling
- Working with other refugees communities
- Organizing and holding community gatherings, festivals
- All other appropriate services needed by the community
Every community organization’s needs are always more than the available scarce resources. The SCSC is no exception. The needs of the Somali refugee community in Seattle are immense. The majority of the Somali refugees do not speak the English language. The physical environment of the state, climate, culture, the legal and governmental services are all different from experiences refugees used to know. To better serve the refugees so they can make it the U.S, the SCSC welcomes and appreciates financial contributions and moral support.
East African Community Services
East African Community Services (EACS) was established in 2000 to provide culturally specific advocacy, information, referral and direct social services to Somali, Oromo, Ethiopian and other East African refugees living in King County .
When civil war erupted in Somalia in 1991, many people fled away from the violence. Today, nearly 30,000 East African refugees have made the King County their home.
In 2000, four Somali refugees built collaborative relationships with community agencies and government programs throughout King County. They incorporated as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization in 2001. This new organization—the Refugee Social Development Resource Center—later changed its name to East African Community Services (EACS) to reflect its core mission of helping all communities from East Africa.
EACS programs and services include
- Refugee Resettlement
- Seniors/Elders Advocacy and Support
- Primary and Secondary Education Support
- Parenting Education
- Case Management and Assessment
- Youth Advocacy/Outreach
- After School and Summer Program for Youth
- Immigration Services
- Citizenship Classes
Horn of Africa Services
Rainier: (206) 760-0550 | Yesler Terrace: (206) 344-5872
Highpoint: (206) 935-3705 | Rainier Vista (206) 723-7424
4714 Rainier Avenue South, Suite 105
Seattle, WA 98118
Fax: (206) 760-0098
Horn of Africa Services
Horn of Africa Services (HOAS) is a multi-lingual, multicultural nonprofit organization offering individual and family counseling and referral services. We respond to the health, employment, housing and educational needs within communities from Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, and neighboring countries who are living in the Greater Seattle area. HOAS provides services by bilingual staff speaking in Amharic, Oromo, Tigrigna, and Somali.
Horn of Africa Services conducts ‘Job Readiness’ workshops, monthly legal clinics, and an annual gift giving program for needy families. In addition, Horn of Africa Services has successfully produced seven citizenship videos in four major East African languages to disseminate information and help prospective individuals prepare for U.S. naturalization testing.
Founded in 1992 by a group of volunteers, HOAS provides assistance to East African immigrants and refugees, regardless of their religious, ethnic or political affiliations. Horn of Africa Services has been active in working to build a bridge between various East African groups by helping to create the Federation of East African Community Organizations in Seattle (FEACOS). FEOCAS, established in 1996 is a coalition of six East African organizations who collaborate to identify common concerns and to implement solutions.
Programs and Services
- Information & Referral
- Advocacy & Counseling
- Citizenship Classes
- Legal Immigration Clinic
- Job Training & Placement
- Youth Services
- East African Self-reliance Project
- Technology Training
Somali Youth and Family Club
19550 International Blvd #106, SeaTac, WA 98188
We are dedicated to providing essential services to Somali and other underserved families and youth in King County.
SYFC strongly believes that the protection and educational development of all youth and the access to resources for families is necessary and integral to human progress. We are committed to working with all partners to provide access to services towards the attainment of sustainable quality life.
- Housing Assistance
- YWCA Landlord Liaison Project Registered Agency
- Referrals for Rental and Utility Assistance
- Case Management
- DSHS Family-to-Family Program Partner
- School Enrollment
- DSHS Benefits Assistance(Food, Medical & Disability)
- Immigration Assistance
- Applying for Citizenship
- Interpreting/Translation Assistance (General, Legal & Medical)
- Local Transportation Assistance
- Employment Assistance
- Summer Lunch Program
- Education Programs
- After school Program – Free tutoring and homework help ages 6-18 offered Mon-Thur 3-7pm
- Adult ESL classes – at Creston Point Apartments, taught by Renton Technical College accredited teachers
- Weekend Cultural Classes open to all
- Shah-Shah Early Foundations – Kaleidoscope Play & Learn groups held weekly open to ages 0-6 must be accompanied by a parent or FFN caregiver.
- Parent and Community Engagement- Workshops and focus groups.
SomTV-Seattle is a television dedicated to inspiring and educating the Somali community through news, information and entertainment programming. Our mission is to provide community oriented, insightful and culturally significant programming to our local, national and global viewers.
SomTV is an integral part of the Somali community in Seattle and as such it aims to serve the increasing Somali population in Seattle, Washington. Somalis throughout Seattle tune-in every Saturday night at 6pm for the weekly programs. It is the fastest growing Somali media in North America. SomTV cover all the major metropolitan areas in the United States.
Furthermore, SomTV commands a global audience as millions continually visit the SomTV website; SomTV.org. Visitors to the SomTV website come from the US, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia.
As such, SomTV is an important part of the Somali community in the Seattle area and has also gained wide ranging influence through its, often praised, online presence.
Comcast channel 77, 23 City of Seattle
- Saturday live 6pm
- Wednesday 8am
- Thursday 8:45pm
Abu Bakr Islamic Center
14101 Tukwila International Blvd S. Tukwila, WA 98188
Abubakr Islamic Center of WA
Our vision is to make Abu Bakr Islamic Center of WA an incredible facility that can cater to the needs of our members and the area at large. We want to transform the notion that an Islamic Center is solely meant for prayer alone. We want to make the practicing of our beautiful religion the central pillar that supports a foundation of progress for our members. A majority of our members are immigrants, and their needs are both spiritual and material. There are those that wish to better assimilate into this society but have no knowledge or means to do so. It is pertinent that we create a facility with which they can receive the knowledge and help to better themselves not only as Muslims but as Citizens.