Sound Programs: Thousands Helped in 2018

Sound’s programs affected thousands of lives last year, ensuring hope, opportunity, and stability. Below are the highlights of just a few Sound programs that had a positive impact on the lives of our clients in 2018.

Helping clients seek work and recovery

At Sound, we believe that helping clients get back to work ensures success for both the individual and the community.

Sound has been providing employment services to the people we serve for more than 23 years. Soundworks offers pre-employment services such as interview skills, soft skills, and stress management to help individuals return rapidly to competitive work. The program also provides comprehensive post-employment services, including on-the-job training, long-term support of the employer and employee,
and career development.

Nicholas Coniaris, Soundworks’ program manager, led the company in creating a fully equipped computer lab at Sound’s Capitol Hill location. “We know that limited access to technology is a big obstacle for people’s stability. Housing forms, utility payments, job applications—all those things need to be done online now. The computer lab is really a necessary service. Soundworks is empowering people with technology.”

In 2018, Soundworks helped 60 people find employment, up 27 percent from 2017.

“The companies who hire people from Soundworks are very happy,” says Coniaris. “We have had excellent feedback about the employees and the program. We’re empowering people to work and they are helping our partner companies grow.”

Soundworks would like to acknowledge some of the partner organizations that employed Sound clients in 2018: Home Depot, QFC, Lab Corp, Buffalo Industries, Napa Auto Parts, Sky Chefs, Cascade e-Commerce, Plasma Center, Salvation Army, Metropolitan Market, Red Robin, Mad Pizza, AMAZON, NWC Puget Sound Laundry, Dupont, Acoustical Solutions, Gen/Care Lifestyles of Renton, ShoWare Center, Plasma Center, Aaron Furniture, Kent Valley Ice Centre, Old Castle Pre Casting, McDonalds, Seattle Conservation Corps, Franz Bakery, and Kirkland Dermatology Associates.

Care where clients need it

Sound’s Care Transitions program touched many lives in 2018. Care Transitions is actually a group of programs linked around the idea of helping individuals who have struggled to access (or stay in) care due to chronic health needs, and systemic gaps and barriers. Care Transitions programs are: Admissions Services, the Benson Heights Enhanced Nursing Facility program, Crisis Services, Expanded Community Services, Health Navigation, Sound Solutions, and the Transition Support program. Consisting of approximately 47 team members spanning the seven programs, thousands of people were supported last year.

“So many individuals in our community need support and services,” says Stephanie Berg, director of the program. “But (they) either don’t know how to find them or cannot access them when they do find them. Care Transitions addresses those barriers and engages people in the care they need to help them on their paths toward recovery and productivity.”

Such was the case for one Transition Support program client, “TJ,” who Sound engaged while he was struggling with homelessness, depression and suicidal thoughts. Through work and hands-on support by Sound team members, which included housing advocacy, case management, and other services, “TJ” eventually was able to get stable and even reconnect with his young children.

For many programs, like Expanded Community Services (ECS), the program has experienced such success that other counties have requested that they expand services across county lines to support regions that do not have the capacity to serve individuals in need.

Stability through housing

Sound’s Supportive Housing programs include locations throughout the greater King County areas, and include McDermott Place, Gossett Place, Earnestine Anderson Place, August Wilson Place, Kenyon House, Pacific Court, South King County Housing First, Project Homestead, Standard Supportive Housing, and the Project
for the Assistance of the Transition of Homelessness (PATH).

Annamaria Gueco, Sound’s Supportive Housing program manager, is proud of the successes the residents have experienced in 2018.

“We’re really empowering people to succeed. Permanent, supportive housing provides people with the stability and opportunity to attain their personal and professional goals.”

Ending homelessness is not just an ethical imperative. The cost of unhoused people is high, as treating homeless people in emergency systems does not address the root causes of homelessness. A cost-effective solution for people with disabilities, mental illness, addiction, and other issues, supportive housing provides its tenants with the support they need to stay housed and out of shelters, prisons, hospitals and other institutions.

“Sound’s goal is to provide whole person care for people,” says Gueco. “Our Supportive Housing programs have on-site Sound team-members, providing daily support services. Some, even seven days a week, with people receiving services multiple times per day.”

Advocacy for people re-entering the community after incarceration

Sound’s Re-Entry team collaborates with the criminal justice system to help people who have been released from jail or prison and may have ongoing court or probation involvement. The team supports successful community reintegration of individuals living with mental health and addiction issues.

The Integrated Addiction Treatment and Mental Health teams work closely together to help clients improve mental health symptoms and work toward recovery from substance use disorder (SUD) issues. The team also helps clients with housing, engages with the criminal justice department/system (on their behalf), and teaches them skills to be successful in the community.

In 2019, Sound’s Re-Entry team is expanding to include another location in South King County.

“We help people in Capitol Hill and in Tukwila, but so many people are living in South King County. I’m happy to bring services to where more people live and need us,” says Forensics Program Director, Richelle Nordeen. “When we empower people, they help their communities thrive.”

Access to services for an underserved population

Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing experience the same mental health concerns as their hearing peers and, as such, seek out the same services to address these concerns. However, unlike hearing individuals, those who are deaf or hard of hearing do not always find equitable access to services.

Sound’s Deaf Services program, which helped 180 children and adults last year, is a progressive and uniquely qualified practice, bringing together multi-disciplinary counseling professionals who are also deaf specialists. A team of therapists offer direct access in sign language (ASL, signed English, and pro-tactile) and have expertise in the unique needs of deaf, hard of hearing, and deaf/blind children, adults, and families. The team consists of clinicians, certified trauma specialists, chemical dependency professionals, and a nurse practitioner.

The team offers face-to-face individual, group and family counseling as well as HIPAA-compliant videophone counseling which allows deaf individuals from all over the state to talk directly with ASL fluent counselors. Sound’s Deaf Services program is the only comprehensive, language accessible behavioral health program for deaf people in Washington.

“People who are deaf view themselves as part of a linguistic and cultural minority group, rather than a disability group. Deaf Services counselors provide direct access to therapy in ASL and are conscious of how deaf and deaf-blind clients’ lives are shaped by their identity and cultural experience,” says Program Manager Anne Baldwin. “Many of our clients travel long distances to our sites in order to be understood and receive therapy in their language.”

Supporting survivors, breaking the cycle

This program, developed in 2006 by Sound’s Chief Quality & Clinical Excellence Officer, Susie Winston, is a specialized, collaborative effort between Sound, DAWN, LifeWire, and New Beginnings to provide counseling to survivors and their children to heal from the trauma of domestic violence. Treatment includes evidence-based trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy, as well as Kids Club, a tested therapy intervention for children experiencing domestic violence.

“Our goal is to ensure the ongoing physical and emotional safety of the children and families impacted by domestic violence,” says Joelle Blair, Director of Child & Family Services. “We are supporting and empowering these children and their families.”

Sound’s CDVRT has been recognized for excellence and, in 2018, was awarded a major, 3-year grant by Cambia Health Solutions’ Health Foundation.

In 2018, 525 children and youth from 294 families were served through CDVRT.


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