Our response to COVID-19

This information is accurate as of June 10, 2020. These agency-wide changes that we’ve implemented are aligned with current public guidelines from county and state officials. They are also aligned with our mission to help vulnerable individuals and families in the Puget Sound region achieve well-being, health and stability. We are committed to serving our community in this evolving moment. Please check back on this page regularly for the most recent updates.

Learn how JFS is pivoting to meet this unprecedented moment.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is JFS still open?
    Yes! We are still serving clients, but we have shifted our services to telephone and web-based interactions where possible. Our Seattle and Kent campuses are open, but we are limiting access to essential services. Our Eastside campus is closed to clients through the month of June. We are adhering to local, state and national guidelines and are adapting as necessary.
  • I need emergency assistance. How can I get in touch?
    We understand this is an uncertain and worrisome time. Please visit our Emergency Services page and fill out the request form. If we’re able to assist you, we will respond within one week of your inquiry.
  • How can I help?

    This is an unprecedented moment and we need you. Please donate to our matching gift campaign. Your contribution will ensure that we can continue providing essential human services to the thousands of individuals and families who turn to us for help. If you would like to volunteer, please fill out the registration form on our Volunteer Services page. Because the situation is so fluid, we are continually adapting to Public Health guidelines.

  • How is the food bank being impacted?
    The Polack Food Bank is still open to clients on Monday evenings, Wednesday and Friday mornings as well as Thursday afternoons. Due to social distancing recommendations, we’ve moved to a pre-bagged model to limit interactions between volunteers, staff and clients and ensure safety. In accordance with best current safety practices, the food bank has temporarily paused all monthly home deliveries by volunteers. We have partnered with Access Transportation who will be completing these deliveries instead, on our behalf. We appreciate our volunteers’ steadfast commitment to our clients, and we can’t wait to work with them again once it becomes safe to do so.
  • How are other client services being affected?

    All departments have pivoted as necessary to continue serving our community in this challenging time.We have moved our Counseling Services and Emergency Services lines to HIPAA-compliant Zoom accounts so we will be able to offer support and telehealth services for all clients. To respond to the increased demand in requests for financial assistance (such as help with rent or utilities), we have redeployed several staff from different departments to help. In our Older Adult Services program, we are also teaching our senior clients how to reach us and to know when to pick up the phone if we call them. These calls go a long way in decreasing social isolation. In the span of two months, we have made a total of 130 calls to provide support.

    We will update this page regularly as more programs implement alternative plans.

  • Are all JFS events canceled?
    All JFS events—including the annual Community of Caring Luncheon—are canceled through June 30, 2020, in the interest of our community’s health and well-being. At that point, we will reevaluate for future events. If you’d like to give to our matching gift campaign lieu of your Luncheon gift, you may do so here.
  • What are guidelines for JFS staff?
    All JFS employees are encouraged to work from home if they are able. We have provided remote work equipment for all employees based on their roles. Direct service staff have shifted how they interact with clients to include alternatives like telehealth therapy for counseling. At the end of May, our Supportive Living Services staff began going back into some clients’ homes to provide critical in-home services. Staff members learned how to use comprehensive Personal Protective Equipment, including face shields and gowns, before making these visits.
  • Who should I contact if I have further questions?
    Please get in touch with us at (206) 461-3240.

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