Solid Ground Washington

Building Community to End Poverty

aka Solid Ground   |   Seattle, WA   |


Solid Ground works to end poverty and undo racism and other oppressions that are root causes of poverty.

Ruling year info


Chief Executive Officer

Shalimar Gonzales

Main address

1501 North 45th Street

Seattle, WA 98103 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

Fremont Public Association



NTEE code info

Human Services - Multipurpose and Other N.E.C. (P99)

Civil Rights, Social Action, and Advocacy N.E.C. (R99)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Between 2006 and 2016, the number of Washingtonians living in deep poverty—less than $10,080 for a family of three—rose by 17% or 55,000 people. Poverty disproportionately affects people of color. 27% of American Indian/Alaska Natives, 23% of Blacks, 20% of Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders, and 19% of Latinos live in poverty, compared to an 11.3% statewide poverty rate.

In King County, deep poverty reveals itself most visibly in the homelessness crisis. As of January 2017, there were 11,643 people experiencing homelessness with 5,485 people without any form of shelter. The ways that people experience poverty, homelessness, and racism are varied and complex, resulting from barriers to education, employment, financial planning, and personal stability. Solid Ground focuses our efforts in stabilizing individuals and families with housing programs, as well as resources to thrive such as food, nutrition education, transportation, financial planning, and opportunities for advocacy.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Stabilization Services

Housing navigation, individualized case management, diversion, tenant counseling, landlord engagement services, rental assistance, flexible client assistance, and referrals to other community resources to prevent and end experiences of homelessness and housing instability. Across an array of Stabilization programs, we supported more than 1,000 individuals toward housing stability.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people

Increasing access to and knowledge around food and nutritional resources for low-income students, adults, and families through our Community Food Education program. We also provide the backbone for Seattle's emergency food system through our Food System Support, coordinating 1,000+ food deliveries each year and providing training and other support for Seattle Food Committee members.

Population(s) Served

Door-to-door specialized transportation to older adults and people with disabilites who are unable to access fixed-route transit. In 2021, we provided 145,590 rides for community members to connect with healthcare, human services, and other key community resources.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities

Comprehensive case management, specialized children's programming, and other wraparound services embedded in shelter and transitional housing to help survivors and their families heal from the traumas of abuse and homelessness. Over the years, Broadview has provided safety and supportive services to more than 13,000 survivors - in 2021 alone, Broadview was home to more than 300 adults and children.

Population(s) Served
Women and girls
Children and youth

Permanent affordable housing, permanent supported housing, and onsite support services for families and individuals formerly experiencing homelessness. Since 1999, more than 3,000 people have stayed at Sand Point Housing in their journey from homelessness to stability. Today, nearly 400+ residents live in this thriving community with onsite support services.

Population(s) Served
Homeless people
Economically disadvantaged people

Long-term (average 3 to 6 months) emergency housing for families experiencing homelessness in scattered site units rented throughout Seattle, alongside individualized case management and other supportive services. In 2021, we supported 18 families comprised of 50+ adults and children to find safe shelter and stabilize from homelessness.

Population(s) Served
Homeless people

The Statewide Poverty Action Network builds grassroots power to end causes of poverty and to create opportunities for everyone to prosper. Together with our members, Poverty Action:
• Develops and advocates for innovative public policy solutions that address the root causes of poverty;
• Registers, educates, and mobilizes voters from low-income communities and communities of color;
• Engages community members in advocating for the issues that impact their lives;
• Organizes community members through a racial equity lens; and
• Develops leaders in low-income communities.

In addition, the advocacy department works to increase the link between policy makers and the staff and clients of Solid Ground’s service programs.

Population(s) Served

Providing legal counsel to individuals to restore access to public benefits for hosuing and essential needs, cash, food, childcare, healthcare, and more, while advocating for more equitable policy and improved access to benefits with State agencies. In 2021, we supported more than 200 clients to access or restore their public benefits.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Ethnic and racial groups
Economically disadvantaged people
Ethnic and racial groups

Where we work


Ron Chisom Anti-Racism Award 2007

Seattle Human Services Coalition

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of volunteers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

In 2022, our 918 volunteers contributed 38,000+ hours valued at $1.3 million, making it possible to meet basic needs, nurture success, catalyze change, and cultivate health throughout our community.

Number of clients assisted with legal needs

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Economically disadvantaged people, Immigrants and migrants

Related Program

Benefits Legal Assistance

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

In 2022, our Benefits Legal Assistance provided 286 people with legal support, creating better access to public benefits for housing and essential needs, cash, food, childcare, healthcare, and more.

Number of children and youth who have received access to stable housing

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, Economically disadvantaged people, Victims of crime and abuse

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

In 2022, Solid Ground's Residential Services housed 1,016 people - including 540 children and youth - in shelter, transitional, and permanent housing on their pathway to housing stability.

Number of participants engaged in programs

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Economically disadvantaged people

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

In 2021, more than 67,000 people accessed Solid Ground services.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Established in 1974, Solid Ground has become a vital part of King County's fight against poverty. We currently provide 20+ services that address basic needs, educate residents, and advocate for structural reform for 76,000 people annually who face homelessness, hunger, and other barriers. Our program goals include:

Advocacy: Our Statewide Poverty Action Network builds grassroots power to end causes of poverty and create opportunities for everyone to prosper. With a membership of 14,000 people, we give advocates a platform to create change in their communities through direct contact with legislators. Benefits Legal Assistance provides direct legal representation, advice, and counsel for benefits of State aid programs, with the goal of 250 cases each year with favorable outcomes.

Residential Services works to provide a continuum of housing services from emergency shelter to permanent supportive housing for up to 900 individuals and families annually through Broadview Emergency Shelter & Transitional Housing, Sand Point Housing Campus, and Family Shelter. These residential services include case management and onsite services that support long-term housing stability and greater self-sufficiency.

Stabilization Services aims to support over 2,100 individuals and families each as they secure and sustain housing. Through four distinct programs (Housing Stability, Journey Home Rabid Rehousing, Tenant Counseling, and the North Regional Access Point) we offer personalized services that prevent homelessness and facilitate secure housing.

Hunger and Food Resources combats hunger and malnutrition by increasing access to food and teaching people about nutrition and eating healthy on a budget. Our Community Food Education aim to work with over 2,000 students and families each year. Food System Support organizes and improves Seattle's emergency food network.

Solid Ground Transportation facilitates door-to-door transportation for people with limited mobility who are unable to ride the regular King County Metro bus system. Our goal is to provide 310,000 rides each year.

Volunteer Services: Our volunteer services work to create opportunities for people to make a real difference in their communities. Our Retired and Senior Volunteer Program creates a network of elders engaged in serving their communities, delivering nearly 160,000 service hours to local nonprofits. Other volunteer positions tap into community support for one-time or ongoing opportunities that result in nearly 153,000 hours of volunteering annually.

With the understanding that a stable home is foundational to ending poverty, Solid Ground provides housing and homeless prevention in combination with services that meet basic needs to allow individuals and families to rebuild and thrive. We work with our participants to nurture success by providing tools, training, and counseling for long-term stability through a multigenerational approach. Embedded in our mission is an Anti-Racism Initiative, recognizing we exist within a flawed system and supporting our staff to remain on a growing edge. Our key strategy areas are to Meet Basic Needs, Nurture Success, and Catalyze Change.

Meeting Basic Needs:
• Supporting 365 survivors of domestic violence (DV) with safe housing, therapeutic children’s services, and an individualized combination of DV legal advocacy, long-term stability planning, and culturally relevant community connections for clinical and therapeutic care.
• Providing three levels of housing and supportive services for 225 households, including 224 children and 109 New Americans, recent immigrants, and refugees, escaping homelessness through seven residential buildings on our Sand Point campus located in the beautiful greenspace of Magnuson Park.
• Diverting 334 individuals away from the at-capacity homeless response system to more permanent housing by granting one-time financial assistance, facilitating transportation through bus tickets and rideshare programs, offering mediation support for roommate challenges, and more. 80% of the participants assisted through Diversion in 2019 were people of color.
• Supporting the network of the Seattle-area emergency food system through our coordination of the Seattle Food Committee’s (SFC) 25 food bank members, in addition to delivering thousands of pounds of food and goods to local food banks.
• Providing over 280,000 rides for King County residents who cannot access Metro’s fixed-route service, connecting our community members living with disabilities to critical health and human services.

Nurturing Success:
• Facilitating Financial Fitness Boot Camp (FFBC) hosted 953 participants in peer-supported workshops in partnerships with affordable housing providers.
• Leading coordinated and comprehensive steps to prevent eviction through a tenant counseling services that supports 1,167 renters and people experiencing homelessness through our 77 RentSmart workshops and 413 calls to the Bilingual Tenant Hotline.
• Assisting people accessing Medicaid, Home and Community Based Care, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Food Assistance, and Aged Blind and Disabled benefits. In total, our Benefits Legal Assistance team closed 193 cases in 2019.

Catalyzing Change:
Our Statewide Poverty Action Network joins with community members to advocate for the rights and equitable treatment we all deserve.
• We conduct listening sessions in communities experiencing poverty throughout the state to create an annual advocacy agenda for the State Legislature.

Solid Ground's capacity and relevant organizational experience is that of more than 46 years serving people living on very low incomes, including 35 years of delivering residential services. In 1982 we opened our Family Shelter program, and the following year, opened our Broadview residence to deliver emergency domestic violence shelter services; our Sand Point campus broke ground in 1993 and now serves nearly 400 people every year.

We have been recognized as a leader at the forefront of housing and human services during our 43-year history, pioneering innovative models years before others and advocating for dozens of stabilizing laws that protect people living on low incomes, including the Housing Levy in 1986 and the Washington State Housing Trust Fund in 1992. We have created innovative programs that now operate independently or were taken over by other agencies, such as Fremont's curbside recycling, Seattle Workers Center, Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI), Home Care services, Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, and Family Works. We pioneered our Journey Home rapid-rehousing program in 1997 and founded the Non-Profit Anti-Racism Coalition (NPARC) in 2001.

Despite the changing local economic landscape, Solid Ground has remained steadfast in approach to serving people experiencing homelessness or living on low incomes. Solid Ground began as a clothing bank and handyman service, grew to include recycling services, at-home care for seniors and people with disabilities, and transitioned to serve those most at risk of instability in our community with more than 20 services, including homelessness prevention, housing for formerly homeless people, nutrition education, food system support, transportation for people with disabilities, state and local advocacy for people to have a platform for their voices to make lasting legislative change, and community volunteer opportunities. Our staff and volunteers embrace anti-racist/anti-oppressive values and actively work to integrate these values into their daily duties. This has been most prevalent through the development of an Anti-Racism Initiative, which includes a dedicated leader to guide the initiative and protected time for ARI training, identity-based caucusing, and program-based implementation of anti-racist principles and values. Furthermore, our recent strategic plan has allowed us to re-center our values at the forefront of our path forward.

From 2016-2020, Solid Ground will strengthen our people-centered approach and use social justice strategies to better align how we work to our mission and increase the well-being of the people we serve. Our community is stronger when all people can realize their potential.

We will be more ACCOUNTABLE to communities impacted by poverty

People know best what they need and should be involved in decisions that affect their lives. We will:▶▶ implement new ways to meaningfully engage people to inform our decisions

▶▶ seek and utilize input from people we serve and others living in poverty to ensure our services increasingly align with their needs
▶▶ develop and support collaborative relationships with participants, partners and funders

We will take an INDIVIDUALIZED APPROACH to addressing needs

People face unique barriers to stability, and those barriers are increasing. One size does not fit all. We will:

▶▶ tailor our service approach to meet people's individual needs
▶▶ deepen external partnerships and internal coordination to deliver better outcomes for people we serve
▶▶ develop and implement comprehensive services for children and youth in our residences

We will successfully ADVOCATE to achieve equitable laws and policies

To end poverty and achieve social justice existing systems and institutions must change. The people we work with bring important voices to this work. We will:

▶▶ empower people to bring their lived experience to the political process to promote systemic change
▶▶ identify and change systems and policies that create and maintain barriers to opportunity
▶▶ mobilize people to increase our impact on anti-poverty and anti-racism issues.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Across our agency, Solid Ground's primary service population is community members living on low incomes in Seattle/King County. Within programs, we also focus on specific sub-populations such as those experiencing homelessness or food insecurity, survivors of domestic violence, older adults, and/or individuals living with a disability.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Case management notes, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    We believe that people are experts on their own lives and should be involved in the decisions that directly impact them. We live into this value through our Community Accountability Council (CAC) – a diverse group of Solid Ground community members with lived experiences of poverty and oppression – who understand that what happens in their lives also happens to other people. The CAC provided key input in the development of our agency’s Land Acknowledgement ( and urged us to bring this statement to life with deeper engagement with local tribes, which contributed to Solid Ground's decision to stand in solidarity with the Duwamish tribe's fight for federal recognition (

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    We know that the people accessing our services are also best positioned to identify barriers, inefficiencies, or points where re-traumatization can happen. Frequently in social services settings, power is inherently placed in the hands of those delivering services and taken from those seeking to access them. Through regular and intentional feedback collection practices, we work to reverse these power dynamics and ask our participants, community members, and partners to hold us accountable to our mission and values. Because we believe people are the experts on their own lives, we acknowledge and honor their feedback as expertise and strive to provide compensation or other recognition where possible to those who take the time to share their feedback with us.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, The people we serve tell us they find data collection burdensome, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection,


Solid Ground Washington

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Solid Ground Washington

Board of directors
as of 02/03/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Heidi Eisenstein


Term: 2022 - 2024

Andrew Miller


Mary Ruffin

Foster Garvey PC

Julie Silverman

Physician, VA Hospital

Chrissy Glaister

Design Researcher in Medical Device and Healthcare, Board Member with Rebuilding Together Seattle

Vince Iaci

Fmr World Wide Director of Risk Management at Microsoft Financing Corporation

Katie Maloney

King County Dept. of Community & Human Services

Catarina "Cat" Ratajczak

Affordable Housing Developer

Val Pate

Fmr Director of Asset Management and Compliance, Washington State Housing (Finance) Commission

Lauren Vlas

WA State Attorney General's Office, Policy Analyst

Hannah Won

Community Organizer and Universal Basic Income Advocate

Wayne Wyatt

Lindsay Zhou

Software Engineer

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 2/3/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Multi-Racial/Multi-Ethnic (2+ races/ethnicities)
Gender identity

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation

No data


No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 06/21/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.