2022 NUHSA Human Services Awards

Monday, January 30, 2023

Ronald Commons (above) and Hopelink (below)
Photos courtesy NUHSA
The North Urban Human Services Alliance (NUHSA) held their 2022 Human Services Awards program and celebration on Thursday, January 19, 2023 at Ronald United Methodist Church (17839 Aurora Ave. N. Shoreline).

The annual NUHSA Awards recognize those individuals and organizations that have gone above and beyond in ensuring the health and well-being of our North King County residents.

New this year is the Building Bridges Award, recognizing the extraordinary effort of our north end cities in forming the Regional Crisis Response Agency that will provide community mobile crisis response services across all of North King County (NKC).

Emily Gallagher and Emily Carey (of Compass Housing Alliance and Hopelink, respectively) provided informative and comprehensive tours of Ronald Commons and Shoreline Hopelink prior to the awards program. both located behind Ronald United Methodist Church (RUMC) where the event was held.

Several years ago RUMC partnered with the City of Shoreline and created this innovative and unique community development which provides housing, essential human services and fellowship.

Outstanding Human Services Program

Grounded photo courtesy NUHSA

Award accepted by Darnesha and Erwin Weary, Haben Haileslassie and Diana Muuru

Grounded serves primarily black youth in Shoreline and throughout North King County, offering school tutoring, mental health therapy, workforce training, career planning, and opportunities to exercise the body and mind through dance, radio and art. Housed at Black Coffee NW in Shoreline, Grounded is the nonprofit arm of this successful coffee shop that has since its inception two years ago seamlessly blended business with activism and community outreach.


BoPop (Bothellites for People-oriented Places)
Award accepted by Cary Westerbeck, Founder

This all-volunteer group elevates affordable housing issues in Bothell and advocates for middle housing and other housing options. Most recently, BoPop hosted a walking tour and provided a community forum on the state of housing in Bothell with community members, city staff, city council members and partner organizations.

Bothell Kenmore Chamber
Award accepted by Danah Abarr, Executive Director

The Bothell Kenmore Chamber prioritizes inclusion and support of nonprofit organizations as part of its focus on strengthening community and civic connections. Nonprofit organizations/agencies receive a 50% discounted membership rate, and through the Cultural Development Committee, the Chamber strives to bring diversity to its membership and leadership and offer more equitable and diverse programming.

Bothell Urban Project
Award accepted by Pastor Kristin Joyner

Led by a team of congregants from Bothell United Methodist Church, the Bothell Urban Project aims to create more affordable housing alongside resources and support that build a strong and supportive community. With proceeds from a portion of the Church’s property, the group is working to purchase land in downtown Bothell for multi-use housing that may include on the first floor a workforce training cafĂ©, community court, and human services resource center.

Award accepted by Arun and Seema Sharma, Founders

Led by and serving South Asians in Washington, Utsav organizes to promote equitable access to culturally competent and linguistically accessible services, focusing on mutual aid, education and advocacy. Founded in Bothell in 2015, Utsav strengthens its cross-cultural community through events, youth leadership opportunities and community-specific assistance. During the pandemic, Utsav also provided critical food aid, distributed thousands of masks and supported area businesses.

Human Services Champion:

Camp United We Stand photo courtesy NUHSA

Bill Leon and Rev. Alan Christensen, Camp United We Stand Board Directors

Through Bill and Alan’s compassionate and steady leadership, Camp United We Stand (the only authorized encampment in North King County) has remained active throughout the pandemic, serving up to 35 campers each year.

Bill and Alan spend an inordinate amount of time managing the camp, attending weekly meetings, adjudicating situations that arise, counseling campers, fundraising and seeking new locations. Bill has facilitated a new site beginning early 2023, and Alan serves as treasurer and has even provided shelter in his own home to a former camper in need.


Nominees for Human Services Champion
Photo by Steven H. Robinson

Saba Berhe, Family Support Lead

Canopy Scholars provides tutoring and STEM programs to students who have emigrated from Central America, Eritrea and Ethiopia. When students experience community – a sense of belonging and connection – they are empowered to thrive, and the same is true for their parents. While students receive tutoring, Saba gathers mothers in an adjacent room for coffee and conversation, building a sense of safety and confidence and empowering them to navigate a multitude of obstacles where each day can be a challenge academically, financially, mentally and socially.

Carrie Czarnecki, Outreach Specialist

With immense compassion and skill, Carrie of Lake City Partners Ending Homelessness provides outreach to our unhoused neighbors in Shoreline, many with complex needs, and connects them to critical resources and services. She ensures case management, facilitates admittance to The Oaks (North King County’s only enhanced shelter), provides essential support to the Shoreline Severe Weather Shelter, and is a constant presence at Shoreline District Community Court.

Donna Hawkey, Community Advocate

A longtime resident of Lake Forest Park, Donna is an exceptional community advocate who was one of the first to be trained as a Navigator for the Shoreline District Community Court in 2020, providing weekly resource referral and support to participants. As stable housing is a constant challenge, she became inspired to explore long term solutions and actively participates in affordable housing and land trust committees. She is also a contributor to the Shoreline Area News, often focusing on human services organizations and efforts.

Rob Karlinsey, Kenmore City Manager

Rob has gone above and beyond in providing visionary leadership around a set of values that place people and systems change at the center of a city’s operation by boldly addressing the impacts of systemic racism and counteracting the impacts of the pandemic on its residents. This is seen in steps to protect residents from eviction, address housing affordability, allocate Cares Act funding to support families, and imbed Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility (DEIA) in city policies and procedures. He has fostered a climate in which this work can flourish - and produce results.

Nicolie Simonson, Community Advocate

When the pandemic closed schools in 2020, Nicolie created the Shoreline Caring Facebook page to help provide meaningful help for residents. Through this informal but extremely effective forum, those experiencing hardship could ask for and receive help with rent, utilities, car/medical/pet needs, diapers and much more. The site grew to over 1,500 members, along with several admins, and became the go-to mutual aid group for Shoreline and the surrounding communities until it merged with Shoreline Stands by Me in 2021. Nicolie continues to raise funds for holiday meals and local needs while parenting four young children.

Building Bridges Award

Building Bridges honorees
Photo by Steven H. Robinson

City Managers/Assistant City Managers of Bothell, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Kenmore and Kirkland

In late 2021, city leadership began collaborating to pursue a dual-tracked mission of expanding the North Sound RADAR program and creating a mental health triage center that would serve North King County. 

In November, the City Councils of these 5 cities adopted a partner agreement to form this new Regional Crisis Response Agency (RCR), which will begin formal operations in early 2023 and be jointly governed and funded by the partner cities with additional funding from King County and the State of Washington. The RCR Agency will have ten Mental Health Professional Community Responders, which will enhance public health, safety and emergency response services, including crisis response awareness, support and resource referral for community members experiencing behavioral health issues across the five-city region.

About NUHSA       

NUHSA’s Annual Human Services Awards have been celebrating the accomplishments of local individuals and organizations since 2008. NUHSA is an alliance of non-profit agencies, faith communities, city and county leadership, school districts and members of the community who advocate for a strong and accessible health and human services system in North King County, encompassing Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Kenmore, Bothell and Woodinville. Through partnership and collaboration, NUHSA supports providers, funders and the community to enhance existing resources and build our capacity to effectively respond to community needs.


Anonymous,  February 3, 2023 at 8:13 AM  

Thanks so much to Steven Robinson for taking all of the photographs at the event!

Post a Comment

We encourage the thoughtful sharing of information and ideas. We expect comments to be civil and respectful, with no personal attacks or offensive language. We reserve the right to delete any comment.

Facebook: Shoreline Area News
Twitter: @ShorelineArea
Daily Email edition (don't forget to respond to the Follow.it email)

  © Blogger template The Professional Template II by Ourblogtemplates.com 2009

Back to TOP