The Seward Phoenix Log - News of the Eastern Kenai Peninsula since 1966

By Annette Shacklett
LOG Editor 

SeaView enhances quality of life for many

The Giving Season


This story is part of a series of stories on The Giving Season in Seward. Many organizations gather much of their donations at this time of year. If you know an organization that you believe should be included in the series, contact The LOG at editor@TheSewardPhoenixLOG or 224-4888.

Most of us are at least vaguely familiar with what SeaView Community Services does – behavioral health, social services, infant learning, domestic violence services and education, and the like. Many of us are somewhat familiar with how all that is funded – mostly state grants and billing for services.

Yet, there are ways anyone can contribute time or money to the SeaView mission “to provide community based services that strengthen families, foster self-sufficiency and enhance quality of life.”

Quality of Life Fund

We talk of maintaining or improving “quality of life.” What does that mean?

For many it means a fine meal on the table or a new outfit for the season.

For others it means having a meal on the table at all. It means having a winter coat.

One service offered at SeaView is helping out in dire situations with things like food or transportation until one can work through the dire straits or get hooked up with ongoing services.

At SeaView, money to pay for the help comes from its Quality of Life Fund. The money in the fund comes from private donations. The fund is “unrestricted,” meaning staff can assess the situation and let the funds for some food, transportation or clothes for someone in an emergency.

“This is something to which anyone can donate, large or small contributions,” SeaView executive director Chris Sheehan told the LOG. To contribute see the contact information at the end of this story.


There are some volunteering opportunities at SeaView, too, Sheehan said.

The most visible are with the Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Program in the form of participating in awareness and education activities.

“We are always looking for volunteers to help at different events that we host throughout the year. Our next big event will be the third annual Seward Spring Carnival on April 11,” Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault coordinator Dawn McDevitt told the LOG.

Volunteers, Parents as Teachers and the Seward Community Library coordinate activities for the Play and Chat program that is part of the Infant Learning Program. Held each week at Seward Community Library Museum, Play and Chat is for children up to 5 years old and features activities, stories, playtime and arts and crafts for the children, with 45 minutes of optional parent discussion/education. Anyone wishing to help can call 422-1053.

SeaView works with volunteers in the Welcome Wagon program that puts together baskets of items for newborns. While another group makes quilts and gives them to newborns as far out as Cooper Landing and Hope.

People can participate in SeaView by serving on advisory committees or on the governing board. There are advisory committees for the DVSA, disability services, infant learning and other programs. The governing board of nine members makes decisions on the programs offered. Right now there is one opening on the board. Terms are three years.

“We are interested in people to apply to sit on the board,” Sheehan said. “We’re want a broad spectrum of voices, so we can determine if there are basic needs that are not met.”

Working at SeaView

“Another way people can help is working here,” Sheehan said. “By working here people can help every day with someone’s quality of life.” Direct Service Provider is a job that one can do without long-term training or a college degree. DSPs assists people with daily skills such as housekeeping, hygiene, grocery shopping, participating in community or recreational events personal, preparing meals and out-of-town trips.


Yet another way for people to pitch in is to learn about disabilities and mental health. SeaView offers a Mental Health First Aid course about once a year, Sheehan said. The course is designed to arm the public with skills to help individuals who are developing a mental-health problem or experiencing a mental-health crisis. The course addresses the fear and stigma associated with mental illness and introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems, builds understanding of their impact, and overviews common treatments. The course will be offered in Seward soon and will be announced in The LOG.

The Green Dot program to curb domestic violence is coming to Seward in the next few months. The Green Dot program “A green dot is any behavior, choice, word or attitude that promotes safety for everyone and communicates intolerance of violence,” said Dorothy Edwards, founder of the Green Dot program in an interview with The Tundra Drums. “You put a green dot on the map every time you help pull a friend out of a high risk situation, have a conversation with a friend or community member about healthy dating, or make some choice to make your community safer.” A training session for Green Dot will be scheduled, McDevitt said. Watch for information on Green Dot in The LOG or learn more at

About SeaView

SeaView employs about 55 people to provide a 24-hours a day/ 365 days of the year manned crisis line, assisted living and transitional homes, community-based behavioral rehabilitation services, community prevention programs, domestic violence/sexual assault survival services, emergency food and shelter services, family development services and programs, infant learning programs, mental health services, senior and disability services, state fee agent services, and substance abuse and recovery services.

About 70 percent of SeaView’s operating costs are paid through billing Medicare, Medicaid or insurance companies for services rendered. Less than 30 percent comes from state grants. That pays for ongoing operating costs.

For capital projects and some unrestricted spending, funds most often come from organizations like Seward Community Foundation, Rasmuson Foundation, Providence, First National Bank Alaska, Alaska Mental Health Trust and the United Way. These funds go for things like remodeling the bathrooms at the assisted living home to be wheelchair accessible, two new vans for SeaView and ILC use.

“Our goal is to get people living as independent and healthy as possible,” Sheehan said. “Contributions to any of the programs help and they’re tax deducible.”

Contact SeaView at 302 Railway, P.O. Box 1045, Seward, AK 99664, 224-5257 or Information about SeaView and its programs online, visit

Reach Annette Shacklett at


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