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Archive for September, 2009

I posted a story about Coreen a few days ago. Here are a few more stories, courtesy of The Arizona Republic and invisiblepeople.tv:

“The Robinsons are like most middle-class families you know. Bridget worked at…”

This is Yong, recently homeless in Greensboro, NC.

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I had a chance to participate in some organized panel discussions recently, and one of the questions for the panelists asked about ‘the face of homelessness’. The truth is, this issue has many faces. I’ll write more about this over the next week or so. But today, I wanted to share this story with you. It’s from a project that I’ve mentioned several times before, invisiblepeople.tv. This is Coreen. Unlike many of the stories you hear these days, Coreen isn’t homeless due to the recession…

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[This post was written by guest blogger Michael Kelly, Mobilization Coordinator for the Washington Low-Income Housing Alliance – Patrick]

Everyone deserves the opportunity to live in a safe, decent, and affordable home.

In Seattle, we have a chance to ensure that our city can fund the development, construction, and preservation of affordable housing; later this fall, we’ll vote on Proposition 1, the renewal of the Seattle Housing Levy. Seattle has boomed over the past thirty years and during that time housing has become increasingly unaffordable. We realized this and have renewed our commitment to affordable housing four times, and our investment in the Seattle Housing Levy has helped local families find that safe, decent, and affordable home for 28 years.

Seattle has become a national leader, a model for other cities and states. We have consistently said that it should be possible for working people to afford housing and still have enough money for the basics like groceries and gas and childcare. We have a chance to renew our commitment again. Voting to renew the Housing Levy will provide more than 1,850 affordable homes, serving thousands of families over the next fifty years. It will prevent homelessness for over 3,000 families and individuals. A vote for the Seattle Housing Levy will create over 4,000 jobs and bring other funds–federal, state, and private–into Seattle. Your YES vote on Proposition 1 will continue to help our most vulnerable neighbors including seniors, people with disabilities, victims of domestic violence and working families and will only cost the typical homeowner $65 a year.

It’s pretty simple (to me); a home is the thing. The Levy has been an amazing success. It has put thousands upon thousands of families and individuals in a home. It has helped people afford their rent and kept seniors housed, prevented people from ending up on the streets, and even helped some people purchase a home. Every neighborhood has benefited. Seattle has benefited.

When you get your ballot in the mail, please vote YES on Proposition 1. Renew the Seattle Housing Levy. For more information about the campaign, visit YES for Homes. You can read more about the levy, volunteer, and donate.

Don’t forget, ballots must be postmarked by November 3, 2009.

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This Friday, United Way of King County will hold its annual Day of Caring.

To be honest, I’ve never been fond of that name. I know I’m over-simplifying, but to set aside one day to “care” makes about as much sense to me as offering up a box of chocolate on February 14th to make up for all the other times we’ve messed up in our relationships throughout the year. This will be my 12th DoC since coming to United Way, and to me, over the years this day has become a Celebration of Caring, a chance to recognize that ‘caring’ is something that we do, generally, all the time…whether it’s for ourselves, our families and friends, or complete strangers.

This year, it will also be a chance for me to reflect, because our Day also happens to fall on the 8th anniversary of September 11th. [For those of you not aware, it has been named a National Day of Service and Remembrance.]

Since 9/11, the proximity of these two dates (Day of Caring always happens on a Friday in September) has always created mixed emotions on my part. Back in 2001, Day of Caring occurred on September 14th. My work assignment for that morning was to stand in the parking lot at Seattle Center and guide volunteers to where they could park. As I stood there by myself, I watched the sky get brighter over the Cascades, and noticed a dot come out of the mountain shadows. It was the first morning that air flights were allowed to continue after the attack. And I remember tears. I didn’t want to be there, volunteering or otherwise.

I still get knots in my stomach thinking about that day. I still get moody and a little sad when I think about finding out later that I knew 2 people in the World Trade Center.

But this year, on this day, I get to assist homeless individuals and families at our Community Resource Exchange. I get to celebrate caring, celebrate service, and remember how lucky and grateful I am for the opportunity to do so.

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