Launching the NTNW Helping Our Homeless Initiative

Happy Housing and Homelessness Advocacy Day. This isn’t directly tech-oriented, but it’s very Northwest-oriented, as we all see and meet people affected by this issue almost daily.

You’ve probably heard that the One Night Count last week revealed that homelessness in Seattle is up 19% since last year. 4,505 of our neighbors in King County were without shelter on the night of the count. A summary table of results is available on the Coalition’s web site if you’d like to see more details.

NTNW is as much about community as we’re about technology so this is an issue that deeply concerns and affects us. After all, our Seattle events are in Pioneer Square, where it’s not rare to see people struggling to live on the streets.

We are launching a Helping Our Homeless page on the NTNW website soon and just started an email list of NTNW members like you who care about this issue.Helping Our Homeless will be a coalition of PNW technology leaders, organizations and workers coming together to make a difference on this issue.

My belief is that many of us would like to be a part of this solution and don’t know how. By coming together in large numbers we’ll help through small actions, in addition to those of other PNW citizens, that will build to create transformation.

IMG_0213The first step down this path for me was supposed to be going on a Search and Rescue last week. I connected the President of Seattle Union Gospel Mission with with two vans full of tech leaders who are interested in being a part of this change. The bad news is that I was hit with food poisoning and wasn’t able to make the journey with them. The great news is that everyone else who made it reported that the experience was life changing for them.

We’ll be brainstorming on ways to involve our greater communities of techies to experience what’s happening to help our neighbors living on the streets. If you’d like to join us in these efforts, please join the Helping Our Homeless (HOH) email list.

In the interim, you can help provide winter survival kits for people who are homeless through Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission for less than $15 each.Together we’ll find ways to use our time, experience, knowledge, hearts and tech talents to help our friends get off the streets and back to their lives.

See you on Feb 11 in Tacoma, Feb 16 in Bellevue and Feb 17 in Seattle!

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