I’ve been wrestling with feeling down for awhile with the incessant news of people behaving badly, the corrupt bullying culture that’s grown under that golfer in D.C., a general lack of empathy modeled by that guy and his cronies in leadership positions, Seattle’s increasing congestion making our residents more stressed and angry, Seattle’s heritage and compassionate culture being stripped away as the soulless skyscrapers are built for new transient workers who will move on to more livable cities, King County housing rates pushing out those who aren’t wealthy, and all the ways some powerful people and interests have been going against humanity, education, science, shared economic opportunity, the environment and basic civility the past couple of years.
Yesterday that changed. My heart swelled up for the first time in a long time at the Change Maker’s Rally at the United Way of King County’s Community Resource Exchange. (Many thanks to Jonathan Sposato, their Campaign Chair, for the life changing invitation).
If you’ve felt how I’ve felt, I highly recommend spending time with people are doing positive things large or small in their communities to remember that most of us are creating positive changes. Seattle’s collaborative humanistic culture is still alive.
The services at the event helped hundreds of people to get off the street and back to their lives. Here are some of the highlights:
- 1,600 guests received services and 120 people attended the Changemakers’ Rally
- 300 people were connected to housing resources
- 442 people submitted job applications or conducted job interviews on the spot
- 120 community leaders joined us at the Changemakers’ Rally for an in-depth discussion around prevention
- Check out a few of the connections that were made yesterday on their blog
- The photos from the event are definitely worth checking out
My biggest takeaways from the event were 1) When a person is laid off it usually takes 90 days to find a new job. Without savings in our city’s high cost of living, that creates a threat of being evicted. 2) $1,200 is usually what keeps someone from being evicted. 3) 80% of people who are evicted end up on the street, so preventing evictions is crucial to stemming the tide of homelessness. 4) It’s much cheaper to prevent eviction than it is to help someone find housing again.
When our New Tech community members have supported efforts like Union Gospel Mission’s Search and Rescue program we experienced how people experiencing homelessness are just like you and me. One medical issue or lost job took away their home and dignity.
Laws are being worked on to extend the time before people are evicted. Programs like Home Base between the Mariners and UWKC are helping to provide funds to prevent evictions. Corporations like Microsoft, Starbucks and Amazon are giving people, time, expertise and money to programs helping families. Our community is doing great collaborative work together.
Experiencing the love, caring and giving that filled CenturyLink Field Event Center gave me a resurgence of appreciation for our PNW dolphin culture. We don’t need selfish shark tanks because at the end of the day making the world a better place is what matters most.
New Tech’s philanthropy focuses on helping women and untapped minorities in STEAM and solving homelessness issues. Now that I’ve got a deeper sense of the amazing work our United Way is doing we’ll be announcing a deeper partnership with them. Our growing community of 42,000 techies can help with volunteer and fundraising to raise up those needing a helping hand.
We’ll be sharing more soon about our ongoing partnership with UWKC. For now, if you’d like to learn more please explore their site to see where your talents and heart can contribute. #jointheexchange