overflowingEMPATHY

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PLEASE MEET KARINA:

Facing Homelessness believes we all need to come closer. Close enough to be able to see each other for who we beautifullyARE and close enough to see who we can beautifullyBE.

The entire staff at Facing Homelessness is beyond THRILLED to tell you that Karina Wallace will be helping us all navigate the journey of coming closer as our new and amazing Community Programs Coordinator!

Karina is a PEOPLE PERSON if I've ever seen one! She brings a tireless commitment to help every individual she meets, no matter their situation or condition. Our office has already been beautifully influenced by her energy of kindness and we can't wait for all of you to meet her!

Karina shared the following when she was asked, "What is your connection to Homelessness?"

"Experiences from my past led me to a humbling journey. When I was 8 years old, not long after being adopted and moving to Seattle from Russia, my mom and I were shopping for groceries at a supermarket. A beautiful woman sitting outside on the ground smiled at me as we were walking out, a smile that made me feel empathy even though I didn’t fully understand her situation. I could barely speak English and I couldn’t assemble words to ask my questions, but I found myself heartbroken by the image of her occupying the ground as her home. Growing up, I wanted to be in a position to help people that were living outside. I found myself not needing answers to the questions, not believing every stereotype, but feeling compelled to make a difference.

About 6 years ago, I went through a series of events which led me to experience homelessness. Through that time, I came to know a community of people that have beautiful stories, stories that I believe should be heard and acknowledged.

I was fortunate to navigate myself out of homelessness through hope and understanding support systems. I realized that being a voice for our community and dedication to this line of work is where I belong. I am connected to this mission, which is to walk alongside our neighbors by hearing their voices, and to enrich our community through shifting the paradigm on homelessness."

Karina we love your overflowing empathy and all the talents and energy you'll be bringing to this work. We feel honored that you are our new Community Programs Coordinator!!

University District neighborhood | Rex

A QUIET THOUGHT - If you're moved by the goodness of this community, please visit http://www.facinghomelessness.org/ and click on the 'donate' button and consider a "monthly recurring" donation of just $5 in support of the work. THANK YOU!
#Kindness #JustSayHello #FacingHomelessness

controllingPAIN

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PLEASE MEET AUNTIE:

I met Auntie 10 days ago, she was sitting on the bumper of Buddy's RV, head bent down, groaning and holding her wrist. Buddy, also homeless and a friend to many, shared that the person she was staying with beat her up. It was clear she needed to go to the ER.

While on I-5 Auntie needed to throw up. We got the window down just in time, a good deal of it finding the side of the car. She couldn't stop apologizing. I couldn't stop thinking how horrible to be 68 yrs old in such pain, getting a ride to the hospital from a complete stranger.

Yesterday we met again. She was feeling better, lots of smiles. Her wrist had not been broken, still swollen, but healing. When I asked where she'll be sleeping, Auntie put her hand on the seat, said, "Right here". I looked at the darker sky forming over West Seattle and asked "What if it rains?" She looked at me like I was stupid, replying, "I'll get wet."

We had a long talk. Conversation that included her growing up in Seattle, her mom dying when she was 16, her father trying to rape her, and lots lots more. Too much to tell. I asked what her plans were. Not just for tonight but for her future. She said, "Getting housing, but that seems all but impossible."

In 2000 Auntie had a pain pump surgically implanted. Without medication she couldn't even walk due to the pain in her legs from an auto-accident. It worked great till 2016 when they cut off giving meds because she owed $280.00. She turned to heroin to control the pain.

I asked if she were to get the meds again, would she get off heroin? Auntie looked squarely at me and said, "In an instant".

UPDATE: The Paypal link has been pulled in that our goal of raising $280.00 has been reached with $494.92 donated!!! With these funds we will cover the cost of getting Auntie's meds started again. Remaining funds will be used to give care to Auntie. No cash goes directly to her and as is always the case, no funds whatsoever go to Facing Homelessness. A heartfelt THANKS to everyone that reached out with support and LOVE!

There are a good many challenges in front of Auntie, but she is a fighter, a tough survivor. It feels like this could be a good start for her, giving her a chance to get back on her feet. Let's raise the $280.

A bigBIG COMMUNITY LOVE to you Auntie!!!

SODO nieghborhood | Rex

A QUIET THOUGHT - If you're moved by the goodness of this community, please visit http://www.facinghomelessness.org/ and click on the 'donate' button and consider a "monthly recurring" donation of just $5 in support of the work. THANK YOU!
#JustSayHello #Kindness #FacingHomelessness

trueKINDNESS

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PLEASE MEET THE TRUE BUDDHA FOUNDATION:

As winter's wet and cold approach, suffering turns to survival. For the next four months countless people without basic needs being met will come to the Facing Homelessness "Window of Kindness" looking for warmth and connection.

Please take a moment to help us meet that steady stream of need. Send sleeping bags, tents and tarps to Facing Homelessness 4001 9th Ave NE, Seattle WA 98105. Each donated item will be handed out with respect and unconditional love.

A heartfelt THANK YOU to the True Buddha Foundation for bringing 82 sleeping bags to our office this last Friday!!

https://www.tbsseattle.org/english/content/view/17/35/lang,en/

We had the sincere pleasure of meeting Rev. Lian Ling, Rev. Lian Jim, and Yang Ming. Sitting with them you could feel their genuine concern for those living outside, made all the more clear by the big smiles when the first bag was given away. Yang Ming shared, "It is very important that teachings are put into action."

True Buddha Foundation is the largest Buddha charity in Asia. Internationally they focus on helping support educational costs for those unable, from beginning schooling through university.

A heartfelt THANK YOU to True Buddha Foundation for all your sincere beautiful kindness.

Redmond neighborhood | Rex

A QUIET THOUGHT - If you're moved by the goodness of this community, please visit http://www.facinghomelessness.org/ and click on the 'donate' button and consider a "monthly recurring" donation of just $5 in support of the work. THANK YOU!
#Kindness #JustSayHello #FacingHomelessness

realCHANGE

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PLEASE MEET LISA:

"Ever since my dad died at the end of May I've been behind on bills. I thought I was finally catching up, but again not. I've also been cut out of social security and food stamps. When I appealed for food stamps they were going to give me $16 for a whole month. Living in Seattle that goes really quick."

As Lisa shares my heart sinks. I've known her for years, known how hard she tries, known the courage she brings daily to her journey. A past Real Change Vendor of the Year, Lisa's six year anniversary of selling the paper is coming up on November 8th. It's been a way for her to survive AND create community. She shows up at 4th & Union, rain or shine for her customers, greeting everyone with a smile of kindness.

Lisa goes on, saying, "This point in my life I still like to learn new things. I found out my family members have a long line of electricians but there hasn’t been a female. I am waiting to hear back on an apprenticeship program to become one!"

On October 23rd Lisa turns 33 years old. She's $250 behind on her rent, hoping we can surprise her by paying off that burden, I know it would relieve so much stress for her.

UPDATE: The Paypal link has been pulled in that our goal of raising $250 has been reached with $2,184.38 donated, wowWOW!! I know this will allow Lisa to focus on her dream of becoming an electrician! She is going to be blown away by the kindness and support! No funds, as in cash, go directly to Lisa. All funds will be paid directly to her landlord. Also, as is always the case, no funds whatsoever go to Facing Homelessness. So happy for you Lisa Sawyer, this community clearly loveLOVES you!!!

You are BEAUTIFUL Lisa through and through, sending a community size LOVE to you and to all your co-workers at Real Change!!!

South Park neighborhood | Rex

A QUIET THOUGHT - If you're moved by the goodness of this community, please visit http://www.facinghomelessness.org/ and click on the 'donate' button and consider a "monthly recurring" donation of just $5 in support of the work. THANK YOU!
#JustSayHello #Kindness #FacingHomelessness Real Change News RealChange VendorProgram #RealChangeNews

cleanedUP

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PLEASE MEET OUR COMMUNITY:

Every other Sunday a bunch of wonderful people come together to pick up garbage to make a difference for our city and for those struggling without basic needs being met.

The experience just makes your heartSING!! Come out and join Facing Homelessness in their Community CleanUPs!

Volunteer on our web page: www.facinghomelessness.org.

These photos are from last Sunday, our 12th cleanUP, another beautiful success! Folks show up at 10:30 and leave on the dot at 12:30 with big smiles!

Heartfelt THANKS and LOVE to everyone that has been joining in, you all are creating healthy community!

Downtown Seattle neighborhood | Rex

A QUIET THOUGHT - If you're moved by the goodness of this community, please visit http://www.facinghomelessness.org/ and click on the 'donate' button and consider a "monthly recurring" donation of just $5 in support of the work. THANK YOU!
#JustSayHello #FacingHomelessness #Kindness

warmthSAFETY

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PLEASE MEET DZY:

I've seen what it looks like for Dzy to live through numerous winters in a tent, makes my heart hurt for him, the hurt getting worse over the years, as our friendship got closer and his beauty of person clearer.

Three days ago Dzy went from living in a tent to living in a van. A world of difference just in warmth and safety. A big beautiful heartfelt THANK YOU Lydia, Kristen and Landon for your kindness!

To hear about their genuine KINDNESS, please read the post before this one, it will make your heart sing!

New tabs and change of ownership cost $233.50. Hoping this community can help cover the cost. Thank you so much.

https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=ZWCCLH9QCDJ3A&source=url

There are over 12,000 people experiencing homelessness in King County. That should make all of us stop in our tracks and ask, what are we making more important than each other.

Here is part of what Lydia said in the previous post, it is worth taking to heart. "We come from the Suquamish tribal community and an important part of our culture is the potlatch. Potlatch is a ceremony where we share our abundance with our community, our neighbors, our family and friends. In our Coast Salish tribal way, wealth is shown by what you give, not by what your keep for yourself. Being good hosts in our traditional lands is one of our cultural values and that's why it's important for my community to give back to those experiencing homelessness. Our tribal communities know what it is like to live in poverty and we want to lift up our most vulnerable neighbors and show them that they're loved."

I want to live in a world where we make people more important than things. We can do this. We can just begin with the person next to us, and then, the next person, and the next.

Wallingford neighborhood | Rex

A QUIET THOUGHT - If you're moved by the goodness of this community, please visit http://www.facinghomelessness.org/ and click on the 'donate' button and consider a "monthly recurring" donation of just $5 in support of the work. THANK YOU!
#Kindness #JustSayHello #FacingHomelessness #ChiefSeattleClub Chief Seattle Club

culturalVALUES

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PLEASE MEET LYDIA:

Two weeks ago we made the long-shot ASK for a used van for our friend Dzy who experiences chronic homelessness. He's worried about the approaching nasty winter weather.

Almost immediately Lydia Sigo let us know her sister Kristen and her brother-in-law Landon had decided they wanted to give Dzy their van, just like that, wowWOW!!

Lydia drove the van from Bainbridge Island to meet us early Saturday morning at the University License Agency. When Dzy saw the van he smiled soBIG! Lydia had sewn curtains for the windows, put a mattress and blankets inside and included a little buddy heater with about (6) propane bottles and a carbon monoxide sensor. Oh yeah, they also installed a new car battery, just cuz!

You know when you meet those people in your life that you can tell instantly they are pureKINDNESS, even before they lift one little finger, that is Lydia! She's honestly totally WONDERFULLY KIND!

Lydia and her friend Bryna also come to Seattle regularly to do outreach, handing out clothing and food collected from their community to give to those struggling on our streets.

I asked her how it is that she has so much compassion for those in need? Lydia replied, "We come from the Suquamish tribal community and an important part of our culture is the potlatch. Potlatch is a ceremony where we share our abundance with our community, our neighbors, our family and friends. In our Coast Salish tribal way, wealth is shown by what you give, not by what your keep for yourself. Being good hosts in our traditional lands is one of our cultural values and that's why it's important for my community to give back to those experiencing homelessness. Our tribal communities know what it is like to live in poverty and we want to lift up our most vulnerable neighbors and show them that they're loved."

A heartfelt THANK YOU Lydia, Kristen and Landon for your beautiful act of kindness towards Dzy and your beautiful loving message of lifting up our most vulnerable neighbors.

University District neighborhood | Rex

A QUIET THOUGHT - If you're moved by the goodness of this community, please visit http://www.facinghomelessness.org/ and click on the 'donate' button and consider a "monthly recurring" donation of just $5 in support of the work. THANK YOU!
#Kindness #FacingHomelessness #JustSayHello Chief Seattle Club

allWOMAN

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PLEASE MEET CHERI:

“Is your dog fixed?” Cheri and her big eyed pup Lulu meet a new friend while walking their new neighborhood. Polite conversation ensues as women and dogs exchange greeting rituals. “Just moved from a few blocks north. I really like the people here.” The two carry on chatting. Their leashed dogs get bored and lay in the dirt. The scene plays out on any given day and neighborhood. Folks meet, chat, and discuss goings on. Neighborhood stuff.

But the levity here contrasts with the grim backdrop and industrial noise. This neighborhood is under a dirty bridge. The women here don’t shop at Nordstrom or QFC. Their grocery stores are food banks and dumpsters. There’s no rhododendrons or mail boxes. Garbage is the landscaping. Graffiti and spent needles the decorations. The air carries human waste and darkness as the evening shadows set. A man with a long beard tends a smoldering camp fire. There’s a battered cartoonish RV with a crooked stovepipe chimney. There’s crooked tents with crooked poles. It’s a dark and crooked scene. Like a Dr Seuss story gone bad.

Cheri experienced brutal physical abuse and trauma at age 20. She cannot clearly remember or talk about it. She was close to her mother who passed away 10 years ago. She doesn’t speak with her father. She used drugs as a young woman but cleaned up. She relapsed 12 years later when her daughter became very sick.

Cheri has an associate degree in computing. She graduated with a 3.8 GPA. She’s held jobs and likes hard work. A multi-tasker. Her tent is clean and orderly. A nurturer, she cares deeply about others. She likes cosmetics, Disney movies and TV drama. A caring mother. Streetwise and sentimental. Fierce and feminine. She’ll talk tough but tear up like a child. A force to be reckoned. Cheri is all woman through and through.

Encampments conjure anger and ignorance. They conjure conjecture. Sweeps and straw man solutions. Like a fractured fairy tale. A comedy without humor. A monument to social and political failure. But stop by one sometime. Odds are you’ll find a Cheri.

Cheri struggles with her vision forward. She recently began Suboxone treatment. “But the truth is I was very unhappy, even while clean and sober. I was unfulfilled and depressed. I would over-commit myself and my finances on others.“ We met with a social worker recently. Cheri said, “I know I can’t maintain this way. I can’t spend another winter here. I don’t belong here, but I can’t leave these people behind just yet.” She reclined next to a grieving young man. He had just lost his younger sister. She spoke comforting words to him while running her fingers through his hair. Her new neighborhood would be swept clean by the city of Seattle three days later.

Georgetown neighborhood | Damian

A QUIET THOUGHT - If you're moved by the goodness of this community, please visit http://www.facinghomelessness.org/ and click on the 'donate' button and consider a "monthly recurring" donation of just $5 in support of the work. THANK YOU!
#JustSayHello #Kindness #FacingHomelessness

heartBROKE

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PLEASE MEET JEANIE:

While visiting Dee, who lives in an RV with Devin in the SODO neighborhood, I learned their friend Jeanie was having a really difficult time. We walked two blocks to the U-Haul she was living in, she was sitting in the front seat staring ahead.

When I came up to her my first thought was how kind her face was. I asked, "How are you doing?" She looked at me and started to cry, she said, "Not very good."

For an hour she cried, telling about the mess she's in. For 12 years she took care of her mother, then 10 months ago her mom died and everything went downhill. She rented a car to get a job with Lyft to pay for a room in a house and also pay off her mom's burial expenses. All was going well until a car crashed into her, wrecking the rental. At first the guy was nice, apologizing, next minute he took off, before Jeanie could get information. She lost her job, then her room, that was in June.

Up until two weeks ago she was sharing space in an RV, learning to live homeless. She was a wreck, missing her mom, trying to adapt, when the guy kicked her out. She rented a U-Haul on September 15th to move her stuff into storage, planning on returning the vehicle the next day.

Jeanie is disabled, has had 25 knee operations, she moves slow with a cane. While unloading the truck two men came up from behind and knocked her down, hit her again and then stole her purse and money. At first they tried to drag her into the bushes but she screamed and fought back, eventually getting into the back of the U-Haul, where she stayed for two days, fearful of coming out.

Every day that passed Jeanie became more stressed, freaked out that she could not pay U-Haul the rental fee. She wrote a four page letter to them, explaining what happened, hoping it would make a difference. I read it and was overwhelmed.

I told her this community would try to raise the funds to pay the nearly $1,000 owed. I was going to make that post asking all of you to help. But between meeting Jeanie yesterday and now, the police and U-Haul showed up, put everything of hers on the street and took off. I asked the U-Haul person if they could wait one more day, that we would raise the funds owed. He said no chance of that happening.

Tonight Jeanie and all of her belongings are outside. I want to scream. Not at U-Haul. Not at the police. But at who?

Let's raise $750 for a week of hotel stay for Jeanie, giving her some peace of mind just for a bit to help figure things out.

https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr…

LOVE to you Jeanie, you are a beautiful strong woman!

SODO neighborhood | Rex

A QUIET THOUGHT - If you're moved by the goodness of this community, please visit http://www.facinghomelessness.org/ and click on the 'donate' button and consider a "monthly recurring" donation of just $5 in support of the work. THANK YOU!
#JustSayHello #FacingHomelessness #Kindness

aboutKINDNESS

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There is no reason for us to be spectators in the face of homelessness when we hold the most important tool for healing, and that is loving.

We can begin by first seeing the homelessness crisis as a symptom of a larger crisis ­­— a community crisis. This is an important distinction. When we say “homelessness crisis,” we look at those people over there as the “other,” as something needing to be “fixed. When we say “community crisis,” we include ourselves. This fundamentally changes our relationship to the issue. It now involves us.

As we begin to come closer to those in need, beautiful new pathways naturally open. Solutions we could not see before, hidden behind our barriers, suddenly become obvious and achievable. When we “Just Say Hello,” we become less overwhelmed by the larger issue and more understanding, more genuinely loving, of the individual. In this moment of seeing the person, we join the solution for ending homelessness.

For more thoughts on this, please read the Opinion Editorial I wrote for this week's Real Change newspaper.

https://www.realchangenews.org/2019/10/02/homelessness-community-crisis-involves-all-us?fbclid=IwAR3CqY_d0CR5n8pVUaAdJLLOa1e1mNEX_tkHyW4nTmdyyg_6iv7dHJEVMAQ#.XZYC-ItmUvA.facebook

We must remove the barriers around homelessness. Not those that the homeless experience in their struggles, but rather our own. When we say “she is lazy” or “he is choosing to be homeless” or any number of other negative stereotypes without getting to know that person, we are hearing our own barriers. Looking there first is the hard work of ending homelessness. Perhaps this is why it has been so difficult to accomplish. But we can change that.

Like Blair Jordan has in getting to know Michael and his best friend dog Daisy or an uncountable number of other regular ordinary people providing simple beautiful acts of kindness to those in need.

Sure there will be those that talk about enabling, or that folks need to pull themselves up by their own boot-straps, or that laws are being broken, and on and on. Fine, let's have those conversations, but regardless of the view or position taken on this issue, there is never a reason to withhold kindness. Never.

A community size LOVE to all those that silently and beautifully provide service to those that are struggling. Thank you.

Seattle neighborhoods | Rex

A QUIET THOUGHT - If you're moved by the goodness of this community, please visit http://www.facinghomelessness.org/ and click on the 'donate' button and consider a "monthly recurring" donation of just $5 in support of the work. THANK YOU!
#RealChangeNewspaper RealChange VendorProgram Real Change News #JustSayHello #Kindness #FacingHomelessness

communityCLEANUP

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PLEASE MEET OUR COMMUNITY:

It's Sunday morning. You wake up slowly around 8:30ish, you wiggle in bed for a short bit, enjoy a cup of coffee, a lazy breakfast. At 9:45 you sneak in 20 minutes of yoga and during "picking up litter" pose, you say to yourself, "Hey, wait, I don't need to pretend to pick up litter, I can join the wonderful folks taking part in the Community CleanUP today!"

Sign up here: https://timecounts.org/facing-homelessness/events/21908

This Sunday will be our 12th cleanUP, having already picked up over 600 hefty-size bags of garbage, around 13,000 needles, and artfully performed an uncountable number of stretching yoga poses!

And, and, get this - IT IS SO MUCH FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hope you can join us this Sunday, 10:30-12:30 at 701 James Street, which is at the east side of I-5. We'll be gathering at the corner under the trees.

A heartfelt THANKS to everyone that came to cleanUP #11, here are some of the photos!

Sign up here: https://timecounts.org/facing-homelessness/events/21908

Downtown neighborhood | Rex

A QUIET THOUGHT - If you're moved by the goodness of this community, please visit http://www.facinghomelessness.org/ and click on the 'donate' button and consider a "monthly recurring" donation of just $5 in support of the work. THANK YOU!
#Kindness #JustSayHello #CommunityCleanUP #FacingHomelessness

givingKINDNESS

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PLEASE MEET GAIL AND JAY

When I walked into Kathryn & Jeff's backyard in the Crown Hill neighborhood, where another BLOCK Home is nearly finished, Gail was on her knees scrubbing the decking and her husband Jay on a ladder cleaning the window.

It's easy to spot people who are self-motivated with a strong work ethic, they just go about getting things done. When you mix that with KINDNESS, you get positive change!

Jay & Gail Winberg make positive change happen! They both grew up in Seattle caring deeply about this city and specifically for those struggling without basic needs being met. Gail recalls back in 1980 Mayor Norm Rice's call-to-action around housing. In response, she and a small group started the University Congregational Housing Association, of which she was on the Board of Directors for 29 years!

For 10 years Gail was the coordinator of the University Church's Emergency Fund, an effort to address the needs of those walking into church's asking for help.

Then there is Gail and Jay's time given at the Thrift Store in the University Temple United Methodist Church. For the last 7 years Gail has helped co-manage the operation with Jay faithfully there every Friday making peanut-butter and jelly sandwiches!

Jay & Gail are not interested in receiving attention for their efforts, they are simply interested in real community driven solutions, looking for positive change. For this reason they have been supporting the BLOCK Project wholeheartedly!!

Their donated $35,000 built the BLOCK Home in Kathryn and Jeff's backyard, a home that Mark will be moving into this week, wowWOW!!

Facing Homelessness is beyond grateful for the funds that make this project possible. What is so beautiful about Gail & Jay is that they have not only contributed needed financial resources, they are community members that roll their sleeves up and jump in to make positive change happen!

So much LOVE and ADMIRATION for Gail & Jay from everyone in the Facing Homelessness community!!!

Crown Hill neighborhood | Rex

A QUIET THOUGHT - If you're moved by the goodness of this community, please visit http://www.facinghomelessness.org/ and click on the 'donate' button and consider a "monthly recurring" donation of just $5 in support of the work. THANK YOU!
#kindness #JustSayHello #FacingHomelessness #BlockArchitects Lockhart Suver, LLC

gentleSOUL

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PLEASE MEET JOHN

John's way is a quiet one. You feel it immediately, slipping into his calmer space. You'll also feel a gentle smile of gratitude for his respectful view of life. He's a really good man.

John grew up in New York, came to Seattle in 1983, worked on oceangoing freighters and tugs for years, has been through the inside passage to Alaska more than 140 times.

Western Pioneer, which has closed down, was his favorite company to work for, was there for about 15 years. Just talking about the memories brought a beautiful smile to his face. Long trips taking cargo north and bringing frozen fish back to Seattle, including spending many Winter Solstices on the polar icecap. You could instantly see a change come over John when sharing about those moments, he said, "You can't believe how beautiful it is up there, the light, the scenery, the wildlife, everything really!"

After years of work, John's ankles gave out, couldn't hold up to the demands. That was 14 years ago, he's been homeless since, living all of that time in his van.

During fruit picking season he heads to Eastern Washington, works as much as he can, saves every penny to make it through the off-season. By living with nothing he's able to stretch the dollars through the year.

One hardship he has is having to move his van every 72 hours to avoid impound. When in Seattle it's the only time he drives, it's the only reason he needs to purchase gas. For everything else, he walks.

John is hoping to head back to Easter Washington for a last pick of the year, he could use gas-money for the trip. We are hoping to raise $200 for him to purchase gas-cards. Please help if you can.

UPDATE: The Paypal link has been pulled in that our goal of raising $200 has been reached with $595.23 donated, wowWOW!! John will be blown away and ever so grateful. THANK YOU to everyone that has reached out with this love and support! No funds go directly to John in the form of cash, all funds will be used for gas-cards for John. As is always the case, no funds go to Facing Homelessness. So much LOVE to you John!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you John for your friendship and your beautiful way in the world, sending a community size LOVE to you.

A QUIET THOUGHT - If you're moved by the goodness of this community, please visit http://www.facinghomelessness.org/ and click on the 'donate' button and consider a "monthly recurring" donation of just $5 in support of the work. THANK YOU!
#Kindness #FacingHomelessness #JustSayHello

beautifulPERSON

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PLEASE MEET DZY

Over the last week I must have heard ten times something about summer being over, comments like, "You can feel the season changing, it's in the air, summer is gone, winter will be here soon." Or simply, "How was your summer?"

For the homeless this is no small thing. It adds a serious layer of complexity to surviving. In the chronically homeless you can feel it, they begin to hunker down, they know what's coming. Wind and rain. Storms that soak everything through and through, including the cold ground. Wet socks are worn for days. Then there is the darkness. People that shared a smile on warmer days, now rush past without saying hello, without looking up. The cold is everywhere.

Dzy is chronically homeless, he lives in a tent but is having a tough time imagining another winter. For the first time I can see he's worried.

I love Dzy, for lots of reasons. He has a warmth in his voice and also in his views of the world around him. He's always kind, even in the middle of his suffering. There are times when I ask him difficult questions and I'll say, "I hope you don't mind me asking?" He'll reply with something like, "No, not at all, I know you love me."

I am making an ask of our community for a beat-up broken down van, one that Dzy can live in through the winter. It just has to be able to move a block or two every 72 hours to avoid impound. I know this would mean the world to him, to have some shelter going into the approaching winter.

A big community size LOVE to you Dzy, you are a beautiful person through and through.

Fremont neighborhood | Rex

A QUIET THOUGHT - If you're moved by the goodness of this community, please visit http://www.facinghomelessness.org/ and click on the 'donate' button and consider a "monthly recurring" donation of just $5 in support of the work. THANK YOU!
#Kindness #JustSayHello #FacingHomelessness

loveWINS

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PLEASE MEET MARK

The BLOCK Project is profound in its depth of LOVE. Scores of ordinary people stepping forward with extra-ordinary acts of beautiful KINDNESS!!! Nowhere is this more evident than in those opening their backyard for a BLOCK Home, saying, "I want you to succeed" to someone in need!

BLOCK Home #5 Hosts, Kathryn Jacoby & Jeffrey Whitehill, married just two weeks ago, wowWOW, living in the Crown Hill neighborhood, invited Mark to live in their backyard BLOCK Home!

Kathryn said, "We are two people with an available backyard, how could we not when 12K people in King County live without a home." Jeff added, "I said yes because I love Kathryn, she is genuine, she lives her values."

Mark, who is moving into the newly built BLOCK Home next week, was a journalist in Bremerton when he learned he had congestive heart failure. The newspaper told him they would like to carry him, but they couldn't. After getting out of the hospital Mark became homeless for six months, it was seriously rough on him, he said, "Every day you have to fight to keep your spirits up, you have to believe in yourself to be able to push forward."

Mark's BLOCK Home, like all BLOCK Home's, was community funded, community built, and community supported!!! So very beautiful!

The highly sought after construction company Lockhart | Suver built the home for under $35K, providing ALL labor for free. Mark Urquhart, the Project Manager, put in countless hours of his own time building and managing the work. Keep in mind that a unit of supportive housing typically costs between $300-$350K, ten times a BLOCK Home!

Shawn Sandoval, with "Plumbers Without Borders" & Superintendent at Holmberg Mechanical provided his time for free; American Standard donated the plumbing fixtures; Dovetail General Contractors provided cabinets for free; Active Engineering donated the electrical labor; Solterra donated (8) solar panels; Weisman Design Group donated the landscape design; Mutual Materials provided discounted pavers; Cal Portland donated 6 yrds of gravel; Issaquah Cedar & Lumber Co. donated all cedar for decking & hemlock for trim; Cardinal Heating & Air donated the HRV & labor; Mighty Energy Solutions provided the free radiant ceiling panel; NW Partners LLC donated Vaproshield WRB; Pin Foundations Inc. provided free diamond piers; Milesi and Barron Specialty Coatings provided clear coat 50% off; just to name a few!!!

It is easy to see how wonderful you are Mark, wishing you the very best as you begin a new chapter of opportunity and hope, living in a loving community that believes in you!

Crown Hill neighborhood | Rex

A QUIET THOUGHT - If you're moved by the goodness of this community, please visit http://www.facinghomelessness.org/ and click on the 'donate' button and consider a "monthly recurring" donation of just $5 in support of the work. THANK YOU!
#JustSayHello #FacingHomelessness #Kindness Lockhart Suver, LLC

enduringSOLDIER

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PLEASE MEET ANDOR


It’s September in South Seattle. Rain pounds the dark scene like a bad cinema effect. A band of beaten down folks has gathered away from the flashing blue lights and hazardous waste vehicles. Their meager salvaged possessions heaped in a few piles and small carts. There’s wet clothing, mold and mental illness in the vacant stares. Confusion and sadness in the aftermath of another encampment sweep. Two grown men embrace each other weeping. A young woman stares stone faced at the ground.

Andor is steel eyed and focused. The rain runs off his face. “They took most of our things.” he says angrily. But he turns and speaks gently to his companions, proposing a strategy for their next camp. He negotiates the chaos with determination and a thick accent.

Andor was born in Budapest, Hungary in a war-torn town and time. The son of a motorcycle gang king-pin, they lived in the woods and in abandoned bomb shelters. He hunted wild pigs and was drafted into the military at a young age. He served a short time as a POW. “I can’t tell you what happened to me there, but afterwards I became a bad person. I wanted to hurt people.”

Andor escaped to America using a fake black market passport. He joined the Army and served in the Persian Gulf, Iraq, and Afghanistan wars. “I was a soldier. Fighting was all I ever knew.” Afterwards he made good money smuggling Mexican families into the US. He was arrested and spent 4 years in prison. He ran a paint business for a while. But a struggle with cancer left him weak and unable to work. Andor became homeless. “I can live this way. I learned how growing up.”

Andor survives conditions that have stirred havoc in the lives and hearts of others. He endures the hardships of homelessness and remains stable surrounded by mental illness, abuse, and emotional trauma. Domestic violence, sweeps, endless rain, and snow. He is appreciated by his small community as they are swept from place to place.

Andor is always polite. Always positive. Always the same.
At age 46 Andor isn’t hurting people anymore. He likes fishing and has a keen interest in post apocalyptic sci-fi. He loves medieval garb, weaponry, and “steam punk” imagery. His mask collection lines the walls of his tents. He has artistic skills blending medieval costume effects with modern styles and materials. His eyes light up as he explains. And it’s really hard to believe Andor ever hurt anyone.

Back at the corner, a distraught man clutches a bible while fumbling aimlessly though damp belongings. A young man sits on the curb and vomits as he cries in the rain. An exiting police car passes by closely. The officer’s eyes remain straight ahead.

SODO Neighborhood | Damian

A QUIET THOUGHT - If you're moved by the goodness of this community, please visit http://www.facinghomelessness.org/ and click on the 'donate' button and consider a "monthly recurring" donation of just $5 in support of the work. THANK YOU!
#JustSayHello #Kindness #FacingHomelessness

communityCLEANUPS

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PLEASE MEET OUR COMMUNITY


All the Community CleanUPs end the same way, with everyone feeling amazed and proud of the transformation that just took place, it is a wowWOW every single time!!

If you are looking for something beautiful to do in community with a bunch of kind thoughtful people, then come join what is usually a group of 30 or so folks wanting to make a difference.

The immediate goal of each cleanUP is to make new friends, with those living inside and outside, through the joy of picking up litter! You might laugh, but it is crazy enjoyable to pick up litter, filling that immediate gratification bucket!

The long-term goal is to beautifully cleanUP our city and compassionately step forward to stop the sweeps! Sweeping is for garbage, not people suffering to survive.

If you are interested, the next cleanUP is September 22, 2019 from 10:30-12:30 at James Street and I-5, at the east side of the freeway. You can get more details and sign up here:

https://timecounts.org/facing-homelessness/events/21179

This will be our eleventh Community CleanUP, makes me smile so big just typing that, knowing all the beauty and friendships that have come from the first ten!

See you SUNDAY!!!

Seattle neighborhoods | Rex

A QUIET THOUGHT - If you're moved by the goodness of this community, please visit http://www.facinghomelessness.org/ and click on the 'donate' button and consider a "monthly recurring" donation of just $5 in support of the work. THANK YOU!
#Kindness #CommunityCleanUP #FacingHomelessness #JustSayHello

ourYOUTH

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PLEASE MEET CHRIS


It is difficult to discuss youth homelessness, to hear the numbers of those living on the streets away from family, those that are suffering from anxiety or other mental health issues, those that aged out of the Foster Care system never finding home, or those that did not graduate from high school and are wondering where they fit in, or on and on. It is enough to make your beautiful brain hurt.

But sit with somebody that is in their teens or early 20's that is is homeless and your brain will not only hurt, but your heart will want to burst. You will go home, sit down, and cry.

It is important to know that nobody chooses to be homeless. It is important to know that rather than a choice being involved, something happened to this person that set them on a path towards homelessness. You may not know the reason, you may never know the reason, but you can be sure that this person knows it, lives with it, constantly.

Nobody chooses homelessness because homelessness is suffering, and nobody chooses suffering. Nobody ever chooses suffering.

Chris and his girlfriend Bana are living homeless along I-5, they were in need of a new tent, and if possible, a guitar. Both were provided by kind people in this community. So much kindness.

Kindness cannot be overstated or overemphasized in the conversation on homelessness. Kindness is what provides HOPE to those in need, and HOPE is everything for those that have nothing.

Chris and Bana you are BEAUTIFUL together!!! A heartfelt thank you for sharing your beauty with us. LOVE to you,

Downtown Seattle neighborhood | Rex

A QUIET THOUGHT - If you're moved by the goodness of this community, please visit http://www.facinghomelessness.org/ and click on the 'donate' button and consider a "monthly recurring" donation of just $5 in support of the work. THANK YOU!
#JustSayHello #Kindness #FacingHomelessness

seattleALIVE

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I really resisted writing about the 'Seattle is Dying' video, but in the end, the hurt felt and being expressed by folks living homeless was just too great to not make a comment.

I believe it is safe to say: 1. There is an addiction problem. 2. Crime is not acceptable. 3 The police and our justice system must function. 4. Mental health awareness and services are severely lacking. 5. Available and affordable housing is severely lacking. 6. Garbage is not acceptable.

The list could go on. The common ground that we all share as citizens of Seattle is wide and deep and beautiful when we work to find it. We lose sight of our common ground when issues are presented in a way that divides us.

This is what 'Seattle is Dying' did. It took the mentioned truths above and created a narrative that divided further an already emotionally hurt community on this issue. It painted a picture that dehumanized and unfairly categorized.

YES to everyone in this city that is frustrated with the homelessness crisis and is looking for systems solutions, your voice is heard and wanted. YES to everyone that leans forward with compassion and is looking to humanize the issue, your voice is heard and wanted. YES to our police officers, to our fire-fighters, to our politicians, our judges and lawyers, to our city workers, our business owners, building owners and residents, which includes those living inside and out.

If we want to live in community we must act in community, we must work together for solutions, not against one another for victories.

Whether 'Seattle is Dying' resonated with you or whether it upset you, the next step for all of us is the same, to come closer, to take part in the solution with an open heart and open mind. Every person here, no matter if they live inside or out, is welcome and deserves our LOVE.

Please watch Tomasz Beirnacki's film, "Trickle Down Town", found on his web-page - http://www.pechara.com/?fbclid=IwAR1s89eBnhhD-zfaPgYpz5pTAZP_ze_753z03K7C-6c6Cilj-xWEN6ougdQ.

Seattle neighborhoods | Rex

A QUIET THOUGHT - If you're moved by the goodness of this community, please visit http://www.facinghomelessness.org/ and click on the 'donate' button and consider a "monthly recurring" donation of just $5 in support of the work. THANK YOU!
#Kindness #JustSayHello #FacingHomelessness