At times, I find myself getting discouraged when reading statistics concerning homelessness, such as the growing numbers of people without homes compounded by the decrease in affordable housing throughout our region. What I find helpful in fostering optimism and hope is reminding myself of strides that are being made. For instance, on a legislative level, the Seattle King County Coalition on Homelessness just last month celebrated that every single one of their legislative priority bills passed at the state level! Examples of what was passed into law:
- HB 1570: increased and protected a significant portion of funding for programs that prevent and end homelessness (raised an additional $24.6 million for homelessness assistance and services per year).
- HB 2578: banned discrimination based on a renter’s source of income.
- HB 2667: removed barriers to housing assistance for people with disabilities and seniors by increasing access to HEN (Housing and Essential Needs funding) and preventing homelessness when people switch from HEN to ABD (Aging, Blind or Disabled cash assistance program.)
Closer to home, EGH is also celebrating recent successes. We had the most successful Annual Spring Dinner ever in March – 14 sponsors and 350 attendees – yielding income totaling over $180,000. Our board of directors continues to grow in both talents and numbers, with 14 of the 15 available seats filled as of April. Given the expanding numbers and needs of women, we rented additional space at University Lutheran Church beginning in January. This enables us to plan for a critical initiative: expanding the number of days that our Day Center is open. Our EGH strategy is to add one day at a time, and as reflected in the featured story on Annie, Sunday is the hardest day on those who are experiencing homelessness and thus will be the next day to be added.
I thank you for your support of EGH and invite you to consider additional ways you might get involved. Opportunities abound! For instance, you could:
- Check our website for donated items needed and sponsor a neighborhood collection event
- Call us or visit our website to explore existing volunteer opportunities or perhaps generate new possibilities
- Reach out to me for a tour or a chat (206-729-0262, extension 1007)
- Tell your friends or others in your circles about supporting Elizabeth Gregory Home by contributing through Seattle Foundation’s GIVEBIG event on May 9th