“One Voice” — Housing and Homelessness Advocacy Day Through the Eyes of a First-Time Advocate

By Shan Yonamine, Project Assistant, Project on Family Homelessness

Going into my first Housing and Homelessness Advocacy Day (HHAD), I couldn’t help but feel a little nervous about calling myself a “housing advocate.” As a project assistant, I have created content that can be used as tools for advocacy and I have attended advocacy events, but I was afraid that I had not done enough advocacy to be an effective participant at HHAD. After participating in #HHAD2017, I realized that I could not have been more wrong.

In this blog post, I will recount my experience attending HHAD as a first-time advocate and explain how it changed my perception of what it means to be an advocate. Continue reading

Shared Brokenness: A Reflection on “Nourish” and the One Night Count

Our partner Hannah Hunthausen reflects on the One Night Count of homelessness in King County and how she has renewed her commitment professionally and personally.

Seattle University School of Theology and Ministry's Faith & Family Homelessness Project

FEBRUARY-NOURISH-CALENDARThis academic year, we at the School of Theology and Ministry are taking time each month to reflect on a theme as a learning community. Every month, a faculty or staff member offers up a personal reflection, exploring how that month’s theme applies to their life and work. (See here for an overview of these themes, which will also be highlighted in each month’s school e-newsletter.)

The theme for our school community this February 2016 is “Nourish.” We choose to unite. We choose to nourish body, mind and spirit.

When I was invited to offer a reflection on this theme, I felt compelled to share my recent experience with the One Night Count in King County, and reflect on the personal and systemic implications of human brokenness, connection and compassion.

By Hannah Hunthausen, Program Coordinator, School of Theology and Ministry (Originally published 2/2/16 on the School of Theology and Ministry website)

Last Friday morning, around…

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Join Us Jan. 21 for a “Social Media for Housing Advocates” Workshop


Thursday, Jan. 21, join us virtually, or in-person at Seattle University, to learn how to use social media skills to effectively advocate for affordable housing and other social justice issues. It’s our fourth annual “Social Media for Housing Advocates” workshop, and you can watch online — or join us in person at Seattle University. Continue reading

The Moth


“It is brilliant and quietly addictive” – The London Guardian

“New York’s hottest and hippest literary ticket” – The Wall Street Journal

The Moth is an acclaimed not-for-profit organization dedicated to the art and craft of storytelling. It is a celebration of both the raconteur, who breathes fire into true tales of ordinary life, and the storytelling novice, who has lived through something extraordinary and yearns to share it. At the center of each performance is, of course, the story – and The Moth’s directors work with each storyteller to find, shape and present it. Continue reading

Forging New Partnerships in Family Homelessness and Health

Seattle University School of Theology and Ministry's Faith & Family Homelessness Project

By Hannah Hunthausen, Program Coordinator, Seattle University School of Theology and Ministry

Imagine living and sleeping day after day in your car in 90 degree heat, shuttling your daughter to and from work and trying to get yourself to dialysis three times per week. This is the situation Lana and her 23-year-old daughter Rachel found themselves in this summer.[1] Mother and daughter were evicted from their two-bedroom apartment in Renton last year when Lana’s kidneys failed and she could no longer work to keep up on rent. Like many families, they opted to hold on to their vehicle and the little bit of security and freedom it still offers them;  they can keep their stuff relatively safe, and get to appointments and work more easily than if they were living at a shelter. Lana and Rachel are just one of several families and individuals profiled in Real Change

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End homelessness? For me it’s personal.

Wise words from the leader of our sister project, the Faith & Family Homelessness Project. If we are to really transform the way we address family homelessness in our community, it needs to be personal for all of us.

Seattle University School of Theology and Ministry's Faith & Family Homelessness Project

By Lisa Gustaveson, Faith & Family Homelessness Program Manager

553830_10200650804746093_599565699_n[1]In the spring of 2002 I was offered a six-month contract to manage the development of a local plan to end homelessness. I quickly accepted – I love project management and come on, the goal was to end homelessness!

Eighteen months and a ton of gray hairs later, I proudly stood by as the planning committee adopted a 57-page plan, A Roof Over Every Bed: Our Community’s Ten-Year Plan to End Homelessness in King County.

Many people don’t know or remember that the 10 Year Plan represents countless hours of research, meetings and then, more meetings. A broad coalition of people from local government, service providers, faith communities, advocacy organizations and people experiencing homelessness created the first Committee to End Homelessness (CEH) and the Staff Circle. Throughout the project hundreds of people offered ideas and suggestions at community meetings…

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Richard Lemieux: Tent cities offer hope and help for the homeless

Seattle University School of Theology and Ministry's Faith & Family Homelessness Project

In the wake of the disheartening news that at least 3,772 people were unsheltered in King County in January 2015 ( as counted during the annual One Night Count on January 23rd), Mayor Ed Murray proposed that the City of Seattle allow and regulate three new tent cities in the city’s nonresidential areas. Since then, a flood of discussion about the plan’s merits and failings has ensued, as well as a more general discussion about the role of tent cities in solving the problem of homelessness in our region. Among these voices, Richard Lemieux offers a balanced and compassionate perspective on the positive but ultimately limited and transitional role he believes tent cities play in ending homelessness. Richard is a homeless survivor, advocate, motivational speaker, and author of Breakfast at Sally’s. Read his 2/7/15 Seattle Times editorial below.

Image: “Tent City” courtesy of KUOW 94.9 Public Radio, under a…

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From the Director of the Committee to End Homelessness in King County: Turn the One Night Count into Positive Momentum!

We’re re-posting this piece from our colleague Lisa Gustaveson at the Faith & Family Homelessness Project, who passes along an important perspective on this year’s One Night Count of Homelessness in King County. Neighboring counties will do their count later this week, and a lot of what Mark and Lisa say applies to those counties as well. Let’s turn our reaction to the numbers into action to make homelessness rare, brief and one time!

Seattle University School of Theology and Ministry's Faith & Family Homelessness Project

One Night Count 2015On or around January 23, 2015 most regions of the country – and every county in Washington State – completed local Point in Time Counts. These manual counts of people who are experiencing homelessness give us a snapshot of how the homeless system is performing. Last week King County reported a 21% increase in the number of people they found living in places not fit for human habitation. Clearly, we need to make changes to the way we are doing things to reach the outcomes needed  to make homelessness rare, brief and one time.

In press release, Alison Eisinger, Executive Director of the Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness, which organizes the count, reports a substantial increase over those found without shelter last year. “This year’s Count is heart-breaking evidence that we cannot cover our community’s most basic needs. Clearly, the crisis of people homeless and without shelter is growing, and clearly we…

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