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From Don Fornoff, Bishop’s Task Force on Homelessness:

It’s time to guide ourselves away from the advocacy emphasis of the first part of the calendar year and back toward what our parishes do so well- Christian service to help others. As a member, I and others on the Taskforce were quite disappointed that rent stabilization did not pass- despite its’ broad-based support. The heavy-handed approaches of those against must be called out for their selfish interests, which hurt lower-income people in Washington State. So that is our advocacy task for the year- to keep the pressure on our representatives so that our stories remain at the forefront.

So, as we live day-to-day, we are called to be a part of the story of those needing a hand-up, many hands up, in fact. Where our actions come from is the fundamental love for our neighbor. Going back to 2015, my parish, Church of the Ascension, entered into an ecumenical group to support a tent city in Interbay. Why? The folks who needed a place to stay were OUR NEIGHBORS. And through many different stages of support, they are still our neighbors. As are all people.

The story of our neighbors is that many of them have gone on to permanent housing after finding stability in the tent city and, to a greater extent, the tiny house village. Through all that, Ascension and other churches provided food, support of the community council required of the covenants, clothing, advocacy (including obtaining the land on which the village was located from the Port of Seattle), work groups for site improvements, and general support of all those involved. There are also other organizations that find support at Ascension. Ballard Food Bank, St. Luke’s Ballard, and Queen Ann Helpline, among others. All are integrally involved in maintaining support of those in need.

The story is constantly being written. What has been important for Ascension is to stay ready for any changes and to remain supportive in whatever way is necessary. Those who are unhoused need to know that the community cares about them and is ready to hear their stories and to help them write more positive chapters in those stories.

Our parishes must stay vigilant about conditions in their communities. And to be ready to serve in ways that do the most good. Why? Because the unhoused are OUR NEIGHBORS!

Updates from the Bishop’s Task Force on Homelessness

One thought on “Updates from the Bishop’s Task Force on Homelessness

  • March 29, 2024 at 6:11 pm

    I think that Trinity ,Seattle, has an ongoing women’s shelter.


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