Burr!! From Seattle to Everett, ARC provides sleeping bags and warm clothes to as many unsheltered people as possible! With freezing temperatures and the threat of hypothermia, we bought every sleeping bag we could get our hands on at local stores. It's heartwarming when people rush to our table wearing skimpy clothes and leave all bundled up! A woman only had on a hoodie, but we gave her a puffy winter coat and a sleeping bag. She was in tears and said, “I did know how I was going to make it, but now I’m warm.”
Behind the scenes of our food and clothes outreach program, we work hand-and-hand with local agencies to sign people up to get a housing voucher. Once they receive a voucher, we work with them to find an apartment.
We also provide phones to set up interviews, jobs, as well as transportation to DSHS to get ID vouchers, SNAP, and emergency assistance.
Criminalizing the homeless is illogical, expensive, and does not work. Criminalizing homelessness does not lead to housing! Quite the opposite; it will perpetuate homelessness while exacerbating mental illness and depression. It will dig a hole so deep that the homeless will never get out once they receive $500 fines and 90-day jail sentences; everyone knows they can't pay their fine, so there will be warrants out for their arrest. With a warrant, you will not get a job or housing.
Don't criminalize homelessness! Build trust. Allow the nonprofits to serve the homeless freely instead of being banned or applying for a yearly permit to serve only on a specific day and time. We are prepared and funded, and we are a purpose-driven nonprofit with a mission to get the homeless into housing.
Let's live in a community that shows compassion to the most vulnerable and marginalized. Let's work as a city to do something we are proud of, not ashamed of. This is a human rights issue, and the city council should choose compassion and housing for the most vulnerable, not handcuffs.Volunteer
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead