Now Is The Time

Ending hunger, homelessness, and the cycle of heels.

In the United States more than 633,000 people experience homelessness every night.  48.9 million Americans are at risk of hunger - including one in five kids. Nearly 50 million Americans are living in poverty.  Hunger, homelessness, and poverty are devastating for individuals and our communities. This is unacceptable, unjust, and illogical.

We know that effective, commonsense policies like SNAP and EITC lift people out of poverty. We know that Rapid Rehousing and Housing First models reduce homelessness. We know that innovative philanthropic endeavors like Collective Impact and Social Impact Bonds can transform the way government, nonprofits, and local communities work together to tackle our toughest challenges. We know we can band together and create change.

Now Is The Time to get this done.

This site will feature a collection of personal reflections, original ideas, and smart thinking from around the country and the globe on the issues of hunger, homelessness, and poverty.  We'll check in with thought leaders and discuss ways we can create change. We will also highlight ways to leverage two of my favorite things - National Service and the philanthropic sector. 

The Fight Goes On

Homelessness was not her choice.

Or her destiny.

She loved deeply.

And was loved more than she ever knew.

Her future shattered by mental illness and poverty.

Or maybe a family that let her down.

She coped with alcohol and tears.

And found comfort in what little she controlled.

Her opportunities faded.

Or her struggle got too big.

She had no job.

And no place to go.

Her home became a storage locker. The church. The Emergency Room.

Or wherever she felt safe.

She saw the judging eyes of long lost friends and neighbors.

And tried to hold her head up high.

Her frequent calls were screams for help.

Or tearful tales of setbacks and obstacles.

Housing was her only hope.

And seemed so out of reach.

She found no shelter on that hot July day.

Or maybe no more hope.

Her homelessness ended in hopelessness.

And broke hearts along the way.

We didn’t get to say goodbye

Or share one final hug.

There were no final words.

And no more memories to share.

She didn’t pass in peace.

Or in the comfort of her home.

Her dignity was gone.

And her dreams put to sleep.

Her future died with her that night.  

But her fight was passed on.

It’s been five years since homelessness took my mom from us. In that five years we’ve seen huge shifts in the policies and politics of homelessness.

Today we have a federal administration that believes we’ve solved poverty. We haven't. We face a national  affordable-housing crisis. We continue to treat people experiencing homelessness as criminals. And the racism that helped elect Donald Trump is causing too many people of color to end up on our streets. 

Housing should be a basic human right. But it is not - yet!

Ending homelessness is possible. Housing Ends Homelessness. 

To honor my mom. I encourage you to take one of these actions.

Vote: 2018 will be one of the most important elections of our lifetime. If we are going to change the way we address homelessness and poverty, we need to elected leaders who have the courage to invest in solutions at the scale of the problem.

Donate: National Alliance to End Homelessness, Columbus House, Solid Ground, National Low Income Housing Coalition, and United Way of king County are a few of my favorites. 

Speak Up: Bust myths about homelessness with facts. Tell your friends, Social Media followers, and family members that everyone deserves a safe, decent, affordable place to call home. 

Support Journalists: Seattle is lucky to have incredible journalists covering homelessness right now. We need more of this. 

Advocate for Housing. While income inequality, racism, discrimination against LGBTQ + communities, domestic violence, substance abuse, and mental health are drivers of homelessness - housing is at the center of the problem and solution.