The Unsung Heroes
This week’s newsletter is dedicated to the countless volunteers who walk through the doors of The Hope Factory six days a week, many on multiple days. You are the heart and soul of what we do. We will be showcasing just some of our hundreds of volunteers in the photos below. Please know how much you all mean to us. Thank you so much for what you do!
FROM OUR FRIEND SALLY BAGSHAW
Recently our friend and former Seattle City Council Member, Sally Bagshaw, submitted this editorial. Thanks, Sally, for reminding us of why we do what we do.
“Around noon I was walking from my condo on my way to the Downtown Target. I saw Alvin who appeared to be passed out, curled up in a doorway on the cement sidewalk on 1st Avenue near Seneca Street with a wheelchair next to him. I could see that he was in trouble — he had already pee’d and pooped on himself and he was lying in a contorted position. I called the GET HELP number but got a recording. I left a message.
It was a busy Seafair weekend, and many visitors and regulars on the sidewalk tut-tutted and walked way around him. This was definitely not a good look for our city, nor helpful to Alvin.
About 30 minutes later I came back from the store and Alvin was awake. People had been leaving food and water for him; he had bottles of water, Gatorade, some full most empty — and candy bar/snack wrappers all around him. He hadn’t gotten up and he continued to pee through his pants with a trail of pee heading away from him across the sidewalk.
At 1:00 p.m. I sent an email to Scott Chin and Brian Chandler at UGM (Union Gospel Mission) and to Jon Ehrenfeld at the Seattle Fire Department’s Health One. I held my breath — who’d be working on Seafair Sunday?
I went back to check on Alvin who asked for a soda pop which I did not have available. He then asked me for milk and a carrot which I could readily get my hands on and I ran back up to my refrigerator and brought him the requested milk plus some soft food.
Alvin is an extremely polite man who wanted a bed and needed a shower and clean clothes. He thanked me and answered questions with “Yes Ma’am”, “Thank you Ma’am” “No Ma’am” with every sentence. He said he did not want to go to the hospital.
Scott Chin at UGM replied and introduced me by email to Darren Caves, UGM’s outreach guy who was a long way away from Downtown stuck in Seafair traffic and encouraged me to call 911 which I did. I spoke with Operator #140 from the 911 line, who told me they would not send help if Alvin did not want to go to the hospital. That was their only option since Health One was not available on Sunday. Without Health One operating on Sunday and 911 unwilling to do anything but take Alvin to a hospital, my options were shrinking.
Several more hours went by, Alvin was still lying on the sidewalk in his own excrement, and then around 6:00 p.m. the cavalry arrived. Darren had reached the UGM 2nd Avenue shelter and the wellness outreach folks came.
I spoke to Alvin again and he was happy to go to UGM.
Around 7:30 p.m. I received this touching text from Darren:
“Sally, Alvin update:
He took a very long happy shower, got clean clothes on and now tucked in a real bed. I think he started snoring once his head landed on his pillow :). He is a very kind gentle soul of a man.
My questions to the Fire Chief and to the elected officials: can we extend Health One’s hours in upcoming budgets? Is anyone in HSD or KCRHA responsible for this type of emergency response now? Do we have a working number where people like me can call to get help for someone like Alvin on Sunday or late at night?
I want to continue working with you to improve the system and have beds and showers and healthcare available to those who need them and of course more housing once they are stable.
I’d appreciate any good ideas you have and your general kindness to others. We can do so much better.”
- Hayden, one of our Eagle Scout Project recipients, wrote this story for KUOW.
- The latest from Publicola in the ongoing encampment shuffle from Burien.
WANT TO VOLUNTEER WITH YOUR FRIENDS?
When we ask people “How did you hear about us?” many of the new volunteers are referred from people just like you. So…if you want to hang with your friends, talk us up. It’s OK to bring your son or daughter with you (like Aimee did in the above photo with her kid, Nicky). It’s really OK to forward the newsletter to a friend or send them to our social media pages. Thanks for helping us spread the word!
Raven, the newest tiny home village, will have its Open House THIS FRIDAY, AUGUST 11TH from noon-3 pm. Raven Village is located at 1414 NW Leary Way, right next to the Ballard Food Bank. Every home in the village was built by Sound Foundations NW and (if we do say so ourselves), the village is BEAUTIFUL! Come check it out August 11th. WEAR YOUR SFNW T-SHIRT!
Also, rumor has it that the article written for the Christian Science Monitor may be featured as the cover story for their Saturday magazine sometime in August. If the rumor is true, you’ll be the first to know.
THANK YOU! To All Who Helped This Week
- Our “regulars“ who are the heart and soul of our organization.
- “New Crew” members: Ian, Brittney, Cody, Deb, “V”, Emily, Joy, Jacob, John, Julia, and Jaques.
- Our wonderful groups: Slalom, Bonnie’s Bunch (and the mysterious birthday party), KP Everett (McKinstry), and Hudson Pacific Properties.
THANK YOU SO MUCH!
Come build with us this week! Here’s the link: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0c4eacaf2aa0f4c52-week26#/
WE COULD USE TWO MORE TEAM LEADERS THIS THURSDAY, AUGUST 10TH.
- Please remember to wear painting clothes even if you do not anticipate painting. Minimum age is 16 years. Please, no exceptions.
- Clarification: If the SignUpGenius says (The name of a Group Build) AND Open Build, this means that you can volunteer even if you are not a part of the group.
- TEAM LEADERS IN TRAINING: If you wish to become a Team Leader in Training, DO NOT SIGN UP for the day you wish to do this. Email SoundFoundationsNW@gmail.com and we will put you on the list.
We hope to be building with you soon!
Your Leadership Team: Beatrice, Tom, Bruce, David, Timothy and Barb
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It Takes a Village to FUND a Village!
YOU are a big part of why stacks and stacks of lumber fill The Hope Factory. There are several ways to give throughout the year. Questions? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org. All gifts qualify as tax deductible but please consult your tax professional for your own situation.
Here’s how you can give:
Sponsor a Home:
Remember, if you sponsor a home (currently $4500), you get to name the home! Tiny home sponsors have their names (or “anonymous”) and the name of their home added to our Tiny Home Sponsor wall and join our growing list of supporters who’ve reached a little deeper to become part of the solution to ending homelessness. Email email@example.com for details.
A Few Reminders
- We do tours every day but Friday. Come visit if you haven’t been yet.
- We have a “Welcome to Sound Foundations NW” PowerPoint presentation that is also in .pdf form. If people ask you what we are all about, these are a simple thing to attach to an email to explain who we are, what we do, and why we do it. Email SoundFoundationsNW@gmail.com for this .pdf or PowerPoint.
- We fund our homes through a combination of private and public donations. For more information, please go to our website – Helping Finance the Homes.
Protocols, Address, Directions
- Volunteer at your own risk for Covid or any other illness. If you are experiencing any symptoms, please stay home.
- Masks are optional when volunteering at The Hope Factory. There is no shame in wearing a mask.
- The minimum age is 16 years. Please, no exceptions.
- When you are at The Hope Factory, please social distance whenever possible.
- Covid booster shots are not required but highly encouraged.
- We are usually there by 9 am or 2 pm on most Sundays. Make sure you double check the times in the Sign Up Genius. You can come and go as your schedule permits. Just let us know so we can plan ahead.
- Please bring your own gloves.
- Please leave your own tools at home.
- Please bring your own lunch.
- No matter what you do, please come prepared to paint.
- Warehouses can be difficult to heat and cool. Please dress appropriately.
- We currently have no indoor restrooms, Honey Bucket only.
- We understand that sometimes life gets in the way of good intentions. If you must cancel at the last minute, please contact us as soon as you know. Others may want to volunteer in your place.
- No experience necessary. We train willing hearts.
OUR ADDRESS is 5 S. Nevada St., Seattle 98109 in SODO.
visit our website