It is with remorse and heavy hearts that we write to you now. The government of the city of Seattle has redefined its required quotas for funding. They are no longer interested in making sure that programs exist to help people with laundry, showers or a safe place to rest during the day. They are no longer interested in people and our unique circumstances that we face on a day-to-day basis. For it is certain that we are living in a time when “social service” providers are no longer interested in serving you as valued members of the community, as human beings who deserve more attention and respect than has been given thus far. They want to see statistics that show people going into housing, and our local nonprofits are apparently willing to take a knee and kiss the ass of the tyrant that pays them.
These nonprofits, these social service providers, they have the power to continue to keep the services they are cutting from you. They have the power to say, “No, that’s not right, that’s going to hurt people more than it will help.” But as we can see as clear as day, our employers won’t even push back on your behalf. The worst offense is that this isn’t a matter of ignorance; our employers simply don’t care enough to risk their own comfort and privilege.
We owe it to you as social workers to better ourselves and the processes we use to serve you. We owe it to you as neighbors who are also on the verge of houselessness, to take a stand and fight back when you face further oppression. We see you, we hear you and we have surely failed you. In the reflection of our failure, we are resolved to fight against the current “nonprofit” status quo of profits first and services second.
Social workers of Seattle
Wait, there's more. Check out the full January 17th issue.