The Washington Low Income Housing Alliance has developed a group called the Resident Action Project. The project has been going on for two years now and includes people from all over Washington: Bellingham, Federal Way, Edmonds and Seattle, among others.
This is a great group of people I have gotten to know, and they have become friends — now family. We all have one thing in common, and that is change. Well, for me, real change in policy to make things better for people — no, for everyone — to have a safe place they can call home.
During the summer the Resident Action Project did a listening tour. For those who do not know what that is, members of the Resident Action Project went to 12 different listening sessions to hear people’s stories of what is happening in their communities. The stories were about housing experiences or being homeless or unsheltered.
Many topics came up in these listening sessions: how hard it is to find a home; housing discrimination; how available housing doesn’t meet diverse needs; the criminalization of homelessness; and barriers that people experience once they become homeless. What great topics to help with our state of emergency!
Out of these sessions, the Resident Action Project is organizing the Statewide Summit for Homes on Oct. 7.
Mindy Woods is a Resident Action Project member. I spoke with her about the upcoming summit. She lives in Snohomish County and hopes to bring people’s attention to housing and homelessness issues in regions other than Seattle. I asked her, “What do you see in the future for the Resident Action Project?” She said she wants to see more effective statewide advocacy and to see more changes in our legislature to reach out to people to get involved.
The summit is the first event that the Resident Action Project has organized. Members made phone calls and knocked on doors.
The Oct. 7 summit runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Southside Commons at 3518 S. Edmunds St. in Seattle. At the event, we will discuss housing issues, housing policies and find ways to take action.
Lunch will be provided. There will be childcare and transportation. To learn more information and to RSVP, visit their website.
Hopefully it will make a difference in this upcoming legislative session in Olympia.
Lisa Sawyer is a Real Change Vendor. She sells the paper at Fourth Avenue and Union Street in Seattle.
Wait, there's more. Check out articles in the full October 4 issue.