Local artist (^ Brian Prosser came to the Songs for Shelter benefit and drew some amazing images of the performers. We’ve taken the drawings and a few audio clips from the show and made a little video tribute to the performers. Enjoy!
Asserting your rights as a tenant often times may require the help of an attorney. Getting legal assistance can be costly, so we have listed legal services that are free of charge, as well as information on how to access these services. Before accessing legal assistance, tenants are encouraged to call Solid Ground’s Tenant Services Hotline first (206.694.6767 on Mon., Wed. & Fri. from 10:30am to 4:30pm) — or visit our Tenant Services website — in order to receive information about their rights as a tenant and attempt to resolve housing matters without the help of an attorney. For issues that may require consultation or the advice of an attorney, tenants who contact our hotline will be referred to legal assistance. Some of these services are listed below:
Neighborhood Legal Clinics—throughout King Co.
These clinics provide half an hour free with an attorney about any legal matter, not just housing issues. However, many attorneys at neighborhood clinics are well-versed in legal issues related to housing, as they receive a high number of tenants accessing their services. To find the nearest clinic location, go to their website.
Half an hour can go by very quickly when getting legal advice, so come prepared with the documents you would like reviewed and be prepared to describe your situation briefly, including the important details and questions you have for the attorneys. There are no income requirements, so any King County resident can access this service. Call 206.267.7070 to schedule an appointment with the closest clinic to you.
Legal Action Center
LAC provides information and legal advice to tenants facing housing issues such as deposit, repair issues, eviction, loss of Section 8 assistance, debt claims and other housing-related matters. This service is available to income-qualified Seattle residents only. You can reach Legal Action Center by calling 206.324.6890 to receive more information about income requirements and appointment availability.
Housing Justice Project
This is a free legal service for tenants facing eviction and other serious housing issues related to eviction. No appointment is required, as this is a walk-in service. Services are available at the King County Courthouse and the Kent Regional Justice Center, Monday through Friday, 8:00am to 10:30am. If you need legal advice about an eviction issue or you have been served with a 3-day notice to pay or vacate as well as an Eviction Summons, you may access this service. Priority is given to tenants right before their scheduled eviction hearings, but tenants are also encouraged to access this service to get legal assistance with responding to the eviction papers and other related legal matters concerning eviction.
King County Courthouse
516 3rd Ave W
Seattle, WA 98104
The Seattle location offers additional appointments on Mondays and Thursdays from 4:00pm to 6:00pm.
Regional Justice Center
401 4th Ave N
Kent, WA 98032
CLEAR—Northwest Justice Project
Provides free, non-criminal legal assistance to WA state residents over the phone — mainly for residents who do not reside in King County and are income-qualified. Call 1.888.201.1014, Monday through Friday, 9:15am to 12:15pm and Tuesday afternoons, 3:30pm to 6:15pm. More info on their website.
Other Legal Services:
Contact your local county bar association to receive information about other free legal services or low-cost attorneys who may be able to provide legal advice.
Washingtonlawhelp.org provides free legal information and self help materials.
(Editor: This post originally appeared on the Lettuce Link. blog, and was authored by our ace AmeriCorps member Amelia Swinton.)
Not Cool: Record numbers of Americans are going hungry. Forty-two million citizens and recent immigrants are currently receiving SNAP benefits (formerly known as food stamps) due to persistent unemployment and rising food costs. And while $300 million in stimulus money has improved food security for those eligible for SNAP benefits, recent immigrants and refugees do not qualify for this crucial source of aid.
Thanks to the Washington’s State Food Assistance (SFA) program, those who meet the federal income criteria can receive look-alike benefits funded by the state. Formed in 1997 as a response to federal legislation that denied benefits to hungry people without permanent residency, SFA serves 14,000 people—including 1,300 children and 2,000 elders. Because immigrants must establish five years of residency before applying to SNAP, this important program tides them over while they build capacity and stability in a new place.
But this program is at risk. A dwindling state budget means severe cuts to all social service programs, and the Department of Social and Health Services has proposed that the Governor cut this program from her budget this spring. Without SFA, immigrant and refugee families would be stripped of their food security, further threatening the health and growth of their communities.
A coalition has developed that includes anti-poverty, anti-hunger, and immigrant rights organizations as well as community-based organizations of color. Leading this effort, the Children’s Alliance has made this issue one of their four legislative priorities during the upcoming session of the Washington legislature, which begins in early January. If you want to join the effort, contact their lobbyist, Jen Estroff. We’ll provide future opportunities to take a stance on this issue in support of healthy, food-full communities across our city.
With the holidays around the corner and all the additional expenses added to your usual bills, it can be difficult at this time of year to prioritize how to best spend your money. For tenants, rent payment should be a priority. It may be possible to negotiate payment options with utility or phone companies, but it is crucial that your rent is paid on time to avoid possible late fees, or notices such as eviction. Since rent payment often takes the largest portion of financial funds, some tenants may want to access the following resources as other options for holiday celebrations to avoid additional spending. The following list is brief and restrictive to areas within King County. For more specific resources and information closest to where you are located, contact Community Information Line by dialing 2.1.1 or for alternate numbers based on the county you reside in – or you can go to this website. If you have used holiday resources and would like to add to the list below, please feel free to add your comments about services that may be of use to others.
The following resources provide basic information. It may be necessary to contact the agencies below for more information on income guidelines and eligibility requirements.
Holiday Resources for Toys/Gifts:
For residents of Shoreline and Lake Forest Park area.
Queen Anne Help Line
Restricted to residents with ZIP codes 98109 and 98119.
Auburn Food Bank
ZIP codes 98001, 98002, 98047 and 98092.
Families with children living in ZIP codes 98004, 98005, 98006, 98007, 98008, 98011, 98027, 98029, 98033, 98034, 98040, 98052, 98053, 98054, 98072, 98074, 98075 and 98083.
Holiday Resources for Food Items/Gift Baskets:
Open to anyone with no requirements.
Walk in, Mondays, 9am-5pm, December 20 or December 22, 2010
University District Food Bank
Resident in ZIP codes 98102, 98103, 98105, 98112, 98115 and 98125.
May also provide toys/gifts for families with children.
West Seattle Food Bank
Serves ZIP codes 98106 (north of Roxbury), 98116, 98126 and 98136.
May deliver food to homes.
Multi-Service Center-Federal Way
ZIP codes 98023, 98003, parts of 98001 and parts of 98032.
May also provide gifts for children younger than 14 years old.
Thanks to the generosity of people like you, all homeless families enrolled in Solid Ground housing programs have received gift cards and presents for their children through our Adopt-a-Family program. Together, we’ve made this season brighter for more than 250 families and 600 children and adults. At this time, we are no longer accepting holiday gift cards or presents, but we still are accepting donations to help homeless families locate and secure stable housing. Thank you!
In addition, there are a number of other programs accepting donations for families in need this winter. Below is just a sampling of ways that you can help. Please contact the organizations directly to learn more:
Sponsored by Seattle City Light, 100% of your gift goes directly to people in need. For more information on Project Share call 206. 684.3000.
December is Mitzvah Month at Jewish Family Services. You can support the Give Hunger a Holiday program, the Jewish Family Services Food Bank, the Family Matters campaign and more.
Spread holiday cheer by helping to re-stock the shelves of the Seattle Humane Society food bank to help low-income seniors keep their pets. Drop-off barrels are located at Safeway stores and the Seattle Humane Society located in Bellevue.
The United Way of King County has compiled a list of 25 holiday programs seeking everything from cooked ham or turkey to pajamas and slippers benefiting veterans, homeless families, domestic violence survivors and more.
The Sharehouse makes every day a potential holiday by providing free furniture and household items to help folks moving from homelessness into stable housing. They need donations of good quality used furniture as well as financial support to keep this venerable but underfunded project alive. Each year, more than 75 families from Solid Ground’s JourneyHome program rely on The Sharehouse to help them get settled and stay stable.
Your gift of any amount will make a difference for families struggling in the aftermath of the recession. Choose from a number of funds to help prevent homelessness and hunger this winter.
Change the lives of refugee families in King County through a cash donation or an in-kind gift of books, computers, office/school supplies and other items to the Somali Community Services Coalition. Contact the Resources Development Coordinator Isaac Fuchs at 206. 431.5141 or email@example.com for more information.
The Refugee Women’s Alliance connects sponsors from the community with families who can benefit from some extra support. Once connected, you will work independently with the family you adopt, at a level of personal and financial support that is comfortable for you, to help your adopted family meet their needs and achieve their goals. Contact Shannon Eberhart, Volunteer Coordinator, at 206. 721.0243 or Shannon@rewa.org.
Download the holiday wish list benefiting mothers and children who are domestic violence survivors. Call 206.783.4520 if you have an idea or to check hours and location.
The lineup of performers for the Songs for Shelter benefit has just been announced and is below.
The show is Thursday Dec. 16 at Egan’s Ballard Jam House, 1707 NW Market Street from 7pm – 11pm. $10 suggested donation benefits Solid Ground programs serving homeless families.
Performers will play 15 minute sets:
Sean, Tyler & Cort
The 5th Annual Songs for Shelter concert will be held Thursday, December 16 from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm at Egan’s Ballard Jam House, 1707 NW Market Street in Ballard. Performers include internationally-known local artists Paul Benoit, Jim Page, Rachel Harrington, Eric Apoe, Larry Murante and other local favorites.
Suggested $10 donation will support programs serving homeless families at Solid Ground.
The concert series began as a CD release party for the Songs for Shelter CD in 2005 (available on CD Baby). Paul Benoit, one of the musicians on that project, took on organizing annual encore events. This is the second time Songs for Shelter has been held at Egan’s. Over the life of the project more than $20,000 has been raised to help homeless families regain stability.
“We’ve had a blast doing these shows every year. The musicians feel honored to be contributing to such an important cause,” said Benoit.
The performers currently scheduled for the 12/16 show are:
- Jim Page
- Rachel Harrington
- Eric Apoe
- Larry Murante
- Reggie Garrett
- Danny Godinez
- Annie O’Neill
- Darren Loucas
- Jean Mann
- Darren Smith
- Jen Busch
- Sean Kent
- Will Dowd
- Mike Buchman
- Paul Benoit
- Sean Devine
- Hugh Sutton
In my growing awareness of power, privilege and oppression, I find that it is very important that I not only learn the difference between guilt and responsibility but that I also internalize that message and act on it. My own guilt about the legacy of racism paralyzes me as it does others in the racial justice movement. It does not serve me or anyone else in the pursuit of racial justice. Rather, when I can shift that attitude to one of taking responsibility for understanding racism, understanding my white privilege (the ways that I have received advantages as a white person), and taking action on causes that move us toward equity, then I can be part of real change. Tim Wise says it really well in the video below in response to the question, “Should white men feel guilty about racism?”
Solid Ground as an agency has made an explicit commitment to fight for racial justice and ending poverty. A part of that struggle has to be shedding our guilt and taking responsibility!
Urban gardening and P-Patches have been on the rise in Seattle for quite some time. More and more city residents are enjoying the benefits of growing their own, fresh and local produce. In addition, community gardens benefit the environment, help address hunger and increased community volunteerism, to name just a few benefits. Safety has also become a concern especially in regards to the soil quality in the raised beds of many urban gardens. The following article from Science Daily.com addresses some of these concerns about lead levels in urban soils and prevention.