It was 40 years ago…

Come meet founders, myths and urban legends at:

VOICES of COMMUNITY, Thursday May 8, 7-9pm
The Fremont Abbey Arts Center (4272 Fremont Ave N)

Hear from the horse’s mouth, or at least from the dog on Waiting for the Interurban, about  40+ years of innovation, partnership, hell-raising and action to end poverty.

Thanks to Fremont Brewing Company for creating a special 40th Anniversary Ale that will be on sale!

Sgt. Pepper cover with FPA faces



We’re dreaming BIG… GiveBIG to Solid Ground TODAY!


This year, Solid Ground is dreaming BIG.
Join us in investing in our dream of a world beyond poverty!


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40 years ago, Solid Ground was founded by a small group of individuals who dreamed of alleviating hunger and homelessness in their community. Today, through the incredible support of people like you, we’ve pooled our time, treasure and dreams to create innovative and responsive solutions to poverty.

When you giveBIG, you dream BIG.

Visit TODAY (May 6, 2014) to give to Solid Ground. A portion of your gift will be matched via The Seattle Foundation’s gift pool. Your gift is more than just a donation – it’s investing in dreams of a world beyond poverty. Together we can turn these dreams into reality.

40th Anniversary Building Community Luncheon with keynote speaker Spike Lee, 4/4/14

Keynote speaker: Spike Lee, film director, producer, writer & actor

Keynote speaker: Spike Lee, film director, producer, writer & actor

Join us for Solid Ground’s 40th Anniversary Building Community Luncheon on Friday, April 4, 2014 from noon–1:30pm. This year, we’re honored to host Spike Lee as keynote speaker. With a body of work that spans four decades, he has written, produced, directed and acted in countless films that illuminate the impacts of racism in our country.

As one of the most outspoken African-American voices, he talks candidly, and with authority, about issues of race in mainstream media and Hollywood, using as a backdrop a rare behind-the-scenes look at his celebrated body of work.

And as an organization working to undo racism and other oppressions that are root causes of poverty, Solid Ground is pleased to bring such an influential person in the conversations about race and social justice to our event.

At this year’s Luncheon, we will also come together to celebrate 40+ years of building community to end poverty. We’ll highlight Solid Ground’s 40-year culture of innovation, partnership and action – a culture that has created some of our community’s most effective anti-poverty programs. We will lift up individual stories of leadership and courage, and discuss our plans for the future.

Save the Date for Solid Ground's Building Community Luncheon, 4/4/14

The Mariner Moose & Toys for Kids bring holiday cheer to families in need across King County

The holidays can be a stressful time for many parents who want to celebrate with their children but face the harsh reality of limited budgets. And for moms experiencing homelessness over the holidays – like those staying in our Broadview Emergency Shelter & Transitional Housing facilities – making the holidays special is an even greater challenge.

The Mariner Moose, along with former Mariners Julio Cruz, Dave Henderson & broadcaster Rick Rizzs, provide a joyous annual holiday party for Broadview families.

The Mariner Moose, along with former Mariners Julio Cruz, Dave Henderson & broadcaster Rick Rizzs, provide a joyous annual holiday party for Broadview families.

So imagine the joyfest (i.e., happy chaos) that ensued on December 9 when the Mariner Moose himself – dressed in a Santa suit sporting the number “00” – burst into the room during a Broadview holiday pizza party, handed out signed posters, and took photographs with each kid!

Adding to the fun and mayhem, longtime Seattle Mariners baseball broadcaster Rick Rizzs, former M’s centerfielder Dave Henderson and second baseman Julio Cruz greeted the kids at their eye level – resembling gentle giants as they sat on tiny child-size chairs – and did art projects with the kids and autographed photos. Dave gamely played along as one small boy with a basketball (and a very strong toss!) launched the ball high and Dave headed it back. One mom dressed her one-year-old in a pink Mariners outfit for the occasion. “Christmas came early!” exclaimed another grinning mom, “Merry Christmas to me!”

An annual tradition at Broadview for almost two decades, this party (and others like it) is part of Rick & Dave’s Toys for Kids. Eighteen years ago, Rick Rizzs and Dave Henderson sat enjoying a cold beer at F.X. McRory’s in Pioneer Square a few months before the holidays. A news story came on the pub’s TV reporting on the more than 8,000 people experiencing homelessness in King County at the time. Rick and Dave wondered, “What about the kids? What kind of holiday celebration could their families afford?” The guys decided they wanted to do something to ensure that even kids without a place to call home had a way to celebrate.

So they rounded up a group of then-active players – including Jay Buhner, Raúl Ibañez, Bill Krueger, Edgar Martínez, Jamie Moyer, Jeff Nelson, John Olerud, Matt Sinatro, Omar Vizquel and Dan Wilson – and they held a fundraising dinner which raised $18,000 that first year to buy toys for kids for the holidays. They did some research to find out how they could get the toys to kids in need, and Broadview was among the first three organizational recipients.

The next year, the Mariners RBI Club members got involved, including Bill King, Virg Fassio and Bob Simeone, and they added an auction to the dinner. (RBI stand for “Real Baseball Involvement;” the Club consists of volunteers who connect the Mariners with local community and charity activities.) Each year since, the amount raised and the number of organizations supported have grown. This year’s event was held at the The Harbor Club Bellevue. $225,000 was raised, resulting in 7,000 children – all of whom are accessing services at 19 different local human service organizations – receiving holiday joy via Toys for Kids.

Left to right: Julio Cruz, Rick Rizzs, Solid Ground Residential Services Director Dee Hillis, Dave Henderson, Bill & Sarah King

Left to right: Julio Cruz, Rick Rizzs, Solid Ground Residential Services Director Dee Hillis, Dave Henderson, Bill & Sarah King

While Toys for Kids connects with thousands of kids each year, parties with the Mariner Moose are special and only happen with a handful of smaller organizations such as Broadview. At this year’s party, the RBI Club’s Bill King and his 17-year-old daughter Sarah served pizza and treats to the Broadview families. Bill says that Sarah has been helping out since she was seven years old, and the annual event has made a big impact on her. He recalls that one year, as he and Sarah left the building after a Broadview party, a young teen boy opened his window and called out to them, “Thank you! This has been the best day of my life!”

Rick Rizzs & Dave Henderson would like to thank the many sponsors who contribute to making Rick & Dave’s Toys for Kids an ongoing (and continuously growing) organization:

Jazz & roots greats play 12/19/13 benefit to house homeless

photo by Michael Wilson, used with permission

Bill Frisell, photo by Michael Wilson, used with permission

A Heart Needs a Home, at The Royal Room on Thursday Dec. 19, will bring together a mash-up of local jazz, roots and rock talent playing the music of legendary British songwriter Richard Thompson to support housing for people experiencing homelessness.

A Heart Needs a Home features a house band anchored by local guitar legend Bill Frisell, Wayne Horvitz (keyboards), Darren Loucas (guitar) Luke Bergman (bass), Eric Eagle (drums) and multi-instrumentalist Michael Connolly (Coyote Grace, the Indigo Girls touring band, Empty Sea Studios).

Lead singers taking on Richard Thompson songs  include:

Richard Thompson is one of the most amazing and well-respected musicians of the rock era. Named one of Rolling Stone’s top 20 guitarists of all time and a founding member of the seminal British folk-rock band Fairport Convention, Thompson’s songwriting and performing have earned him many accolades, perhaps none bigger than his appointment as Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2011 for services to music.

Proceeds from the show benefit Solid Ground’s efforts to house families experiencing homelessness in Seattle. Each year more than 55,000 King County residents come to Solid Ground to address urgent food and hunger needs, and build skills to overcome poverty and thrive.

A Heart Needs a Home continues a long-standing series of efforts by local musicians to address homelessness that started in 2003 with the Songs for Shelter CD and concert series.

Concert Details:

  • Two shows: 7:30pm & 9:30pm.
  • Tickets: $20 in advance;  $25 at the door. Buy advance tickets for the early show here and for the late show here.
  • Venue: The Royal Room (5000 Rainier Ave S in Columbia City) is an eclectic, welcoming performance venue that emphasizes creative programming and development in a collaborative community space.

The performers are all really excited about playing together on this show and I think it is going to be a memorable night. Hope you can join us!

Day of Caring Resource Exchange

Editors note: This report was written by Solid Ground Tenant Counselor, Jeanne Winner

Photo courtesy of United Way of King County

Photo courtesy of United Way of King County

On September 17th, I had the honor of participating as a service provider in the United Way’s Day of Caring Resource Exchange along with a few of my coworkers. There were over 1,400 homeless adults who attended in order to receive information, products and services for themselves. This was an impactful and deeply meaningful event for those who were there.

The 600 service providers and volunteers were encouraged by United Way staff “to treat people as ‘honored guests.’ Most of these folks walk the streets and people look away from them. By giving them your full presence and assistance, you are giving a great gift to them, and to yourselves.”

My colleague, Judy Poston, and I shared a table where we did outreach about Solid Ground’s Tenant Services and Financial Fitness Boot Camp programs. We passed out printed materials and talked to 100 people about the challenges they face while trying to find affordable housing.

Judy spoke with people about ways they could work towards repairing their credit, and I talked with people about housing search and tenant rights.

It was apparent that the tables which provided information and products were important to the attendees; yet, it seemed that the booths which offered services right there touched the individuals at a much deeper level. Vince Matulionis, Director of Ending Homelessness for the United Way, told KUOW reporter, Deborah Wang, “The importance of getting a haircut, getting your picture taken, making a phone call, getting your feet washed – most of us in our daily lives tend to take for granted. But when you are homeless, rarely do those types of things come easily and quickly to you.”

The day’s results were amazing. Not only were the participants appreciative and grateful, but for many of the providers and volunteers, it was a deeply-felt experience.

The United Way has organized this event for the past nine years, providing one day a year for people experiencing homelessness in Seattle to get their basic needs met all in one place. The next one is in April. To me, one day a year isn’t enough. I am hopeful that people in our community will come together collaboratively to hold events like these on a more regular basis. It would make a world of difference for so many people.

Fall Fest at Marra Farm Sept. 21

Lettuce Link invites you to come celebrate the harvest, South Park style, at the 12th Annual Marra Farm Fall Fest!

Saturday, September 21, 12–3pm
Marra Farm: 9026 4th Ave S, 98108

  • farm-fresh food
  • apple cider pressing
  • live music
  • children’s activities
  • farm tours
Free and family friendly!

We’ll appreciate the amazing work of Farmer Sue McGann, who is retiring after 10 years at Marra Farm, and we’ll welcome new Marra Farm Coordinator Farmer Kyong Soh!

Volunteers needed: assist with kids’ activities; prep, grill, and serve food; wash dishes; help with setup and cleanup, etc. Contact Amelia: or 206.694.6731 for details or to sign up.

We hope to see you there!

Fall Fest 2013 Postcard-1Fall Fest 2013 Postcard-2

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