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!

Santos Place improvements

When Community Action was launched through LBJ’s War on Poverty in 1964, weatherization programs were a key component of our work. For many years Fremont Public Association (now Solid Ground) offered Minor Home Repair and weatherization services. Now, we are delighted to be completing the first phase of preservation and energy updates to Santos Place, a former Navy barracks that provides transitional housing for 42 formerly homeless men and women at Magnuson Park.

The scope of work includes installation of a new roof, insulation in walls, and new windows and siding. These improvements, along with a new boiler system, will generate about $25,000 in annual energy savings for the building and create a facility that is warmer in the winter and a cooler during warm weather.

South side of Santos Place with protective plastic wrap

South side of Santos Place with protective plastic wrap

South side of Santos Place, before new siding is installed.

South side of Santos Place, before new siding is installed

The first phase of preservation is funded by the Washington State Department of Commerce, City of Seattle HomeWise Program and Solid Ground. Ally Community Development is our developer, Environmental Works is our architect, and Walsh Construction Co. is our contractor.

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.

Housing shapes up at Magnuson Park

Sand Point Housing construction continues apace at Magnuson Park. Solid Ground is adding permanent supportive housing for previously homeless families, single men and women. We hope to have the two new buildings complete late this year and leased up soon thereafter.

Framing of Building 5 along Sand Point Way.

Framing of Building 5 along Sand Point Way.

Building 4, nestled in the courtyard of Brettler Family Place.

Building 4, nestled in the courtyard of Brettler Family Place.

Building 5 takes shape south of the long barracks building on Sand Point Way.

Building 5 takes shape south of the long barracks building on Sand Point Way.

Building 5 from the balcony of the Lowry Community Center.

Building 5 from the balcony of the Lowry Community Center.

Once completed, the new facilities will bring to 200 the total number of homes at Sand Point for formerly homeless people!

Solid Ground is BIG into…

GiveBIG through the Seattle Foundation on May 15!

GiveBIG through the Seattle Foundation on May 15!

GiveBIG is back! On Wednesday May 15, all donations made to Solid Ground via The Seattle Foundation’s website will be partially matched! This means that YOUR GIFT can have an even bigger impact in moving people out of poverty.

At Solid Ground we are BIG into healthy kids. We believe that education and growth extends beyond the school day. We partner with local schools, agencies and community volunteers to engage kids in experiential learning opportunities throughout the day via our community farms, Apple Corps and Washington Reading Corps programs, and our Cooking Matters nutrition and cooking classes.

When you GiveBIG to Solid Ground, you help feed hungry people, keep people in their homes and get families and individuals experiencing homelessness into stable housing.

So please, GiveBig on Wednesday, May 15 to end poverty in our community. And remember to tell your family, friends and coworkers to GiveBIG to Solid Ground!

We are BIG into food and nutrition!

We are BIG into food and nutrition!

At Solid Ground we are BIG into food and nutrition. We believe that all families should have access to healthy, nutritious food, regardless of where they live or how much they earn. Last year, our Lettuce Link program’s Marra Farm Giving Garden, Seattle Community Farm, Community Fruit Tree Harvest and P-Patch Growing and Giving efforts harvested and donated more than 50,000 pounds of organic produce to 21 local food banks.

REMEMBER: All GiveBIG donations must be made with a credit card, within the 24-hour window of May 15, via Solid Ground’s page on The Seattle Foundation website.

We are BIG into ending homelessness!

We are BIG into ending homelessness!

We work to help families and individuals overcome displacement and abuse, address the issues that led to their experiencing homelessness, develop a strong community support system and secure permanent housing. This year we are expanding our homeless prevention efforts and partnering with Lifelong AIDS Alliance to provide housing stability resources for people with chronic illnesses who face foreclosure. We are completing our Sand Point housing campus by building 54 new homes for formerly homeless families and single men and women.

And don’t forget, a portion of all gifts made to GiveBIG will be matched. Thanks for giving BIG to Solid Ground!

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