24-hour Vigil on homelessness at the Seattle Federal Building Dec. 16-17
If we REALLY want to solve homelessness, we need to create 7 million affordable homes in the USA!
Issue Paper: Why We Need 7 Million Homes
Thanks to everyone who participated in the 24-Hour Vigil and Federal Call to Action on Our Homelessness Emergency at the Federal Building! We came together in solid and lively presence from noon to noon, December 16 through 17, to rally, pray and sing in a call to our federal leaders to invest vigorously in affordable and accessible housing now, across our nation. We felt such inspiration from all the people who braved the elements and the darkness. We were reminded what homeless people endure every day, relentlessly. We shared hope, wisdom, and energy for change.
The declarations by Mayor Murray and King County Executive Dow Constantine for homelessness states of emergency in Seattle/King County and their allocations of additional funding to alleviate the crisis motivated us to call on our federal leaders to far more significantly partner with us. Our cities, municipalities and states cannot solve the housing crisis alone. The 24-hour vigil provided us with the opportunity to share to send the message loud and clear: people need homes and we need to create 7 million affordable homes in America to end homelessness.
Press conference emcees Bill Hallerman and Flo Beaumon of Catholic Community Services/Catholic Housing Services introduced an inspiring group of faith, community and elected leaders at the press conference. Among those who prayed and spoke about our homelessness emergency were Mayor Murray; Pastor Michael G. Ryan, St. James Cathedral; Pastor Lawrence Willis, President United Black Christian Clergy; Father Paul Magnano, Christ Our Hope; Michael Ramos, Church Council of Greater Seattle; Mark Henry; Rachael Myers, WA Low Income Housing Alliance; Brother Benjamin Shabazz, Al Islam Center; Tracy Collins; Mark Putnam, All Home; Pastor Ricky Rivers, Church Without Walls; and Reverend Herbert Carey. Mona Ahto, Native Women in Recovery Center opened with a prayer in song of the Duwamish, Mary Costello sang one of her original songs about her homelessness and Pastor Patrinell Wright of the Total Experience Gospel Choir heartened us all with Amazing Grace!
Thank you to our vigil co-sponsors: All Home, Church Council of Greater Seattle, Compass Housing Alliance, Downtown Emergency Service Center, Faith Action Network, National Low Income Housing Coalition, Operation Nightwatch, Plymouth Housing Group, Real Change, Seattle Human Services Coalition, Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness, Seattle University School of Theology & Ministry, United Way of King County, WA Low Income Housing Alliance. Thanks to Starbucks for donated coffee and hot chocolate for the vigil and to Boruck Printing for creating a beautiful banner and Homelessness Petition poster in record time!
Onward with the push for 7 million homes!
A Prayer for the Vigil