This point-in-time count is a snapshot of people who are homeless in Spokane, counted by local teams on one night in January, a statistic that is limited by a variety of factors and not considered the complete picture. Because more homeless people were in shelters, and fewer were outside in hard-to-find places, it was easier to get a count, according to McCann and city officials. That might apply particularly to the chronically homeless, who are more likely to use emergency shelters.
In particular, the city’s super-tight rental market – with an estimated vacancy rate of 0.7 percent – makes it very hard for people to find affordable housing and pushes the homeless numbers upward. Nearly 500 people are qualified for federal housing vouchers but can’t find a place to use them in town, said Dawn Kinder, the director of the city’s Community, Housing and Human Services Department.
This year’s count showed:
1,090 homeless individuals, an 11 percent increase over last year. Eighty-seven percent of all people counted were in shelters. Around three-quarters of those were in emergency shelters, and one quarter were in transitional housing.
This play was great. I think that those who have relationships with senior loved ones, senior lovers, parents, grandparents or who know or care for someone who is terminally ill should see Harnietiaux’s latest play. David Casteal (Bobby) and Adell Whitehead (Lee) portray this couple working through a difficult time with empathy, humor and authenticity.
There are now three First Thursday Coffee and Discussion groups meeting this Thursday March 1.
- Original Group 10:00 am Rocket Market 726 E 43rd
- First Thursday Evening at 6:30 pm Rocket Market 726 E 43rd
- Perry Street discussion usually held at The Shop at 10:00 am but this week being held at the organizer’s home so they can write letters to legislators as well as share resources and updates on what is happening. If you are interested in this group message Susan Hales on Facebook.
Possible discussion topics:
- President Trump’s State of the Union speech
- Youth Incarceration
- 13th The Movie
- Black Lunch Table
- Oscars: Moonlight/Hidden Figures/Fences
- Local Actions
- …….And anything else you have on your mind
This is another example of action coming out of our First Thursday Coffee discussions at the Rocket Market.
Submitted by Dr. Barb Brock on behalf of Anthony Stevenson, aka artist Salik Seville
Just think about what you can do to help people…
Artist Salik Seville, (aka Anthony Stevenson), originally from Memphis and a Navy veteran, has been through tough times and knows what it’s like to be homeless, but now has found his place in Spokane. Salik uses his art to showcase what he’s been going through, and offers hope for others to push through. “I just want to inspire others and do my part,” he says. “You might be having hard times or come from a hard background, but you should always think about what you can do to help people.” His work has been showcased at the downtown Spokane Library during the month of February for the past two years. Here is Anthony’s statement for 2017:
“My friends, every year I start out the New Year with an exhibition. I’ve been fortunate to have several artists join me including Denise Robinson, Sage Caberllero, Rachel Dolozal and Jay Cousin, who are contributing their time and talent to help our community.
This is something that means a lot to me. When I first started doing this it was my way of speaking through art about how I see humans. If you are in the area, come check out the art and if you see something you like, all you need is a bag of fresh food and a bag of hygiene products, i.e., hand towels, deodorant, etc to acquire a piece of art. There’s no limit. Meals on wheels and health care for homeless veterans will receive the food, and Spokane county veterans will receive the hygiene products. I will also have some paintings for sale to help the YWCA at the library here in downtown Spokane. I would like to express my gratitude to Mrs. Barb Brock – thank you for getting involved – your help is so appreciated and will never be forgotten. Here’s to good energy, art, and action. Love can change the world.” Salik Seville
OK, we had our celebration with speeches and the march.
Now Let’s Commit Ourselves
Since 2008 news and social media have done nothing but complain about what politicians did and did not do. If they have not accomplished goals and objectives it is no one’s fault but your own. If you are not satisfied with the 2016 election I suggest that you step up and do something about it.
From the list below, choose the issue you feel needs action, list the issue and the name of an organization that works on that issue in the comment box below and fill in your contact information. If you do not know of an organization, volunteer to start such an organization. I will pass your contact information on to the appropriated organization. Also I will collate the information everyone contributes and post the results at this site 4comculture.com. To stay aware of current posts at this site in the right hand side bar SUBSCRIBE to receive an email notifying you of new posts (a couple per week).
What Will You Commit To
Protest (Civic Disobedience, Non-violent direct action, Go to jail), Government service, Social justice, Political action, Political parties (Democratic, Republican, Independent, Progressive), Employment (Jobs and training), Housing, Healthy food production, Education (K12, College), Environment (Climate change etc.) Community organizing, Social justice, Community service, Social services, Health and safety, Drug abuse prevention, Community security, Reproductive rights, Hunger, Homelessness, Race relations, Human relations, Art and culture, International affairs, Belief systems (Humanism etc.).
After the showing of the documentary film 13th at Bethel AME Church at 10 am on January 14, across town at the Spokane Public Library PJALS (Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane) sponsored a 5 hour hands on workshop: Love > Hate: Bystander Intervention Training which covered:
- Continuum of Oppression / Nature of Prejudice
- The Spinach in Your Teeth Theory and Overview
- Putting Assertiveness into Context
- Assertiveness Model & Calling In
My observation as I photographed the workshop was that it was excellent. I thought that the information below that was listed on a wallet sized card was a good tool for it was an excellent tool for using white privilege to intervene in oppressive situations.
Describe the problem or name the problem behavior. “The situation is ______.”
Tell why the behavior is wrong or say how it makes you feel. “That’s not ok because _____.” “I feel ________when you _____.”
State your needs or give a direction. “What I/we need is _____.”
Be firm and persistent.
Act like a self-respecting equal: You are! You have a right to your opinions, decisions, and to say NO with no excuses. Be persistent!
Visual: Straighten your spine. Breathe deeply. Make direct eye contact. Take up space.
Vocal: Speak in a firm tone. Don’t end statements with question marks.
Verbal: Think & talk about yourself positively. Don’t self-limit with lead-ups or tags. State your needs. Use “I feel ___.” Clarify. Say what you mean directly.
Support others in solidarity and unity.
MLK Week Kicks Off
On January 14 in a small inland northwest town MLK Week kicked off with the Netflix documentary 13th:
Sandy Williams, publisher of the Black Lens News and Rev. Walter Kendricks president of the Spokane Ministers Fellowship started the week of Martin Luther King Jr. Celebrations with the screening of the Netflix documentary film 13th at Bethel AME Church in Spokane hosted by the Rev. Lonnie Mitchell.
Spokane Washington 2015 Census DataAfter the screening the audience – predominantly white residents of the inland northwest – broke up into small groups for discussion. How did they feel? What did they need to do about it?
- I wish all the kids in our school district could see this.
- I never heard of the organization ALEC.
- I have 4 family members with a total of over 100 years in prison plus one with 3 strikes you’re out.
- I think we need political action.
- I take Netflix and I have never seen this before.
- I worked on both sides of this issue – as a corrections officer on the inside and as a youth counselor on the outside.
- The corrections industry is a cesspool.
- We need to talk about self responsibility.
- Black people need to have serious discussions about race also.
- White people need to check out SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice). PJALS is starting a SURJ Spokane branch.
- Look into Hope Cafe : Washington State Department of Corrections initiative.
- We can send out information to follow up on this meeting.
- Subscribe to Black Lens News.
- We can join forces with a group started on the west side of the state called Black Prisoners Caucus.
- There is a small group that meets the First Thursday of every month at the Rocket Market at 43rd & Scott at 10 am and discusses actions that may be taken to build the community we would like to live in.
As the meeting at Bethel AME was ending a workshop called
was being held by PJALS across town at the Spokane Public Library. This workshop gave hands on experience in how to challenge oppressive statements.