There is something new below the 250-foot-tall bell tower of Capitol Hill’s St. Joseph Parish. Like most things involving mutual aid in Seattle, it is a work in progress.
Last week, the church’s Faith Justice Commission installed a surprising addition to the parish’s front lawn along 19th Ave E. The new “community fridge” is hoped to provide healthy snacks, quick meals, and produce to those who need it, the group’s Mark Petterson, director of Communications and Justice with the parish, tells CHS.
The refrigerator as it is now has a simple shelter built to protect it from the weather and the electricity is handled by a long extension cord. For now, temporary boards provide a walkway to protect the lawn. Continue reading
As scary as their name might sound, the Capitol Hill Knitters of Doom brought gifts of joy and warmth to Cal Anderson Park last week, a good reminder that we probably all can do small things to help bring more comfort to the neighborhood.
“Those who knit and crochet (are) those who are naturally generous,” one knitter told a television news crew there to cover the group’s efforts. “We all make so much more than we can use ourselves.” Continue reading
Seattle’s homelessness crisis continues and government efforts come and go — here is one very small example of a different approach that moves outside City Hall’s response to the crisis. Forming in small community efforts nationwide during Black Lives Matter and anti-police protests of recent years, mutual aid organizations use donations to provide marginalized groups with resources such as food and medical care. One busy here is A Will and A Way, a Capitol Hill-based organization that seeks to uplift and support the local unhoused community.
A Will and A Way formed from a group of local protest medics who provided care to participants in a number of local demonstrations, that has since branched out and began to offer support services over the year and a half it has been on the Hill, a member of A Will and A Way tells CHS.
“We started to see how much the police brutality was also affecting the unhoused community, and so as the protests started to die down, we shifted into providing medical aid to the unhoused community,” the member said.
The member CHS spoke with chose to remain anonymous in order to avoid putting themselves in the spotlight above other members in the group — reflecting the horizontal organization of A Will and A Way. Continue reading
The money is coming late in the COVID-19 crisis but Seattle Public Utilities is moving forward with a funding opportunity to power community “mutual aid” efforts.
SPU is describing the program as “a one-time funding opportunity” for community groups or projects “that make hygiene resources more accessible to the public, reduce illegal dumping and litter, and avoid the wasting of food and other materials.”
- Innovation Area 1: Waste prevention solutions focused on food and other materials. Examples include sharing, reusing repairing, and repurposing.
- Innovation Area 2: Hand hygiene and water access solutions, which may include options for accessing safe drinking water, for individuals experiencing homelessness.