Saturday, April 9, 2016

Opinion: St Jude's encampment organizer - SHARE - needs to reform their ways

 I couldn't make the EdNHA neighborhood association meeting last Thrusday but Hank Myers  mentioned four SHARE Tent City organizers were there. No loss. I've heard their story many times. Though it's in their mission statement that they empower their homeless residents they don't. 1) they don't encourage or welcome on-site human service providers. 2) they don't encourage the outside community--us--to socialize with their residents over a meal so we can get to know each other and provide mutual support. 3) when my neighbor brought canned foods SHARE (in homeless "clothing") took the donation without welcoming my neighbor into THEIR camp. 4) when I made an appointment to hook up SHARE with a local mental health provider SHARE never showed up. They don't take nor share human service literature with their residents. 5) they don't encourage community service of their residents. Their mission statement says they empower their residents. NOT. Over my many years of visiting the St Jude camp I find SHARE are in fact, homeless activists. Yes, they help homeless survive by providing a tent, a required clean blanket once a week, and bare bones hygiene care. As for empowering them to find housing, jobs,health services, a network with each other and the community -- NO! >> St Jude offers internet service, pays for utilities,offers tent and meeting space, pays permit fees. The congregation does all the heavy lifting. Not all churches want the homeless near them. I attended a service at the Presbyterian Church on our Hill where the pastor preached he didn't welcome the homeless to his church services, nor want them around. If SHARE reformed (and the city could motivate them to reform by requiring rules that would empower residents) than my family would be more involved in caring for them. 

Bob Yoder

Seattle Times Editorial:  


1 comment:

Geoff said...

When we ride throughout Redmond we like to carry small "food gifts" to drop off at the encampments. Typically do it anonymously. Interesting people out there sometimes.