By Evelyn Dunagan and Jennifer Miller
This November, ROOTS celebrates our most significant event to date – our “coming of age” as an 18 year-old organization. We’ve learned a lot since our first few nights in a converted church hall almost two decades ago. We have partnered with PSALA since Spring 2014. PSALA has provided gift cards to local grocery stores, underwear, toiletries, socks, and your members have generously donated time and money to help the guests at ROOTS have a hot meal and a warm place to sleep at night.
By adding case management and a jobs program, we are deepening our investment in the young people we serve and rely on your support more than ever. We are making it easier for them to exit our shelter as full participants in the local economy. But, right now, their resilience and brilliance is overlooked in a public dialogue where victim blaming is the norm. Even our choice to serve the most vulnerable is under attack by new county funding mandates. So, yes, it is indeed time to be loud and proud that we are serving almost 600 young people every year—the largest shelter for them in the state of Washington.
ROOTS is always grateful for donations of “essential supplies” for our guests. On our website, www.rootsinfo.org, you can always see our current wish list of items we need: finger nail clippers, new adult sized boxer shorts and undershirts, socks, hygiene items (shampoo, body wash, conditioner), bus tickets or ORCA cards, backpacks, and gift cards to local grocery stores and movie theaters. Another way to donate to ROOTS is through the Amazon Smile program, “You Shop. Amazon Gives.” (www.smile.amazon.com) Amazon donates a portion of your purchase price to the organization you designate.
We can’t provide homes for all of the young people on the streets of Seattle, but we can give them a hand and let them know there are people who care.
Thank you for believing that homeless does not equal hopeless.
Come to the Summer Social on September 14 and bring your Essential Supplies Donations!