On Sunday nights, you can find Graham Pruss under the Ballard Bridge, serving up a hot meal. A recent menu included ham and potato soup, locally baked bread and apple cobbler. He calls this weekly dinner a bridge to connect with people who live in their cars. They’re often referred to as car campers or mobile homeless, but Pruss prefers the term, vehicle residents.
Pruss is one of many homeless advocates who’s pushed Seattle to provide more services to this group of people. In response, last year the city launched the “safe parking” program, which opens up church lots where people can park and connect to housing services. The pilot program is modestly increasing this year, in a step toward what advocates hope will be a citywide expansion.
To give or not to give? That's the question many of us face when encountering panhandlers on Seattle's sidewalks. Some people make up their minds about how to act and don't deviate from the script. For others, the ethical questions resurface with every encounter.
Now, it seems we're at a crossroads. Many people are still out of work. Yet social services will probably be cut even further next year. Will that change how you give?
The holidays often bring extra presents and messages from loved ones. But to receive those messages, you have to have an address.
Anyone who needs a mailing address can have the mail sent to 77 South Washington St. in Seattle's Pioneer Square. That’s the post office run by the Compass Housing Alliance. Most of the 3,500 people in Seattle who use that address are homeless or in temporary housing.