A mid-year update
Published on June 23, 2022 by Eileen King
As of mid-June 2022, we've served well over 7000 meals this year. Here are a couple of highlights:
- We are deeply grateful to our hosts and partners First Congregational Church for a generous financial contribution to our work - approved by a general congregation vote - and for their kindness in ensuring that there are church members doing most of the kitchen cleanup at the end of Monday and Tuesday nights. As the weather has gotten nicer, we've also been able to enjoy gardening together, helping to stock the Little Free Pantry outside of the building, and taking a monthly turn to provide treats for church coffee hour. Thank you, First Church!
- The city continues its relentless work to drive unhoused neighbors out of sight rather than meet their needs, sometimes with stunning displays of force and brutality. We've heard them say it's for residents' own good, but demolishing encampments doesn't magically create housing - on the contrary, bulldozing someone's home and displacing them destroys important documents and makes it harder to stay in contact with health care services, case workers, etc. We've heard them say there's shelter space available, but even when this is true (not always), there are many reasons a person may not be interested in that option, including prior experience of theft or assault in shelters, infantilizing treatment, and being separated from loved ones and/or pets (not to mention that the CDC still describes outdoor living as safer than congregate shelters when in comes to COVID transmission).
- As you've no doubt noticed, temperatures have risen sharply in the last week or two. We've returned to delivering water alongside every meal, so there is now a new slot on our volunteer signup sheet: picking up water at Aldi and dropping it off at the kitchen. If that's something you could help with, we'd love it! And either way, we encourage you to take autonomous action - have a conversation with neighbors in tents about what they need and what you can do to help. This summer is going to be hot, and we can all help each other stay cool and hydrated.
From the bottom of our hearts, thank you to everyone who's supporting us financially, with time or gas, by sharing surplus produce or giving our extras a home, and by spreading the word. There is room for all of us on the team and at the table. Thank you!