The Community Resource Exchange was un.be.lieve.able!
In one day we saw so much good, so much change happen. Volunteers, United Way staff and guests left the event with renewed energy, hope and determination that the work we’re doing to end homelessness is worth it.
How much good? Let’s break it down:
1,300 guests experiencing homelessness received needed services:
• 500+ people visited the Jobs Connect area for apply for jobs and education
• 14,000+ socks were given away from the Amazon Treasure Truck
• 2,000 hot meals served
• 1,000+ backpacks with supplies like toothbrushes, shampoo and other basic necessities were handed out
• 1,200 food-to-go packs were distributed
• Nearly 2,000 pairs of shoes were given out
We can break it down even more, down to each individual. There’s Tamara, who got hired on the spot for a warehouse job with Amazon through the Jobs Connect program. There’s Jameka, who was able to get rental assistance from our Streets to Home team to stay in her apartment. There’s Julius, who was so thankful to have a hot cup of coffee from Starbucks and a six pack of socks from the Amazon Treasure Truck. There’s Colin, who talked to Congregations for the Homeless about moving beyond shelter housing, got medical needs addressed and applied for jobs via Jobs Connect.
The Community Resource Exchange is about more than just receiving needed services. It’s about making connections with your neighbors and building a community.
Take a look at the day for yourself:
The day also brought together more than 150 government, business and community leaders for a gathering so inspiring, we could only call it the Changemakers’ Rally. Who was there?
• Jenny Durkan, Mayor of the City of Seattle
• Alice Shobe, Director of Community Engagement at Amazon
• John Kelly, Sr. VP of Global Public Affairs & Social Impact at Starbucks
• Racquell Russell, VP Government Relations and Public Affairs at Zillow
• Lauren McGowan, Sr. Director of Ending Homelessness and Poverty at United Way of King County
• Colleen Echohawk, Executive Director at Chief Seattle Club
• Kira Zylstra, Acting Director at All Home
None of this would be possible without the 500+ incredible volunteers who spent their day with us, including our tour guide volunteers. People experiencing homelessness can feel isolated, even invisible, which is why when guests arrive at the Resource Exchange, they are greeted by a tour guide and receive one-on-one attention from that volunteer for the entire event. The reason for the one-on-one pairing is to foster the exchange of stories, allow commonalities to be found and empathy to be built. It takes a lot of effort to pull a day like this off, and we are so appreciative of everyone’s work!
Thank you to the 100+ partners who provided services, from Medical Teams International administering dental exams to Great Clips, the Beyond Project and local stylists from across the region teaming up to provide haircuts, we couldn’t do this work without you.
Most importantly, we thank our donors who power this event and our work to end homelessness all year. You’re our community’s true heroes. Thank you.