If there was only one thing that I could praise Joe Mallahan for, it would be his irrepressible ability to actually listen to what Seattleites have to say and his genuine ability to praise them for their good deeds. He’s a natural cheerleader for our fair city.
Today, I had the privilege of documenting Joe Mallahan’s visit with representatives from the Seattle Mennonite Church located in North City who are doing remarkable work for the homeless. The tour highlighted the ‘God’s lil’ Acre’ with support services to include daily drop-in hours Monday thru Friday, during which time people can access: laundry facilities, showers and hygiene, community kitchen, internet and phone access, resource referral, food closet, storage, blankets and clothes, morning prayers, gardening, and a safe, secure place to just ‘be’. They may find out where to get much needed medical care from local health clinics or just a chance to rest in a non-threatening environment.
The crown jewel of the Seattle Mennonite Community’s commitment to our most vulnerable citizens is the nearly completed housing facility which will eventually house up to 75 residents. Not only is the facility a green-built edifice, but it will offer efficiency apartments with kitchenettes, a health care clinic, a state-of-the-art food locker and distribution center, educational opportunities for cooking classes and behavior health assistance.
SMC’s tireless efforts to help the homeless in Lake City is impressive, for years they have been quietly building a self-contained interdependent community which has strengthened the ties between permanent residents and the homeless living in North Seattle. As we walked about, our guides knew every homeless person on the streets as we traveled from location to location and each person was treated with respect and dignity without the barrier that homelessness so often puts between neighbors. I look forward to celebrating SMC’s accomplishments at their open house in mid-December.