Sunday, April 28 2013* 2pm – 5pm* Everett Transit Station
Registration is closed
To volunteer, or with questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 206-296-2657.
During the Poverty Immersion Workshop, participants role-play lives of low-income individuals, including:
single parents trying to care for their children
senior citizens trying to maintain their self-sufficiency on Social Security
kids struggling with missed experiences at school, skipped meals, peer pressure
The challenge for each family:
provide food, shelter, and other basic necessities
deal with life’s daily setbacks
try to access various community resources
have precious little time or money
the workshop runs for three hours, run by an experienced facilitator who will provide both orientation and guided discussion
the workshop involves ~80 participants and 17-20 volunteer staffers
Each participant is essential, and plays a unique, pre-assigned role
One week prior to the event, all participant attendance must be confirmed
People 12 years or older may participate
Cecelia Black is a VISTA volunteer at Express Advantage, a nonprofit organization which she explains below. Take a few moments to consider your own interactions with financial institutions (positive and negative), and whether you might be able to volunteer to work with Express Advantage.
Express Advantage is asking you to join their efforts in supporting financial resiliency in Western Washington. Express is a Seattle based nonprofit that focuses on helping low-income members reach financial stability through financial education, community outreach, and access to fair and affordable financial services.
How can you help? Express is looking for committed volunteers to teach our financial education classes and volunteer in our one-on-one financial coaching program. No financial background is necessary- the most important qualities are dedication and enthusiasm. We are now accepting applications for both positions! Volunteer educator training is April 27th. The financial coaching training is on May 18th.
Why financial education? Barriers to accessing mainstream financial services are a huge, but often overlooked factor affecting low-income and homeless families. The FDIC National Survey of Unbanked and Under-banked Households conducted in 2009 found that 21.2% of Washington State households are unbanked or under-banked.
Why is this a big deal? Going “off the grid” and avoiding all those small fees, paperwork, and lines sounds idyllic, but try to think for a moment about any loan you have taken out, any time you have used a credit card, deposited a paycheck or needed a credit score. Without a positive relationship to a financial institution, things like renting an apartment and securing funds for an emergency become very difficult. Even more alarming, taking out loans from payday lenders becomes more necessary. Predatory lenders have capitalized on these situations and fueled their booming industry by trapping predominately low income people in a cycle of debt. In Washington state, the average Annual Percentage Rate (APR) of a payday loan is 390% (versus a credit card which has an average APR of 15%). To solve these gaps in financial services, it important that banks and credit unions offer more services to low income communities. Yet, it is equally critical that people get accurate information and support to safely and confidently utilize financial tools. Learn how you can be a part of this effort at http://expresscu.org/express-advantage/.
Contact Cecelia Black for more volunteer information and application at Cecelia.email@example.com or (425)359-5256.
Ever wanted to learn more about how you can support people living in tent cities or vehicles? Three upcoming forums, hosted by a partnership between Real Change,
SHARE, WHEEL, and Nickelsville, can help you to learn more!
Thursday, April 11, 7 PM at the Common Good Café, University Temple, 1415 NE 43rd St, Seattle
Friday, April 12, 6:30 PM at Otto Miller Hall, Seattle Pacific University, 3307 3rd Ave W, Seattle
Tuesday, April 16, 6:30 PM at People’s Institutional Baptist Church, 159 24th Ave, Seattle
See the Roadshow Forums Flyer for more information!
Originally posted in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Impatient Optimists on March 19, 2013 by KOLLIN MIN Senior Program Officer in the Pacific Northwest Family Homelessness team. Kollin shares a story about making a difference, and how inspired he was by a random act of kindness.
The Music of Ending Homelessness
The music in my home when I was growing up was an unusual blend of 70’s Korean pop ballads, Simon and Garfunkel, and The Who. Today when I come home from work I’m more likely to hear Gangnam Style, the Harlem Shake, or Macklemore coming from my kids’ iPods. Times may have changed, but music is still a large part of what makes a home, and that’s why Richard Carter’s story has meant so much to me.
Most of our work at the Foundation is aimed at bringing about large scale changes that address major inequities around the world. The foundation takes on huge challenges—eradicating polio overseas, ensuring that all children in the United States have a quality education, or in my case, reducing family homelessness in the Puget Sound region. The only way the foundation can have lasting and meaningful impact is by using our funds to trigger changes in the larger governmental systems that exist to solve these problems at scale. We necessarily focus our efforts on developing strong, catalytic partnerships with governments and direct service providers, and so all too frequently, our work can feel somewhat removed from the lives of the people we’re trying to serve.
Last October, we had the opportunity to interview four families recovering from homelessness in the Puget Sound region that had received services from the Washington Families Fund, a public-private partnership administered byBuilding Changes, a Foundation grantee.
The interviews – including one with Richard Carter, the young man who appears in this video – were conducted to prepare a four-minute film that kicked off a two-day family homelessness meeting at the Foundation that brought together federal, state and local leaders, housing and homelessness advocates, as well as the country’s leading homelessness researchers, to discuss the most effective ways to deliver housing and services for homeless families.
As the Foundation’s film crew was wrapping its interview with Richard, Dave Gross, the sound man for the shoot, asked him about a small piano in the corner of Richard’s bedroom and asked him whether he played. The crew saw Richard smile and after some persuasion, as the crew scrambled to relight and reset their equipment, Richard performed the original composition that became the orchestrated score that graces the video. The crew was immediately struck by the poignancy of Richard’s performance and knew as they were rolling that they had captured a special moment that would anchor the heart of their production.
As the crew left Richard’s family’s apartment, Richard commented that noise restrictions in the complex unfortunately limited his ability to play his piano on a regular basis. Gross immediately realized that what Richard needed was a digital piano with headphones so that he could play without disturbing anyone. Continue reading