The Faith & Family Homelessness Project ended in 2016.
If you would like to learn more about the School of Theology and Ministry, please visit seattleu.edu/stm.
If you would like to learn more about School of Theology and Ministry’s Center for Religious Wisdom & World Affairs, which is working to foster more effective faith-based responses to our most pressing social problems, like homelessness and the affordable housing crisis, visit seattleu.edu/stm/center.
Communications Across Barriers Just Neighbors The Pierce County Landlord Liaison Project There are a wide range of tools and trainings available for communities wishing to become more engaged in ending family homelessness. The following is a short list to get you started.
- Church Council of Greater Seattle: We sow the seeds of social change by working in partnership with congregations and individuals alike to speak and stand up for social justice and for systematic change. We can arrange for educational discussions of social justice issues. Invite us to worship, a temple talk, coffee hour, Bible Study, forum or a discussion.
- Dialogue for Justice is an Archdiocesan-wide initiative that partners with parishes and Catholic organizations to effectively advocate to reduce poverty in our communities through educating grassroots advocates, organization advocacy gatherings, providing legislative briefings, coordinating and supporting in-district meetings with legislators, encouraging participation in Catholic Advocacy Day, and providing advocacy resources to parishes and groups. The Dialogue for Justice is sponsored by the Archdiocese of Seattle and coordinated by Catholic Community Services of Western Washington, the Intercommunity Peace & Justice Center, and the Washington State Catholic Conference.
- FAITH (Faith Action In Transforming Homelessness): A faith-based program created to end homelessness in Washington State. We focus on political advocacy and getting people of faith involved in direct service. (FAITH is part of Dialogue for Justice.)
- Seattle King County Coalition on Homelessness: Beyond the One Night Count is a two hour training that takes you through “Advocacy 101,” a FUN training with the incomparable pro-democracy cheerleader Nancy Amidei. Together with local experts and allies, we present the facts about 3-4 important proposals, along with simple actions and sample messages. You will leave informed and inspired with tools for engaging your classmates, fellow congregants, neighbors and others to speak up and make a difference.
- Interfaith Task Force on Homelessness: Provides training and information about advocacy around homelessness and poverty.
- Associated Ministries: Associated Ministries is a Christian, ecumenical organization that partners with more than 250 Pierce County churches and interfaith partners to unite people of faith to build stronger communities.
- Way of Companionship Training for chaplains, health workers, clergy, and laity; working with congregations to develop ministries to welcome, serve, and support individuals and their families facing the journey with serious and persistent mental disorders.
- In Her Shoes Living with Domestic Violence: In Her Shoes is a community education simulation tool designed for learning about domestic violence. This program helps participants understand, through active participation, the challenges that a battered woman experiences over the course of many years. The simulation consists of station cards depicting services or people to go to for help; character cards that give a short biography of each character, story cards that tell the 8 characters stories, and index cards that help the character navigate through the system. Due to demand, Economic Justice and Teens and Dating Violence editions have been created. The goals of the simulation are: to increase awareness of the struggles women face with abusive partners; to illustrate that domestic violence is a community tragedy not just a personal one; and to encourage and to show that we all have a role to play in ending domestic violence. In Her Shoes can be facilitated in sessions of one to two hours.
- Church Council of Greater Seattle Training: The Church Council of Greater Seattle and the Faith Action Network are now offering a training for congregations about the economic crisis and proposals to move people of faith to action. The presentation is entitled “God and Money! The Economic Crisis and The Church.” Presentations will be available throughout Washington State. For more information, and to sign up for a presentation in King or South Snohomish Counties call 206.525.1213, ext. 3040 or email us here. For presentations in the rest of Washington State, call FAN at 206.625.9790 or email the FAN office here.
- 100,000 Homes Campaign Inspired by the work of advocates and innovators across the country, we interviewed people who had made significant and measurable progress toward ending homelessness in their communities. We soon found that the interventions they developed fit into five categories of change, which we have outlined step by step. The full Campaign Playbook is a toolkit for finding and housing vulnerable people.
- The King and Snohomish County Landlord Liaison Project is a partnership among landlords, property managers, participating human services agencies and homeless people with barriers to accessing permanent housing. The goal of LLP is to offer homeless individuals and families who were previously denied by landlords help with accessing permanent housing, signing leases and moving into otherwise vacant units. Participating landlords agree to apply alternative screening criteria to applicants and in exchange receive rapid response to concerns, access to a 24-hour call-in line and risk reduction funds. Tenants are connected to ongoing case management from human service agencies for one year to ensure stability.
- Formed in 2001, the Tacoma Pierce County Affordable Housing Consortium is a nonprofit organization comprised of housing providers, lenders, and others who work in Pierce County to provide a unified voice for affordable housing in our community. Throughout the US, and in Tacoma-Pierce County specifically, having a job does not guarantee having a place to live. Minimum-wage workers simply do not earn enough. Many seniors, families with children, and persons with disabilities live on limited incomes which often aren’t adequate to afford the high market-rate rents most common throughout Pierce County.
Homelessness & Poverty
- Hear Us: We offer insights, resources and information for those concerned about homeless children, teens and families. HEAR US gives voice and visibility to homeless children, youth and families. HEAR US offers several tools to develop awareness and sensitivity to the over 1.5 million homeless children in this country:
- Just Neighbors: You receive a Toolkit packed full of useful information, activities, and multimedia experiences, including five original videos. No expert knowledge is needed to facilitate Just Neighbors, and the entire experience is designed to foster a sense of community among the participants. The facilitator’s guide, which includes step-by-step presentation suggestions and reproducible handouts, makes Just Neighbors a joy to use.
- Communications Across Barriers offers several trainings designed to move us beyond stereotypes and judgment to a deeper understanding of the causes of poverty and its impact on human beings. The Poverty Institute is hands on two-day poverty institute for educators, health, justice, social service professionals, and community members who want to better understand poverty and to gain tools for making a difference. Offered also are “Poverty 101” and “Concrete tools for communicating more effectively.” In addition, a template for organizational development that examines “Poverty Competency.” Many organizations serve people living in poverty. This assessment examines the organizational policies, leadership, individual attitudes, beliefs, and values, and partnerships through the eyes of people living in poverty to ensure more successful outcomes. The assessment results in the development of a year-long action plan for improving services to people living in the crisis of poverty.
- Habitat for Humanity Interfaith Advocacy Tool Kit and Habitat for Humanity Interfaith Build Habitat for Humanity Seattle/South King County was one of six Habitat for Humanity affiliates chosen by The Argosy Foundation and Habitat for Humanity International to pilot creating sustainable interfaith advocacy groups. The purpose of the 2012-2013 Interfaith Pilot Program is three-fold: 1)To bring together a coalition of faith centers who will put their faith into action to sponsor and rebuild the House of the Immediate Future. 2) Develop a sustained Interfaith Group dedicated to addressing issues of homelessness and sub-standard housing. 3) Have opportunities for interfaith education and dialogue to increase respect for one another and our faith traditions.
- ISNA Interfaith Tool Kit The toolkit outlines 8 steps for:1. Recruiting participants for an interfaith group.2. Holding an exploratory meeting. 3. Developing understanding, respect and trust. 4. Understanding decent housing as a core issue. 5. Organizing an interfaith Habitat build. 6. Reflecting, linking action to the larger reality. 7. Understanding advocacy and identifying needs. 8. Making a faithful commitment to end poverty housing.
- Scriptural Reasoning is the communal practice of reading sacred scriptures, in small groups, together. Normally the passages of scripture chosen are Jewish, Christian and Muslim and are linked together by a particular issue, theme, story or image. When read together in this way participants – or “reasoners” – have found that astonishing, powerful and, at times, quite surprising, new conversations and relationships may open up. See the link above and this summary: Guidelines for Scriptural Reasoning discussions.
Mental Health First Aid Training
- Mental Health First Aid Training is an 8-hour course that gives people the skills to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. The evidence behind the program demonstrates that it does build mental health literacy, helping the public identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illness.
- Intercommunity Peace and Justice Center offers a wide range of events and speakers to support and deepen the work of justice, including Scripture-based retreats and social justice workshops. IPJC acts for justice in the church and in the world and is sponsored by sixteen religious communities and collaborates with Catholic, ecumenical, interfaith and other organizations in carrying out this mission. Learn more about IPJC!
- Just Faith Ministries Christian faith extends an invitation to each of us to become agents of God’s compassion and healing in a wounded world. JustFaith Ministries empowers ordinary people and their communities to act on that invitation. Through workshops and programs, JustFaith Ministries helps participants to expand their commitment to social ministry within their faith communities. Modules include:
- JustFaith, our original program, used in over 1,000 parishes and churches involving 20,000 people, is a 30-week process that empowers participants to develop a passion and thirst for justice, and prepares them for the work of social ministry. It is available in two versions, one for the larger Christian community and one for Catholic parishes that highlights themes of Catholic social teaching.
- Justice Walking (J-Walking) for Youth is a three- to six-month “prophet-raising” process that forms small communities of adults and older teens who experiment with living the Gospel message. Key to this process are the relationships created within each J-Walking community and those they encounter at the margins of our society. Through prayer, retreats, reading, dialogue, and relationships, J-Walkers broaden their circle of awareness and expose their lives to the compassionate spirit of Gospel justice.
- JustMatters is an expanding series of formation materials from JustFaith Ministries. JustMatters allows participants to focus on a particular current social justice topic. The general format for these topic-focused modules is prayer, readings, videos, speakers and dialogue. JustMatters allows a group of eight to fifteen people to give sustained attention to a specific area of social concern or social ministry (some with special emphasis on Catholic social teaching) and culminating in a call to engaged action.
- Engaging Spirituality JustFaith Ministries presents a spiritual deepening process that invites small groups of adult Christians to explore the intersection between contemplative presence and social action, as it is lived out in their own lives. Engaging Spirituality focuses on the practical challenges of following Jesus into the broken heart of our world, inspired by the urgency and spirit of the Gospel message to our lives, to our relationships, and to our times. Participants practice “the undivided life” of Christian discipleship—engaging in contemplation while immersing ourselves in the heart of our fragmented world.
- Good News People JustFaith Ministries is launching a new program called the GoodNewsPeople program to inspire, engage, and educate parishioners with the goal of mobilizing thousands of Catholics to become Good News People to the world.
Youth and Young Adults Activities