On October 19th more than 400 guests ventured out early in the morning to attend our 6th annual Closer to Home breakfast at Benaroya Hall. All were united in the fact that we are facing an affordable housing crisis throughout our region and were motivated to come together to make a difference.
Author and keynote speaker, Matthew Desmond, with Bellwether resident, Paris Chapman.
The program highlighted the critical work Bellwether is doing to address the widening gap between income and rent in our city and beyond. Seattle Mayor Ed Murray welcomed all in attendance and reiterated his commitment to increasing the inventory of affordable housing throughout Seattle. The program also featured a keynote address by Harvard sociologist and MacArthur “Genius” award winner Matthew Desmond. (His recent New York Times bestselling book, Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, explores the crisis faced by poor families in finding and maintaining affordable housing.) It also included one of Bellwether’s current residents, Paris Chapman, who shared his experience commuting between home and work - four hours each day between Seattle and Tacoma. Lacking stable housing, Paris was forced to couch surf and uncertain about where he’d rest his head at night. Paris eventually heard about Bellwether and moved into one of our studios downtown, finally experiencing a sense of security and predictability.
With your help we raised $173,000 – our most successful event yet! Because of your support Bellwether will continue to be a force against rising income inequality, unequal access to opportunity and geographic class segmentation — forces that undermine the economic, social, environmental and physical health of our communities. Thanks to all of our individual contributors as well as our generous sponsors for making this possible.