Firesteel Blog

The Lowdown on Affordable Housing: Whatcom County

Entrance to Mount Baker Apartments in Bellingham, managed by the Catholic Housing Services of Western Washington.
Entrance to Mount Baker Apartments in Bellingham, managed by the Catholic Housing Services of Western Washington.

Entrance to Mount Baker Apartments in Bellingham, managed by the Catholic Housing Services of Western Washington

We are continuing our affordable housing series and now take a look at Whatcom County. Greg Winter of the Whatcom County Coalition for the Homeless  took time to share a snapshot of affordable housing in Bellingham and its surrounding area. 

The Lowdown on Affordable Housing: Clark County

Clark County Independent Living Skills Program supporting foster youth and alumni as they age out of care
Clark County Independent Living Skills Program supporting foster youth and alumni as they age out of care

Clark County Independent Living Skills Program, supporting foster youth and alumni as they age out of care

This is the first in our series examining affordable housing in YWCA communities across our state. Each of our partnering Firesteel YWCAs will be sharing what they are seeing in their community. We'll be hearing from YWCA Program Directors, coalition leaders and more. The YWCA Clark County is kicking it off for us!

Technology Tackles Homelessness

We are seeing technology used more and more to do something about homelessness. The Department of Veterans Affairs announced within the last few days a new Innovation Initiative competition for an app that will "provide easy access to resources that the homeless need, when they need it, and where they can get it."  Project Reach (Real-time Electronic Access for Caregivers and the Homeless) challenges contestants to create a free and accessible app that shares real-time information on where someone can meet basic needs such as a bed or place to eat. This tech competition comes on the heels of the South by Southwest Homeless Hotspots, the controversial digital take on a street newspaper model.  Here I'll share a bit more on these two tech projects that address homelessness, along with a few more that have been around longer. 

State Legislature in the Palm of Your Hand

I am really excited to see technology making advocacy more accessible and government more accountable and transparent. The Sunlight Foundation is a leader in this way and Firesteel is using state legislative data through their Open States Project to match registered users to their legislators in their profile banner. But it gets better! Open States just released an iPhone app! The free mobile app provides up to the minute information on your state legislators' profiles, legislation being considered, voting records, and more. Allow me to share my excitement by walking through some of the features of Open State and the new mobile app. 

Just Listen: Insight from a Faith Community Leader

"Do we know that hearing the story is sometimes not only enough but more than enough? Our coming to anyone as problem-solver can diminish their dignity and in fact diminishes ours as well. Being willing to listen enables something to develop that our strategies simply cannot accomplish. It is trust." The Rev. Bill Kirlin-Hackett shares his insight as a faith community member and inter-faith taskforce leader in the following post. 

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