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Social Media and Community Building: A Homelessness Advocate Perspective

Carey and her daughter Maggie, photo thanks to InvisiblePeople.tv
Carey and her daughter Maggie, photo thanks to InvisiblePeople.tv

(Photo thanks to InvisiblePeople.tv)

Carey Fuller manages multiple social media accounts with vibrant online communities. She is also experiencing homelessness. Living in Kent, WA, with her two daughters, Carey shares her perspective on online community and social media advocacy that can positively impact the homeless community.

Session Ends and Advocacy Works!

Great news this morning. After working through the night, legislators agreed upon a budget and session has come to a close! What's in the budget? $67.1 million for the Housing Trust Fund, Housing Essential Needs fully funded, no cuts to TANF and Disabililty Lifeline Medical saved! 

Advocacy works and we are so grateful for everyone who added their voice during this last session. Our two Firesteel priority bills, the Housing Trust Fund and EHB2048 document recording fees, both received the support they needed. It's time to celebrate all the hard work that was put into these passing! 

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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