Hi, Arts Institutions!
I just finished writing a story about the Seattle Symphony's attempt to address the housing crisis in town. You can judge for yourselves whether or not you think they're doing a good job of it, but, during my reporting, I did discover a small but meaningful thing you can do to help out.
If you want to make everyone feel like they belong in this city, consider setting aside a few tickets to your shows (if you don't already). Communicate with the shelters and the temporary and permanent housing facilities so that they know seats are available.
Everybody I talked to in the symphony story—from those experiencing homelessness to those running the shelters and housing facilities—said they'd love to have a little handful of tickets to concerts, dance performances, plays, operas, readings—you name it. During the day, those in transition do tons of paperwork in order to search for and to secure permanent housing. At night, there's not much else to do.
"We encourage them to go out and have fun and see the sights, but they don't have the money," said Kai Sanders, a caseworker with twenty-six years of experience who works at Cascade Women's Program, which offers transitional housing and services for single women.
Now, many of you may currently be experiencing homelessness yourselves. That's hard. If you can't do it, then you can't do it. But a lot of you probably can. I’ve been to your second week runs. I know you’ve got room.