Noise For the Needy purchased the right to post on Slog for a week in Strangercrombie, our annual charity auction. More info about our charity auction here.

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Two years ago, thanks to stellar attendance and overwhelming generosity from the crowds (you guys), and our sponsors, Noise for the Needy was able to contribute over $32,000 to Urban Rest Stop, a hygiene center that provides restrooms, showers, and laundry facilities to homeless men, women, and children. “It took us ten years and a lawsuit to get the Urban Rest Stop open in Seattle. It took just three minutes to explain the Urban Rest Stop, its purposes and functions, to the NFTN audience," says Ronnie Gilboa, Program Manager at URS. "That experience continues to amaze me.” Gilboa says that rising rents are forcing many people employed at minimum wage into homelessness, and estimates that 60% of the people using their services are getting ready for work.

With the money contributed through NFTN, URS was able to buy hygiene supplies, cover operating expenses (including the massive utility costs associated with running the shower and laundry facilities), and purchase hats and gloves to distribute to patrons during the winter months. In the last two years, they have expanded their services to include a public health room where visiting nurses provide basic care and first aid, as well as referrals to local clinics for more serious health issues. Pretty amazing progress for an organization that just turned 10 years old.

Just like the rest of us, URS has been seriously affected by this recession, seeing a 12% increase in the number of new patrons since 2007, with the largest increase coming from families with children. "We're busier than ever helping people whose lives have changed for the worse," says Gilboa. But, they're not going to let the worst recession since the Depression keep them from celebrating their tenth b-day all year long!

Staff and facilities at URS, Downtown Seattle
  • Staff and facilities at URS, Downtown Seattle

This is where you come in, Sloggers. C'mon...it’s their birthday—get 'em a gift! Like most nonprofits, cash is always appreciated. But, they are also in need of all kinds of supplies from books to socks to toothbrushes. If you're short on cash but long on free time, they're also in need of volunteers to help them with the birthday festivities, including two benefit concerts this spring and a street fair and block party in May. Become a fan on Facebook to keep up with the latest on their birthday plans, and go to their website to get their full supply wish list or to make a donation—www.urbanreststop.org.

Urban Rest Stop Video

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We'll be announcing the 2010 NFTN beneficiary on the last day of our SLOG posts so stay tuned.

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