Last week, Kavana deepened our efforts to help address Seattle's homelessness crisis with an opportunity to learn more. Two dozen people gathered to watch a screening of Trickle Down Town, a documentary that sheds light on roots of the homelessness crisis, introduces a variety of people working to address the problem, and, most importantly, reminds us that people experiencing homeless are people with complex and rich lives.
Last week, Kavana deepened our efforts to help address Seattle's homelessness crisis with an opportunity to learn more. Two dozen people gathered to watch a screening of Trickle Down Town, a documentary that sheds light on roots of the homelessness crisis, introduces a variety of people working to address the problem, and, most importantly, reminds us that people experiencing homeless are people with complex and rich lives. Shockingly, there are 12,000 homeless people in King County, and this film showed us their real faces and stories, including many you would not expect, from an employed mail carrier to a laid-off machinist to an artist.
After the film there was a lively discussion with the filmmaker, Tomasz Biernacki, and Josh Castle from the Low Income Housing Institute, which runs many of the Tiny House Villages around the city. Attendees got to learn more about how these villages provide an important step towards permanent, stable housing by providing safety, community, and support.
At the end of the evening, we captured reactions to the film and discussion in writing. In these "word clouds," you can see the mix of emotions that confronting homelessness stirs in us, and the overwhelming desire we felt to do something!
Seeing this film made me feel:
As a result of seeing this film, I want to:
In that spirit, we invite you to join us as Kavana hosts and shares a potluck dinner with residents of the Northlake Tiny House Village on Sunday, April 28th from 4:30p - 6:30pm. This is a way to meet some of the real people experiencing homelessness in an interactive setting, and to expand our sense of community to include those who are often marginalized. It's also a great way to respond to the Passover seder's call to "let all who are hungry come and eat" (and this activity is conveniently timed to be the day after Passover ends!). Sign-up here.
This potluck will be followed by more opportunities for action around homelessness and housing issues. Email Rabbi Josh if you'd like to get involved in these efforts!
In weeks like this one, with the climate crisis and political crises in full view, I struggle with the question of agency. Do I have any power at all to effect change? If I cannot control the "big" things that are happening in real time all around me, do my actions matter? It's easy to become dispirited and believe that we don't have much power.
A few weeks ago, Noam and I decided to introduce our kids to the movie Fiddler on the Roof. They were excited to sing along to some already-familiar songs like "Matchmaker" and "Tradition," and thought the wedding scene was beautiful. However, I had forgotten just how dark the end of the movie is. As we watched the Jews being expelled from their village of Anatevka, trudging down the road together, and pausing at the crossroads before going their own separate ways, my 10-year-old asked whether something like that could ever happen to us here in America.
Close your eyes and imagine: a hot bowl of soup simmering on the stove, crisp latkes frying in a pan, or a steaming cup of tea or hot chocolate. Can you almost smell it?! As the weather gets colder and the days darker, it's human nature to turn to "comfort foods" for warmth, satisfaction, nourishment and, well, comfort.