More Ways to Engage
There are other social issues, besides climate and racism we face, such as homelessness, immigration/refugee rights, poverty, food scarcity, addiction, and LGBTQIA rights. We are interested in helping to create groups around issues you care deeply about. We invite you to share work you’re already engaged in and/or suggestions you may have for new projects or groups. Please contact our Engaged Buddhism lead or fill out this form. We would love to hear from you either way and discuss how SIMS can support these efforts.
Current Ways to Engage
Since its inception in 1990, Noel House Programs has offered safe, comfortable shelter to a diverse community of homeless women. Over the years, their efforts on behalf of homeless women have grown to include a variety of services, including a Women’s Referral Center, 5 volunteer-run shelters & 2 staffed shelters. Noel House Programs refers anywhere from 150-250 women nightly to these shelters, offers nightly meal service, and case management at the main Noel House shelter in downtown Seattle.
In total, Noel House Programs assists 92 women with nightly shelter, 20 women with permanent housing, 180 women with nightly emergency shelter referrals, and 60 women with a summer shelter from May – September. They have a new family shelter in Bellevue that has a 50 person capacity.
Please direct questions to Cubba Reese.
Gary Schimek, a SIMS sangha member, is a lay chaplain-in-training with the Seattle Mental Health Chaplaincy program. Under their auspices he has started a program called Pizza and Coffee based on the “Companionship” chaplaincy model, which hopes to create a safe space to build relationships through active listening, and provide hot meals, with residents of homeless encampments in the International District.
The effort is made possible by Mental Health Chaplaincy, Humble Pie Pizza, and The Station Coffee House. Gary hopes to expand this program to the Queen Anne area near St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in 2021 using seed money from gracious donors.
The program operates in compliance with the King County Department of Health Codes. Masks and hand sanitizer are used and social distancing is maintained.
If you would like more information and/or want to volunteer please contact Gary directly.
To learn more check out the Facebook group.
Peter Hummel, a long time SIMS sangha member, has been volunteering with NW Harvest for a year. NW Harvest is the northwest’s leading hunger relief agency. Peter’s tasks include food distribution to clients at their storefront and food preparation for distribution at their SODO location.
Peter would like to invite sangha members to join him in his work at NW Harvest. There are different ways to volunteer. One is to work alongside Peter. Another is as part of a specified SIMS group of volunteers, and a third is as an individual volunteer.
For each of these ways NW Harvest requires an application to be filled out. Please contact NW Harvest at https://www.northwestharvest.org/get-involved/volunteer/ as a first step. After which you can contact Peter at firstname.lastname@example.org to coordinate volunteering with him or as part of a SIMS group, and/or for more information.
Facing Homelessness is an organization housed at UFM that serves a variety of needs for unhoused people. There are many ways to volunteer or offer support to their clients and programs, one of which is direct donations of clothing and other items.
Karina Wallace, the community outreach staff person, is in the office between 2-5pm Tuesday through Thursday to receive donations. You can also call her for further information or other questions at 206-698-1645.
Most needed items:
- Mens coats
- Sleeping bags
- Hygiene items (small shampoos, conditioners, body wash, etc.)
- Any camping gear in general
Please use this opportunity to practice dana (generosity) to our unhoused neighbors.
Green Buildings Now is a grassroots project in response to the moral imperative that we address the climate crisis in our own backyard. Several faith communities and other concerned citizens have created a fund to help historically marginalized communities benefit from the transition to clean energy, specifically focusing on the South Beacon Hill Resilience Hub on the campus of Bethany United Church of Christ. This pilot project recently received funds from Seattle City Light’s Green Up Program to install a solar power array with battery storage. They have also secured a grant for an energy audit. The Green Buildings Now Fund is planning for the weatherization of all Hub buildings and replacement of old oil and gas equipment with fossil-free systems.
The SIMS Climate Action Group believes this is a worthy project to support and partner with, as it so beautifully combines social/environmental justice with solutions that can be scaled to address the climate crisis. The Hub provides space for organizations such as Got Green (Environment, Equity and Opportunity), Beacon Avenue Food Bank, Nurturing Roots Farm, ReWA (Refugee Women’s Alliance), Head Start preschool, Youth Undoing Institutional Racism, Tyree Scott Freedom School, and End the Prison Industrial Complex (EPIC).
Green Buildings Now invites individuals and organizations to become supporters and partners either by joining in some of the committee work and/or through donations. For more information about the project and how you can get involved, please contact Nora Langan at email@example.com.
2023 January update: See the Climate Action Group page for the latest on the fundraising effort.