The Urban League of Metropolitan (ULMS) Seattle recently announced its new Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle Street Team dedicated to connecting and supporting our most vulnerable population, our homeless.
The ULMS Street team will provide support that homeless individuals and families need in order to successfully transition from living on the street to living in safe, affordable, stable housing. High-quality supportive services, from culturally trained and responsive individuals, are critical to ensuring that the people that are supported not only move into permanent homes, but stay in permanent homes long term. The services that are provided are available to anyone who is homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. ULMS will focus their outreach and engagement on African Americans and other people of color. ULMS will provide lunch or meal vouchers, toiletries & hygiene supplies, referrals to services and housing, education programs, workforce development opportunities, linkage to interim housing partners, assistance with housing applications and process and expert advice and assistance toward a path of permanent safe housing and stability.
“Most of the homeless population in Seattle is African American. The Urban League was created for and by African Americans to put ourselves on a path to self-sufficiency,” says Michelle Merriweather, Vice President of the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle. She continues, “each and every individual deserves respect, a
listening ear, and support to get from where they are to where they want to go. Our Street Team is going to do jus that. We are making a focused effort, with the help of the City of Seattle, United Way, and others to ensure that no one sleeps in
uninhabitable dwellings and is supported in their journey home.”
The ULMS street team will be a consistent presence in areas where people battling homelessness are living delivering food, access to resources, and allowing individuals and families to establish a comfort in interactions with the ULMS team. The ULMS team will be trained in motivating individuals and families to become
advocates for themselves while supporting their efforts in doing what is right, safe and best for their families. The ULMS “Street Team” is a new concept based off of the ULMS experience with Peer Connectors and outreach workers through programs that ULMS successfully facilitated in the past. Through experience it is determined that potential participant will respond better to individuals that share something in common with them, the feeling that they are engaging with their peers. Thus, the “Street Team” will consist of people who may possess one of the following attributes: have experienced homelessness, be age18-24 since that is the
highest demographic of the homeless population, and culturally diverse.
ULMS is joining forces with other organizations including First AME Church, The Urban League Young Professionals, the Urban League Guild, Girlfriends, Incorporated, and the Seattle Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated to put together over 200 toiletry kits for men and women. The kits will be used by the Street Team as they meet individuals where they are and develop relationships with them. For a list of items they are in need of to create the toiletry kits, please email [email protected] or call 206.461.3792.
For more information about the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle, go to: www.urbanleague.org