June 2012

In This Issue
Sharon Lee Commencement Speech
URS Gets Pennies
Housing for Heroes Act
Meadowbrook Summer Camp

Help End Homelessness

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Sharon Giving Commencement Speech at WilkesSharon Lee Makes Commencement Speech and Awarded Honorary Doctorate at Wilkes University


On May 19th, LIHI Executive Director Sharon Lee was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters at Wilkes University in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania in honor of the work LIHI accomplishes in providing low-income housing and ending homelessness.  Sharon also gave commencement speech, an excerpt of which is below:


The Class of 2012 is experiencing the most income inequality in our nation's history, with the richest 400 Americans having more wealth than the bottom 150 million people. The New York Times reported in Sept. 2011 that another 2.6 million Americans slipped into poverty, joining 46.2 million people living below the federal poverty level. This is the highest number we've ever seen. No wonder the 99% movement Occupied Wall Street to expose the greed of the 1%.


You cannot escape the negative impacts, as they are all around you. Your friends, family members and your community have been hurt and in some cases devastated by the economy and the recession. What can you do about the problems of unemployment, poverty and homelessness facing our nation? You can do a lot. You can be a leader for change.....to advance this country to a better place.


We should listen to the wise advice of Nelson Mandela who said: "Overcoming poverty is not an act of charity, it is an act of justice. Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man made and can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings. Sometimes it falls on a generation to be great." We need you to be that great generation. "Let your greatness blossom."


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URS Receives Penny Harvest Check
 URS Manager Ronni Gilboa and URS Duck accept Penny Harvest check


Rest Stop Gets Penny Harvest


Students at Madison Jr. High in West Seattle chose the Urban Rest Stop as one of the grantees from its recent Penny Harvest.  The Penny Harvest, a national program run locally by Solid Ground, has students gather pennies, which are converted into dollars, which are then distributed to charitable organizations based on decisions made in student led Philanthropy Roundtables.  This year alone, students from 40 elementary, middle and high schools in the Puget Sound region collected 5,049,627 pennies!

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Reichert, Walz Introduce Bipartisan Bill To Support Homeless Veterans


Congressmen Dave Reichert (WA-8) and Tim Walz (MN-1) have introduced The Housing for Heroes Act (H.R. 5830) in the House of Representatives to help house homeless veterans. The bill will allow the VA Grant and Per Diem program to be used in conjunction with low-income tax credits.


LIHI Executive Director Sharon Lee was quoted in Congressman Reichert's press release:


"Our veterans fight a war abroad. Why should they have to fight another war at home? Over 67,000 veterans are homeless on any given night. We applaud Congressman Reichert as his bill is sorely needed and will allow more homeless veterans to benefit from and the VA's largest housing initiative, the Grant & Per Diem Program."


For full text, please see:  Reichert press release


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Meadowbrook Camp 2011

Meadowbrook Summer Camp:  Volunteer Opportunity! 


For kids transitioning out of homelessness, hunger is a reality, especially during the summer, when school lunches aren't an option. All children living at LIHI's Meadowbrook View Apartments receive free or reduced-price breakfast and lunch during the school year. But when school is out kids go without these crucial meals. This is the key reason why LIHI organizes an on-site day summer camp where in addition to accessing two meals each day kids have an opportunity to learn and play. Sign up to volunteer today and help create memorable summer experiences for our young residents!


Here's what last year's volunteers shared about their experience at the camp:

~ The kids - the children are wonderful, and it is great to see that no

matter what their family's financial status or ethnicity, that kids are kids.  They just want people that care about them to do fun things with. 

~ I just loved meeting with all the people who were able to come out to the camp. It was good for me to see how happy these kids could be even in their situation. Although they may not have know everything it was heartbreaking to know that some of them really would have gone hungry without this program running throughout the summer.

~ I liked having fun with the campers, being right in the middle of some activity that they were really absorbed in. 


For photos from our last year's camp visit our flickr page.


* Give low income families transitioning out of homelessness an opportunity to focus on putting their lives back together
* Enjoy the company of our resilient, loving, open and welcoming kids who embrace every chance they have to play and have fun with camp volunteers


Find out more about volunteering here!  


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Low Income Housing Institute | 2407 !st Avenue | Seattle WA 98121 | 206.443.9935 | www.LIHI.org | info@LIHI.org

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