Seattle University?s School of Theology and Ministry is not just a school of thought, it?s a school of action. As part of its commitment to contributing to a more just and humane world, the school provides high-quality leadership and support to local faith communities as they work in partnership to end cycles of homelessness, poverty, and human suffering. Staff Program Manager Lisa Gustaveson brings decades of experience from both a policy and practical implementation perspective to the school?s work, particularly around the issue of homelessness. Faculty, staff, students, and alumni work with Lisa in bridging conversations inside and outside the classroom--acting within both the local and national community on these issues.
This past month, news media outlets have raised awareness of homeless issues, including the LA Times (here) and Seattle Times (front page story, here). The school continued its community involvement by participating in several forums that were filmed by The Seattle Channel for airing in the coming weeks.
Seattle's Center for Women & Democracy gathered on Thursday, September 17th for an in-depth discussion of King County's 2005 "Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness" and why it failed. Lisa Gustaveson represented the school?s work as one of three experts on the issue, helping leaders in attendance explore together tangible next steps for their work and their communities? responses. Then on Sunday, September 20th, Immanuel Community Services hosted a community forum on the issue of homelessness with leaders from King County?s Committee to End Homelessness, Real Change, Nightwatch, Low Income Housing Institute, and Seattle University?s School of Theology and Ministry.
Over the course of an almost four-year project, the school successfully has engaged and mobilized a broad cohort of faith communities around the problem of homelessness. This Faith & Family Homelessness Project partnered with Jewish, Muslim, Catholic, Protestant and Evangelical congregations (engaging more than 18,500 people!), faith-based and secular social service providers and local city and state government to promote service, education and advocacy toward ending homelessness. The project additionally supported the creation of new configurations of local and regional faith-based resources, programs and advocacy around homelessness--leading to a dramatic shift in perceptions about the role of faith communities in ending homelessness in the region. These newly engaged communities of faith are championing system reform, addressing not only the issue of homelessness but roots issues of economic social and economic injustice that lead to families living in their cars or in the street.
Read the latest email from the school's Faith & Family Homelessness Project on these themes, here.?
The following upcoming events are open to the public. Join us and/or spread the word!
Learn more about the school?s work around homelessness, poverty & human suffering, here.