I have to be honest — when I initially saw this advertised, my first reaction was negative. Over the past 8 months, I have heard a lot of feedback from Pioneer Square residents that they are tired of church organizations and people with good intentions coming to our neighborhood to feed the homeless. Oftentimes, they leave our parks full of trash, and when confronted about picking it up, they get angry and don’t feel like it’s their responsibility. It also brings more and more homeless to our neighborhood — people ask why they don’t advertise that they’ll feed them in their neighborhood.
After talking to the Marketing + Communications Director for the Bread of Life, however, their event is different.
“The Bread of Life’s intent is not to be a band-aid,” she said. “When someone comes here for a meal, they realize that there is a transitional opportunity and there is a program and a way to step out of this cycle of homelessness. When we are in the park, we are also marketing that opportunity to the people on the streets.”
The have done this three times already– usually the third Saturday of the month, and plan to keep up the program. In January, a homeless person talked to someone in BOLM’s Life Change program about how he changed his life. He later came down and signed up for their program. They also see it as a way for the men in their Life Change program to give back.
They send out runners to the train station, occidental park, places they know there are homeless — telling them where the food is, with the goal of spreading the word about getting off the streets and changing their lives.
In that way, they are different than many of the other groups that come to our neighborhood. Plus, they have their own trash receptacles and make sure to clean up after each event.
When: Saturday, February 27th from 1 – 4pm (volunteers meet at 12:45 for a safety/info briefing)
Where: Meet at the Bread of Life Mission (1st + Main)
One group will set up by the courthouse park, and a second team will go out in a van to a few spots in Seattle where homeless usually gather (under an overpass or by the West Seattle Bridge, I-5 and Pike Place Market)