Creating, Preserving, Pioneering, and Leading: read more highlights from 2015 in our most recent annual report.
In honor of Earth Day, we wanted to share a few green features of our upcoming projects at 1511 Dexter and Arbora Court.
Both buildings will have low-flow water fixtures, LED lighting and occupancy sensors and high efficiency central hot water heating. We are excited to see the tangible results to Bellwether’s triple bottom line: reduced operating costs for the building, reduced costs to residents and reduced energy and water consumption.
You can learn more about both of these developments here.
We have been engaged by DESC to provide development services for their Estelle Supportive Housing project, to be located in the Rainier Valley, a few blocks south of the McClellan light rail station. The building will include 91 units of permanent supportive housing for homeless men and women living with disabilities. The project will also dedicate one floor for high quality on-site health care to be provided by Harborview Medical Center. Approximately 15 apartments will be allocated for people exiting the hospital with healthcare needs who can’t be served in conventional residential care systems.
Construction is expected to begin in September 2016 with completion by the fall of 2017.
Late last fall, Providence Health & Services started construction on a 75-unit senior housing project in downtown Redmond – near services, transit, and other necessities. Named John Gabriel House after nursing pioneer Sister John Gabriel, the building will offer studios, one, and two-bedroom affordable apartments to adults age 62 and older with incomes at 30%, 40% and 60% of the Area Median Income. In addition, the building will provide a PACE (Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly) health and wellness center which emphasizes healthy, independent living. Bellwether is honored to support Providence with construction management and advisory services in responding to the critical need for affordable housing and health care for lower-income seniors in King County.
The foundations have now been poured, and occupancy is anticipated for March 2017.
You can learn more about this project on Providence’s website.
On March 4th, Seattle lost a great humanitarian and ally to the homeless. Bill Hobson, former director of Downtown Emergency Service Center (DESC), dedicated over 30 years of his life fighting to ensure that the most marginalized and forgotten segments of society have the resources they need to lead a quality life.
Hobson was outspoken and unwavering in his belief that stable, supportive housing forms the foundation from which people can begin to address personal challenges such as addiction and mental illness. Under his leadership, DESC helped pioneer the Housing First model, a nationally recognized approach to ending homelessness that centers on housing people as quickly as possible – and then providing services as needed.
Bellwether was fortunate to partner with Hobson and the DESC team on several projects including Aurora House, Canaday House , Kerner Scott House, the Morrison and Rainier House. “Bill was a colleague and friend. I admired and supported his consistent and uncompromising commitment to helping people who struggle with homelessness and multiple other challenges,” said Sarah Lewontin, Bellwether executive director 2004-2015.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Bill’s family, friends and the entire DESC community.
If you’re like me, the arrival of August means enjoying those last few dips in the pool, eating those last bites of summer fruits before they go out of season, and preparing your kids to go back to school. For many, the back-to-school preparation is as routine as the school day itself; backpacks are filled with new pencils and notebooks, fall schedules are posted on the fridge and lunch bags standby waiting to be filled with nutritious foods to fuel minds at work. Unfortunately for some, the reality of obtaining those nutritious foods can become a daunting task. There are over 150,000 families in King County alone receiving basic food benefits. These benefits enable low-income families to make ends meet by providing monthly benefits to buy food. A family of four with a monthly gross income of less than $3,700 per month could receive a monthly benefit of approximately $115 a month – that’s about $4.10 a day! For the entire family!
You may be asking yourself, how can you live on just $4 a day for food? Thanks to the free and reduced priced lunch program at Seattle Public Schools, children whose families meet those income guidelines are allowed to eat breakfast and lunch at school at little to no cost. You can find out more about that program here.
“So what about dinner?” you ask. Enter Leanne Brown, author of Good & Cheap, a cookbook designed for families on a strict food stamp budget with a desire to feed their families healthful and tasty food. Leanne has released the 2nd edition of her cookbook full of beautiful and inexpensive recipes that even the most basic chef can master. The books can be downloaded for free by visiting Leanne’s website. However, it’s important to note that for each copy purchased, a copy is donated to an individual and/or family in need. So buy, buy, buy! If you’re not convinced, just take a look at what our friends over at NPR had to say in this article.
So you’ve got your cookbook and that gleam in your eye, but where, oh where are you supposed to find the ingredients?! Only the freshest, locally grown foods for you, my friends! The end of summer also marks the beginning of Farmers Market season in Washington. Local farmers understand the importance of developing healthy communities and a sustainable local food system, so they work hard each year to bring their organic fare to the residents of this state. To find the Farmers Market in your community, take a look at this state listing. Families who currently receive federal food benefits can shop at their local farmers markets using their SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits thanks to the program Fresh Bucks. Not only does the Fresh Bucks program allow families to use their EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) cards to buy food, every dollar spent is matched by the market up to $10 per day, per market, per cardholder! Using Good & Cheap recipes, one trip to the market could feed a family for a whole week! So while we will soon have to say goodbye to warm, sunny days, dips in the pool and summer fruits, it gives me great comfort to know that the families in my community will be able to enjoy healthful, flavorful meals all year long, and kids throughout the state can go to school happy, healthy and ready to learn! Here’s to a great school year, happy eating!