The numbers don’t lie. Despite making up only six percent of the overall population in King County, 39 percent of people who are unhoused are from Black and Indigenous communities.
This is because of rampant, systemic racism on multiple levels, including Black and Indigenous communities often are not given the same opportunities to excel in school, treated poorly by healthcare professionals, and more frequently arrested for minor or non-offenses and jailed where their white peers are let off or face lesser consequences. On top of a weak social safety net and the high cost of rent in the Seattle area, this adds up to an inequitable impact on Black and Indigenous people.
We are deeply grateful for the awakening to these realities that is happening now because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the decades of committed effort by social justice activists. We are also grateful for compassionate and conscientious Seattleites and Seattle-based businesses willing to wrestle with their privilege and the benefits that many enjoy because of these systems. Finally, we are motivated that some are moved to use their privilege to build a better world.
Metropolist, a local real estate firm based in SODO, has committed to addressing these concerns within the banking and real estate industries. As part of their multifaceted efforts, they have named Evergreen Treatment Services’ REACH team their 2021 Community Partner.
Metropolist has pledged that 25 percent of all profits will go towards supporting their unhoused neighbors through the REACH program. In addition, they are donating 100 percent of proceeds from their classes and workshops, and their realtors have the option to donate a portion of their profits from each sale—the benefits of which we are already seeing.
This financial investment is not the only way in which the Metropolist team is making a difference. They are also dedicated to living out this commitment in their everyday lives by talking to others about the challenge of homelessness in King County and around the country and by giving back directly as individuals. For example, just last month, we profiled the gift of Metropolist co-founder Jennifer Nelson and her daughter Ruthie. The effort to change the hearts and minds of people—including our children—is the long-term commitment we need to bend the arc of history toward justice. And social justice, as Dr. Cornel West says, is “what love looks like in public.”
If you or your business wants to partner with ETS to build a better world, do not hesitate to contact Tavia Rhodes at trhodes[at]EvergreenTreatment[dot]org. We look forward to demonstrating love in public with you.