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WHAT'S NEXT: We have new info on one of our city's toughest issues — and we still have a lot more work to do. Thanks for tagging #theevergrey, AJ! (📸: @rileyaj)

A NEW (AND BIGGER) NUMBER 📈

12,112: That’s how many of our neighbors are experiencing homelessness somewhere in King County. It’s a brand new number — released yesterday as part of our county’s big annual report on homelessness, which is called Count Us In. And it’s the biggest number we’ve seen since we started counting how many locals live in shelters, cars, or on the streets more than a decade ago.

We’ve been in an official state of emergency around homelessness for over two years. The city is spending $63 million on the issue this year — 60 percent more than it did four years ago. How have things changed, is anything we’re doing working, and what new ideas are going to make the biggest difference?

A lot of people are diving into this report to look for answers. Here are some more numbers to know:

  • 46 percent. That’s how much the number of people living in cars has spiked since last year. Now, 3,372 people are living in their RVs and cars. That’s 1,000 additional people, and arguably the most striking stat in the report.
  • 4 percent. That’s how much our county’s homeless population has grown over the last year — from 11,643 to 12,112 people.
  • 1,500+. This is the number of people experiencing homelessness who are kids and young adults.
  • ~ 800. That’s the number of volunteers who visited all 398 of the county’s census tracts at the end of January to do the count.

One of those volunteers was reader Al Boss, who told us about his experience conducting the count. Like many Seattleites, he feels personally connected to the issue.

“Am I here because of my disabled friend who had to live with two cats and a big dog in her van after a house fire?” he told us. “Because of the years I spent working at a shelter? Because of the years I spent on hotlines trying to find shelter for people? Because of the family who spends their nights in a van in front of the library down the block from my house? Because of my friends who have homeless children or siblings or parents? Or because this homeless epidemic has become such a part of the fabric of our lives in Seattle that I can’t imagine not being part of it? I’m honestly not sure. I’m just here.”

To read more, check out The Seattle Times’ great breakdown and KUOW’s awesome visual analysis of the report. Want to take action to help your struggling neighbors in the long run? Consider volunteering with Seattle’s Downtown Emergency Services Center. Want to do something right now? Check out WeCount, a high-tech community bulletin board that lets us give directly to people experiencing homelessness.

NOW HERE’S WHAT’S GOING ON IN YOUR CITY 🌻

‘Gardening brings healing.’ When Atlantic City Nursery in South Seattle announced that it was closing back in 2009, community organizer Harry Hoffman had an idea: turn the land into an urban farm. Today, the Rainier Beach Urban Farm and Wetlands is a place to grow food, learn more about the Earth, and connect with neighbors. Some of the farm’s most dedicated volunteers? Seniors from around the neighborhood. “They came from a lot of war-torn countries, and when you come sometimes you have PTSD … and gardening brings healing,” Michael Neguse, a program coordinator with the Seattle Neighborhood Group, told The Seattle Times. (The Seattle Times)

A different commuting concern. City leaders are considering replacing the number 7 bus route with a RapidRide bus. The RapidRide route would better connect Rainier Beach, Columbia City, Rainier Valley, and Chinatown-International District to downtown. But while better access north could benefit the South End, some community activists worry that the new route could speed up gentrification by connecting the area directly to the South Lake Union tech hub. “If RapidRide only solves problems that have been expressed by wealthier white folks, then that’s naturally going to push out the South End community,” longtime resident Emmanuel “Mano” da Silva told the Emerald. 🚎 (The South Seattle Emerald)

Rowing away pollution. Tomorrow, former University of Washington rower Eliza Dawson and three crew members are going to do something wild. They’re going to row nonstop from California to Hawaii — around 2,400 miles — in the Great Pacific Race. Why? Two reasons: To attempt to break a world record for the fastest crossing by an all-women crew — 50 days, 8 hours, 14 minutes — and to raise awareness of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, an ocean gyre (think: trash-filled whirlpool) that’s around four times the size of California. Want to follow Eliza and her team on their journey? They’ll be posting photos and videos on their blog. (The Seattle Globalist, Ripple Effect Rowing)

Cookie break! Need a fix for your sweet tooth? Look no further than Hood Famous Bakeshop’s ube cookies, London Plane’s delicate shortbread, and Hello Robin’s Mackles’mores — and ice cream sandwiches. Check out Seattle Magazine’s whole delicious roundup here. 🍪


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HERE'S WHAT'S COMING UP 📅

AROUND TOWN

TODAY

🍷  Pair unlimited wine tastings with some wine science (Queen Anne)
🎶  Rock out at the big Upstream Music Fest + Summit — through Sunday (Pioneer Square)
🎶  Rock out some more at the Downstream Music Fest + Art Show — through Sunday (Ballard)

TOMORROW

🗣  Hear a civic “sermon” at Civic Saturday (Beacon Hill)
🎟  See love stories in ballet — multiple dates (Queen Anne)
🎈  Celebrate Pride Month in Burien (Burien)
🛍  Shop strange at Oddmall: Emporium of the Weird — through Sunday (Monroe)

SUNDAY

🎈  Make crepes with your kiddos (Ballard)
🎶  Hear the best of brass at Honk! Fest Northwest — multiple dates (Columbia City)
🎈Get your wiggles out at this Big Backyard 5k and Kids Dash (Redmond)

Going to one of these? Take us with you! Email a pic to [email protected] or tag #theevergrey on Instagram. See more upcoming events on our events pageand add your own events with an Evergrey membership.


Check out this event from our advertiser, Pacific Northwest Ballet.

🔮  Start your summer right at NEXT STEP: OUTSIDE/IN!
Join PNB June 15th for 11 new dance works, a post-show dance party, food trucks, & more - all at McCaw Hall + any seat for $25! How can you not?

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Want to reach the right people in Seattle? Check out our advertising packages.


THAT’S ALL FOR TODAY

Have a great weekend, everyone. — The Evergrey


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