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When we invited you last week to help put some final touches on Lake Union Village — our city’s tenth tiny house community for people living homeless — nearly 20 of you jumped at the chance to volunteer.
Our group came from around the city to help paint walls, install insulation, lay floorboards, and more. Like a lot of you, they care about our homeless neighbors who are struggling. But while we can all stay updated on how the city’s trying to help, reader Christina Swenson told us, it’s easy to stay home and feel angry about the problems we’re facing.
“It’s easy to complain about issues, but what am I doing about it? At least [here] I’m doing something to help people out,” she said while she prepped floor panels in one of the small, 8-foot-by-12-foot houses.
Katie Maul, Virginia Steindorf, and Jacob Moore said there was an added bonus to volunteering: getting to meet folks they otherwise wouldn’t.
“We all know how Seattle is,” said Katie, laughing, “so it’s a great opportunity.”
Readers Laura Orella and Galina Yermicheva were also curious what Seattle’s tiny house communities even looked like.
“Tiny houses are one of those things lots of people have heard about, but have never been to,” said Laura, who works for Capitol Hill Housing. “It’s so easy to stay at home and say you don’t want one in the neighborhood.”
The tiny house concept is one way the city’s trying to address our homelessness crisis. And it’s far from perfect. The federal government has cautioned that when cities build encampments for folks living homeless, they can feel like permanent housing without actually putting folks into stable, long-term homes.
One tiny house village that a lot of its neighbors have criticized is Licton Springs on Aurora Avenue. It was the first “low barrier” village in Seattle, which means it doesn’t require that people living there stay sober. And news broke yesterday that it’s going to be the first of our tiny house villages to be phased out. There’s been a spike in 911 calls in the area around the village, and neighbors say there’s been an uptick in property crimes and trespassing. Plus, it might not be working very well: The idea is to move tiny home residents into more permanent housing, but 39 of Licton Spring’s 53 residents have been there for over a year.
Unlike the Licton Springs Village, the new tiny home community where we volunteered in South Lake Union will not be low barrier. It’s slated to open next month.
Reader Sarah Worley, who works at Amazon, said she loved seeing that LIHI workers and other volunteers were so passionate about giving back.
It was empowering to see others wanting to “help get this community started,” she told us while she painted a house’s walls. “I just want this to feel like a home.”
Thanks to everyone who joined us at Lake Union Village on Saturday (see more pics here), including reader Cirrus Kain, who volunteered for the first time ever with us that day. ❤️ Want to join us on a future volunteer field trip? We’ll announce the next location in the coming weeks as part of our ongoing Giving Guide project, made possible by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Tearing it up. Microsoft is gearing up for the biggest makeover of its Redmond campus in at least a decade, and several of the company’s original buildings will fall to the wrecking ball. The legendary Building 7, though, won’t, and for a very good reason: It doesn’t technically exist. But if you want to haze a new employee, Microsoft long-timers will tell you, telling them to pick up a security badge at Building 7 is always good for a laugh. (GeekWire)
That’s wheelie surprising. Here’s a stat you might not have seen coming: Bike commuting in Seattle hit its lowest level in a decade last year — 2.8 percent of workers who live in the city — with the raw number of bike commuters plunging 26 percent in the last two years. This despite the fact that the city’s been building a lot of bike lanes and infrastructure lately. Was it the traffic? The construction? The wet start to 2017? We’re not sure. On the flip side, our city still ranks fifth for bike commuting among big U.S. cities, and the new dockless electric bikes that LimeBike scattered around town might make a difference. (The Seattle Times)
Festive and gross. Archie McPhee is selling mac and cheese-flavored candy canes. They’re yellow and white, they’re on sale for around $5, and we want absolutely nothing to do with them. If you haven’t been to Archie McPhee over in Wallingford, though, it’s a hallmark of Seattle weird, and it shouldn’t (totally) turn your stomach. (Q13 Fox)
Meet Seattle’s art robot. His name is Earl 3.0, he lives at the Hideout bar on First Hill, and even though he’s a vending machine repurposed to dispense bits of art, his owner talks about him as if he were a real boy. “I think since he’s used to candy bars and chips, he’s extra cautious about handing art over,” Hideout co-owner Greg Lundgren said. “I guess it’s better that he’s so protective. The alternative is he just gives it away.” (Curbed Seattle)
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🍿 TODAY – Saturday: Be a local film boss at the Local Sightings Film Festival, which features films and filmmakers making moves around the Northwest (Capitol Hill)
☕ TODAY: Venture into the mystical world of tea at this Foundation tea party. (Ballard)
🍸 Wednesday, Oct. 3: Take an inside look at what’s at stake in some key ballot initiatives at Seattle CityClub’s Civic Cocktail (Belltown) 🆕
🏠 Wednesday, Oct. 3: Get top tips on how to navigate our housing market at this Impact Hub Lunch + Learn (Pioneer Square)
🤓 Thursday, Oct. 4: Hear your neighbors dive into 5-minute talks on a fascinating topic with Ignite Seattle (Capitol Hill)
🎙️ Friday, Oct. 5: Get a fun primer on Seattle history from the recession of the glaciers to the opening of Ballard Locks at this Foundation event. (Fremont)
🍽 Tuesday, Oct. 9: Eat good food and meet good people while you honor and celebrate local agriculture at this Futurewise Feast with Friends. (Downtown)
👍 Wednesday, Oct. 10: Decode your leadership style and this Impact Hub Lunch + Learn (Pioneer Square) 🆕
🗣️ Wednesday, Oct. 10: Hear from CNN’s Van Jones at Seattle Arts & Lecture’s three part series shining a spotlight on journalism and journalists (Downtown) 🆕
🎟 Check out a musical spoof on a wacky murder mystery — through Sept. 30 (Edmonds)
👋 Get geeky about Seattle trivia with Crosscut columnist Knute Berger (Capitol Hill)
🎶 Cheer and sway to Brazilian jazz legend Sergio Mendes — through Sept. 30 (Belltown)
👋 Say ‘f*ck cancer’ and support Seattle photographers Lois and Jerry Levin — thanks to reader Madison Pappas for the rec! (Downtown)
🍵 Learn all about a good brew at this tea party and Evergrey partner event (Ballard)
🍿 Watch a bunch of films en français — through Oct. 4 (Queen Anne)
🗣 Hear from undocumented, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas (Downtown)
🍷 Sip boutique wines from around the Northwest with your neighbors (West Seattle)
💡 Talk about midterm elections and motherhood with veteran and Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth (Capitol Hill)
🍵 Put your pinkies up to sip on an assortment of teas — through Sept. 30 (Queen Anne)
🍿 Catch flicks by Southeast Asian directors — through Oct. 7 (All over)
🏈 See Seahawks-themed cars with fellow 12s at HAWKtoberfest (Kent)
🎈 Take the fam for a free boat ride at the wooden boat festival (South Lake Union)
🎟 Peruse handmade goods and tarot cards at a mystical market (Capitol Hill)
🍴 Bring the kids to nibble on all kinds of grilled cheese (Fremont)
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 page, and add your own events with an Evergrey membership. Is an event sold out? Hit reply to let us know and we’ll update the listing in tomorrow’s newsletter.
We’ll see you tomorrow. — The Evergrey
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