You could have visited after all

Dear President Trump,

There wasn’t a peep about it this morning, but I’m sure the news outlets will tell us later whether you decided to stick it out in Washington DC in a pouty austerity move or went on to Mar-a-Lago so as not to disappoint the patrons who are paying dearly for a few minutes of your time and some brownie-point crumbs tonight. Wherever you end up, I wanted to let you know that my rather uncharitable comment yesterday was incorrect; there is someplace here in Seattle I would have liked to show you.

It was on 65th Ave. NE underneath I-5 at 3pm. You would have needed to dress warmly and you’d probably want to lose the suit and tie. I don’t see you ever wearing a hat, but you’d probably have been more comfortable with one since it’s pretty cold and dark under the freeway in December. Had you been here then you would have seen four tables covered with cheerful red and white checked tablecloths surrounded by folding chairs, half a dozen people setting up serving stations and hot food dishes, and some hungry people waiting to eat. Basically, you would have come upon the Ravenna Pop-up Kitchen, which will have been in operation for a year come January. The RPK serves between 15 and 45 homeless people a hot dinner every Sunday afternoon.

Laura and I found out about it from our neighborhood newsletter and we’ve been contributing food for the past six weeks. The RPK is modeled after a similar effort down in South Seattle and is made possible by a core group of neighbors who decided to do something super local to address the growing number of people who are being priced out of housing in Seattle.

If you were to visit you’d see people loading up plates, sitting down at the tables with their food and hot cocoa and visiting or just eating. You’d see big bins full of warm hats, socks, gloves, and coats plus other bins of new underwear and toiletry kits. Nearby you’d see the back ends of several small cars open with back-up supplies at the ready. You might see a young man tending a propane heated popcorn popper and you would definitely see his wagon set up to take the garbage, food waste, and recyclables home for processing. Mostly, you’d also see a lot of love.

May we all find safe havens.
May we all be happy to help create safe havens.
May we help one another be healthy and strong.
May we create just solutions that give everyone peace and dignity.

Tracy Simpson

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