Finding Swifthaven; Your Gifts; Needed; Neighborhood Food, membership, meeting; More; Song: They’re Calling Me Home

CONTENTS 2/20/2021
   Finding Swifthaven
   Your Gifts
   Needed
   What A Tiny Home Has Meant
Columbia Neighborhood Association
   Canned Food & Membership Drive
   Quarterly Meeting
This Neighborhood Rocks!
Input Opportunity
Yofi Is Home
Lost Cat
Radio Free Fl!p: They’re Calling Me Home

FINDING SWIFTHAVEN

We had a confusing event last night, which led to a great resolution. To begin with, I got this email from one of yesterday’s cooks:

When we went to deliver the food, we were met by an unmasked young man in front of the food tent who insisted on getting quite close to us in the guise of helping us to carry our stuff.  I am now feeling quite conflicted about preparing food if those receiving it cannot be bothered to protect others from potentially serious infection.

Oh! That’s TERRIBLE!!! Were you at the lower parking lot with lots of tents, or at the tiny house village up the hill from there? We have stopped asking volunteers to deliver meals to the tent encampment because of other incidents like this. Your safety is very, very important to me. Love/Fl!p

And then I contacted SwiftHaven, in an absolute panic. I think my greatest fear in this project is not having enough cooks to sustain delivering hot meals. We couldn’t tell where the incident happened. But we all put our heads together and came up with a plan. They found  a cell phone for Heather J, who has undertaken the task of receiving from cooks. And someone agreed to add her to their unlimited “family plan” at only $20 a month. And I sent that person $120 by PayPal to pay for 6 months of service for Heather. Now that she’s living at the tiny home village no one is likely to steal her phone. So cooks will be able to phone her before they leave home with their hot meals to coordinate delivery. WHEW!!!! 

This morning I got this back from my cooks, about last night:

We were at the tent place. D___ put the address he thought we were supposed to go to into his GPS. We didn’t see anything when we got to the spot on the GPS and kept driving some way and came to the tent village. Sorry about the mixup.

So, despite the mixup, these cooks helped us take a really big step in improving our ability to coordinate. I’m SO glad they let me know!

I still need to figure out how to make the destination MUCH clearer in my directions to SwiftHaven for cooks. There are tiny homes rather than tents, with a big chain link fence. I will work on refining my directions, and always include Heather J’s phone number.

The SwiftHaven folks do not wear masks inside their fence, because they were all tested for Covid before they moved in, and they decided together that within their fence was “home.” They are figuring out how to be family for each other. But they are quite responsible towards people from outside.

Sometimes we all still forget masks. I have people come to my own door at least a couple times a week who have forgotten their masks. I have gotten in my car and driven several blocks from home before realizing I forgot my own mask. I finally stored some spares in the car. We’re still all learning to live in this new world.

I talk through the glass in my front door, and offer others a mask. And ask them (and all of you) to please talk with me from the foot of our steps, for my safety. If someone forgets these days, you can ask them politely to mask up. I am 70, in a vulnerable age group, with immune deficiencies. But I have the privilege of staying home. So far, I think it makes sense for me to wait until school teachers and grocery workers and other front-line workers who don’t have the choice to stay home, have gotten their vaccines. In the meantime, I’d love your help talking with me from below our bottom step, because I keep forgetting to ask.

YOUR GIFTS

In this COVID winter, it seems to me that this is an extraordinarily hard year to be homeless, with fewer resources than any year in recent memory. A good time to bring people together to help. I have been just blown away at the kindness that flows through our door. And now some folks have figured out that they can order online and send donations directly to our house. And in most cases, I have no idea who sent it!!! So I am listing some of the amazing arrivals here, with deep gratitude:

Two big boxes of hand warmers (I actually know who sent these and wrote immediately to say thank you); two big boxes of toe warmers; two boxes of AAA batteries; six mylar emergency “sleeping bags;” 8 pairs of wonderful leather men’s large gloves!!! More gloves. Fleece gloves. All big enough. And wool socks!

People continue to show up with wonderful rolling luggage. I think we’ve had 8 so far, and 3 good backpacks as well. A friend sent a delivery of TP, AAA batteries, and dog kibble directly to one of the Out-Reacher’s homes. Folks showed up this week with boxes and boxes of canned & dry goods for cooks to transform. And shelving!!!  At least three sets of shelves have been offered.

People have donated money as well. I’m buying really good supplies on sale, at deep discount because they’re in bulk. And I have finally realized I can contribute to gasoline for the Out-Reachers. You would not believe how many miles they are driving a week this winter! And none of them are wealthy. Caring for others should not cut into their ability to care for their own families. Thank you for leaving me flexibility to notice needs and help, not just those without shelter, but the helpers as well. We are the Hands Of God.

NEEDED

* 32, 34, 36 jeans, sweats, carharts – no dress pants. And cargo shorts for next summer, we can take them now! We need lots.
* Men’s Shoes, 10, 11, 12 & half sizes. Waterproof.
* One pair men’s boots 8-8.5 for a large woman
* Women’s bras: 34, 36, 38 B & C cup
* More fruit snacks. Please no more granola bars or instant noodles/oatmeal/cocoa powder now that the warming shelter has closed. Many neighbors without shelter have no access to hot water. We’re sharing what we already have with folks in RVs and motels, but we have plenty for now. Fruit Snacks are like gummy candy rather than like fruit leather. They stay soft in cold weather and can be chewed by people who haven’t been able to afford dentistry, sometimes for a long time.
* Waist-high shelves for my front entry. Really sturdy. I’d get less exercise unstacking and re-stacking boxes, but my back would appreciate that.
* D cell batteries – about 8 total.
* Picnic table for SwiftHaven
* Someone to do a SmartFood run, again! (This makes me really happy because so many people have been picking up ingredients, pots & pans from the lending library, and containers. There has been some amazing food going out lately.)
* More cooks to sign up for next week! Email or text or phone me. Contact info is at the end of every email I send. We can discuss ingredients together.

WHAT A TINY HOME HAS MEANT

I found this video of interviews with tiny home residents in Toronto very touching.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AdbmLKaGleg

COLUMBIA NEIGHBORHOOD CANNED FOOD & MEMBERSHIP DRIVE

Saturday 2/20  10am-2pm

Help out others! Drive by the Share Shack to donate canned goods that will be delivered to The Food Bank. ALSO, we will have our annual CNA Membership Drive AT the Share Shack (Corner of W. Connecticut and Henry St) where 40% of your membership will be donated to one of the following organizations of your choice: Whatcom Human Rights Task Force, Whatcom Community Foundation, Homes Now, The Mission, Northwest Youth Services or The Food Bank. $10 individual membership, $15 for family membership. You can drive up and we will have COVID safe measures for paying for your membership (cash, check, venmo options) and for letting us know where you want your donation to go! If you can’t make it to the membership drive, please fill out this form and someone will be in touch with you: https://docs.google.com/…/1M1UiLSCUMfy29LQRGgO…/edit 

DATE CORRECTION!

COLUMBIA NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION QUARTERLY MEETING

Online – Zoom Call
Tuesday, 2/23   6:30-8pm

Join us for a Neighborhood Town Hall and hear updates and action items from our City Council – Hannah Stone, Mayor – Seth Fleetwood, Whatcom PUD Commissioner – Christine Grant and State Legislator – Alicia Rule

The Town Hall focus is local to statewide updates and actions we can take.

AGENDA
1) Welcome and CNA Announcements
2) CNA Treasurer’s and MNAC Report
3) Get to Know Your Neighbors Activity
4) Neighborhood Town Hall
5) Membership Drive
6) Board Elections

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88332968863..Z
Meeting ID: 883 3296 8863
Passcode: 088987

THANK YOU / THIS NEIGHBORHOOD ROCKS!

Earlier this week I suggested the idea of starting a GoFundMe page to help support our neighbor, Yoav Yanich, who lost his house and life partner to a house fire. At the time, I thought it might be a long shot, but boy howdy has this neighborhood surpassed even my wildest hopes! Nothing can replace what Yoav has lost, but this overwhelming show of neighborly love must certainly bring some joy. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! Also, a HUGE thank you to Katie Jorgensen for setting up and managing the account!)  Feeling so much gratitude right now . . . ~ Lysa Rivera (Victor Street)

INPUT OPPORTUNITY

Democracy is not a spectator sport! I think a key part of creating affordable housing is publicly owned land. This should be interesting to follow. There’s a place for us to offer input.

https://cob.org/services/planning/development/multifamily-zoning

YOFI IS HOME

Miracle of miracles! Yofi has been found! A man, Ken, from Kenmore called me asking if I was the owner of a dog. He was going to read the license # and I asked him what he looked like. He said, kind of like a small german shepherd.

I said, That’s it! It’s Yofi! He looked at the collar and he said “Yofi!” I thanked him with all my heart and then some and took down his #. He said Yofi was fine and he was playing with his small poodle. More thanks. Then I called Linda and she answered sadly. I told her. She was in ecstasy. After our call she was going to call Ken and get directions and drive down and scoop up Yofi in her living arms. His name is “Yofi”.  My son David named him. It’s Hebrew. It means “wonderful, lovely.” Amazing Grace!  ~ Esther Faber

LOST CAT

Our friends live on Northwest right across from Goods. Their kitty Kim is missing. She has no collar and no chip 🙁 Get in touch with Tom & Kirah Loeffler @ 360.812.1383. Thank you! ~ Julea Ivancovich  (360) 820-3581

https://bellingham.craigslist.org/pet/d/bellingham-lost-cat/7280042656.html

RADIO FREE FL!P: THEY’RE CALLING ME HOME

Rhiannon Giddens. This is just stunning!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3siE2xbVD34

Love/Fl!p 360-671-4511  2518 Cherry Street flip@columbianeighborhood.org

If you’re willing to share your phone  with me, personally, I would love that, and would not share it further without your express permission. Nor would I ever exploit it. You might put mine in your phone so if I were to phone you, you’d know it was me. I’d also suggest adding flip@openaccess.org to your contacts because that helps keep my emails from going to your junk mail.

If you want to ask me to post something, just email me. If it’s urgent, phone. If it’s a real emergency, call 911.

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