Over the holiday weekend, please take a moment to pray for the homeless of Western Washington. According to a 2004 statistic from the Committee to End Homelessness in King County, on any given night there are an estimated 8300 people homeless in King County. The committee feels King County's homeless rate is strongly tied to the high cost of living in certain areas of King County.
It is difficult, if not impossible, for low-income individuals and families to find affordable housing in King County. In the spring of 2004, average rents for a one-bedroom apartment ranged from $577 in Auburn to $944 in Bellevue and more than $1,100 in downtown Seattle. For a disabled person living on Supplemental Security income (SSI) of $564 per month, the lowest average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is more than his or her monthly income. A worker earning minimum wage ($7.16 per hour) would need to work 80 hours per week to afford a one-bedroom apartment at the Fair Market Rent of $729. Thehousing wage in King County; the hourly wage that a worker would need to earn in a forty-hour workweek in order to afford a one-bedroom apartment; is $14.02 per hour or $29,162 per year.
Remember this was 2004. Housing costs have skyrocketed much higher since then, making the problem even more potent.
Lets put our heads together and think about what we can do to help this Thanksgiving. At the very least there is someone ringing a bell at your local department store... I think that's a good start.
Happy Thanksgiving Bloggers.
The Salvation Army now offers an "online red kettle" as well if you are interested in donating right now.