Category Archives: Events

Inch By Inch, Row By Row

By Pastor Julie Hutson, Luther Memorial Lutheran Church

There’s a folk song, made somewhat famous by John Denver, that describes the process of planting and growing a garden.

Inch by inch, row by row, going to make this garden grow.  All it takes is a rake and a hoe and a piece of fertile ground. 

The residents of Ronald Commons had a dream and a desire to plant and tend just such a garden.  A set of raised beds made this fertile ground possible. Soon after Ronald Commons opened, residents began planning what this plot of community might look like.  Resident Joel Cochran put his education and experience to work in creating a master plan for the garden. Donations from the community, including three area Lutheran (ELCA) churches:  Edmonds Lutheran Church, Luther Memorial Lutheran Church, and Maple Leaf Lutheran Church, helped with the purchase of plants and garden tools.

Eager to dig deeper than a financial donation, the confirmation classes from the three congregations offered up “people power” as the Ronald Commons residents planned for their day of garden planting.  Eight middle school students and three pastors listened attentively to instruction on the finer points of garden planting. Soon hands were busy (and dirty!) getting the vegetables, fruits, and flowers into the ground.

Pulling weeds and picking stones, we are made of dreams and bones; feel the need to grow my own ‘cause the time is close at hand.

Along the way, the confirmation students enjoyed a tour of the common areas of the housing as well as the chance to meet and enjoy the playground with some of the children who call Ronald Commons home.  Staff and residents joined in as the sun seemed to bless the activity itself and the community as it formed.

Reflecting on Challenges and Faith in Action

Follow up conversation centered around the need for affordable housing in our area and the challenges facing both those who need housing and those who have the capacity to provide it.  We discussed Compass Housing Alliance’s future affordable housing project on the site of Luther Memorial, made possible in part by the generosity of the congregation.  We also noted that Edmonds Lutheran is considering a similar partnership and that Maple Leaf has hosted Tent City.  The students were so excited to see faith in action!

As the day ended, everyone gathered around the freshly planted gardens to bless the garden and all of the hands who had made it possible.  The students and pastors look forward to a return trip to Ronald Commons to see the fruits of their labors!

Plant your rows straight and long, temper them with prayer and song.  Mother Earth will make you strong if you give her love and care.                                                  

For More Information:

Pastor Julie Hutson,

Songwriter: DAVID MALLETT Garden Song lyrics © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC, Reservoir One Music, RESERVOIR MEDIA MANAGEMENT INC Used here for educational purposes.

Ronald Commons Opens in Shoreline

Compass Housing Alliance came together with our partners Hopelink and Ronald United Methodist Church, community leaders and members to celebrate the February 17th grand opening of Ronald Commons in Shoreline.

Ronald Commons Ribbon CuttingHopelink Food Bank

Residents, including veterans, families with pets, and persons with disabilities, are now settling in to the 60 units of permanent and supportive affordable housing. Hopelink’s onsite Integrated Service Center is set to serve residents and the surrounding community with a grocery store style food bank, financial education, family services and more.

Together with our partners, we are working to meet the needs these families and community members have today as well as supporting their future growth and success.

Ronald Commons Faith Alliance

Learn more about Ronald Commons here.

Seattle Symphony Concerts Feature Art by Compass Housing Alliance Clients

Compass was honored to have our Veterans and Cascade Women’s Program residents share their stories and creativity at the Seattle Symphony’s Charles Ives performances. We send special thanks to the Symphony’s CEO Simon Woods for his visionary leadership in connecting the arts and social services in such a meaningful way.

As part of their Simple Gifts Initiative, the Symphony invited clients from Compass Housing Alliance and three other area organizations to listen to Charles Ives’ New England Holidays and create art in response to the music. The art was layered with portraits of the participants in a video to accompany the Symphony’s February 2nd and 4th performances of the Ives work.

Cascade Women’s Program resident Susan working on her drawing. Photo Courtesy of the Seattle Symphony

Read about Cascade Women’s Program resident Susan’s experience with the project.

1000+ Volunteer at 2am to “Count Us In”

In the early morning hours of Friday, January 27th, volunteers flooded the Compass Center and spread out across Seattle and King County to count people sleeping in cars, tents, and in the open.Crowd of volunteers gather for Count Us In

All Home coordinated the effort with over 1,000 volunteers working in small teams of 3 or 4, led by paid team guides who are currently or formerly homeless.

Unlike with counts done in previous years, the final numbers will be released in spring rather than immediately. That’s due to changes in methodology to incorporate data from area shelters and transitional housing to give a more complete picture of homelessness throughout King County.

Thanks to everyone who joined us, All Home, community partners, and Mayor Ed Murray for your help and support. We look forward to learning the results of the count in the coming months as we continue to work on solutions to homelessness in our community.Seattle Mayor Murray joined the 2017 count of King County homeless

2017 Day of Remembrance

The Church of Steadfast Love hosted this year’s “Service of Remembrance” for those who have died on the streets or because of homelessness on Friday, January 6th.

A candle was lit for each person lost and their names were read. We honored 146 people during the service and will continue to keep them in our thoughts.