Ezekiel a housing navigator poses in front of the Otto's Place sign

Today is Giving Tuesday, an opportunity for people around the world to use their individual power of generosity to remain connected and support their communities. It’s a day that encourages people to do good. For Compass employees, every day is a day to give. Sometimes, though, an individual staff member goes far beyond what we expect.

Ezekiel is a housing navigator who helps our unhoused neighbors at our Compass at First Presbyterian (CFP) program connect with housing opportunities. One thing that sometimes gets in the way of housing for our guests is personal identification. It’s hard to keep track of important documents when you do not have stable housing and our housing navigators often work with our guests to complete the necessary paperwork for ID.

Recently, a backlog at the Department of Licensing slowed the process of getting ID to a crawl. Without ID, some of our guests were losing out on opportunities to get housing.

“This was quickly becoming a civil rights issue,” Ezekiel said. “People who are experiencing homelessness already have so many disadvantages and then to be denied these basic documents, it was just making it worse.”

Ezekiel decided to take action. He learned that the Department of Licensing had a Civil Rights division. Ezekiel got in contact with them and advocated on our guests’ behalf. He was able to secure CFP a spot in a pilot program where walk-in slots at the Department of Licensing would be available for our guests so that they could complete the process of getting identification. Compass staff like Ezekiel routinely go above and beyond the call of duty. During the COVID crisis, Compass has recognized the difficulty of their work by paying hazard pay at a cost of about $20,000 per month. Our Emergency Response Fund helps us cover these costs.

Giving is not just about making a donation. It is about making a difference because everyone has something to give and every act of generosity counts. 

Today, there are many ways you can show your generosity:

Today only, join the generosity movement! Thank you for being a part of the Compass team. Together we can build a stronger community. 

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