by Susan Fried
On Tuesday, March 4, Real Change began distributing The Emerald City Resource Guide, a 126-page directory of services available to people experiencing homelessness. Although unhoused people often have phones or can use computers at the library, they frequently have no reliable access to technology. The pocket-sized resource guide is designed to provide information on where to find shelter, hygiene services, food, and healthcare services.
There are over 300 services listed in the guide. The print run of 40,000 copies will be available at over 75 locations around the city including through human service agencies, first responders, and the Seattle Public Library. Both the Seattle Police and King County Sheriff’s Departments will receive copies to assist people in finding needed services. Real Change vendors will also have access to a few copies per day to share with people in need.
Real Change received the majority of its funding from King County 2-1-1 which also helped identify the various services included in the guide. Additional funding for the guide came from a dozen other sponsors including Solid Ground, the Muslim Association of Puget Sound, Jewish Family Services, the YWCA of Seattle, King and Snohomish Counties, and the Pike Market Senior Center.
Inspiration for the guide came from The Street Roots Rose City Resource, a 104-page guide to services for people experiencing homelessness and poverty in Portland. Street Roots, like Real Change, creates income opportunities for people experiencing homelessness and poverty by producing a newspaper and other media promoting individual and social change. Real Change plans to keep the information current in the guide by publishing it twice a year.