“How can I help?”
It’s the fundamental question many in Seattle ask themselves when confronted with the homelessness epidemic across the city. While some ponder shipping off Seattle’s homeless to an island somewhere (seriously), others are trying to create proactive solutions that help in some small way.
Devin Silvernail is trying to do what he can through The Pledge. It’s an informal program in which local businesses can sign up to promote the fact that they will “do what they feel comfortable doing to help out.” That could entail anything from offering water, a free coffee, bathroom usage, or anything else they think might help a homeless person’s day.
Participating businesses simply put up Pledge stickers in their window proving their involvement and saying what they offer.
There are currently 10 businesses participating in The Pledge, nine of which are in Seattle. They include Columbia City Bakery, which offers water and bathroom usage, and Peloton Bicycle Shop & Cafe, where you can charge your phone and get a free bike pump. You can check out the full list via the map below.
It hasn’t been entirely smooth sailing for The Pledge so far. They had gotten up to 12 businesses with hopes of reaching 15 by the end of August, but some participating businesses decided to opt out over various concerns.
As Seattle continues to grapple with how to deal with homeless populations, The Pledge offers a little bit of help to those increasingly in need of new options.