March 2015 Update September 7, 2015 | Shawna McMahon Companionship Trainings, Resources, and what we’re thinking about… We have a new office and have become a 501c3! We are very excited to announce that the Mental Health Chaplaincy is now a 501c3 corporation!! Our new offices are at All Pilgrim’s Christian Church on Capitol Hill, the historic home of the work of the Chaplaincy, on 500 Broadway East (Seattle). Soon you will be able to visit with Kae or Scott in the heart of Seattle’s Capitol Hill. Companionship Training Saturday March 7, 2015 Chaplain Kae Eaton will be presenting a half day workshop on The Way of Companionship (Companionship Training) at Operation Nightwatch (302 14th Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98144) on March 7 from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm. Registration for the class is $20, and there are 35 seats available for this class. For registration, please email Ben Curtis with Operation Nightwatch: Ben@seattlenightwatch.org, or call (206) 323-4359. Plymouth Healing Communities needs you! Would you like to give the gift of companionship to a person in our Seattle community? Are you available to attend a day of training at Plymouth Church on Saturday 11th April 2015? Community Companion Volunteers: Plymouth Healing Communities is looking for compassionate volunteers to offer companionship to Seattle residents who have faced homelessness and live with mental illness. Community Companion Volunteers support and empower others through genuine, side-by-side relationships that promote healthy connections to the greater community. From meeting with Program Participants individually for coffee to attending free/low-cost events as a group, Volunteers walk alongside others as they heal and reconnect with themselves and the world around them. Respite Volunteers: The House of Healing has a lot of appreciation for respite volunteers who provide a vital and unique role within the house. Volunteers engage with residents of the house — being in conversation over coffee, working on puzzles together, cooking a meal, playing Scrabble, being present and available for each resident as they move through their daily life and towards recovery and healing. Please contact Simone Seymour, for details and a volunteer application for the Community Companion program. Email firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone 206.851.8847 If you are interested being a Respite Volunteer for the House of Healing please contact Peter Strand. Email email@example.com, or phone 206.861.1342 From the Kae Eaton, Chaplain A new study on the causes of addiction Johann Hari, author of Chasing the Scream has authored a new study on the causes of addiction. His compelling look at isolation and its effect on addiction and how connection to others and community is an antidote are food for thought for any of us facing addiction issues or supporting those who do. www.huffingtonpost.com/johann-hari/the-real-cause-of-addicti_b_6506936.html A Call for the Friends Assistance Fund Recent work of the Chaplaincy has revealed the prevailing need for an Assistance Fund for those experiencing life on the street. Try as you might, you never have enough socks; nor can you seem to pull together the $80 needed for your driver’s license to secure that delivery job; or the bus ticket home to Montana; or to replace the broken window in your van before winter sets in. 3rd world problems in a 1st world setting, the most basic needs of survival. We have set up the Assistance Fund on your behalf. Please donate, as you are able, whatever funds your heart desires, and note “Assistance Fund” on your gift. In so doing, you are designating that it is to be used specifically for those living on the street or those who are experiencing ongoing severe mental illness with limited funds for treatment or critical needs. In addition, know that this is your fund, and if you are aware of a need, please be in touch and we will administer these funds faithfully, as they are available. A Word from Scott Kovacs, Recovery Support Specialist With the modernization and gentrification of our neighborhoods, those in need struggle to find safe shelter. Each day more dust settles in South Lake Union as we make room for progress, creating newer, shinier places for us to shop, work, and live. Unfortunately, the covered places and nooks and crannies of those “not shiny places” are where many of the men and women I see every day have been taking refuge, especially in the cold of winter. As I walk each day in the Cascade neighborhood and adjacent South Lake Union, I see less and less of those places where our homeless neighbors take shelter. As we welcome the economic progress and prosperity of our city, the reality of how we are displacing the homeless and other persons living on the margins with tearing down old structures and building new ones highlights our responsibility to advocate for those who struggle with mental illness, income inequality, addiction, and the many other factors that create homelessness. As we pass by the “tear-downs” and the “shiny-new” places, please consider how we are jeopardizing the welfare of those who live in the shadows of those places, and how we might foster help and home for them.