Members of the Horizon House Board’s Community Relations/Diversity Committee visited Solid Ground, a low-income housing group that works to end poverty and other issues that are root causes of poverty. The Committee consists of board members and residents, and ensures Horizon House continues to be recognized in the broader community, as an organization of people living and working together in the spirit of diversity.
The Committee also identifies organizations in the broader community aligned with our mission and vision and who share Horizon House’s commitment to enhancing diversity and inclusion. Each year the Committee considers funding for nominated organizations, programs, or services that provide services to older adults from diverse backgrounds. The Committee also seeks partnership or volunteer opportunities with these organizations.
The Committee identified Solid Ground after Horizon House resident Joan Lawson noticed a number of their vans going by in downtown Seattle. Curious, she did some research and learned that it was originally called the Fremont Public Association that was founded in 1974 to serve one of Seattle’s then devastated communities. Starting with an emergency food bank, clothing bank and employment program and then providing transportation when Seattle stopped its free bus, Solid Ground now has 22 programs from residential services for homelessness and poverty including prevention and stabilization; farm and P-Patch gardens; seniors and people living with disabilities; and RSVP—retired and senior volunteer program. Solid Ground was a perfect nominee to partner with Horizon House’s committee and to receive funds.
Touring Solid Ground
The resident committee toured Solid Ground with Humberto Alvarez, Solid Ground’s Planning and Development Director, and Mitchell Chen, Solid Ground’s Annual Giving Officer. Solid Ground is located in Sand Point and is made up of eight buildings: one for non-permanent residents and seven for permanent housing. These buildings house 100 families, 250 children and many single adults in more than 200 units. Solid Ground also provides services like therapeutic counseling, computer labs, job support, and more. Many of the Solid Ground residents are people who are coming out of homelessness.
The Horizon House Committee asked many questions during the tour, wanting to learn more about the diversity of the people living at Solid Ground, services provided to them, and more. Alvarez and Chen gave a detailed tour of one of the buildings, allowing Horizon House residents to tour the apartments available to Solid Ground residents, and even speak with current residents. The Horizon House Committee also learned about the surrounding amenities that are open to Solid Ground residents, including outdoor play areas, ball fields, a gym, a theater and more.
“Being displaced is so hard on adults and especially children,” said Horizon House resident Joan Lawson. “I am thrilled that our funds could make a difference in getting people back on their feet, especially in a community setting.”
Service To The Broader Community
A big part of Horizon House’s mission is service to the broader community. At the end of the tour, the Horizon House Committee presented Solid Ground with a check for $4,000. The money will go towards housing, as Solid Ground is preparing to open new buildings to allow for even more housing.
Horizon House has always been involved in the community beyond our doors. Residents and staff seek to support organizations whose programs and services align with our mission and make a difference locally. The common thread among the organizations we support with grants, sponsorships, and memberships is their commitment to enhancing the lives of older adults.