Interfaith Task Force on Homelessness            

"do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly"

to end homelessness

The Interfaith Task Force on Homelessness was founded in April 2001 at the 1st Creating the Political Will to End Homelessness event held at St. Mark's Cathedral. Our first Director was the Rev. David Bloom, who remains engaged, and our current Director (see Who We Are) started in June 2004.

Our location is
3030 Bellevue Way NE,
Bellevue WA,
98004,


phone
425.442.5418

email
itfh@comcast.net



The Interfaith Task Force on Homelessness has set forth its vision as being "the informed, reliable, and consistent voice of the religious community on homelessness in the Seattle and King County area."  The basic goals of the ITFH are "to provide a vehicle for the religious community to exert moral leadership among leaders in the public, business, nonprofit, and private sectors, and to exhort these leaders to form regional solutions that end homelessness and create affordable supportive housing."
 
 

According to the 2014 One Night Count of the Homeless in King County, there were at least 3,123 unsheltered and 9.294 total for One Night 
(and most concede it is a
significant undercount)

Monthly Meeting is held every Third Wednesday at Noon, in the Conference Room,
St. Mark's Cathedral,

1245 Tenth Ave. East, Seattle,
All are welcome!  
NEXT -->  November 19, 2014

The ITFH is hosted fiscally by St. Luke's Lutheran Church, Bellevue WA. We are proud of our host, which has a rich history of ministry to alleviate homelessness. St. Luke's began Congregations for the Homeless and was present for the start of The Sophia Way (see East County section). Currently St. Luke's hosts 21 beds with a full transitional shelter in its building. The congregation recently approved building permanent low-income housing on its property. Kudos to our host! 


 
If you are homeless and need help, call 2-1-1 during business hours


We just completed our 14th annual event!


Creating the Political Will
to End Homelessness

ANNUAL CONFERENCES:

 

I    2001, April 28  Creating the Political Will to End Homelessness;  Held at St. Mark’s Cathedral, Seattle;  350 Attendees; Moderated by The Rev. David Bloom


II    2002, June 2  Taking Action!

Held at First United Methodist Church, Seattle;  200 Attendees; keynotes by The Rev. Rich Lang and Rabbi Beth Singer


III   2003, November 12   Beyond the Revolving Door;
Held at St. Mark’s Cathedral, Seattle; 225 Attendees; Keynote by The Rev. Killian Noe


IV   2004, September 30   A Denial of Human Rights; In partnership with the Seattle Human Rights Commission, held at St. Mark’s Cathedral, Seattle;  200 Attendees; Keynote by Dr. Bill Grace

V     2005, October 1   Affirming Charity, Compassion, and Justice;

Held at First United Methodist Church, Bellevue; 150 attendees; Keynote by Rep. Mark Miloscia

VI   2006, June 10   Making the Ten Year Plan REAL; In partnership with the Church Council of Greater Seattle, held at Mt. Zion Baptist Church, Seattle; 200 attendees; Keynotes by Mike Lowry (with help by Ron Sims)


VII   2007, September 18    The Ten Year Plan’s Regional Reality; 
Held at Grace Lutheran Church, Des Moines;

150 attendees; Keynote by Joe Martin

VIII   2008, October 11   Equity and Social Justice;  Held at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Mercer Island; 130 attendees; Keynote by Ron Sims

IX    2009, October 21   Stand By Me

Held at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, Bellevue; 125 attendees; Keynote by Laura Clark

X.    2010, September 15  5 Years,…Are We on Target?; Held at St. Mark’s Cathedral, Seattle; 250 attendees; Keynotes by The Rev. David Bloom and Richard Lemieux


XI.  2011, October 19  Light One Candle

Held at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, Bellevue;  75 attendees; Keynote by The Rev. Craig Rennebohm 


XII. 2012, October 17 Here I Am
Held at St. Mark's Cathedral, Seattle;    
85 attendees, keynote by The Rev. Bill Kirlin-Hackett         
 

XIII. 2013, September 10 & 17 Engaging Homelessness,  Held 9/10 at Kent UMC, and 9/17 at Ronald UMC Shoreline, 125 attendees, keynote by The Rev. Rick Reynolds

XIV. 2014, October 21  Homelessness: It’s a Crime   Held at St. Mark’s Cathedral, Seattle; 150 attendees; Keynote by Lisa Daugaard; Topic panel – Sara Rankin and Tim Harris

Ending Homelessness
A Statement of Commitment
September 15, 2010

 

Today, we commit our faith traditions to addressing the crime of homelessness, not only in a one-day conference, not only in a ten-year plan, but from now on, and until homelessness is ended.

 

Homelessness is an emergency in our community.  Unfortunately, we who are fortunate enough to be housed have grown used to this emergency and numb to its impact on thousands of men, women, and children.  We have yet to fully demonstrate the moral vision and political will to assure that those who are already homeless in our midst receive the kind of care and compassion that we would unquestionably provide to those who might lose their homes due to an act of nature, such as an earthquake or a flood. 

The practice of hospitality – by various names -- is at the core of our faith traditions.  Each holy book that guides us is replete with admonitions to welcome the stranger in our midst.  Faith communities in our region have invited the poor and the homeless to sit at their tables and sleep under their roofs.  They have created emergency shelter, transitional housing, low-income housing, meal programs, financial assistance programs, and a wide range of other services.  But faith communities can’t do it all.  Their ameliorative efforts, while important and necessary, do not address the underlying structural causes of homelessness.  Until we do that as a total community homelessness will continue to be with us.

By this Statement of Commitment, we acknowledge that both the faith community and the community at large must do more, because we believe that the work of ending homelessness is a responsibility we share in common.  We stand together today to say the following:

1.  We will continue to support the intent of the Ten-Year Plan to End Homelessness in King County, as well as other Ten-Year Plan efforts in Washington State.

2.  We commit to collaborate in bringing the resources of our faith communities to help end homelessness, both in terms of meeting immediate need and in terms of advocating for public policies and budgets that place a priority on ending homelessness.

3.  We challenge all our congregations to open their doors to those in need of emergency shelter beginning this very night.

4.  We will apply the ideas of this conference and others to help refocus, renew, and restore our common commitment as citizens to bring into reality a roof over every bed.

 

We all know what is needed.  First, we must provide a safe place to sleep for all who are already homeless.  Second, we must assure that adequate funding, policies and programs are in place that help people at immediate risk of homelessness.  Third, we must work for policies that will prevent homelessness: a living wage, affordable housing for all, support services, and treatment for all who face physical and mental challenges. 

 

The commandment that we love our neighbor exists in every living faith because the wisdom of our traditions understands what is required for human societies to prosper.   If we don’t fulfill our responsibility to each other, the hope of this great nation will collapse under the weight of injustice.  Let us each work toward a community in which the dignity of each person is the central social, political, and spiritual fact of our common life together.    

 

 

 

 

 

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