This Friday, Nov. 15, 2019, starting at 9 a.m. at the Kent Centennial Center, the LGBTQ Allyship, an LGBTQ+ non-profit leading LGBTQ+ housing justice work in King county, will release a housing report on the impacts of LGBTQ+ residents from the South King county housing crisis.
LGBTQ Allyship Executive Director Debbie Carlsen, along with leaders from the South King County LGBTQ+ Housing Committee, report participants, Kent Councilmember Satwinder Kaur, Kent Councilmember Brenda Fincher, and King County Councilmember Dave Upthegrove, will share highlights of how rising housing costs impact LGBTQ+ residents and recommendations for housing solutions.
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The report’s release created a groundswell of community concern and resulted in the formation of the first South King County LGBTQ+ Housing Committee. This 11 member committee, responding to the report’s recommendations, is launching a housing campaign to address LGBTQ+ housing discrimination, homelessness and housing insecurity. The LGBTQ+ Housing Committee will officially launch their campaign on November 15th at Kent Centennial Center, room 105, 400 W Gowe St, Kent, WA 98032.
In a climate where our national leaders are trying to legalize LGBTQ discrimination in the Departments of Health and Human Services and Housing, LGBTQ Allyship has been working to address the influx of LGBTQ+ residents from Seattle to South King County over the last several years. Seattle’s housing crisis continues to displace LGBTQ+ people of color and low to moderate income families. The impact of LGBTQ+ displacement is social isolation, invisibility, lack of culturally competent services, increased homelessness and housing insecurity, and a lack of safety. This groundbreaking report sheds light on the voices, experiences and impacts of LGBTQ+ people of color, trans and low-income residents.
Kent Councilmember Satwinder Kaur states, “The results from the South King County LGBTQ+ Housing report is surprising and disturbing. We as city council members must ensure all of our residents are protected from discrimination and receiving the services and support that they deserve to thrive in healthy, safe and affordable communities.”
“If LGBTQ+ communities are not being reached out to around housing services and affordable housing opportunities in South King County, it puts vulnerable LGBTQ+ populations at risk of being homeless,” says Senator Claire Wilson, 30th Legislative District, “We can do better in South King County and statewide.”
“This represents the first LGBTQ+ led housing report in South King County and sheds light on experiences from our community that often are overlooked. It’s important that communities most impacted are directing LGBTQ+ housing solutions in South King County and it’s clear that vulnerable queer and trans residents are not being served well in South King County,” said LGBTQ Allyship Executive Director, Debbie Carlsen.
Alanna Woods, South King County LGBTQ+ Housing Committee member and report participant replies, “I am from Sea-Tac and have lived here most of my life. As a trans non-binary person, I haven’t seen my community’s voice represented in local or regional housing and community development solutions. It’s time our voices are heard and highlighted.”
The release of the South King County LGBTQ+ Housing Report and launch of a LGBTQ+ – led housing campaign in South King County is a game changer for LGBTQ+ residents struggling with homelessness and housing insecurity.
LGBTQ Allyship is a social and economic justice organization in the Puget Sound area. We serve over 3800 individuals and work on access to affordable housing, economic equity, and eliminating youth and senior homelessness in the LGBTQ community through education, advocacy, research and community organizing. For more information go to http://www.allyship.org.