Just like everyone, the people of Impact NW are navigating these unforgettable, historic times with expressions of relief, apprehension and hope. Above all, we are drawn to calls for unity and renewed energy for investment in breaking down oppressive barriers and building communities that work for everyone. I am moved by how Michelle DePass, President and CEO of the Meyer Memorial Trust, eloquently describes how to look to our communities to inspire us when there is uncertainty.
At Impact NW, we are invigorated in our mission to end homelessness, especially for our most-vulnerable neighbors. With a new President elected — and the historical election of the first woman and woman of color Vice President — we are looking forward to, as the President Elect describes, “a time to heal in America.” We are looking forward to doing what we have done for more than 50 years — unite our community and come together to take on the challenge of our day. I can’t recall a time in my 30 years of work in the community when we have more needed to come together and find something we can all work on together.
What I hear from the people at Impact NW — our clients, employees, supporters and partners — is, as Michelle DePass describes, a “flame of hope.” However, with that hope also comes apprehension and fear about potential backlash and violence against people of color. There are doubts that things will really change. But there is hope. Considering the challenges of 2020, and the centuries-old quest for justice, these voices of hope are especially powerful and what I am choosing to follow right now.
More and more, Impact NW is dismantling systems that oppress people while building a multi-cultural solution to prevent homelessness. We have work to do but we also have leaders doing the work. We know the path ahead won’t be easy or comfortable, but we walk ahead anyway. Above all, we remain hopeful. We will continue to listen, change and engage anyone and everyone in this mission to prevent homelessness. It’s what our community needs from us right now. It is time, as Vice President Elect Kamala Harris puts it, “to unite our country and heal the soul of our nation.”