But when I sat down to write, anger was not what came out. Hope was. Yes, I was still angry and sad about those things, but hope pushed through.
So rather than an angry blog post, what I want to do is offer an invitation. And invitation to dream, to collaborate, and the imagine how our community might engage the reality that in our neighborhoods there are people experiencing poverty, addiction, and mental illness.
I invite you to dream of a Everett community where ALL people can live, be safe, and thrive. Where those experiencing poverty can find stability. Where those dealing with mental (un)health can find health. And where those dealing with the illness of addiction can find healing. And where all can find community and connection. Because this is what all of us want.
I invite you to imagine about how we can work toward that goal. What if people who lived outside and people who lived inside worked together to end poverty? What if we began to see addiction as an illness, rather than a criminal behavior? What if our collective imagination could think of ways to engaging these things what we haven’t even thought of?
And I invite you to collaborate about how we can begin to do this work. This month, our little church-in-formation is starting a new organization called Our Common Ground. Our mission is be a community of hospitality and collaboration that is open to all, as we journey together with our neighbors experiencing poverty, addiction, and mental illness. We want to do whatever we can to live out the vision above. But we can’t do it alone. We will need help.
Because this work of helping all in our community thrive is too important to be left to the professionals. Or those with money and power. Or those who have enough time. There is a place for all of us. We need everyone's voice.