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I like Treehouse and FareStart

Posted by monkey | September 25, 2007 9:52 AM

I'll gladly donate to whichever organization takes the emo hipster kids off the streets and puts them behind a counter working at Burger King.

Posted by James | September 25, 2007 9:54 AM

tell me if i'm wrong, but the foster care system is adminisitered by the state and county gov'ts, no? if abuse and neglect is such an issue in these homes, (which, sadly, appears to be the case) how about improving the gov't oversight of said homes? where's the political will?

Posted by ellarosa | September 25, 2007 9:55 AM

I think Farestart as the best. Second, I would pick Treehouse.

So excited for Strangercrombie!

Posted by Original Monique | September 25, 2007 10:02 AM

If this were a poll I'd vote ...

Posted by seattle98104 | September 25, 2007 10:06 AM

We're working on a poll, 98104. Stay tuned.

Posted by Brendan Kiley | September 25, 2007 10:08 AM

Northwest Harvest

They are consistently well-run and it really sucks having no food.

Posted by Skot | September 25, 2007 10:09 AM

I still say you should give the money to Clay Bennet

Posted by ramjak | September 25, 2007 10:16 AM

Urban Rest Stop. Without a doubt.

Posted by Miss Stereo | September 25, 2007 10:17 AM

Treehouse gets my vote. How can it not?

Northwest Harvest is a great organization, and well worth supporting. Urban Rest Stop more-or-less serves the same community. So if your goal is to spread the donation dollars around, by donating to both of these organizations, you're double covering the same group.

FareStart is also a worthy org. However, I think they are pretty well funded, and your dollars are more desperately needed elsewhere.

A medical assistance organization is a swell idea, but if we don't have one here (yet), then you have no place to donate your money to. Unless you are willing to seed the start of a new organization, which would require a whole lot more money than Strangercrombie raises. And I do think you need to keep your donations in Seattle.

Posted by SDA in SEA | September 25, 2007 10:22 AM

Not sure if my non-Seattle voice gets to be included, but I vote for FareStart, followed by Northwest Harvest.

Posted by Joey the Girl | September 25, 2007 10:31 AM

I'm cool with any of them, but I prefer Treehouse. Strangely enough, child abuse prevention organizations generally have a very hard time raising money because, well, child abuse is really secretive, depressing, and isn't the type of feel-good charity where people can go to a location (soup kitchen, restaurant, drop-off location, etc.) and feel like you did something to help.

Posted by me | September 25, 2007 10:31 AM

I vote for Treehouse as well. Keep in mind that a lot of those people you see on the street started out in foster care. I don't know about Seattle, but in New York something like 90 percent of the homeless went through the foster care system.

Posted by keshmeshi | September 25, 2007 10:37 AM

Although the other organizations are certainly worthy, I can't believe anyone would vote for anything but Treehouse after reading the hypodermic needle story this morning!
But no seriously, I was really glad to read this after I read about that because I've been sitting here thinking "Why isn't anyone doing anything about this kind of thing???"

Posted by violet | September 25, 2007 10:41 AM

I'm gonna hafta offer a write-in candidate:

Jim's Camera's in the U-District.

Yes, he may rip you off. Yes, his prices may vary according to customer. Yes, he's persistent with the curmudgeon attitude. BBBBBBUUUUUUUTTTTTT

The place is a museum. I'd almost vote to have a 50 cent admission like they had down below the P.P. Market at the exotic bird store (is it still there?).
In fact, fuck this poll - Next time I take it to the streets (busking guitar), it will be in front of Jim's.
Glazer's, Best Buy, Ritz, sorry, "there ain't no need for ya, go straight to hell, boys."

Plus, Jim (or whoever the salesman is) does a pretty good mime performance just doin what he do.

Posted by June Bee | September 25, 2007 10:45 AM

Yeah, I'm going with treehouse. How many days usually go by between each DSHS screwup?

Posted by seattle98104 | September 25, 2007 10:48 AM

NO on farestart. come on, they just finished a huge capital campaign, and built a brand new facility downtown. they're flush with cash right now. plus their success rate with the population the serve isn't all that impressive (more smoke and mirrors there).

put your money where it will have the most impact. treehouse (kids = heartstrings) or northwest harvest are much more deserving of the stranger's fine fundraising effort.

Posted by chris | September 25, 2007 10:49 AM

Urban Rest Stop is really an exceptional service. The folks who work there are giving much more than just meals, providing completely necessary services that are available nowhere else in this town. I already donate to them, but they get my vote for sure.

Posted by Gurldoggie | September 25, 2007 11:13 AM

I am voting for the Urban Rest Stop. While each one of the organizations listed are very worthy causes, the Rest Stop offers basic human services that are available no where else in the downtown area. Showers, tooth brushes, laundry facilities, etc. Things that most people take for granted.

Posted by Brooke | September 25, 2007 11:29 AM

These are all good organizations. Can you just divide it five ways?

Next year I hope that Rise N' Shine is one of the nominees.

Posted by duncan | September 25, 2007 11:42 AM

Urban Rest Stop=less stinky people on the bus.

Posted by Giffy | September 25, 2007 11:44 AM

#21, you make a hugely compelling arguement there, but I'm still going with Treehouse.

Posted by me | September 25, 2007 12:21 PM

Do you have to choose only one? All of them sound more than worthwhile. I like Treehouse AND a medical clinic for uninsured children.

Posted by Bauhaus | September 25, 2007 12:24 PM

Are you serious? Did you really say that FareStart is flush with cash and has non impressive outcomes? While they have a great new facility - if they plan on doubling the number of students they serve it in - that costs $$. Also - did you know they provide 2500 meals a day to shelters and child care centers in addition to helping the homeless gain a new skill and get housing? FareStart Rocks!

Posted by Marg | September 25, 2007 12:28 PM

They're all great groups. I agree with the idea of dividing the donation up between all five.

Urban Rest Stop is FREE laundry, showers, and restroom facilities. No referral needed, all are welcome.

Very worthy.

Posted by Melissa | September 25, 2007 2:37 PM

@ 24, yes, in comparison to the other organizations up for the stranger's donation, i think farestart is more than generously funded. IMHO, it's a showboat organization that already has it's fair share of funding and notoriety. farestart's trick is to allow smug, "liberal", middle-class seattleites to feel good about themselves because they bought a sandwich and fries made by a homeless person. sure they have great *initial* placement rates, but the recidivism over the long run (back into homelessness, drug addiction, etc) is very high. the root causes of these problems are never fully addressed in my opinion, because the business concerns of farestart (ie running a restaurant, producing 2500+ shelter meals per day) are so pressing, that there isn't the ability to work with people on their deeper issues. farestart admits so many people to their program in order to keep the restaurant and other businesses fully staffed, not because they're so altruistic. the stranger really should consider either splitting the money between all the orgs mentioned (minus farestart) or giving to one org where $40K + will have a real and lasting impact on the community. farestart isn't that org.

Posted by chris | September 25, 2007 3:33 PM

#26 - I understood that FareStart does a lot of training on things besides the culinary -- like resume' preparation, conflict management, and other life skills. Lots of classroom stuff. Each student is also assigned a case manager who helps them through the program - they provide things like counseling, medical care, housing, etc. If I ran a restaurant and was going to hire someone new to the field -- I would appreciate their real life restaurant experience.

Posted by brock | September 25, 2007 3:48 PM

@ 27 yes they do provide life skills training, but it is limited, because classes interfere with food prep and meal service. farestart does not provide housing or medical services, but they do provide referrals to services for people in their program. and sure they get food service experience, but at 16 weeks, even that isn't very extensive.

Posted by chris | September 25, 2007 3:55 PM

Both Treehouse and Farestart are the obvious choices. Both ascribe more to the 'teaching the man to fish' school of advocacy.

Posted by stiletto | September 25, 2007 4:07 PM

Working for a nonprofit and knowing how our budget planning works, I recommend giving it to NW Harvest again this year and let them know it may not happen next year. Then they could take that knowledge in planning their budget for the next fiscal year.

If they were used to getting a chunk of change from this auction, that revenue was more than likely applied to this current fiscal year's budget. It's a sizeable sum and if not donated, they'd have to scramble to make up the loss.

Posted by mg | September 25, 2007 5:15 PM

In case anyone wondered about my comment at #30, I do not work for Northwest Harvest. I work for a queer nonprofit here in town.

But I see our budget process and how next year's revenue is projected, based on past giving. It would be a shame that something worthwhile could end up causing an unnecessary hardship.

Posted by mg | September 25, 2007 5:27 PM

All these organizations are worthy. As a volunteer with FareStart I know that the individuals who go through that program, working full-time for 16 weeks or more, are incredibly motivated and working harder to turn their lives around than most of us will ever work at anything. You can't expect 100% success, but every time I see one of the many who did succeed, I think what a tragedy it would have been if this resource had not been available for them. While the organization works hard to prevent relapses, it's important to focus on the successes, who are worth every penny.

Posted by bruce | September 25, 2007 9:16 PM

I agree with #30. I think all of the organizations you listed are worthy of donations, but the gift to NW Harvest has turned into an annual event. For a non-profit, it's a pretty big deal when a long-time large donor goes somewhere else.

Posted by Mahtli69 | September 25, 2007 10:01 PM

Farestart has a sexy mission but I've never really been impressed with their results. Training someone to do one of the lowest paying jobs around doesn't seem like the best use of time. More marketing (fuck fishing) than substance.

I'd like to support Treehouse but agree that it's bad form to pull such funding from another org. I'm sure Northwest Harvest also does a lot of the promotions and groundwork for Strangercrombie, so I think it would be a shame to take it away from them.

Posted by Gabe Global | September 26, 2007 12:05 AM

I checked back in to see how the poll went, and am impressed that more than 600 people have voted. Whether or not this poll determines how Strangercrombie funds are divided up, it's clear you've struck a nerve by talking about these non-profits in the first place. Maybe one of the holiday issues could run profiles on these groups to encourage folks to donate a little money regardless of the auction.

Posted by Gurldoggie | September 26, 2007 10:54 AM

To Chris and any others,

I work at FareStart and would love to have you come in for a visit and get the real skinny on the work we do. In fact, we do provide long-term shelter and medical services to clients in the program. But more important is the community we provide for folks so that they can engage in some incredibly transformative work. Please drop me a line at and I'll be happy to chat and/or arrange a visit. Thanks!

Posted by Dan Johnson | September 26, 2007 11:32 AM

fareStart is an amazing program. i have worked with their students for a year now, and they have been nothing but motivated and well trained. if you know anything about social work, you know that recidivism comes with the territory, regardless of what kind of service your agency provides. quit dissing fareStart and go have a look at their program. hell, ask them for a tour: i'm sure they'll accomodate you if you're professional and open-minded.

Posted by cellular | September 26, 2007 4:35 PM

all of these are great organizations, but TREEHOUSE please! i worked with a non-profit that served youth for years and besides all the abuse that the majority of foster kids have to suffer through, when they turn 18 they are turned out on the street with no money and no skills. treehouse is an amazing organization and a worthy cause (not to say any of the others are not!)

Posted by kydavi | September 27, 2007 5:18 PM

This vote is super tough because Tree House, Fare start & Northwest Harvest are amazingly well run nonprofits (I would know because I'v been in the NPOs for a decade..but I have to go with Urban Rest Stop. It's about basic human diginity and the simple human need for hygiene. Imagine going two days or two months without bathing. If you are trying to get out of the streets, and you're filty, you're fucked. SOciety will not allow you to "enter" back in if you stink. I'M VOTING FOR URS.
Peace be with you.

Posted by Heyrae | September 28, 2007 4:20 AM

Hey, they are all great causes but the urban rest stop allows marginalized men women and children to shower regularly and wash their clothes. this i feel plays a big part in making someone feel like a human being!! its also a great way to start the ball rolling with job interviews etc!! also there are alot of places that feed people and offer jobs but very little places like the urban rest stop!! p.s there's no hidden religious or political agendas with the URS. You just go in and do what you gotta do!!

Posted by rob | September 28, 2007 11:03 AM

I second #40, access to clean clothing and good hygiene empower people to apply for more services, jobs, etc. The impact is actually pretty far reaching. Very important.

Posted by johnny | September 28, 2007 12:11 PM

All are great causes, however (although biased having worked on the construction of the expanded facility), the Urban Rest Stop easily gets my vote, as there is virtually nothing like it in Seattle, or many other cities in the U.S. for that matter.

With the help of funding like this, the URS can continue to offer much needed services and act as a model for other such facilities in Seattle and on the west coast.

Posted by JAG | September 28, 2007 12:29 PM

I'm an employee @ the Urban Rest Stop and here's a few reasons why you should vote for us:

1. We Got Free showers and Free Laundry and Free Public Bathroom. That means homeless folks can clean up after sleeping outside, or after leaving shelters with nasty facilities. It means they can find jobs and apply for housing. Good Hygiene is the basis of good health.

2. The folks who use our services are amazing people from all over the world.

3. We play the best music of any social service provider ever. Steady Streaming 60s and 70s soul, underground Hip Hop, Showtunes and other eclectica.

Posted by Team Nerd | October 1, 2007 8:05 AM

C-Horse agrees with all those in support of every single one of these organizations and is also glad to have cast Her vote for the Urban Rest Stop. In conjunction with places that feed and shelter, the URS completes the package of feeling like a million bucks!!!! Peace.

Posted by C-Horse | October 1, 2007 4:42 PM

I am the Program Manager of the Urban Rest Stop. I want to thank everyone who is participating. I'm glad that you are discussing, voting with passion, and expressing interest in vital community services.

Anyone is welcome to come and visit the Urban Rest Stop, 1924 9th Avenue, ( downtown Seattle, between Stewart and Virgina. Weekday hours are from 5:30 AM to 9:00 PM. Weekends hours are from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM. You can visit us online also: (click on the projects link, and then on Urban Rest Stop) or try

Thank you for your interest and support!

Ronni Gilboa

Posted by Ronni Gilboa | October 2, 2007 4:40 PM

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