Homelessness and affordability crises are not unique to any one city. Houseless neighbors are facing the same challenges all over the country.
Businesses who have taken The Pledge have opened their doors to offer whatever they can to help houseless neighbors in need, because small gestures make big impacts.
So far, 43 companies have signed up with The Pledge. The most common offerings are free water, device charging and restrooms, but others have gone a step further. A barbershop gives out free haircuts. A spa lets homeless people take a rest. A thrift store funded by an AIDS charity invites homeless customers to take advantage of its free HIV tests.
When a business signs up they decide what they’re comfortable offering and advertise it with Pledge stickers posted on their door or window. In turn, the business gets added to a map [Be:Seattle] hands out to people on the street and gives to service providers.
There are a lot of different kinds of homelessness: People who are living on the street, in their cars, in tents or couch surfing. What all those things have in common is that during any given time of the day, you don’t have a place to just go and be. The Pledge is really kind of a way for people to not have to feel that burden.