October 12, 2011; Source: KPLUIn an effort to raise awareness among philanthropists about the need for their attention on basic issues of survival in times of high need, SHARE/WHEEL, a consortium of  Seattle based organizations run by and advocating for homeless people have bunked down in front of the Gates Foundation. They chose Gates for its high visibility.

In its statement SHARE/WHEEL wrote: “We have decided to do it here because it will shine a light on the corporate foundation that should be doing more for poor people in its own community.”

David Bley, the director of the Pacific Northwest Initiatives at the foundation responded, “We are deeply committed to addressing homelessness in the Puget Sound region. During the past decade, in partnership with non-profits, and state and local governments, we’ve helped to create more than 1,400 affordable apartments for families emerging from homelessness. We support efforts in King, Pierce and Snohomish Counties to move families more quickly into permanent housing and to provide them with the employment and other services they need in a more efficient and streamlined way.”

One wonders if the staff will stop to talk on their way in and out.—Ruth McCambridge