What if We Got it Right?

I was listening to a recent podcast from On Being with Krista Tippett. She was interviewing a marine biologist who asked a BIG QUESTION….  “What if we got it right?” She is referring to the fact that, we, as humans, know all the reasons that there is a climate crisis, and that, in fact, we already know many right actions that, taken soon and collaboratively, might put us on a better path.

Jumping to my favorite topic – emergency preparation. What if the BIG QUESTIONS questions shifted to something like this…What have I already done to be prepared for any type of emergency? What else needs to be done? Who can I engage to help me be more prepared?

When it finally stops raining, I plan to write a chalk greeting on the public sidewalk in front of my home, something like… “Are you my neighbor?” I plan to invite friends on my block to write a similar greeting. It’s a conversation starter and a way to build community. And then I can ask my neighbors the BIG QUESTIONS mentioned above. One conversation at a time. 

What might you plan to do to build/expand your community and build resilience and safety?

Cheers for summer, and continue to reach out ([email protected]) if you need support with your questions about emergency preparedness.

Sunnyside Neighborhood Community Cares (SNACC) Committee Updates

The SNACC committee met in-person again this month (although a few members joined virtually, including two new faces). Welcome to the neighborhood Ignacio and Eleanor! We discussed several updates on meetings our members recently attended, including LNA’s IDEA committee meeting and a community listening session about a possible tiny home village coming soon to Laurelhurst that will serve Indigenous houseless folks. We discussed planning a series of community meetings between our volunteers and guests at the Sunnyside Shower Project (SSP), as well as some fundraising plans to repair damage at the Sunnyside Methodist Church. This brought us to a discussion of our strategic vision for our committee’s work and the future of the SSP. 

June’s SNACC meeting will be devoted to a deeper dive into strategic planning, and we intend to host this meeting outside (location TBD) to make attendance more accessible. This will be the beginning of a multi-step process that engages housed and unhoused neighbors to set intentions for how we can bring our collective vision for this committee and the SSP to life.

Getting to Know Others on Your Block / In Your Neighborhood

It’s probably easiest for those who own dogs and can chat/walk/visit with other pet owners on their multiple daily walks. 

And for neighborhood moms and dads as they walk their kids to and from the neighborhood schools. 

Maybe also for friendly types who make a regular effort to smile at their neighbors and stop to chat and listen deeply to the stories others want to share.

It’s a great feeling to walk about and say hello to the new parents on the block, the mail person who is a friend of mine, or to ask a neighbor for the name of the great crafts people who recently completed a fab roofing project or beautiful stone masonry work. 

Or to compliment newish neighbors about their ‘teachable’ garden where kids and parents who walk down the block can stop and point out the thoughtfully labeled flowers, trees and shrubs in their front yards. 

Imagine that. 

A teaching garden that is public and accessible just by walking by. 

Or when you are going out of town, notifying neighbors so they can watch over your home, and maybe ask someone to come and pick up your mail. 

Or maybe organize a block party and really get to know your neighbors. 

Imagine that.

Want some help organizing a block party or some tips on how to do neighborhood outreach?

Email me at [email protected] and let’s get this started. 

Being Prepared, and Maybe It’s Enough

What does that mean for emergency preparedness? Well, it depends – it’s all about feeling ready enough for any disaster. Earthquakes, extreme heat or extreme cold, loss of power,  smoke from wildfires, downed trees and powerlines … fill in the blank.

When I get on my soapbox about e-prep, I usually get one of two responses: “Yes, I am prepared enough.” or “No, I haven’t thought about it and I don’t have the time to do anything about it right now, but thanks for the reminder.”

Our choice to live in this most beautiful part of the world means that there are weather and climate-related issues to know about, and plan for. 

Questions? Feel free to email me : [email protected]. Let’s start a conversation. Wherever you are is the best place to begin.

Sunnyside Neighborhood Community Cares (SNACC) Committee Updates

The SNACC committee met in-person to discuss working with other neighborhood associations to support our houseless neighbors. We are hoping to attend Laurelhurst’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee meeting in May. We also reviewed the needs assessment findings and recommendations. Slides are available here. Jes will be creating a summary of findings and recommendations which will be distributed to shower guests and volunteers. We also continued our conversation about other potential projects. We talked about the gap in services created when Beacon Village moved to Montavilla and a desire to replicate some of what they were doing last year. We hope to discuss with our shower volunteers what capacity people might have to provide rides, assistance navigating services, and other support. We also discussed some potential ways we might optimize use of the showers – expanding to offer a mobile unit, setting aside time for walk-ins and having volunteers doing outreach during shifts to help facilitate people getting to appointments or coming in during walk-in hours. Many of the projects we discussed are long term. We also debriefed Monday’s community listening session on the City budget, which Cole and Jes attended. They each gave testimony asking the City for funding for the Sunnyside Shower Project. We are going to reach out to volunteers to see who has capacity and interest to submit written testimony as well.