Queen Anne Helpline. I’ve spoken before about the fact that I, proudly, am a generalist at heart. But I applaud specialists. Queen Anne Helpline is a superlative specialist. It confines its most impactful services:
- Rent assistance
- Move-in assistance
- Utility payments
- Thanksgiving Food for Seniors
to three area codes, 98109, 98119, and 98199. Queen Anne, Magnolia, South Lake Union. 75,000 people, give-or-take. About 1/10 of Seattle’s population. And in such a small and wealthy segment of Seattle (median household income roughly $75,000/year), Queen Anne Helpline staves off 500 evictions a year.
The agency’s effectiveness doesn’t end there. It extends more generic services to all Seattle residents:
- Men’s and women’s clothing and linen bank
- Emergency prepacked food bags
- Personal hygiene products
- Metro bus tickets
- Washington State ID vouchers
- Targeted referrals
When I first moved to Seattle from Maryland, I had the mischance to unintentionally move several hundred clothes hangers with me – yea, I know, long and ridiculous story for a cup of coffee. Until I thumbed through the Real Change guide, I’d forgotten that the Helpline took my hangers for its clothing bank. Thank you again, Queen Anne Helpline, for saving my closets from disaster. Not exactly the kind of charity you probably expect to accomplish, but a win-win nonetheless.