As the January 15th eviction moratorium deadline approaches, the stress and anxiety about how to pay missed rent payments has been mounting for hundreds of people in the Market community.
Over the past week, The Market Commons resource team has distributed nearly $150,000 to cover over 100 Market community members’ rent.
“The Market’s senior residents, frontline workers, working families and downtown neighbors have been holding this stress throughout the pandemic and we’re glad to finally offer that relief, just before the end of the year,” said Crystal Dixon, Programs Manager at The Market Commons.
Crystal and her resource team at The Commons have been in regular contact with community members to offer support in navigating federal, state and local benefits, as well as support services offered by The Market Commons and our Market service partners.
The missed rent payments are a combination of lost income and increased expenses brought on by the pandemic, shutdowns and economic crisis.
“It’s the difference of a couple hundred dollars that people just don’t have the ability to save up or pay,” said Crystal. “And that one missed rent check can send someone spiraling into homelessness.”
Keeping renters housed means fewer people experience the trauma of homelessness, which we know can contribute to poor physical health, job instability, mental illness, learning disabilities, and substance abuse disorders. It’s also a much more cost-effective approach to alleviating the housing and homelessness crisis in Seattle.
“Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, calls for support via our Market Community Safety Net Program skyrocketed and we knew we needed to build up the funds and the support systems to meet this demand,” said Lillian Sherman, Executive Director of the Pike Place Market Foundation.
“ We are grateful that these funds were made possible by the federal relief programs and our generous supporters who donated to the Power of Pike Place Market Recovery Fund, said Lillian.
Donate today to support rent relief and the Market Community Safety Net for the Market community.
Bringing COVID-19 Booster Vaccines to our Neighbors in the Market
Last week, The Market Commons was able to partner with Bartell Drugs to bring nearly 100 COVID-19 booster shots to senior residents and high-risk neighbors at the Market.
The population of seniors who call Pike Place Market home has had difficulties accessing booster shots, due to limitations with technology and barriers with mobility. “I’ve had a hard time trying to find a place, “ said Robert, a senior resident. “My computer’s down, I’m having a hard time getting an appointment.”
This past spring, The Market Commons partnered with the Pike Market Senior Center, Pike Place Market PDA and the Seattle Fire Department to hold the very first in-Market vaccine clinics for seniors to receive their vaccine series. With the rise of new variants and updated CDC recommendations, it is all the more important that our neighbors in the Market had the opportunity to further protect themselves against COVID-19. Once an in-Market booster shot clinic became possible, the staff at The Commons sprung into action, personally contacting senior residents.
“I was at the first two here in the Market,” said Jack, who completed his initial vaccine doses at the in-Market clinics this spring. “I had been in contact with Velma who was trying to help me find appointments, and she gave me the call earlier this week saying we’ve got appointments. It worked out perfect.”
The vaccine clinic onsite at the Market also helped provide access for Pike Market Childcare and Preschool staff and other Market workers on a set schedule, who might not otherwise have time to take off work and travel to an appointment.
“If nothing’s available on a Friday and teachers have to get the booster on a Tuesday, they might be out the next day and then I’m scrambling to find someone, “ said Erica, who manages the Preschool’s staff schedule. “We have people who don’t drive, they have to find someplace near where they live…. So this has been helpful.” The teachers were able to get their booster shots on the Friday before winter break, giving them plenty of time to recuperate from any side effects.
Most importantly, providing access to essential vaccines helps keep everyone in Market community healthy. “All of the kids [at the Preschool] are unvaccinated, the more we can do to keep everyone safe,” said Lesa, Education Coordinator at the Preschool. “It’s about protecting kids, keeping the preschool open and stable.”
Administering COVID-19 booster shots onsite at The Market Commons is an important way to bring this service to our community and keep our neighbors safe. As the pandemic evolves, our program staff and service partners will continue to meet the ongoing and emerging needs of the Market’s senior residents, farmers and frontline workers. “This is another great representation of what the Market Foundation does for the community,” commented Mike Osborn, owner of Sosio’s Produce.
“If people get the shot, protecting your body and each other.” said farmer Yeng Lee Cha of Cha’s Farm, as she received her booster shot. “You really protect the people. Thank you for the Market community. More safe and healthy.”
PLEASE DONATE TO HELP MARKET COMMUNITY MEMBERS WHO NEED YOUR SUPPORT RIGHT NOW.