A challenge to help others | Letter

I am writing this as a native Kirkland resident — I was born in the Kirkland Hospital (now the Heathman Hotel) and still live in Kirkland.

When I learned there would be a day center for families experiencing homelessness in Kirkland, I couldn’t understand why. I knew there were homeless people everywhere, but I wasn’t aware that there were so many in Kirkland.

Who are these people? Are they lazy, don’t have jobs or just wanting free food and shelter? Why are they homeless? Were they evicted because they didn’t pay their rent?

I wanted to learn more about this population, that I wasn’t aware existed in such large numbers. So, I became a volunteer at the New Bethlehem Day Center, almost a year ago. It is located in the downstairs of the Salt House Church, across from Lake Washington High School, off of Northeast 80th Street.

I learned so much about the clients of the NBDC. They are part of our community and our neighbors. Most of the people who frequent this day center do have jobs. They are low paying jobs, and living in Kirkland, this will not allow them to make ends meet. They cannot afford food or shelter on the income they have.

We provide food, showers and laundry. One of our biggest priorities is that these people find stable housing and we have found some 20 families places to live!

These are not scary people or drug users who should be feared, but people with families, just like all of us, who want and need shelter and food. We also get to know the parents and children and learn about how they ended up with these needs. They are kind, appreciative people who need help. They may have been evicted by a developer who has purchased their housing and plans to build several mega mansions, which most of us will never be able to afford.

Bottom line is they are PEOPLE, just like me and you. So, I encourage, or challenge you, to find out more about the NBDC and volunteer. You can bring food for snacks; you can bring food for an evening meal; you can volunteer to help serve clients and their children. There are endless ways to help these people who are in need of help and compassion.

Sharron Price,


More in Letters to the Editor

Don’t ban guns, ban government schools | Letter to the editor

Public schools have become impersonal, sterile and monolithic — like most government institutions.

Will council reduce taxes | Letter to the editor

Property tax bills have gone up 18.8 percent; the RTA vehicle registration tax has more than doubled.

Youth: You have power | Letter to the editor

A letter to young people protesting issues of violence.

We need national legislation with a global impact | Letter to the editor

The “Ways to reduce your energy usage“ letter (Feb. 15) contains common… Continue reading

Ways to reduce your energy usage | Letter to the editor

The Kirkland Reporter’s carbon-tax cartoon (Feb. 9) shows a very fatalistic view… Continue reading

Please support all three LWSD ballot measures | Letter to the editor

Olympia continues to debate how to amply fund basic education. But Lake… Continue reading

Response to ‘Kirkland’s future’ letter | Letter to the editor

A letter about the Houghton/Everest neighborhood.

A vote against LWSD measures | Letter to the editor

This reader is waiting for more facts to see that he is paying taxes necessarily.

Many Democrats don’t care for the poor | Letter to the editor

Exhibits A and B are Washington’s two senators, Patty Murray and Maria… Continue reading

Why the Inslee cartoon was short-sighted | Letter to the editor

The editorial cartoon featured in the Jan. 19 edition mocking Governor Inslee’s… Continue reading

Do we really need a skipping stone bridge? | Letter to the editor

So, we need a skipping stone bridge for the Cross Kirkland Trail… Continue reading