SPU student and the homeless from Tent City 3
SPU hosted Tent City 3 in 2012 and 2015, including learning opportunities both for Tent City residents and for SPU students. Photo by Luke Rutan.

Seattle Pacific University’s Homelessness Initiative aims to assist, support, and enhance work to end homelessness in King County and beyond. To this end, President Dan Martin announced the launch of SPU’s Committee on Homelessness. The goal: Keep the issue of homelessness in front of the Seattle Pacific community following the campus hosting of Tent City 3 in 2012 and 2015. The committee grew out of Core Theme 3 of the University’s Strategic Plan, which speaks to SPU’s vital Christian identity and purpose.

The Committee on Homelessness works with students, faculty, and staff to incorporate SPU’s Homelessness Initiative through academics, advocacy, and service. Most recently, the group presented a panel discussion on providing shelter for the homeless while fostering a place for healing. SPU sociology faculty members Jennifer McKinney and Karen Snedker joined representatives from local outreach organizations New Horizons, Mary’s Place, and Neighborcare for the panel. McKinney and Snedker also discussed some of their research on tent cities and homelessness.

No matter the skill level or amount of free time, everyone can join in the mission to help. Students, alumni, staff, faculty, and community members are encouraged to get involved in the Homelessness Initiative through volunteering, advocacy, and assisting local organizations.

Learn more at spu.edu/engaging-homelessness, or follow the committee at facebook.com/engaginghomelessness.