On Jan. 26, the night before Seattle’s annual count of homeless individuals in King County, a poetry reading and film screening will seek to raise awareness about homelessness. The event will feature Seattle’s Youth Poet Laureate, Angel Gardner, who in June talked to The Seattle Times about her own experience with homelessness, alongside Seattle’s Civic Poet, Claudia Castro Luna, and writers from Recovery Cafe and Mary’s Place. Attendees will also see a screening of Michelle de la Vega’s film US THEM WE, which paired homeless residents with arts professionals and artists, all of whom are neighbors in Pioneer Square.
“This is an event to tell our homeless and precariously housed co-citizens that we see them. They are not invisible. They count,” Castro Luna explained.
The annual count, this year called Count Us In, is being operated by All Home King County, which in 2016 identified 824 unstably housed young people and confirmed that more than 10,000 people are homeless on any given day in King County.
“We are poets and film makers in service of community,” Castro Luna said. “Art can be a respite and a catalyst; it can change hearts and minds. I hope many folks come out in support to hear the beauty, resiliency and despair of folks who endure life without permanent shelter.”
The event is sponsored by Open Books: A Poem Emporium, the Office of Arts and Culture, the Office of Councilmember Herbold, and All Home King County.
The event starts at 7 p.m. City Hall Plaza is located at 600 4th Ave. in Seattle. Find more information and RSVP on the Facebook event page.