Whenever we start a project, at Floisand Studio Architects, we assess the wishes of the client and the opportunities of each space, with the goal of making something better, long lasting, and beautiful. As a part of the Seattle community for 20 years, we recognize that this kind of dedicated attention is needed right now all over our city. Housing is a priority discussed frequently but a priority hard to affect as an individual or small business. Homelessness and hunger, however, are equally as important and are areas where attention can effectively be applied. So, earlier this month our staff left their drawing boards and spent the morning at North Helpline Emergency Services & Food Bank, building, not buildings that day, but community.
North Helpline Emergency Services, located in Lake City, opened its doors in 1989 to help our north-end neighbors obtain basic needs such as food, home delivery, counseling services, and utility shut-off/eviction prevention. In 2001 the food bank opened in Lake City and its sister-branch in Bitter Lake began operations in 2017.
The Lake City food bank is open three days a week. During our four-hour shift, we greeted clients, helped distribute food, re-stocked the grocery line, sorted produce, and assisted clients with carts. On any one shift, upwards of 500 people (supporting 200+ households) may come through the food bank.
What North Helpline is doing is a long-term, large-scale project. You won’t see the progress day-to-day, but by providing food that feeds families and services that keep those families housed, they are building, re-building, and strengthening our city. We were both proud and humbled to help.