Wednesday, September 13, 2006

For the greater good...

Last night, we ended up going to an awards ceremony after Tim's housing conference. At first, I was kind of dreading spending a few hours listening to emcees and recipients when all I really wanted to do was to go home after a crazy day at work. But I am so glad we stayed. The awards were given by the Washington Housing Finance Commission and they were the "Friend of Housing" awards. Let me just tell you, it was amazing to hear the things that are being done in the state to assist people to have a decent place to live.

Tim's boss, Lynn Davison, received an award for her dedication and work for improvements in housing through Common Ground. Common Ground is an organization that works with non-profits and other groups (as consultants) to develop low income and affordable housing throughout Washington. Lynn was also recognized for her own personal attention and efforts in tweaking legislation that will work towards ending homelessness in Washington (a monumental task). She recognized her staff/developers, which was very gracious. She is a wonderful woman.

There was also an award given to Real Change. Real Change is a weekly newspaper that is about homelessness and housing issues in Washington. It gives people an education about what they can do to help, while at the same time, providing a job/income to homeless and impoverished individuals by selling the paper on the streets of Seattle. It is only $1 per issue, but they average $520,000 a year in sales. Incredible stuff.

There was also a woman who has developed a land trust on Orcas Island to provide affordable solutions for the people who live/work there. Most of the minimum wage jobs will not support a lifestyle on Orcas, so she has created this trust that will allow for people to have an affordable solution forever. Amazing.

Elderhealth NW was also recognized. They have established a small assisted living facility (12 rooms) for elderly people with dementia, who are on Medicaid. This is the first of its kind in Washington state.

There were other amazing stories, but those are the ones that really stuck out in my mind. But after sitting there for a couple of hours, listening to these amazing things that people are doing, it really made me think about my job and the satisfaction level I have with it. I know that seems funny since I am always complaining about my job anyway, but it really struck me last night that I no longer feel that I am making a difference. That is the biggest dissatisfaction as far as I'm concerned.

Now, what am I going to do about it?

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