50+ Businesses Join Pearl Jam to Call for Shared Strategy to Fight Homelessness in Seattle Region

The Home Shows have inspired the business community to share their vision for fighting homelessness
 
 

More than 90 Seattle area businesses have joined legendary band Pearl Jam in their effort to fight against homelessness in the Seattle area. More than $11 million has already been raised, exceeding initial goals, and all kinds of special promotions and initiatives have been happening all over the city this week to help the cause.

Now, more than 50 Seattle business leaders are expressing their commitment toward continuing the effort well after the band plays its final encore at Safeco Field on Friday, August 10, with a letter calling for a "shared strategy to fight homelessness."

Perhaps alluding to business community's strong opposition to the contentious "head tax" that would have taxed large businesses as a way to fund affordable housing and homelessness initiatives -- which was passed  and later repealed by the Seattle City Council -- the letter says, "In the past, some of us have stated what we’re opposed to. We have not been clear about what we support."

Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard said it's important for the business community to be involved in the effort to fight homelessness in a region that is now home to more than 12,000 people experiencing homelessness, the third largest such population in the country. 

“There is simply no way to address homelessness in our region without the work of all of us," said Gossard. "This is not an issue that government, nonprofits, philanthropy or individuals alone can solve. We need everyone — and that includes the business community. Businesses have innovative ideas, resources and employees eager to be engaged. We’ve been thrilled by the role Seattle’s business community has played in the Home Shows. We’re looking forward to continuing the collaboration as we work toward a shared strategy to fighting homelessness.”

Read the full text of the letter, along with the more than 50 signees -- including leaders from Expedia, Vulcan, Alaska Airlines, the Seattle Mariners, NHL Seattle, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Nordstrom, and many more -- below:

Business for shared strategy to fight homelessness 

As business leaders, we care deeply about our city and the most challenging issues it faces. As employers and philanthropists, many of us are playing an active role in fighting homelessness in King County. We’re committed to doing much more.

Through Pearl Jam’s Home Shows Initiative, we saw the power of what we can do when we band together.

We’re standing together now with elected leaders, local residents, advocates on the front lines, and those experiencing homelessness to chart a path forward to make our economy one that both thrives and holds a place for everyone.

In the past, some of us have stated what we’re opposed to. We have not been clear about what we support. We’re committed to one coordinated effort that optimizes the roles of government, nonprofits, and business to ensure that everyone in King County has a roof over their heads.

What will it take?

  • One shared plan that explicitly outlines the strategies we’ll prioritize, policies we’ll pursue, and resources we’ll allocate, as well as the metrics that tell us if we’re succeeding. 
     

  • Clear leadership and accountability from all of us working in service of a shared plan, including our elected officials. 
     

  • A larger financial commitment from all of us­­—funding for organizations that have a proven track record of success in working across populations to both prevent and move people out of homelessness, along with funding for new, creative and efficient solutions.
     

  • Engagement of the community. We need to continue to raise awareness throughout the community and engage and activate our employees and customers.

We can do this—but we have to do it as one community working together.

Sincerely,

Mark Okerstrom
President and CEO
Expedia Group 

H.S. Wright III
Chairman & Founder
Seattle Hospitality Group

R. Guy Hudson
MD, CEO
Swedish Health Services 

Neal Myrick
Global Head
Tableau Foundation 

Ethan and Angela Stowell
Owners
Ethan Stowell Restaurants 

Bill Hilf
CEO
Vulcan Inc. 

Diana Birkett Rakow
Vice President, External Relations
Alaska Airlines 

Tod Leiweke
President and CEO
NHL Seattle 

Larry Cohen
CEO
Gates Ventures 

Scott Redman
CEO
Sellen Construction 

Manny Chao
Founder
Georgetown Brewing Company 

Jennifer Shea
CEO and Founder
Trophy Cupcakes & Party 

Mickey Smith
President
Martin Smith Inc. 

David Bley
Director, Pacific Northwest
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation 

Tricia and Jeff Raikes
Co-founders
Raikes Foundation 

Jeff Trisler
President
Live Nation Seattle 

Connie Ballmer
Co-Founder
Ballmer Group 

Rob Glaser
Founder, Chairman and CEO
RealNetworks 

Jill Wood
President
Windermere Real Estate 

Rod Hochman
MD, President and CEO
Providence St. Joseph Health 

Molly Moon Neitzel
Founder and CEO
Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream

Leslie Scott
Program Director
107.7 The End 

Lee Rhodes
Owner
glassybaby 

Trey Busch
Partner and Winemaker
Sleight of Hand Cellars and Underground Wine Project 

Robert B. Gilbertson, Jr.
President/CEO
YMCA of Greater Seattle 

Linda Derschang
Founder and CEO
The Derschang Group 

Dave Richards
Vice President, Programming and Operations
KISW 

Pamela Hinckley
CEO
Tom Douglas Restaurants 

Rachel Marshall
Founder
Rachel’s Ginger Beer 

Chad Mackay
CEO
Fire & Vine Hospitality 

Travis Rosenthal
Owner
Sand Point Grill, Tango, Rumba 

Renee Erickson
Owner
Sea Creatures 

Tom Mara
Executive Director
KEXP 

Thierry Rautureau
The Chef In The Hat
Luc / Loulay

Linda Di Lello Morton & Tamara Murphy
Owners
terra plata 

Brian McAndrews
Chairman
United Way of King County 

Tony Mestres
President & CEO
Seattle Foundation 

Matthew Stubbs
Owner
Big Chickie 

Jennifer Teunon
Executive Director
Medina Foundation 

Dave LaSarte-Meeks
Executive Director
Vadon Foundation 

Rich Fox
Operating Owner
Weimann-Maclise Family of Restaurants 

John Stanton
Chairman and Managing Partner
Seattle Mariners

Brian Robinson
Managing Partner
Northlink Investment Group 

Jon Fine
President & CEO
United Way of King County 

Joel VandenBrink
Founder, CEO
Two Beers Brewing Co, Seattle Cider Company & Sound Craft Seltzer Co. 

David Blandford
Senior Vice President, Public Affairs
Visit Seattle 

Daniel Pitasky
Executive Director
Schultz Family Foundation 

Leslie Thomson
Owner
Dream Dinners 

Herb Gould
CEO
Anthony’s Restaurants 

Pete Nordstrom
Co-President
Nordstrom, Inc. 

Dan Black
President
Zeeks Pizza 

Jennifer and Justin Stiefel
President, CEO and Founders
Heritage Distilling Co. 

John Hoyt
Founder
Pyramid Communications

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