Hi, my name is Hillary Coleman and I am very excited to be completing a year of advocacy work this year through YASC with Justice Leadership Program (JLP) in Seattle. I have been working with the Seattle/King County Coalition on Homeless (SKCCH) for almost two months now and am glad to say that I have never found myself bored during work.
I was born and raised in Lake Forest Park and spent much of my time in Seattle while attending University Congregational UCC and participating in various events during my childhood and youth years. I am glad to be back in the place I call home after completing my double major in Psychology & Hispanic Studies at Connecticut College. I also earned a certificate from a three-year program at her school that focused on Public Policy and Community Action, where I find my passion for working with others to create positive change.
I am a firm believer in making sure that all community members are involved in policy creation, decision, and implementation. Last summer I gained knowledge about effective public policy while working with the Statewide Poverty Action Network where I was able to mobilize voters as well as support the SPEAK (Sharing Personal Experience as Knowledge) program which fostered dialogue between state and local representatives and those people affected by policies that are voted on in Olympia. I am glad that I will have the opportunity to continue to learn how to maintain and further such relationships in policymaking this year.
Collaborating with SKCCH and it’s member organizations to carry out their mission of ensuring safety and survival for people who are homeless, and to end the crisis of homelessness in our region has been a great experience thus far. This fall we registered over 180 homeless and unstably housed voters, many of whom joined us to advocate for human services funding in Seattle and King County! I feel lucky to have this position as part of my YASC year and hope I can help make a difference and reduce the number of homeless community members sleeping outside in King County (3,123 during the One Night Count in 2014 – see homelessinfo.org).