Homelessness in Walla Walla
November 28, 2015
Of 59,000 in Walla Walla County, nearly 600 people are classified as homeless. About 160 of those presently live on the streets, in cars, or at emergency shelters.
Between the Interfaith Coalition on Poverty, Alliance for the Homeless, and Walla Walla Council on Homelessness (among others), local leaders aim to eradicate the problem in the next five years through a variety of long-term and short-term strategies. These include new subsidized housing, treatment programs, transitional counseling, warming centers, and many others.
Related agencies like Impact!, SonBridge, and Helpline connect people in need with the best local resources available. One of the biggest gaps still present in Walla Walla is emergency and transitional housing for men, women, and families with children.
A List of Praises
by Anne Porter
Give praise with psalms that tell the trees to sing,
Give praise with Gospel choirs in storefront churches,
Mad with the joy of the Sabbath,
Give praise with the babble of infants, who wake with the sun,
Give praise with children chanting their skip-rope rhymes,
A poetry not in books, a vagrant mischievous poetry
living wild on the Streets through generations of children.
Give praise with the sound of the milk-train far away
With its mutter of wheels and long-drawn-out sweet whistle
As it speeds through the fields of sleep at three in the morning,
Give praise with the immense and peaceful sigh
Of the wind in the pinewoods,
At night give praise with starry silences.
Give praise with the skirling of seagulls
And the rattle and flap of sails
And gongs of buoys rocked by the sea-swell
Out in the shipping-lanes beyond the harbor.
Give praise with the humpback whales,
Huge in the ocean they sing to one another.
Give praise with the rasp and sizzle of crickets, katydids and cicadas,
Give praise with hum of bees,
Give praise with the little peepers who live near water.
When they fill the marsh with a shimmer of bell-like cries
We know that the winter is over.
Give praise with mockingbirds, day’s nightingales.
Hour by hour they sing in the crepe myrtle
And glossy tulip trees
On quiet side streets in southern towns.
Give praise with the rippling speech
Of the eider-duck and her ducklings
As they paddle their way downstream
In the red-gold morning
On Restiguche, their cold river,
Give praise with the whitethroat sparrow.
Far, far from the cities,
Far even from the towns,
With piercing innocence
He sings in the spruce-tree tops,
Always four notes
And four notes only.
Give praise with water,
With storms of rain and thunder
And the small rains that sparkle as they dry,
And the faint floating ocean roar
That fills the seaside villages,
And the clear brooks that travel down the mountains
And with this poem, a leaf on the vast flood,
And with the angels in that other country.
On this Thanksgiving Weekend Sabbath I am especially thankful for this wonderful congregation, for the many superb musicians who populate it, and for all of the musically talented students who have blessed us over the years. These three come together in special ways today.
First we thank Matthew Thomas who serves as our guest organist. Matthew graduated several years ago with an engineering degree and an organ minor. He now resides in Spokane where he recently achieved his Professional Engineer certification.
We also thank Lyn Ritz of the music department
who shares her string music with us. In addition to heading up the WWU string program Lyn specializes in teaching music theory and is the concert mistress of the Walla Walla Symphony. Finally I am thankful that this wonderful congregation appreciates music, listens actively, and is willing to learn new hymns. You may have noticed that we have begun occasionally to sing as the children migrate forward for the children’s story. Today for this purpose we introduce
a hymn that we’d like to use more often, No.550 “Every Flower That Grows.” You may want to use your hymnal as we learn it together.
Now, as you prepare your heart to worship God, please consider the many things for which we can all be thankful. I invite you to meditate on the words of our hymns or the children’s migration hymn, part of which is given here.
Every flow’r that grows,
Every brook that flows,
Tell of beauty God has giv’n for me: Throughout my life may beauty be Deep within a heart from sin set free.