Urban Scholar Highlight: Josephine Ensign

Urban Scholar Highlight: Josephine Ensign

Josephine Ensign is a Professor in University of Washington’s School of Nursing and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies, Affiliate Faculty in UW’s Certificate Program in Public Scholarship, and coordinator of Urban@UW’s Homelessness Research Initiative’s Doorway Project—which is hosting a popup cafe in honor of Earth Day on April 22! We sat down with her to discuss her work and research on homelessness at...

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City of Bellevue selected as 2018-2019 UW Livable City Year partner

City of Bellevue selected as 2018-2019 UW Livable City Year partner

​Public domain: Wikimedia commons: Jelson25

The University of Washington Livable City Year program has selected the City of Bellevue to be the community partner for the 2018-2019 academic year.

The year-long partnership connects city staff with students and faculty who will collaborate on projects to advance the Bellevue City Council Vision Priorities, specifically around livability and sustainability.

In the upcoming year, city staff will work with University of Washington’s Livable City Year program participants...

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How social networks help perpetuate the ‘cycle of segregation’

How social networks help perpetuate the ‘cycle of segregation’

Pixabay: CC0 creative commons: Publicco

Think about the last time you looked for a new apartment or house. Maybe you asked your friends or colleagues about where they lived. You thought about your route to work, or that neighborhood you always drive through on your way to your kid’s soccer practice. Many of these places were familiar to you, whether from an occasional visit or part of a daily routine. And if you’re like most people, you...

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A Homeless Camp in Our Back Yard? Please, a University Says

A Homeless Camp in Our Back Yard? Please, a University Says

​Pixabay: CC0 creative commons: Bruce Emmerling

For months, 65 homeless people lived in tents they set up in a parking lot behind the Seattle Pacific University bookstore, with a row of portable toilets and layers of clothes to guard against the damp chill of winter. It was a homeless camp like so many that crop up along roads and ramshackle lots in some American cities, except that this one had been invited here by the university administration.

So Genny...

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Many homeless people take better care of their pets than themselves; this clinic helps them

Many homeless people take better care of their pets than themselves; this clinic helps them

Pixabay: CC0 Creative commons: Leroy Skalstad

Homeless people with pets are usually criticized and sometimes turned away from shelters. But that’s starting to change.

His name is Bud the Amazing Wonder Dog, but the huge German shepherd-rottweiler mix was not feeling amazing or wonderful during his clinic visit, as he whimpered and tried to steady himself on an examination table too small for a dog his size. His owner, a homeless man named Stan, wrapped his arms...

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Tri-campus survey aims to identify student struggles with housing, food costs

Tri-campus survey aims to identify student struggles with housing, food costs

In a region as expensive as the Puget Sound, making ends meet affects college students, too. Rent, utilities and food can run into the hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars a month – and for students without the means, it’s a daunting and sometimes compromising challenge.

Urban@UW is trying to learn more about the situations facing students. From now through March 16, a survey is available for students ages 18 or older...

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The Doorway project’s second pop-up cafe

The Doorway project’s second pop-up cafe

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Save The Date: The Doorway Project’s second pop-up cafe will be open on Sunday February 25, from 2:00pm-4:00pm at the University Heights Center, 5031 University Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105. Everyone is welcome to attend this free, family-friendly event to listen to live music, enjoy warm beverages and food. No one will be turned away for lack of funds. Learn about some of the efforts to end youth homelessness in the...

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In orlando, america’s theme park capital, low income black residents can’t breathe the air

In orlando, america’s theme park capital, low income black residents can’t breathe the air

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The struggle for environmental justice in low-income and Black communities continues. This is most certainly the case in Orlando, Florida. In the heart of one of the premier tourist destinations in the United States, the theme park capital of America, the residents of a historically Black community are having trouble breathing due to air pollution — reflecting a nationwide problem.

The community in question is the predominantly Black neighborhood of Parramore in...

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Urban Scholar Highlight: Rachel Fyall

Urban Scholar Highlight: Rachel Fyall

Rachel Fyall is an Assistant Professor in the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance, and the Faculty Chair of Urban@UW’s Homelessness Research Initiative. We sat down with her last quarter to discuss her work.

What you do at the UW and what led you to your current research interests?

The main thing I study and teach about is the role and interaction of nonprofits with...

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Skid Road: The intersection of health and homelessness

Skid Road: The intersection of health and homelessness

After years of caring for the homeless in the streets and dilapidated motels of Richmond, Virginia, nurse Josephine Ensign became homeless herself.

Many of her patients were prostitutes—some as young as 15—and her conscience no longer allowed her to adhere to her clinic’s policies. Though she was Christian, she was fired for referring many of these women for abortions, for not making AIDS patients “account for their sins”...

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UW’s Doorway Project kicks off services for homeless youth

UW’s Doorway Project kicks off services for homeless youth

​CC BY-ND 2.0: Flickr: Irene Bonacchi

The University District community includes as much as one-third of King County’s homeless youth over any given year. It’s a neighborhood where a food bank and youth shelter are available, and where young people on the streets can blend in.

Now the University of Washington, in a partnership among Urban@UW, faculty, students and community service agencies – and with $1 million in state funding over two years –...

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Can Seattle rezone away the racial divide in housing?

Can Seattle rezone away the racial divide in housing?

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For generations, Seattle was segregated through racist neighborhood covenants, deed restrictions, even banking policies designed to keep certain minorities out of largely white enclaves.Yet nearly 50 years after the landmark Fair Housing Act sought to reverse that legacy, the city remains strikingly separated along color lines.

A Seattle Times analysis shows that areas dedicated to single-family houses remain the city’s most exclusive havens. If you live in North Capitol Hill or...

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Three housing myths, debunked: poverty, property values, and gentrification

Three housing myths, debunked: poverty, property values, and gentrification

​Flickr: Mark Moz: Labeled for reuse

Homeownership can come with a hefty supply of emotions, paperwork and financial planning. And as one grows more attached to a residence over the years, feelings often deepen as house becomes home and memories start to accumulate.

So when terms like gentrification, poverty and low-income housing are bandied about in your neighborhood, you may be somewhat wary. But not so fast. Common misconceptions surround these topics. Myths abound. University of...

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Homelessness is Seattle’s public health crisis

Homelessness is Seattle’s public health crisis

In this Crosscut editorial, UW professors Ben Danielson in the Department of Pediatrics and Bill Daniell in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences discuss homelessness as a public health crisis:

“In 2015, Seattle and King County each declared a homelessness State of Emergency. Both have made commendable efforts since then to intensify outreach, coordinate services, facilitate permanent housing and expand safe temporary shelter options. However, these efforts are still too...

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Developing ‘breakaway’ tsunami resistant buildings

Developing ‘breakaway’ tsunami resistant buildings

​NOAA: Labled for reuse

The best designs can also be the most surprising. A promising new concept for tsunami resistant buildings features breakaway walls and floors on lower levels that, when removed by forceful waves, strengthen the structure and better protect occupants seeking safety on higher floors.

Thanks to a $1 million National Science Foundation Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation grant, CEE faculty will be developing a new structural system to better protect communities during tsunamis. The...

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