442 numbers were given out Monday by 7:00 PM:
· 105 for people seeking three bedroom units,
· 162 for people seeking 2 bedroom units,
· 175 for people seeking one bedroom units.
Each number represented an opportunity to apply for a unit. Every adult (and child over 11) in a unit had to fill out an application form. Husbands, wives, partners, best friends extended families aunts, uncles, grandparents- all combinations of families- came to apply. We estimate well over 1000 people were with us for a chance to get an affordable home. It was overwhelming, awe inspiring, beautiful and sad, all these emotions mixed into one very trying day. We were all a bit shell shocked.
The media came as well. Check out the article in Crosscut: http://crosscut.com/2016/02/housing-chances-draw-a-crowd-with-many-sure-to-lose-out/.
Liz Jones from KUOW also did a piece that ran quite a bit. You can access this piece at http://kuow.org/post/want-affordable-housing-seattle-get-line-literally.
The staff of El Centro de la Raza mobilized to help make this event as welcoming and as smooth as possible. Staff members circulated among the crowd talking with people, making them feel welcome, helping fill out the applications and generally treating people as our guests. We made sandwiches, had drinks and snacks and worked hard to keep the space clean and the crowd calm.
We are proud of our colleagues and humbled by the efforts of our volunteers to help make Plaza Roberto Maestas a reality.