Neighbors talk about surviving hard times

Craig MacGowan talks with neighbors during the “hard times” community meeting.

A small but enthusiastic group of Eastlake neighbors gathered at Seward school on May 5. The topic: Surviving the hard economic times and what we can do to help each other.

Craig MacGowan of the Eastlake Community Council (ECC) lead the discussion. The focus was on three areas: What the ECC can do to help; what resources and groups are out there that can help with more modest living; and ideas on how people can get by with less.

Craig had assembled some resources already, including pamphlets on how to use transit and where to find listings of free community events. Two representatives from Seattle Tilth provided information on everything from how to make a worm bin to smart watering, composting, container gardens and how to get rid of weeds in an environmentally sensitive manner.

Among the ideas the group came up with were:

  • The downtown library has resources for people searching for jobs, including help crafting a resume.
  • The ECC could use its newsletter to notify people of free events or job listings.
  • Set up a barter system in the neighborhood.
  • Sponsor a block party and/or outdoor movie night.
  • Connect mentors with people who need help in job searches.
  • Set up a database of community resources.
  • Sponsor a neighborhood bulletin board/kiosk where people could exchange information.
  • Families looking for an inexpensive day out might consider free days and nights at the various museums and the aquarium. The Seattle Art Museum’s free schedule is here. The Frye Art Museum is always free. The Burke Museum (close to Eastlake) is free on First Thursday of each month. The Henry Art Gallery (also nearby at the UW) is free every Thursday. The Seattle Aquarium is free for kids 3 and under.

Feel free to add your ideas about how Eastlake neighbors can help each other during these hard to the comments on this post.