Thursday, February 18, 2010
Yesterday, February 17, Jon Bon Jovi visited the shelter at 1811 Eastlake...
Love Is A Social Disease: Jon Bon Jovi Visits the Shelter on Eastlake Where Homeless Drunks Aren't Kicked Out for Being Drunks
Posted by Jen Graves on Wed, Feb 17, 2010 at 5:04 PM
There was a very drunk man at the door. I waited for him to go in, but he did not want that. He wanted to idle and rock back and forth on the balls of his feet while looking down. Shortly after I went in, three drunken men followed, one singing the theme song to something while lifting his leg and jumping. They got in the elevator with shopping bags in their hands, presumably to go upstairs and drink what was in the bags.
This is how it works at 1811 Eastlake. Unlike at any other shelter in Seattle or almost anywhere, at 1811 Eastlake you don't have to stop drinking in order to stop being homeless—which means you're safer, which means you land in the emergency room less often, and which means that maybe, eventually, you might actually be able to start dealing with your habit. 1811 Eastlake is one of those rare common-sense public service projects. The kind that conservatives would say is downright Canadian. You know, the kind that work. This single little program, which opened in 2005 and houses 75 hardcore, formerly homeless alcoholics—people referred in according to how many public services they use at places like the Harborview ER and the Sobering Center—saved taxpayers $4 million in its first year alone, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association this past April.
And when HUD secretary and Jon Bon Jovi pal Shaun Donovan mentioned 1811 Eastlake in a speech, Bon Jovi decided to take a tour of 1811 Eastlake since he'd be in Seattle anyway for the kickoff Friday night of the world tour for his new album. (Key Arena, sold out.)
You can read the rest of the article and listen to an 11 minute recording of the interview here.
Here are the pictures that went with the article. I was really hoping he had burned that hat or something. Maybe we could take up a collection and buy him a new one? I'll ante up the first $5!! :)