In the Fall of 2016, University of Washington faculty members joined together on an Urban@UW retreat to brainstorm innovative ways that the University of Washington could step up in addressing the homelessness crisis at in Seattle. They created a proposed plan that would focus on addressing youth homelessness in the University District, a neighborhood well-known for being youth-oriented. In July 2017, the Washington State Legislature passed a bill (Substitute Senate Bill 5883) that directed funds toward University of Washington to “support youth and young adults experiencing homelessness in the university district of Seattle”, including working with a lead community partner (now YouthCare) to support the project through community outreach and support.
Since then, the Doorway Project has grown to include community members, undergraduate and graduate students as well as leaders in faith communities, local businesses, and homelessness service providers. Today, as we head into the second year of the project, we are further developing our plan to create an informed, designed community space that can support services that help youth on their path out of homelessness.
Josephine Ensign is a professor of nursing at the University of Washington in Seattle where she teaches health policy, community health, and health humanities.
Ensign has worked as a family nurse practitioner, community advocate, and health services researcher for the past three decades, focusing on access to primary health care for homeless adolescents and adults in the U.S., as well as in Thailand, Venezuela, and New Zealand. She is the author of numerous academic research and narrative medicine journal articles, as well as the narrative policy book Catching Homelessness: A Nurse’s Story of Falling Through the Safety Net. Her research experience and expertise includes community-based participatory research, program planning and evaluation, and mixed methods health services research. She can be contacted at email@example.com.
Charlotte Sanders is the field lead for the School of Social Work’s Northwest Leaders in Behavioral Health Program. Sanders has been involved in social services for more than 22 years, primarily serving Seattle youth and young adults in different homeless service settings and capacities, ranging from direct service, program management and advocacy. She worked with Neighborcare Health's Homeless Youth Clinic as the youth clinic manager and onsite social worker. During her time there she also served on the advisory committee for the GroupHealth funded MedRest demonstration project described above.
Sanders continues to work as an on-call intake social worker for Washington state’s Children's Administration Central Intake Unit. Prior to moving to the Seattle area, she provided therapy and case management services to children through the Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic located in the same town in which she was raised.
Nancy Amidei, MSW, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Senior Lecturer Emeritus, UW School of Social Work
Nancy Amidei has been called "a relentless advocate for changing public policy to better serve the most vulnerable populations." Prior to joining the UW faculty, she served in various governmental positions affecting health and welfare. She translated this policy expertise into a range of activities to meet the needs of vulnerable populations in Washington State, including the U District-University Partnership for Youth, an initiative for homeless youth.
Noah Weatherton is a Doctor of Nursing Practice student at University of Washington, focusing on Psychiatric-Mental Health. He is the Research Assistant for the Doorway Project.
Noah received his Bachelor's in Nursing at University of Wisconsin in Madison, where he lived and worked for a decade doing everything from community organizing to organic farming to being a health promotion researcher.
Since 2010, Noah has volunteered as a 'street medic', helping provide first-response medical support during political protests and encampments, as well as teaching community medical trainings. He is passionate about creating policy and systems of psychiatric emergency response that focus on proper de-escalation and treatment.
Noah is originally from Chicagoland, IL. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anna is a Master of Social Work and Public Health student at the University of Washington. In her practicum, Anna works with University District Street Medicine, the Doorway Project, and the OneHealth Clinic, to connect people experiencing homelessness with local resources, and to build foundations for self-advocacy.
Anna received her B.S. in Psychology and a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Southern Oregon University. Prior to her move to Seattle, Anna worked as a doula, Calm Birth prenatal meditation instructor, and parent-infant massage educator. Anna is still involved with Calm Birth as a program director, and facilitates teacher trainings regularly.
In addition to her studies, Anna works with UW's Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences (I-LABS) as an assistant for field research on newborn neural responses to touch.
Anna is originally from Boulder, Colorado.
Sam is an undergraduate at the University of Washington pursuing degrees in Law, Society, and Justice with focuses in Global Health and Poverty/Inequality.
She has been working with young people experiencing homelessness for the past few years as a staff member at ROOTS Young Adult Shelter.
She became involved with the Doorway Project through the Carlson Center’s Community Based Internship Program. She will be with this project through 2018/19 and is excited to see what the Doorway Project can do for this community.
Mika is an Undergraduate at the University of Washington, majoring in Physics and Mathematics. Her focus is climate change and global warming studies.
She began working with homeless youth this year, both through Doorway and through ROOTS young adult shelter.
She started her work with Doorway through the Carlson Center at the University of Washington. She plans to work with Doorway for the duration of the 2018/2019 school year, and hopes that her contribution can help both the Doorway Project and the University of Washington community.