Seattle Center Plays Host To 1,400 Homeless Guests

Sep 18, 2013

More than 1,400 homeless individuals descended on Seattle Center Tuesday to take part in a one-day resource fair put on by United Way of King County.

The event brought together dozens of service providers and hundreds of volunteers. They gave haircuts, conducted eye exams, passed out free shoes and socks, and dispensed housing, legal and mental health advice, among other things.

According to Vince Matulionis, head of homeless programs for United Way, this might be the only day of the year when the city's homeless people can get their basic needs met.

"The importance of a haircut, getting your picture taken, making a phone call, getting your feet washed — most of us in our daily lives tend to take [these things] for granted. But when you are homeless, rarely do those types of things come easily and quickly to you," Matulionis said.

Volunteers for the event were encouraged to treat the people who arrived as "honored guests."

This is the ninth year United Way has organized the event.