Karen Dawson has been a strong advocate for homeless women in Seattle for over 20 years. In 1998, as the head of the Department of Human Services, she carried through the initiative of the grassroots homeless organizations SHARE and WHEEL to make planning of new homeless services for women a coordinated effort between city officials, service providers, and homeless women themselves. Great things were accomplished in 1998, and the cooperative planning meetings are continuing. Karen Dawson is taking a one-year sabbatical; at her going-away party, WHEEL presented her with this poem.
Faith is stepping out over nothingness
believing that the road through
will rise to meet your feet.
For twenty years
you have willed roads into existence
through the gaps of loss in human lives.
Now you are going to park your trailer
soak in the sun
rest in a simple life for awhile.
I still hear your feet upon these roads.
I see your hands in these walls.
I feel your heart beat with us
as ours will shine for you
in the warm sun.
Faith builds all our roads
and builds our dreams.
Faith can even make a place
Anitra L. Freeman
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