To Whom it May Concern:
This morning, 12/11/19, I walked into the University Lutheran Church in Seattle, Washington and spoke with Pastor Sue Schneider. I fell victim to a hardship, which was the result of a landlord tenant dispute. The landlord had bagged up and messed with much of my property, leaving me high and dry with regards to accessing the property. The property included clothing, undergarments, coats, hats, scarves, and other essentials needed to combat the elements. Not to mention kitchen wares, bath wares and so on.
I relayed to Pastor Sue Schneider of my situation, in brief. To which she stated the church could not help me. She made an assumption, and presumed I was unhoused within 5 minutes. She asked no clarifying questions with regards to my situation. And, why should that even matter? I was honest, that’s what matters.
To deflect being with me in the moment, Pastor Sue Schneider made a blanket statement: ”we give all of our discretionary money to ’downstairs.’” I had no idea what ’downstairs’ was, and it happens to be some service for mentally handicapped women in distress and who are unhoused. No, thanks. Not my situation.
I was incredibly insulted at Pastor Sue Schneider’s inability to speak to me calmly and to listen. She had absolutely no empathetic skills and never said, ”I’m sorry that happened to you.” Or, ”how can I help?” Or, offered to make calls on my behalf if I needed to connect with a friend or relative. Or, an attorney.
Pastor Sue Schneider turned the other way, and used a deflection of, ”we give all of our discretionary money to ’downstairs,’ ” to avoid taking responsibility to someone who came to her in dire straits with a real life hardship. I felt as if she talked over me, heard nothing I said, and made the assumption I was unhoused, when, in fact I am not. I am locked out of my residence, illegally. This is how rumors and gossip get started and I do not take well to rumors and gossip.
I specifically asked Pastor Sue Schneider if she could help me with bus fare or get me some clothes because all of my clothes are in my landlord’s possession, as are my credit cards and bus card, etc. This is what is known as an illegal eviction or a ”self-help” eviction. You can read about it here: https://www.thespruce.com/landlord-self-help-eviction-156098. Again, she referred me to ’downstairs.’ Eventually, I went ’downstairs’ to investigate this, but she didn’t pause long enough to hear the entirety of my dilemma. As she used selective hearing, she made false assumptions and blanket statements to ”get me out of her view.” Out of sight, out of mind.
This is sheer negligence, as this is a pastor who is working among vulnerable people who are in and amongst a major housing crisis in The United States of America. Seattle is the hub of the housing crisis and this pastor should take into consideration where she is located geographically. I am one of the people in the community who fell victim to the housing crisis. I specifically told Pastor Sue Schneider not to ’refer’ me to any social services, and asked specifically for what I needed because the situation is dire and I know what I need. I needed to move on with the day.
I arrived to the church freezing, and with no coat (I have many coats, but was locked out of my residence). Pastor Sue Schneider could not see that I was cold and standing in the rain shivering without a coat! This is sheer negligence on her part. How difficult would it have been for her to make a small offering so I could purchase a coat and some other winter items at a thrift store? The landlord has all my possessions, remember?
Pastor Sue Schneider needs to pay attention to each testimony of those in the community. Paying attention to each testimony will help to prevent people from being in a worse situation – in this case – allowing me to be warm offering to help me obtain a coat. When I am warm and dry, I can think clearer and begin to make moves in my head as to what to do next.
Uplifting people is a way to alleviate suffering. I walked away empty handed from this church, and the pastor did not even flinch or show remorse. She never once said, ” ” I wish I could help you more.” Or, even asked if I was eating (landlord has all my food boxed up). Plus, wishing should be out of the picture – you should be prepared. I am sure there are more people out there like me, who may get pick-pocketed and need to replace a driver’s license or get locked out of their rental unit and not have access to their personal belongings. A driver’s license replacement costs a mere $20-$30. Yet, this church refuses to help with even a small amount for a driver’s license replacement and/or some basic clothing items. It is really disgraceful to walk away from this church with absolutely no offering, whatsoever.
University Lutheran Church and Pastor Sue Schneider need to be held accountable for letting myself, a vulnerable adult who was severely traumatized by an illegal landlord lock out walk away empty handed. This is why so many people are unhoused, because there are no measures to prevent people or uplift people while they are being illegally locked out. Preventative measures must be taken to help people locally, to remain housed and/or to fight illegal evictions. Illegal evictions are a precursor to being unhoused. And, now you, the reader know!
University Lutheran Church and Pastor Sue Schneider are a disgrace to the City of Seattle and to the University District for making wrongful assumptions of myself being unhoused, and letting me walk away empty handed after I was shivering in the rain with no coat. I felt like a real and true beggar. You are not a person in the eyes of Pastor Sue Schneider. I can now see why people get addicted to drugs, steal, and gamble. Humble yourself, and have wrongful assumptions thrown at you – who wants that?
This is a public service announcement to let the world know of the negligence of Pastor Sue Schneider and University Lutheran Church. DO NOT DONATE TO THIS CHURCH! DONATE to a REAL PERSON!
Thank you for reading!