Reimagine Seattle: Amanda Richer

The challenges of the past year have changed the way we live, the way we work, and the way we show up for each other. They have also given us a rare chance to collectively reimagine our future. With the Reimagine Seattle Storytelling Project, we invited community members to reflect on their current experiences in Seattle, how they have been impacted by the events of 2020, and their hopes for the future of our city.

Community Communication Requires Connection for All

words and video by Amanda Richer

Have you ever lost or misplaced your device? Think of the sense of panic you feel. The inability to connect with your community is frightening and infuriating. In this day and age, our devices have become our lifelines. Our lives have become so online dependent, from meeting our most basic needs like food, water, and housing, to keeping connections with family and friends and finding and taking advantage of opportunities to better our lives. 

For some in our communities who experience this lack of basic needs, the work put into surviving life-threatening conditions on a daily basis becomes overwhelming. The lack of ability to connect with their community leads to a division within the community. Those without safe and stable housing are considered outsiders by those with access to these necessities. The inability to access resources necessary for survival can make overcoming the challenges of being unhoused insurmountable. 

Anyone who has been unhoused has suffered pain, loss, and trauma, either before experiencing lack of housing or because of it. They are our neighbors, our community members, our loved ones. Yet they are often exiled from their communities.

Making sure all of our neighbors are thriving in our communities requires communication and connection for all. To better ourselves and our communities, we must tackle the challenges that are keeping us from improving the lives of our community members. And to do that, we must all have the ability to connect.


Amanda Richer is a Community Liaison for the City of Seattle, serving the unhoused community. She operates BEING, an organization that uses outreach, communication, and networking to foster relationships with the unhoused, beings, and the environment. She is a consultant and photographer for the One Health Clinic. Leveraging her experience as a woman who experienced being unhoused in Seattle and working in service to the unhoused, she works to change the way we view and treat those in vulnerable situations.

Submissions for the Reimagine Seattle Storytelling Project were commissioned by the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. The opinions expressed and information contained in each submission do not necessarily reflect the policies, plans, beliefs, conclusions, or ideas, of the City of Seattle.