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A new development in Seattle is making affordable housing a priority for the city’s residents
Pavel Verbovski
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Forrest doesn't mind admitting he needed a second chance. The 49-year-old had, at one point, been a member of the Army; he'd been married and had a support network. But he'd also run into a multitude of health and legal problems. He'd been incarcerated. And once he was released, he didn't know where he would go or what he would do. He'd never felt so alone.

But then, some hope. While working with Seattle's VA to obtain a place to live and a job, Forrest heard about Mercy Magnuson Place, a new development from Mercy Housing Northwest that would offer affordable homes to individuals and families who, like Forrest, needed help in the city's grueling rental market.

Forrest remembers not wanting to even go see the building because he didn't want to get his hopes up, but a counselor persuaded him. And when he learned that the development was a repurposed former military barracks — now a historic landmark — he knew he'd feel right at home.

Today, Forrest couldn't be happier. "I've got a 10-foot-high ceiling," he says. "I've got 7-foot windows. I look out onto a garden." His studio apartment, he says, has more space than he knows what to do with. For someone who's spent chunks of his life not having a place to call his own, the three closets that Forrest's apartment boasts are a grand luxury.


"I love walking the grounds," Forrest says. "I get to walk on these grounds where other soldiers have actually served. It's humbling. I have a great reverence for this place."

The apartment and the grounds are only the beginning of Forrest's second chance. Along with housing, Mercy Magnuson Place offers its residents a support system which works to ensure they're thriving. For Forrest, that means being connected with organizations that can help him maintain his physical and mental health. Even more importantly, Forrest says, he has been volunteering at the Magnuson Park Community Food Pantry and is excited about giving back to a place that's helped him get his life back.

"I really wanted a place that I would feel part of a community — where I felt I wasn't alone. When I moved here, everybody — all of my neighbors, everybody that I meet — they're all just super nice to each other," Forrest says. "We help each other out. We open doors. We bring in each other's groceries. There's a huge sense of community here."

The belief that community can help individuals transform their lives is integral to Mercy Housing's mission. And it's one of the many reasons that Capital One got involved with the development of Mercy Magnuson Place.

"Magnuson Park is an ideal location for people seeking to enhance their lives – near jobs, transportation, schools, a community center, and dozens of nonprofit organizations based at the park," says Bill Rumpf, president of Mercy Housing Northwest. "We are grateful to our many partners who helped us to welcome all the new residents to Northeast Seattle. It was truly a neighborhood effort."

Before it was completed, Mercy Housing ran into a complication due to a potential tax code change that threatened the closing, so Dave Musial, a Capital Officer with the bank, stepped in to help.

"To the community, these buildings are more than just four walls and a roof. There are history and personal connections," Musial says. "I jumped at the opportunity to help Mercy Housing. Capital One stepped up and said, 'We'll help you make this development a reality.'"

Pavel Verbovski

Capital One is committed to making an impact in the communities which it serves and Musial knew there was no greater way to do so in Seattle than assuring Mercy Magnuson Place opened its doors to offer affordable housing to those that needed it most.

The bank provided $13.5 million in construction period financing and $34,569,000 in tax credit equity for the building's development. With Capital One's financial support, the development moved forward to closing, into construction, and began welcoming residents soon thereafter.

As of today, the building's 148 units are complemented by a 15,000-square-foot childcare center that's open to the public. In a city where affordable childcare is difficult to come by, Mercy Magnuson Place isn't just filling a need for the city's parents — it's cementing its place as a community hub, breathing new life into a historical landmark that will now never be forgotten. In addition to the 15,000-square-foot childcare center, there is 1,500 square feet allocated for the provision of resident services and another 1,500 square feet for Neighborcare Health, a Seattle-based non-profit healthcare provider.

Forrest can't imagine life without Mercy Magnuson Place. "I've got a girlfriend now," he says, "I've got a car." Though Forrest has put a great deal of effort into transforming his circumstances, a lot of credit, he says, must be given to the support he's received at his new home. And for that, he says, he'll always remain forever grateful.

"One of the first weeks I was living here, I was going out to do my walk when I saw a guy with a hard hat on," Forrest says. "And I just walked up to him and I said, 'Hey, I don't know who you are, or what you really have to do with this — but, thank you.'"

Photo courtesy of Girls at Work

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Girls are bombarded with messages from a very young age telling them that they can’t, that is too big, this is too heavy, those are too much.

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Pop Culture

14 things that will remain fun no matter how old you get

Your inner child will thank you for doing at least one of these.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Swings can turn 80-year-olds into 8-year-olds in less that two seconds.

When we’re kids, fun comes so easily. You have coloring books and team sports and daily recess … so many opportunities to laugh, play and explore. As we get older, these activities get replaced by routine and responsibility (and yes, at times, survival). Adulthood, yuck.

Many of us want to have more fun, but making time for it still doesn’t come as easily as it did when we were kids—whether that’s because of guilt, a long list of other priorities or because we don’t feel it’s an age-appropriate thing to long for.

Luckily, we’ve come to realize that fun isn’t just a luxury of childhood, but really a vital aspect of living well—like reducing stress, balancing hormone levels and even improving relationships.

More and more people of all ages are letting their inner kids out to play, and the feelings are delightfully infectious.

You might be wanting to instill a little more childlike wonder into your own life, and not sure where to start. Never fear, the internet is here. Reddit user SetsunaSaigami asked people, “What always remains fun no matter how old you get?” People’s (surprisingly profound) answers were great reminders that no matter how complex our lives become, simple joy will always be important.

Here are 14 timeless pleasures to make you feel like a kid again:

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All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

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Adewole Adamson, MD, of the University of Texas, Austin, aims to create more equity in health care by gathering data from more diverse populations by using artificial intelligence (AI), a type of machine learning. Dr. Adamson’s work is funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), an organization committed to advancing health equity through research priorities, programs and services for groups who have been marginalized.

Melanoma became a particular focus for Dr. Adamson after meeting Avery Smith, who lost his wife—a Black woman—to the deadly disease.

melanoma,  melanoma for dark skin Avery Smith (left) and Adamson (sidenote)

This personal encounter, coupled with multiple conversations with Black dermatology patients, drove Dr. Adamson to a concerning discovery: as advanced as AI is at detecting possible skin cancers, it is heavily biased.

To understand this bias, it helps to first know how AI works in the early detection of skin cancer, which Dr. Adamson explains in his paper for the New England Journal of Medicine (paywall). The process uses computers that rely on sets of accumulated data to learn what healthy or unhealthy skin looks like and then create an algorithm to predict diagnoses based on those data sets.

This process, known as supervised learning, could lead to huge benefits in preventive care.

After all, early detection is key to better outcomes. The problem is that the data sets don’t include enough information about darker skin tones. As Adamson put it, “everything is viewed through a ‘white lens.’”

“If you don’t teach the algorithm with a diverse set of images, then that algorithm won’t work out in the public that is diverse,” writes Adamson in a study he co-wrote with Smith (according to a story in The Atlantic). “So there’s risk, then, for people with skin of color to fall through the cracks.”

Tragically, Smith’s wife was diagnosed with melanoma too late and paid the ultimate price for it. And she was not an anomaly—though the disease is more common for White patients, Black cancer patients are far more likely to be diagnosed at later stages, causing a notable disparity in survival rates between non-Hispanics whites (90%) and non-Hispanic blacks (66%).

As a computer scientist, Smith suspected this racial bias and reached out to Adamson, hoping a Black dermatologist would have more diverse data sets. Though Adamson didn’t have what Smith was initially looking for, this realization ignited a personal mission to investigate and reduce disparities.

Now, Adamson uses the knowledge gained through his years of research to help advance the fight for health equity. To him, that means not only gaining a wider array of data sets, but also having more conversations with patients to understand how socioeconomic status impacts the level and efficiency of care.

“At the end of the day, what matters most is how we help patients at the patient level,” Adamson told Upworthy. “And how can you do that without knowing exactly what barriers they face?”

american cancer society, skin cacner treatment"What matters most is how we help patients at the patient level."https://www.kellydavidsonstudio.com/

The American Cancer Society believes everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer—regardless of how much money they make, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, gender identity, their disability status, or where they live. Inclusive tools and resources on the Health Equity section of their website can be found here. For more information about skin cancer, visit cancer.org/skincancer.

via YouTube

This article originally appeared on 02.15.22


These days, we could all use something to smile about, and few things do a better job at it than watching actor Christopher Walken dance.

A few years back, some genius at HuffPo Entertainment put together a clip featuring Walken dancing in 50 of his films, and it was taken down. But it re-emerged in 2014 and the world has been a better place for it.

Walken became famous as a serious actor after his breakout roles in "Annie Hall" (1977) and "The Deer Hunter" (1978) so people were pretty shocked in 1981 when he tap-danced in Steve Martin's "Pennies from Heaven."

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via Lewis Speaks Sr. / Facebook

This article originally appeared on 02.25.21


Middle school has to be the most insecure time in a person's life. Kids in their early teens are incredibly cruel and will make fun of each other for not having the right shoes, listening to the right music, or having the right hairstyle.

As if the social pressure wasn't enough, a child that age has to deal with the intensely awkward psychological and biological changes of puberty at the same time.

Jason Smith, the principal of Stonybrook Intermediate and Middle School in Warren Township, Indiana, had a young student sent to his office recently, and his ability to understand his feelings made all the difference.

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