Two Queen Anne residents want to engage the community in a series of presentations in the coming months to tackle topics of importance, beginning with homelessness.

Queen Anne Community Council Executive Committee member Beth Bunnell and Queen Anne Community Block Captains Chairman and founder Paula Mueller are launching the Initiative on Community Engagement, which will kick off with a community Zoom presentation on homelessness, Nov. 17.

“I think this issue has reached its tipping point, so we’re hoping that this platform will give people the opportunity to hear really good information and actively engage in supportive initiatives that make sense,” Mueller said.

Mueller said she and Bunnell arranged this presentation on homelessness to better educate and inform Queen Anne residents about homelessness while also actively engaging people on the issue.

“Right now, there’s a great deal of energy around doing something to really move homelessness solutions forward because we really have not done that,” Mueller said.

The Nov. 17 presentation will feature a brief commentary from Seattle City Councilmember Andrew Lewis and members of Third Door Coalition and Plymouth Housing. The presentation will conclude with a question-and-answer session.

Third Door Coalition is comprised of business leaders, service providers, researchers and others who seek to find solutions to chronic homelessness based on research and data, Bunnell said.

“They’re very laser focused on supportive housing and chronic homelessness,” she said.

Plymouth Housing is a nonprofit organization with a mission to eliminate homelessness by building permanent housing. Currently, Plymouth Housing is constructing a housing unit in Uptown, on Mercer Street. Plymouth Housing is partnering with Path with Art, a nonprofit that improves the lives of people experiencing homelessness and addiction through art.

“I’m very pleased with the caliber of our speakers at this first event,” Bunnell said. “I think it’s a great panel to have, and that’s really the goal. We want people with depth of expertise when we have our presenters talking. So that’s definitely important to us that these people are well informed.”

Both Bunnell and Mueller feel the upcoming presentation are particularly relevant at this time, with the number of homeless encampments and tents on the rise and city funding for homelessness services — such as housing — stagnant.

The Nov. 17 presentation will be just the start to the discussion about homelessness.

Mueller said homelessness has many facets, and the presentations can take many different directions.

A second presentation is tentatively planned for January, and might possibly focus on city budget and spending on homelessness. Mueller said that conversation would be enlightening for many because people can have a “terrific vision and a great dream,” but with expectations exceeding the amount of money available, prioritizing becomes key.

“So people need to recognize the reality of what kind of funds are available from any source,” she said.

The presentations will not be about homelessness in Queen Anne, and could apply to any neighborhood in the city.

Bunnell said, while she and Mueller had considered opening up the discussion to people outside of Queen Anne, they agreed to keep it local for the moment and initiate a conversation among neighborhood residents. Part of the reason for that is to build neighborhood-based support and engagement.

“We’d like our community to have more of a voice at the City Council, the mayor’s office and other community organizations that are working on homelessness solutions, and we think this is a way to get this started,” Mueller added.

The pair also want people to attend the presentation with an open mind.

“I think sometimes people want to vent about their frustration with the lack of solutions with homelessness, so we’re hoping people come with a constructive eye rather than to come just to vent about things,” Mueller said.

The number of people who can attend the Nov. 17 presentation is not capped, but people are encouraged to register through SignUp,, by Nov. 15.

The Zoom information will be sent to everyone who registered at least two days prior to the event or later.

Mueller said she and Bunnell thought up the idea of the Initiative on Community Engagement and their focus on homelessness after brainstorming.

Both feel strongly about a need for a better plan to address homelessness in the city. Bunnell’s interest stemmed from her volunteer work, Mueller through her activity in the community.