I well remember the first time a couple of excited techies from an effort called Seattle Volunteer came to meet with the Resource Development team of Fremont Public Association to tell us about this amazing resource called “the internet.” It was 1995, and we gathered around one of the handful of computers in our entire office to see their demonstration.
Soon after we posted our first website. It was an ugly little thing, but it carried an amazing amount of information about our programs and services, job opportunities, volunteering, and more:
Formerly known as Fremont Public Association, Solid Ground developed as a fairly unwieldy beast. We have lots of programs and services addressing housing, homelessness, hunger, transportation, soft skills and other efforts to counter poverty and build community. Over the next two decades our website expanded to capture more information about our work, becoming a kind of online catalog.
Then in 2007, we changed our name to Solid Ground and rolled out a new site. It was more slickly branded, though the navigation and design were still static. We added some substantial resources, including an encyclopedia of information about tenants’ legal rights and responsibilities in Washington state. The site was bigger and brighter, but it was hard to know where to find the information you needed if you were a client or a community member. And it was a nightmare to read on a phone or tablet.
The explosion of social media found Solid Ground and its programs developing their own blogs, Facebook pages and other channels. Soon our internet presence was like a little solar system, with planets and satellites of various orbits and impacts flying loosely around our website, but not connecting or amplifying our messaging in any way.
So about a year ago, we started having conversations about a new website that would give people the information they needed to access services, get involved in our work, or better understand our impact.
We think the new site steers people to resources and things they can easily do. It makes giving easier, features employment and volunteer opportunities, promotes events, and introduces advocacy actions into the site.
It also consolidates the award-winning SolidGroundBlog and all of our program blogs into the website, to create a coordinated, synergistic publishing platform that will shine more brightly throughout our web universe. Of course, you can sign up to get on our blog, email and print distribution lists.
Staff too numerous to mention helped pull this all together. Web Administrator Liz Reed Hawk did the heavy lifting; I am grateful for her dedication. And we had the good fortune to hire a talented local web development firm called Tiny Whale Creative to help us realize our ideas.
We expect you will find some quirks here over the first few days and weeks. If you see something that looks funny, or have a question about the site, please email me. Otherwise, I hope you enjoy the site! Thanks!