We write a lot about homelessness in Seattle Weekly. In the past

We write a lot about homelessness in Seattle Weekly. In the past few months alone, we have written about encampments buried deep in the woods surrounding our suburbs (“Into the Wild,” Sept. 24); a group of homeless citizens overcoming the greatest of odds to summit Mount Rainier (“One Foot in Front of the Other,” Aug. 6); and, just a few weeks ago, we invited a writer who spends his night on the streets to share his story of insecurity with our readers (“Stealing From the Homeless,” Nov. 12). There has been more in the past, and, unfortunately, there will certainly be more in the future.

We are lucky enough to work near Pioneer Square, which has seen an uptick in development, with new restaurants and businesses moving in every week. It is also still where much of the city’s population of indigent transients can be found. For the most part, the homeless do not benefit from the neighborhood’s progress. If anything, the new businesses and businesspeople flooding in complete a tableau that illustrates the striking gulf between wealth and poverty in our city, where at least 2,000 people sleep on the streets each night. During the holidays, when rain and cold bear down, the contrast is even starker.

Because of our location, it is impossible for us to ignore the challenges of homelessness that face Seattle. That’s likely why it’s a topic that we, as a staff, are eager to explore.

It is also why I’m taking the opportunity at the outset of this, the third of Seattle Weekly’s Holiday Gift Guides, to encourage you to give to the organizations that help Seattle’s less fortunate. They are myriad, from food banks to shelters to transitional and job-training programs. I’m not going to tell you which to donate to—we consider it our job to write about these organizations with a semblance of objectivity, and to advocate one above another, even here, would be irresponsible. Instead I’ll leave it up to you. Think about how you want to help—donating food, an old interview suit, money—do a quick Internet search, reach out, and give.

And then go ahead and buy a few of the great gifts from local businesses and makers found in these pages.

Mark Baumgarten