It was at GLIDE that I first developed exposure to programming that was driven by the needs of the people. “Nothing about us, without us” was baked into the values and was how it evolved into an organization that housed: a daily free meals program (open 364 days a year), a walk-in center, a family, youth and childcare center, violence intervention programs, harm reduction services, a free legal clinic, mobile outreach, as well as COVID vaccines and testing that continues today. Not to mention a rockin' church that met every week, even through COVID closures online!
Some of the more interesting projects I worked on included:
- developing custom rubber stamps for staff who were filling out so many DMV fee-waiver vouchers that their hands were cramping. Forms could be ordered in bulk via a DMV-approved printer (too expensive), and couldn't be printed on in-house (special ink smeared when exposed to heat). So my pals and I at Alphagraphics Walnut Creek
developed stamps and made a template that could be easily updated should they need to order more in the future.
- working with volunteer service designers to develop a community demonstration safe consumption site
. This was my first time properly exposed to a design sprint when it came to physical space and education and community input.
- working with community advocates to move political actions forward including Our City Our Home
, voting rights information, and ballot education for unhoused and housing insecure folks. Smaller coalitions didn't always have staffing or budgets, but GLIDE did, plus they had an in-house designer and communications team. (:
- I worked most holidays during the 4 years on this job, but it was rewarding stuff! For the annual toy giveaway, I came up with visual branding for a winter shopping experience for kids. For the annual grocery giveaway, I made giant menu cards so folks could easily choose which type of meal-kit they wanted.
This job made me a better person and I am forever in debt for the amount of education, empathy, and community I developed there. It solidified my need to have my work always be of service to the greater good.