- Living Access Support Alliance (LASA)
- Yuni Medlin, Homeless Prevention Specialist - email@example.com - (253) 581-8689
- Homeless prevention serves were just a service – we would get water back on when it was shutoff for someone. Then we noticed that folks were coming back.
- So, I redid my assessment, collected data, and wrote some grants. (I think every manager in the room was thinking of how to lure Yuni to their organization –ed.)
- I can help Utility deposits for City of Tacoma residents. – only for folks at risk.
- With 3 day pay or vacate – in the past, I could only help with the most current month – and I couldn’t help until the past 2 were repaid if 3 months were overdue. Now I can help with past due, working with the landlord. It is not rent assistance – but it is a housing intervention. If you send someone with a 3-day pay or vacate notice, will sit down with folks and really work on plans to be stable.
- Transportation problems – if someone has a job, can give a month of transportation with an orca card – but is only for folks with housing, not folks experiencing homelessness. With ABD or Disability, can get discount rate – and because of the discount can get them two months of transit, not one.
- Clients were often getting traffic tickets on the way to the LASA office – clients with no insurance and tabs. So, we can do driver’s license reinstatements. If they are juggling paying off a variety of fines, we can help now.
- Often folks don’t have resources to self-sustain. If someone’s hourly pay rate doesn’t cover rent, we can step in. helped a client get their income up with licensing help, and now instead of $14 per hour, they are making $20 per hour, and can pay their rent. LASA also makes sure to only refer clients to programs they are actually eligible for. We spent more time with clients and put together plans for self-sufficiency.
- Theresa – who qualifies? Yuni – client needs to have a 3-day pay-or-vacate, a 10-day final notice on utilities, or utilities are shut off. Just had a client that lives with no utilities for 6 months. Had to pay $1000 to collections agency to get collection account paid off and get utilities back on. I had to be careful – once I contact TPU, TPU has to act – utilities are required for occupancy in the City of Tacomam. Now working on employment with this client.
- Maureen – are there income limits – are children required?. Yuni – we help below 50% of Area Median Income (AMI) - we used to only help clients below 30% AMI. Maureen - Is this info on your website? Yuni – no. would like to get that going
- Marybeth – had referral from Share and Care house. Yuni – it is county by county. I call share and care house to see what is available. (I think this is a discussion about HEN- I’m going to reach out to Share and Care House to hopefully get a presentation on HEN in October or November. –ed)
- Yuni – lots of folks come to us with needs – we work on the things pressing on them right then.
- Maureen – what if they are beyond the 3-day pay-or-vacate, but are in the eviction process but owe money. Yuni – if I can keep them in the housing, I work with the landlord to keep them there. There are time where the landlord won’t work with us. I landlords won’t work with us it is typically someone with a section 8 voucher who isn’t paying their share of the rent. Can work with clients to try to get them paying.
- James – TPU has lots of new programs they are launching to help folks manage their needs. (I’ve been reading a book called The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion, by Jonathan Haidt. Fascinating book. He breaks morality down into 6 “moral foundations”. TPU’s assistance program fits into a couple of them – one of them is the Care/Harm foundation – where we try to protect others. But it also fits into the fairness/cheating foundation, where we want people to be rewarded relative to what they contribute. The section in the book I’m on right now is all about how liberal politicians emphasize only 2 or 3 of the 6 moral foundations, where conservative politicians emphasize all 6. Haidt compares connecting with these moral foundations to hitting all 5 taste receptors on the tongue – the conservative message often resonates better than a liberal message because it connects will all our innate moral foundations. A liberal may focus on the harm reduction of the utility payment plan to ensure low income folks get their utilities paid for and are safe, but a conservative may focus on the tax/extra cost they will pay to cover someone’s utilities that they may see as not having contributed enough to deserve it. And that both of those views are centered in feelings that are built right into us. And that those feelings are true gut reactions which our intellect then works to justify. Our intellect usually comes second, after we’ve made a moral decision. Anyway, a new way for me to think about why people identify with both the liberal and the conservative movements – very interesting. Obviously, I’ve over-simplified the concept – the author does a great job providing evidence and discussing how we change our moral compass based on lots of factors, too. A good real. –ed_)
- Marybeth – are you just serving Lakewood? Yuni – we never just served Lakewood, we just happen to be based there.
- If folks are sent to me with a 3-day pay-or-vacate document, we can work to help them.
- We don’t help folks that are asking their landlords for 3-day pay-or-vacate notices. We do some common sense checking to ensure the 3-day pay-or-vacate was legitimately initiated by the landlord. (this fraud is the scourge of homeless prevention nation-wide - .ed)
- Lynn – did you say you could help someone with a license? How about car tabs? Yuni – no. Poeple often prioritize based on survival. Try to help them with their immediate need, whether that be rent assistance, utility assistance and or transportation assistance.
- Maureen – I love that you analyze your data all the time – do you look at how often it is not enough money. Yuni – it is prioritization that causes problems and gets them behind. Someone got a $75 late fee one month. That was enough to set her behind every month. Got the landlord to remove that, and they are back current.
- If someone can’t afford their living situation they can’t afford We look at what income level they need to self-sustain. Will work with them to get them to that level.
- Questions – how full are you? Yuni –very full, but I just keep taking more people. If I’m not working with someone downtown (I think when she staffs the Community Resource Center), I’ll sit down and help folks work through their paperwork.