Anchor Communities Initiative
- Valeri Knight, Pierce County Human Services - firstname.lastname@example.org
- 2018 – applied with A Way Home Washington ( https://awayhomewa.org/anchor-community-initiative/ ) – are one of 4 communities to receive
- Goal is to end Youth Homelessness by 2022.
- Creating a by-name list – of all youth at risk or experiencing homelessness
- Create two teams – the Core Team and the Community Team
- There are 17 school districts – each with their own Mckinney-Vento eligible students – and all will be added to the by-name list. (although that list may not be too long for some of the school districts – there are only 175 student total in the Carbonado School District, for instance. –ed.)
- We’ve figuring out who all should be on the list.
- Want a list of names from the foster care system – but that probably won’t happen. (we are so eager to protect privacy, that we often prevent needed services from getting to people in need. There is an appropriate balance between privacy and collaboration, but some agencies work hard not to share data when it could save a life. I could spend all day on this soap box… –ed).
- Need really good data. We had 595 on the list – that is a shocking number – still have around 600 people – and that is just the literally homeless in Pierce County – we still have to add McKinney-Vento homeless. (If you’re not steeped in the lingo, Literally Homeless is a HUD definition for people in an emergency shelter, in their car, in a tent, or in a motel paid for by a charity. McKinney-Vento homeless is HUD’s Literally Homeless, as well as folks doubled-up in someone else’s home, in a motel, campground, or some such temporary location –ed.).
- Looking for who needs to be at the table on the Core Team.
- Funding a Young Adult shelter to be named
- Outreach for youth (under 18) and young adults (18-24) – different skillset
- Applied for youth homeless demonstration grant – tried 3 years in a row, and hoping this round we’ll have more services – like Rapid Rehousing, Permanent Supportive Housing, Transitional Housing/Rapid Rehousing Joint project – need all this for this population. There is no straight transitional housing for this population.
- The Young Adult (18-24) shelter is at capacity nearly each night.
- We want Young Adults in shelters with their peers, not the folks at the Tacoma Rescue Mission and Nativity House Shelter (I suspect Valeri said this in a more nuanced way – but this is what is in my notes…-ed.)
- Al – will the outreach team hire 16 and 17 year olds? The funding is for an outreach team, no age requirements on who the organization hires. Need to cover the entire county – not just Tacoma. They need to be in Buckley and on the Key and in every school district.
- We now have an Anchor Communities Initiative staff member – Ben – who is helping coordinate with the school districts and foster system and working to cut through red tape and find where the barriers are.
- Working on improving the Point in Time count for youth and young adults.
- The goal is to prevent and end youth homelessness – to put a system in place to do that, that will be self-sustaining, - able to prevent youth homelessness.
- We need to provide services to 3rd graders and their families before they become 17 year-olds experiencing homelessness.
- Carolyn – how does the legal stuff work with the foster care system? Valeri – it is complicated – we are pushing why the boundaries exist and how we can work to address them. We try to bring everyone into the room and have us all of us be accountable to fix the problems
- Senate Bill 6560 from 2017-18 (https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=6560&Initiative=false&Year=2017 ) became law – no youth can be exited from any system to homelessness.
- We are working to find the best solution for each youth. Need to listen to the youth so we can really solve the problem.
- Maureen – are the apprenticeship programs and Community Colleges at the table with you? Or the business community, retail folks, service industry – we know those folks are there. Valeri – we are putting them on the Community Team, not the Core Team. The first Community meeting will have First lady Inslee, County executive, Mayors, etc.
- Tribes have a foster care program, but not an extended foster care system. Most youth exit to homelessness at the age of 18. (info about this program at https://www.dcyf.wa.gov/tribal-relations/icw -ed.)
- Martha – 600 children in homelessness – when you’re homeless for several different time as a youth, you get used to homelessness – it becomes normal for children. That is dangerous for the future. Valeri – need peers to help folks know that their norm doesn’t need to be that way. Valeri – we will always have youth and young adults who have experienced homelessness regardless of everything we do. We did get some feedback on the Coordinated Entry system – we can certainly do a better job of asking questions.
- James – we ask if someone has been in an institution – no common agreement on what that means – is it foster care, transitional housing, prison, what? We can do better with questions like that.
- Maureen – are you identifying state laws that need changing? Will you have anything for the coming 2020 session? If we can identify things, let’s get on them early. Valeri – we will work with A Way Home Washington, that is leading that part of the effort. James – their person is putting a state legislative agenda through the 4 core teams in the different counties.
- In July or August, you’ll get an invitation for this Community Team meeting – we need your voices and who we aren’t serving well. We need your feedback on what we can do well.
- Evangeline – what happens to youth with disabilities and no parents? There is nothing there for them. Valeri – they are in every conversation – we don’t call out every population, but they are in the conversations.
- E-mail (email@example.com )and call me ( 253-798-6931 ) – I’m accessible. Also, contact Ben – he’s new and he’s here to help (I couldn’t find any contact info for Ben, but I suspect James or Valeri can connect you – ed.)
- James – there are some confidentiality issues we need to work on. We’re trying to figure out how to connect within our current rules, as well as change the rules to better serve youth experiencing homelessness.
- James – we’ll come give updates every few months