Meeting Information


Meeting Type
Friday Provider Meeting
Date
Friday, 11/9/2018
Start
9:00 AM
End
11:00 AM
Agenda
Agenda
Summary
Preview of new Resource Guide, Overview of the New Connections (program for women exiting incarceration), a holiday project idea, and speed networking proposal, and more
Minutes

Welcome

  • James Pogue, Comprehensive Life Resources
  • Salvation army will let us use the space over December – thank you so much.

Presentation

Resource Database

  • James Pogue, Comprehensive Life Resources
  • We’ve had difficulty coordinating in our system.  Coordinated Entry was designed to be a single front door and it would all be coordinated.  But we need to do more than coordinated entry.
  • We have a listserv and share resources and know each other by name, we can do warm hand offs. We problem solve well together.  We spread the word about our work well.   We’ve done a lot of work to build our network all over – gig harbor, Lakewood, Puyallup
  • We launched a little website, and now we have a resource database
  • If you need resources, Associated Ministries has a resource list, 211 has its own list.  Every agency has their own list.  We are trying to find a way to do a little bit better. 
  • Pierce County Resource Website – this is just a prototype
    • 2 guides
      • Resource guide - select gender and age and what resource you are looking for, and it will show it on a map. 
      • Housing guide
    • The goal is this is not a CLR product – this is something that will be branded with this Coalition
    • Al – how can we encourage people to keep it updated themselves. James – we keep asking people to update.  Al – if we go to this and look at a listing for our own program, can we edit the content for that content ourselves?  Rainey – no.  James – we’d have lots of rouge editors, I’d rather not do that. 
    • James – how would we manage this?  Would it be branded as the coalition?  Is this something we want to invest our time and effort into?  Do we need to be more formal as a group?
    • Larry – I think this is wonderful – but also important for the Coalition to stay informal and flexible.  Your group has something magic that may be affected by the bureaucracy of it.  James – I enjoy the flexibility of this. 
    • Greg – this is fantastic, but we’ll need some rules around this resource.
    • Kelly – doesn’t our Coalition own Hire253?  We may have opportunities for funding to keep on with this work. 
    • James – are we a 501c3?  Martha – maybe.  We should have a social media plan.  If we get formal, it should be on a social media plan, with regular updates and hurrahs. 
    • Sherri – I feel like we have some benefits to being on a social media platform. 
    • James – this seems like a big enough conversation that we should have this at a separate time.  (I didn’t do a great job of catching this vaguely existential discussion about what the Coalition actually is – or should be.  Somehow I feel a bit like if we discuss what the Coalition is, perhaps we’ll jinx the lovely fluidity of the group.  Like early on in dating, where you you’re not really sure if you’re a couple, but would like a bit of validation of feelings, but don’t want to ruin something that is going swimmingly.  Or that is my vague memory of dating – not something I’ve had to think about since the late 80’s… - ed.)  
    • Theresa – let’s have a meeting set aside to do that.   
    • Is there a translate feature on the website?  Rainey – not yet   

James – we’ll purchase it and Rainey will reach out to you to solicit resources. 

Presentation

New Connections - https://nctacoma.org/

  • Theresa Power-Drutis, New Connections - tpdrutis@nctacoma.org – 253-534-5402
  • Rosemary Powers, New Connections - rpowers@eou.edu
  • We are a tiny organization that many of you know something about
  • Why do we do what we do?  There was a huge rise in the prison population starting in the 1980s.   Why the rise - In 1980 the war on drugs began, and that significantly increased incarceration rates (interestingly, it all started with Nixon advocating a “war on drugs” in the 70’s for the "prevention of new addicts, and the rehabilitation of those who are addicted".  Noble as those motives sound, as Theresa said, that didn’t go so well.  It think it was put particularly well put by George Shultz – present in Nixon’s cabinet but never really an advocate of the war on drugs, and Pedro Aspe, writing together in a recent-ish New York Times op-ed, where they start off saying “The war on drugs in the United States has been a failure that has ruined lives, filled prisons and cost a fortune.”  - full article at https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/31/opinion/failed-war-on-drugs.html .  No mincing words there. –ed. )
  • Often folks were incarcerated for drug reasons, but drug possession is a lesser charge and is dropped and other violence charges remain – giving the impression of fewer incarcerations for drug reasons than there actually are. 
  • Incarceration duration increased as well.  Some laws don’t allow life sentences, but that is gotten around by folks who receive multiple sentences that add up to hundreds of years (a life sentence, unless you have enough of Methuselah’s DNA, which will let you live to nearly 1,000 years old.  –ed.) 
  • Our house is in Hilltop – Erma’s place – 6 bedrooms.  It is a supportive program.  The building is green and orange - very easy to find. 
  • One bedroom for the house manager, the other 5 for women exiting incarceration. 
  • We often hold a place for someone about to exit incarceration and use the held room for a short stay for someone else until the discharge from jail. 
  • You can contact us if you have a need – we may have a space for someone even for just a week.  We do focus on folks exiting incarceration.  We’d rather have someone in the room over no one. 
  • Annie’s Cottage – for formerly incarcerated women with children – 2 bedroom, next to Irma Gary house, has supportive programs as well.  We have different things to do with the family.  Stays are limited to 90 days.  We do adjust to the needs of the clients – younger children have different needs than older children.
  • How to get folks in –
  • We do Pierce County Jail in-reach.  We go into the jail and help folks with release planning – to find out folks’ specific needs. 
  • We do research and issue briefs as well.  Let us know if you  have a topic you’d like us to work on.
  • Rosemary Powers, Senior Researcher
    • Theresa mentioned the issues we need to work on.
    • As John Muir said, everything is interconnected (“When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe”. –John Muir, -ed.).  Exiting incarceration is like that.  People who come from places with histories and possible futures, we often identify issues we need to learn more about.
    • So we write briefs.    
    • A brief about  Money Bail. 
      • In the US, over 450,000 people are detained in jail but haven’t been convicted of a crime.  A good chunk of those folks could be dangerous.  However, some 300,000 were granted bail, but couldn’t pay for it. 
      • We need to maximize public safety, ensure they return for trial, and ensure our constitutional right to be considered innocent until proven guilty. 
      • Citizens can help, and this document gets you some ways to have an impact.  It would be great if Washington could end money bail like California (https://www.npr.org/2018/08/28/642795284/california-becomes-first-state-to-end-cash-bail -ed.).  We need to be mindful of the solution so that is isn’t discriminatory. 
    • A brief about Critical Documents
    • Working on a brief about the 5am release time. 
      • James – we are working on suboxone clients who need to get to Lakewood to get their next dose.  There is a very high enrollment rate in prison, but when they exit they do not continue services
      • Theresa – those efforts from James and Rosemary are making headway.
    • Anyone who is interested in research issues, or something you’d like researched, just let me know.
    • Also have briefs about critical documents.
    • (I looked for the briefs on the New Connections website and couldn’t find them – perhaps a personal failure.  So I tried googling for “New Connections Briefs”, and the results was not really safe for work viewing – I tried to find them. –ed)
  • We also spend time at City and County Council meetings to do policy advocacy.  We are happy to go to City or County council meetings with you or with interns if it is their first time.
  • We have 2 paid positions – one ¼ time employee and one ½ time employee.  We are a tiny organization.  We have lots of volunteers.  We have had such great luck with interns as well.  It is a great way to bring up a new generation of people who have a heart for this.
  • We have a community garden, a jewelry collective. 
  • Our Community – the G street urban village.  Made up of Tacoma Catholic Workers, Catholic community Services, St. Leo’s Church, eldershire (our home) in the close neighborhood.  A little broader are lots of other services. 
  • National Night Out on G street is an annual event
  • Marybeth – is the focus on the Pierce County Jail – Theresa – yes, although  we go to the Purdy’s prison as well.  There are few resources available in the jail – people are literally walking around in circles on the floor.  It is a bit of a deal to get to go in the jail, but If you think you can offer something, even once, it is worth it.  I’m happy to help you get in (but will she help you get out?  Sorry, but you just can’t feed me a straight line like that.  –ed).
  • Al – I had no idea of what you guys do – I am very impressed.  Theresa – we are shaking a little piece of the earth (a tattoo suggestion for Theresa -  a small globe with the phrase “we are shaking a little piece of the earth” circling it – I’ll cover the cost.  I’m probably crossing another line here, but in for a penny, in for a pound… –ed.)

Presentation

Proposals

  • Theresa – On December 14th- have any of you done speed networking? You setup the room so people  are facing each other – you have like 60 seconds to talk about what you do, then you listen, exchange business cards, and then move down.  We did this with clients and with providers together before.  I’d like to pitch this.  (Received with universal acclaim and planned for December 14th –ed.). 
  • I don’t know if someone is organizing something for the stability site, I’d like us to pitch in on that.  I have two amazing sisters who do stockings for the residents of Guadalupe House.  We Have some gift cards and some stuff that could be a part of the stocking.  I’d love to hear some other ideas.  Ask those gifts to be brought on the 14th.  Martha – we could do a stocking, mitten and glove tree – to put in the stockings.  Contact me if you’d like to contribute.  Sherri – the stability site said they don’t have anything planned yet.  Patricia – my only thought is that a lot of things around the holidays can trigger trauma in people.  Theresa – we’ll make sure people opt in to this. 
  • Community Partnership for Transition Solutions (http://www.cpts.info/pierce_cpts.aspx -ed.)-  These are groups meeting to talk about re-entry issues.  That group is interested in a joint meeting with this Coalition in 2019.  They are willing to come meet with us.  Are we game for a joint meeting on homelessness and reentry.  Glenn - what is the end game?  Theresa – to have folks get to know some of the folks working on cracking the same nut we are working on.  James – we are trying to bring groups doing similar work together to see if it is productive. 

Reports

Phase II

  • Gerrit Nyland, Catholic Community Services
  • The City of Tacoma has authorized a new 90 day limit on stays at the Stability site (counting the 90 days starting now).  The goal is to provide more incentive to work on permanent housing plans.  That is what is already starting to happen.  Will keep you updated on the change.
  • Glenn – I’m concerned about clients kicked out for behaviors.  Some of our clients can have extreme behaviors.  We often run into folks who are even cut off from the day center meals.  Cutting them off of food and other resources at the shelters is a challenge for them. 
  • Luis – if you have a violent offense in the shelter, you can sometimes still use the kitchen.  There are lots of food resources in Tacoma.  We work together at the Nativity House to send folks to the other site if they are banned.  We do provide sleeping bags, tents and sack lunches that we issue outside, so they can have food benefits. 
  • Luis – at TRM, Breakfast and dinner are open to everyone. 
  • Gerrit – we have a ban process and a grievance process at Nativity House and the Stability Site.  Clients are banned for behavior that is dangerous to them or others.  We institute the least ban that is still considered safe.  There is a grievance process to petition to get the ban lifted.  It is every Thursday at the Nativity House.  We take our responsibility to serve everyone seriously, but bans are necessary to keep the space as safe as is possible. 

 

Phase I –

  • Luis Rivera Zayas, Tacoma Rescue Mission
  • still doing outreach

Good of the Order

While women weep, as they do now, I’ll fight;

while children go hungry, as they do now I’ll fight;

while men go to prison, in and out, in and out, as they do now, I’ll fight;

while there is a poor lost girl upon the streets,

while there remains one dark soul without the light of God, I’ll fight,

I’ll fight to the very end!”

General William Booth – Salvation Army Founder

  • Martha - We are getting together to talk about cold weather shelters
  • Martha - New Shelter volunteer training - 2 trainings planned for East and West parts of County.  4 hour session each time – they will be identical.  Designed for friends who want to help – for folks who want to volunteer at a shelter.  Will present how to volunteer. 
  • Martha - Need someone to teach first aid unique to people on the streets – like feet in bad shape or how to handle lice.
  • Larry – recently at the Gig harbor School Board – agenda was to build 4 schools.  100 members of the professional school employees – bus drivers, para-educators, janitorial –all came.  Their message was they are barely able to stay in their houses – they are eating out of food banks.  There is a whole set of folks who are radically underpaid by the schools and are nearly homeless.
  • I am homeless – I want to draw your attention to Washington Hope.  The Salvation Army saw my vision and were willing to hire me when others weren’t.
  • Martha - Hiring for bell ringers - $12 per hours, get breakfast, must have ID (any variety) and Social security card.  Patricia – anyone?  Martha - we’ll take everyone, heathen or not.   
  • Luis - Inclement weather – less than 32 degrees, or 35 with precipitation.  Check for weather forecasts.  CCS and TRM will be open together with extra beds.  We look at 3 weather reports at 3pm and make the decision – if it “feels like” 32 before 5am, we will call inclement weather.  James – CCS nativity site webpage declares it (https://www.facebook.com/Nativity-House-164769010216609/ ), coalition listserv as well and coalition website.  Clients banned for violence may be allowed, but clients for.  Youth shelter has yet to reach capacity, but will expand if needed.  Drop in starts at 4:30pm – resources and case amangers are there till 9pm.  Haven’t been full ever. 
  • Patricia – someone sent seomthing out about storage lockers for other sites- is any agency working on that.  A few agencies have decide not to gry that nay longer.  Theresa - I was speaking with omeo on the MDC board about their healthcare of the homeless facility – ways we can support them.  Can we just find ways to wash people blankets and .
  • TRM - Have a big Thanksgiving dinner at TRM where we serve our guests a dinner.  Will start serving at 4:30pm – it is an extended thanksgiving day.  It is open to everyone. 
  • Sharon – I had a chance to be on both sides – worked to help people who are homeless, and then I was homeless.  I was naïve.  I think the purpose of that struggle was to understand homelessness better.  You all are knocking me down, but I’m knocking myself down already, I don’t need to be knocked down further.  I began to pray, and he started putting people in my midst, and I started to look at me.  Please, I am so stoked right now.  I didn’t even know this was going on.  They say they can’t help us because we don’t have funds.  Don’t say that to people – just help them.  I can’t help myself.  We don’t need balance today, we need hope and love.  That doesn’t mean if I come in to you, just find a resource for me. 
  • Al – Indulge me.  I got an e-mail that said federal judge blocked the keystone XL pipeline, and I’m proud of my grandson who wrote that decision. 
  • James – our goal is to end homelessness.  We do allow indulging around the edges of our mission and allow ourselves to be uncomfortable.  I’m feeling like we’re just on the edge of a cliff.  Let’s make sure we all work to stay focused.

Coming Attractions

  • November 16th – Point in Time Count, Employment Pipeline and the Court Resource Center
  • November 23rd – No Meeting
  • November 30th – Molina Healthcare overview and Advocacy group presentation and discussion on brining ORCA Lift to Pierce County
  • December 7th – McKinney Vento Liaison forum about homelessness and schools
  • December 14th – Speed networking and Winter Party
  • December 21st – No Meeting
  • December 28th – No Meeting
  • January 4th – Land Use Code changes in Pierce County along transit routes
  • January 11th – Coordinated Care
  • January 18th – experts panel – are shoes for your dog a wise investment is comfort and warmth, or a watershed moment in pet indulgence that, in retrospect, will be seen as the beginning of the end.  Listen to the experts, probe their vast knowledge, and make your decision

Restaurant Review

Veterans day had me thinking about army food.  I’m probably the lightest-weight veteran you can possibly be – 6 years in the National Guard – one weekend a month and two weeks in the summer.  I got more from the military than it ever took from me.  This was before we rotated reserve units through deployments in our blood soaked occupations of the Middle East.  Handing out death and watching it take your friends does change people, and I’m sorry we’ve asked so many of our soldiers to carry that weight the rest of their lives.  Thank you to everyone that bears that burden.  Anyway, reservists have to do basic training and specialty training with the regular army.  I was a medic with a combat unit, and my specialty training was at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas.  Serving in the military can be an emotional drain, but food has always provided me a bit of a respite from life’s trials.  At Fort Sam Houston, I looked forward to the food.  Breakfast has always been my favorite meal (well, second after cheap happy hour appetizers), and they had these amazing tacos at breakfast.  These weren’t breakfast tacos, but the real deal you’d find at a taco stand in Mexico.  In our mess hall, the cooks were mostly Mexican, and day after day they created darn near the best tacos I’ve ever had.  I ate them every day.  They always had two different meats, and they’d only give me two tacos, and I always had one of each kind of meat.  It made my day, and I always let them know it.  It strained my rather limited Spanish, but I did my best.  I’d love to go to that mess hall in Texas and see if they still serve tacos for breakfast.  It is funny the things we miss.  I remember the friends I made in the Army, a few good meals, and the fatigue of long hours with little sleep.  My military stint was also the first job I had that was open to me, but not to everyone.  Back then, homosexuals were barred from service.  And women were barred from being combat medics, so I had a job only available to heterosexual men.  It was really the start of my understanding the privilege I was born into.  When you combined my GI Bill and salary, for a weekend of work, I earned about $750 in today’s dollars.  That was a help during college, and for many of my classmates, I’m sure that would have made the difference between completing their major and dropping out of school so they could pay their bills.  I’m glad many of those unnecessary barriers to service are being broken down.  We should all have the opportunity to serve.  If not for God and County, then for the joy of those amazing tacos.

Attendees

  • James Pogue, Comprehensive Life Resources
  • Theresa Power-Drutis, New Connections
  • Rosemary Powers, New Connections
  • Taniesha Lyons, Tacoma Community College
  • Marybeth McCarthy, Tacoma Community College
  • Coley Wiley, Comprehensive Life Resources
  • Clara Le, Metropolitan Development Council
  • Clarissa Cross, Comprehensive Life Resources
  • Olha Stefaushchena, Department of Social and Health Services (I know I totally screwed up that last name –sorry. Ed.)
  • Tiffany Hayden, Department of Social and Health Services
  • Sue Kruithot, Department of Social and Health Services (another last name I’m sure I got wrong -ed.)
  • Michelle Harrison, Peninsula School District  
  • Abiodun Falake, Tacoma Rescue Mission
  • Sharon McKellery, Tacoma Salvation  Army
  • Al Ratcliffe, me
  • Pamm Silver, Molina Healthcare
  • Marilyn Duran, Tacoma Rescue Mission
  • Kalena Towle, Multicare
  • Glen Kelley, Multicare
  • Bill Harrison, Community Medicare
  • Charleen Fitzgerald, Coordinated Care
  • Jessica Hall, Greater Lakes Mental Health
  • Linda Posey, Greater Lakes Mental Health
  • Joseph Denton, Sound Outreach
  • Martha Sheppard, Tacoma Salvation Army
  • Kelly Blucher, Goodwill
  • Brandon Chun, Metropolitan Development Council
  • Larry Seaquist, League of Women Voters
  • Bruce Morris, Tacoma Transportation Commission
  • Sarah Bellamy, Comprehensive Life Resources
  • Liz Murphy, Comprehensive Life Resources
  • David Venes, Point Defiance AIDS Project
  • Patricia Menzies, Tent City Tacoma
  • Emily Ness, Tacoma Pierce County Health Department
  • Rainey Carlin, Comprehensive Life Resources
  • Jordan, a cooing infant
  • Stephanie Prudhomme, Adonai Counseling and Employment
  • Greg Walker, Valeo Vocation
  • Sherri Jensen, Valeo Vocation
  • Luis Rivera, Tacoma Rescue Mission
  • Tajiana Ellils, Treehouse
  • Calvin Kennon, Comprehensive Life Resources
  • Shane Wise – Washington worksource
  • Gerrit Nyland, Catholic Community Services
  • Elaine Tuisila, Metropolitan Development Council
  • Joe Sanders, Tacoma Rescue Mission
  • Terra Island, Metropolitan Development Council
  • Calvin Kennon Sr., Comprehensive Life Resources
  • Shane Wise, Worksource