(Sorry I missed the meeting. A huge thanks to Larry for taking notes and getting me an audio recording of the meeting. The best part of the recording is that I can hear Al and Larry quietly providing commentary that reminded me just a bit of Statler and Waldorf – if they attended social service collaboratives. –ed.)
- Kelly Blucher, Goodwill, Manager of Community Engagement
- Martha Sheppard, Tacoma Salvation army
- Announces that the Salvation Army board just approved funding for a cold weather shelter
- Invites help finding kettle ringers – notes that many kettle ringers get hired by the host store. Homeless welcome to apply. Clients just need to be able to work outside for 6 hours, and have I9 documentation (the ID needed to work). Workers get meals and gifts for their families. Doors open at 9am for breakfast, they go out at 10am. It is minimum wage - $12/hour.
- December 1st and December 8th – Shelter253 training.
Point in Time Count - https://www.co.pierce.wa.us/4719/Point-In-Time-Count-PIT
- Annual PIT required by HUD & state. Jan 25th. 7am-8pm. At various sites. If you have a location with homeless, let them know and they’ll provide volunteers. Lots of opportunities to be counted. Also 9pm – 2am count. Being homeless during night different from being homeless during the day.
- 15 training opportunities across the county – three times a day. Can expand training, let Valerie/Gerrit know and can respond with trainings. Training is easy. Register at https://www.co.pierce.wa.us/4719/Point-In-Time-Count-PIT
- Buckley included, didn’t know they had services – young adult drop in and freezing nights shelter.
- Three new things this year – although they can’t be reported to HUD, it is information the County can really use.
- Count in Jail
- Count in hospitals
- Doubled up count
- Looking especially for glove, socks, pre-packaged foods. Hope to collect donations early, have 5 donation places around the county. Local organizations can create their own donation spot - keep Valerie posted so she can advertise. Will provide signs. Kelly – can we be a donation site? Valeri – yes.
- Patricia – signs? Valeri – we will work on that.
- Abiodun - how are counters recognized? Signs, buttons, stickers, vests? Valerie will look at use of stickers. This is a zero budget effort.
- McKinney-Vento: Valerie reviews past experiences with data collection and sharing. Right now no students will be counted. McKinney-Vento data access problem – working on some solutions with Building Changes to get data sharing agreement.
- Questions -Washington state law requires annual count. Most other states only do it biannually per Fed requirements. Valeri – that would be nice. Cynthia – this could be one of our legislative agenda items.
- Question – do you need data entry volunteers? Valeri – we could do that, I’ll look into it.
- Martha: advises everyone to sign up asap. https://www.co.pierce.wa.us/4719/Point-In-Time-Count-PIT (So this is the third time I’m including this link – not that I’m trying to push registration.-ed) Easy to do, don’t wait until crunch at last minute.
- Hand count of room showed many interested. Valerie will come here to do a one-hour training. Sign up on-line. https://www.co.pierce.wa.us/4719/Point-In-Time-Count-PIT (ok, forth time now… -ed)
Court Resource Center - https://www.co.pierce.wa.us/5703/District-Court-Resource-Center - 901 Tacoma Ave, Tacoma, WA (Hess Building).
- Dominique Hardeman, Pierce County District Court - firstname.lastname@example.org
- I presented back in January when we were just getting started (oh yes you did – notes at
- All partners now in Court Resource Center (CRC) -- One stop shop – started as a way for justice involved individuals to get involved as soon as possible. They have a much higher success rate if they connect to resources.
- Goal is to connect at the critical moment of release.
- Original target was folks on probation. Started with clothing bank. Defendants often have no contact order so can’t get clothes from their homes. Or folks that are arrested in the summer don’t have cold weather clothes or job-hunting clothes. One of our probation officers asked to use the clothing bank so she could look like everyone else – not someone looking to buy or sell.
- Next need: chemical dependency evaluations and Medicaid. Often with Court order requiring all to be done in 30 days. Was losing a lot of folks who were being set up to fail. Court Resource Center now has 2 Substance resource organizations on site – Pioneer Human Services and Asian Counseling Treatment Services. Have community health on site to enroll in Medicaid. Housing providers. Comprehensive Life Resources Homeless outreach team are present every Tuesday and Thursday. Providers are starting to share information and case manage together to better serve the clients. Having all these providers in one place lets them start to informally coordinate with each other, get chemical dependency evaluations etc. Now doing things in one day that used to take many trips to many places that could take months.
- Trueblood team. For those individuals in long term custody awaiting competency evaluations. Trueblood class individuals are eligible for the services – helps people who are often being exploited on the streets. The County, Catholic Community Services and Greater Lakes Mental Health put a proposal together and were funded.
- If you are released, not competent, no charges, TrueBlood team will help with housing, transition services. Will stay with individuals 18 mo.
- Usually arrested to meet a basic need. Often are getting exploited.
- Can help find housing and subsidize rent that will need to be sustainable by the client.
- Have a logjam – team members doing great but not enough of them.
- Another new program: employment outreach. Looking for employers that pay a bit higher, livable wage. Lots of $$ in trades, including for women. Many jobs open. Trying to build connections. Every month the Court Resource Center will host an ‘employer of the month’ - a 2nd chance employer – filled 31 with Fastenal last month. Looking for employers that are “2nd chance” employers. Next event is on the 30th – CDI from 8:30am-11:30am – refer them to the resource center then.
- Can be ‘court involved’, but The Court Resource Center serves anyone, no matter circumstances. TrueBlood team focused on the competency evaluation population, but everything else is open to everyone. Competency evaluation is only about ability to participate in own defense.
- Have moved away from compliance-driven services to multi-service center. Al – I’ve always thought multi-service centers was the best model. What hurdles did you have to overcome? Dom- The Court Resource Center’s initial hurdle in setting up was the MOUs with everyone - DSHS particularly. Took a year to get DSHS signed up, but they offer SSI navigation, which I didn’t even know they had. That has been great.
- Larry – what about the education side – can you expand that? Dom – right now, we have Bates, Pierce College and TCC, and they speak with our day reporters. Day reporting is open to folks with court fines, and for 8 hours of time, get $150 off fines and can get their license back with assist from the Court Resource Center counselor-officer. Can do Day Reporting instead of jail time, as well. During the 8 hours, they have a life skills curriculum they work through – Medicaid, financial management, employment, etc. Or they can spend the 8 hours on a work crew. Once you enter Day Reporting, any district court fine collections will be put on hold as well. Working now on High School 21 for HS completion and GED. Education is something we want to pursue – and we are open to ideas about how to do things better. This resource center is built by
- Question – do you have FAFSA support? Dom - we didn’t know about that – come in and tell us more.
- Advice from Dominic: watch daily calendar – on the website and comes out daily to the listserv ( signup at http://www.pchomeless.org/Home/Listserv ). Send people to classes at Court Resource Center. If you even suspect a client might be a TrueBlood class member, call Dominic.
- Al – are there similar programs elsewhere? Dom - gives his own personal background of trying to do this. Went to Washington County in Oregon which had a residential resource center. Multnomah County OR also doing cognative behavioral therapy. The Court Resource Center just started a cognitive behavior program here – based on interactive journaling as a way to learn and start targeted work on changing behavior. Treatment works. Much more effective than compliance-driven approaches.
- The Day reporting program has two officers who have grown the program, developed the curriculum and recruit partners.
- Drug Court – The Court Resource Center program called Drug Abuse Reduction Team (DART). It is available for first time drug felony offenders – get the charge reduced to a misdemeanor. If complete the 2 year program, get the misdemeanor charge dropped. Graduates have ½ the recidivism rate. First 3 graduates yesterday – very different folks who used the supportive services to turn their lives around. Folks also earned their way to housing resources. It is a tough program up front – they are expected to phase into employment. We do place a lot of obligations on these individuals – we hope to get folks to a better place.
- Martha: problem is housing individuals early in their program.
- Anyone/everyone invited to come take a tour anytime – just drop in and see what is going on.
Department of Social and Health Services - Employment Pipeline
- Open to anyone receiving services from DSHS
- We’re matchmakers – we try to connect people to resources they need to be successful.
- If they are looking for schooling, we refer them Basic Food Employment and Training (BFET)
- For employment, refer to other agencies and to some employers who are participating.
- Can travel to provide interviewing skills and help fill out job applications – meet at local libraries. Can meet outside lunch hour, can often help on the phone.
- Have 4 navigators in the region.
- Who are you looking to work with? Karleen – will work with anyone who wants to work with us. If they are not job ready, will work on the skills they need to be job ready.
- Carlene focused on Pierce County. Have others around.
- Best candidates: working with anyone looking for services, including those who are not job ready. Will phone at least 3 times to try to connect. Need to be 18 and receiving services from
- Terra Gilmore – DSHS - Pierce County Basic Food Employment and Training program - email@example.com
- Basic Food Employment and Training (BFET) – help single individuals, 16 and up, as long as you are receiving food or on a food case (household member receiving food).
- Goal - help individuals get to self-sufficiency with a livable wage job – so they can be sustainable - middle skill jobs that require more than basic HS.
- Have about 52 partners (a full deck –ed.)
- Community partnerships are key – who work together to provide wrap-around services.
- All tech colleges and many other agencies work with Basic Food Employment and Training
- We are looking for any agency that is interested in working with Basic Food Employment and Training.
- Service delivery: BFET provider provides employment and training services, DSHS determines eligibility
- You have to be on food assistance to access Basic Food Employment and Training.
- Don’t need to choose between food and schooling and employment.
- Basic Food Employment and Training must be Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (often called food stamps or EBT by clients –ed.) recipient. Must be a citizen to receive
- Food Assistance Program (FAP) is a State program similar to SNAP, but for folks not eligible for SNAP because of immigration status. Can’t access Basic Food Employment and Training if in FAP.
- Clients must be able to work 20 hours per week. If folks indicate they can work 20 hours per week, we will work with them. Will work with 16 and 17 year olds, but their education must be their priority.
- Can’t be a Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipient, but can be Aged, Blind or Disabled (ADB – support while waiting for Social Security disability payments) or Diversion Cash Assistance (DCA).
- Will work on Individual Employment Plan (IEP) to create an overall goal. Will work to identify barriers and needs you have. Will put you in an activity or component. You can choose to do your education component. There is no timeline as long as you are progressing (and receiving SNAP). You can go off the program and come back on it if needed.
- Support services
- Job Search – for work ready individuals. Will provide child care and transportation costs.
- Job Search Training – work on resume and interview skills and job search process. To be competitive really dive in to a client’s need.
- Basic Education – English as a Second Language (ESL), General Education Development (GED) – anything to get basic level education
- Vocational Education
- Job Retention – work up to 90 days after – work on licensing, car repair, work clothes, transportation.
- And many more
- Child care assistance for when looking for work is valuable. To get the child care assistance from DSHS you have to have a job, so having childcare during the job search is valuable.
- There is also a childcare program through DSHS for families experiencing homelessness (I googled for this program for a bit but just got lost –ed.)
- I am out in the community a lot and have a good handle on where to refer folks.
- Al – we know how hard it is to go out on a lonely job search. Do you use the job club model? Terra – our partners do. Some providers have job clubs.
- My job is to support our partners – with marketing or sending folks their way. This year we are looking for anyone that wants to join the team.
- We lost some funding in Pierce County – We’d love to bring some other groups on board in Pierce County. We need a group in Puyallup.
- (I probably didn’t get some of this quite right – there were a lot of acronyms flying around there. –ed)
Hire253 Report Out
- 634 people attended the event – 20% of those folks were experiencing homelessness. We had 204 people hired. (lots of clapping. –ed.).
- We hit a 32% mark getting jobs, just like last time. Last time, when we looked at those folks 6 weeks out, and only 1/3 of folks getting jobs retained them. This time, 6 weeks out – everyone still has their jobs. What we did with this – I’ll give Gerrit credit for this – (I’m blushing –ed.). We did a job club with resume building skills and how to work a job fair and that made a big difference. We will still hold the biweekly Hire253 Job club.
- Everyone, pat yourself on your back, because we wouldn’t be able to do it without everyone here making it happen.
Good of the Order
- Martha – there are 3 or 4 Thanksgiving meals available around town – House of
- If you have parents with young children in Tacoma Public Schools – every school has that
- Martha Davis – Toy Rescue Mission – a great program to know about – still accepting applications. – http://toyrescuemission.org/ (a great organization – worth a visit if you’ve never been there. –ed.)
- Janet – anyone who is a student at UW Tacoma experiencing homelessness – they have a shared housing program and a food bank.
- December 7th – City of Tacoma Tenant Protection Update and a 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 Candy Canes a food or a decoration? Is it true that only 2.3% of all candy canes are actually eaten? Hear from Pulitzer prize winning author Yukon Cornelius, Dental expert Hermey, and a panel of their peers as they delve into mysteries of a 17th century candy designed to shut kids up during church.
- January 25th – Point in Time Count
I tend to review restaurants I’ve been to a lot, but I was rather wowed with a Thai spot his week, so here is a “first bite”. Because a friend of mine owns a Thai restaurant (Galanga in downtown Tacoma, which is quite good), I pretty much never eat at other Thai places in Tacoma. So visiting a different Thai restaurant is straying a bit. But stray I did, and my first visit to Loak Toung Thai (3807 S Center Street, Ste B, Tacoma, WA - https://www.loaktoungthai.com/ ) was pretty amazing. Loak Thai is a small place, run by a couple (husband serving tables, wife in the kitchen). They seem lovely folks, and I felt at home the moment I walked in the door. As I watched other diners come in, they were greeted as friends – not a bad way to start a meal. I like to go out to lunch as an escape from ye olde grindstone – and their restaurant was a very nice place to be. The food is a bit of variant from “stock” Thai food. Maam, the cook, comes from the Isaan region of Thailand, where the cuisine is influenced by Cambodian and Laotian food. I don’t hear people raving about Cambodian food like they do about Thai, but something magical is happening at Loak Thai. For starters, the service is very well done. I asked for recommendations, and the waiter provided have them. I had the lunch special basil chicken – which was pretty darn amazing. Chris Boitano – MHP extraordinaire at Nativity House - who recommended the place and joined me for lunch, had the Red Curry. (I was going to go for the red curry, but then he decided to go for that, and you just can’t order that same thing at a restaurant – it just isn’t done). Anyway, his curry was served in a hollowed out half-pineapple. I didn’t get around to stealing a bite, but it was a beautiful presentation, and Chris gave it a thumbs up. And both meals came with a little bowl of soup and an egg roll. And rice. Loak Toung is Thai for “The People of the rice fields”, so I expected it would web well done, and it was. I think it is safe to say that rice is a bit unappreciated in the US. I’m always curious about people’s life stories, especially what pushes or pulls them to locate far from where they were born. Hopefully, on future visits, I’ll be able to hear their story. Anyway, it is a nice little spot – probably 8 or 9 tables with a lovely décor, and well worth your patronage. I’ll be going back.
- Shelly Bennett, Transcending Citizens
- Zamara Bennett, Transcending Citizens
- Sarah LeCompte, Transcending Citizens
- Glen Kelley, Multicare
- Kalena Towle, Multicare
- Matt Jorgensen, City of Tacoma
- Bobby Ocasio, City of Tacoma
- William Stinson, Catholic Community Services
- Brandon Ault, Catholic Community Services
- Theresa Power-Drutis, New Connections
- Maureen Howard, Housing Advocate
- Marty Tetloff, Associated Ministries
- Greg Walker, Valeo Vocation
- Abiodun Faleke, Tacoma Rescue Mission
- Patricia Menzies, Tent City Tacoma
- Emmanuel Owusu-Kyereko, The Making a Difference Foundation
- Delmar Algee, Catholic Community Services
- Bruno (?), Adonai Counseling
- Rosemary Powers, New Connections
- Cynthia Stewart, League of Women Voters
- Larry Seaquist, League of Women Voters
- Al Ratcliffe, Voter (and a teensy bit of a smart aleck –ed.)
- Joseph Denton, Sound Outreach
- Brandon Chun, MDC
- Stephanie Wright, Adonai Counseling
- Dawna Bryant, Comprehensive Life Resources
- Dominique Hardeman, Pierce County District Court
- Brian Wilson, Catholic Community Services
- Annie Wilson, cooing
- Richard Berghammer, Fellowship Bible Church
- Martha Sheppard, Tacoma Salvation Army
- Valeri Knight, Pierce County Human Services
- Janet Runbeck, Pierce County Medical Reserve Corps (it seems like there is a joke in here somewhere about adding an e to the of corps, but I just can seemed to make anything work. Alas. –ed.)
- Jessica Arteaga, Comprehensive Life Resources
- Terra Gilmore, Department of Social and Health Services
- Karleen Essary, Department of Social and Health Services
- Justin Tillis, Tacoma Rescue Mission
- Bruce Morris, Tacoma Transportation Commission
- Pamm Silver, Molina Healthcare