Meeting Information


Meeting Type
Friday Provider Meeting
Date
Friday, 6/22/2018
Start
9:00 AM
End
11:00 AM
Agenda
Agenda
Summary
Voter Registration and Hire 253
Minutes

Welcome

  • James Pogue, Comprehensive Live Resources
  • The scheduled Presenter on Ricky’s law was up all night with a sick child and was unable to make it (good for Ian for sticking it out  – I always try to escape from my sick children. –ed)

Presentation

How to help our clients Register to Vote.

  • Cynthia Steward, League of Women Voters - stewdahl@comcast.net
  • The Primary Mission of the League of Women Voters is to engage citizens in government.   It also works to get folks registered and voting.  Sometimes the League also does work on special projects.
  • At the advocacy group meeting last week, we realized that many folks don’t know enough about voter registration to get their clients registered. (packets with voter registration info were passed out)
  • You have to be 18 to vote (at 18 you can also buy cigarettes, play lotto, buy smut, get a tattoo, join the army ‘cause you want to, join the army ‘cause they want you to, and more – big year, turning 18).    You must have a residence address and a mailing address.  The residents address is a problem for folks experiencing homelessness.  Some organizations allow you to use their site as a home address  
  • You can register to vote on-line or in person.  Info to register on-line or in person is available at:
  • If you have any capacity to help your clients do this on-line, that is great. 
  • Most clients need ID, like a Driver’s License or other id.  If no ID, may need to go to the County Auditor’s office. 
  • In 2019 – you will be able to register to vote and then vote in person on the same day (pretty cool –ed.).  In Pierce County, you can register to vote in advance and get the ballots mailed to you.  You then fill out the ballot and put the ballot in a ballot box drop off box (it makes it feel more like voting if I do it this way. –ed.) or the mail.  Currently, to vote on August 7th, you must register on-line by July 9th or in person by by July 30th
  • There is little voting in the primary, so your vote carriers more weight (everyone’s vote matters, but I like the idea of my vote counting more than usual…-ed).
  • General election is Tuesday, November 6th.  Registration can be done online by October 8th or in person by October 29th
  • The packets distributed have the list of pierce county drop boxes and voting centers (or you can see it at https://www.co.pierce.wa.us/334/Ballot-Drop-Boxes-Voting-Centers -ed.)
  • The League of Women Voters publishes a directory of elected officials (available electronically at http://www.tacomapiercelwv.org/files/try_2018_w-correct_center_map_2-18-18.pdf -ed.).  All the elected officials, maps of the districts, other valuable information.  This is helpful for folk without access to a computer.  It is also helpful to have as a quick reference.  The League of Women Voters are more than happy to provide the booklets for you organization to put in your offices.  Call in to 253-272-1495 and tell us how many you want and who you are, and we’ll provide you with some directories.
  • People often feel like their vote doesn’t matter.  In the last year, 7 local elections were decided by fewer than 30 votes – your vote does count. 
  • Some flyers by the Washington State ACLU (or at file:///C:/Users/Gerritn/Downloads/vrr_trifold_english_sept_2017.pdf ) – tells now to vote if you have a felony conviction  - important information for many folks. 
  • Grab Voter registration forms – there is a big stack.  (or get it in one of 18 languages, including English, at https://www.sos.wa.gov/elections/print-voter-registration-forms.aspx .  Did you know that the US has no official language?  Although efforts to do just that seem to percolate to the surface occasionally – so that we live as “Americans”, and not “dwellers in a polyglot boarding house.”, as Teddy Roosevelt put it. I’d take a polyglot boarding house over a monolingual one any day.-ed.)
  • If you assist someone in registering to vote, the auditor does quality control – not you (Cynthia told a great story of a massive voter registration drive from 1972, but I didn’t jot it down, so you’ll need to ask her for the details –ed.)
  • The vote 411 site (http://www.vote411.org/ -ed.) shows what district you are in – and up pops all kinds of valuable information.  Candidate information is also available – with side-by-side responses to a set of questions.  A reference on-line may be prohibitive for your clients – but staff can walk folks through this resource.
  • Al – is the voter registration for available in Spanish?  Cynthia – yes, there are 18 languages available at the auditor’s office and on-line. 
  • Happy to come and talk to your staff.  League of women voters want people to get engaged and vote! (I put the exclamation point in because it is such an exciting sentence. –ed).
  • Larry – 7,000 voters who are experiencing homelessness can change an election.  We can exercise political leverage in the County if we can get folks experiencing homelessness engaged.
  • A couple civic engagement books – free on-line (around $20 in paper-form).  These help for folks to get more civically educated.
  • Patricia – for folks with no residence – where do they vote?  Cynthia – many agencies will allow folks to use their address as their home base.
  • Maureen – Pierce county was one of the first places homeless individuals could vote and where they are encouraged to vote.
  • James – During the presidential election, only around 30% of folks actually vote. 
  • Glenn – I have been a member of this group since its inception – our goal is to help our community members, not push an agenda.  This is a place we come together to help a certain population.  When we start pushing our personal agendas, we stop functioning well.  I don’t feel comfortable here like I used to – and that is why my attendance wanes.  If I say what I’m thinking and I’m feeling, I may saboteur a future career opportunity.  I may be interpreting this wrong, but I almost had a feeling that we were going to get our homeless population to vote so we could get them to vote “our way”.  We want them to vote their hearts and souls, not our own personal agendas.  Don’t steer folks towards your own agenda.  James – I agree – we should encourage people to be active and help support combatting homelessness and poverty – but we do allow space for conservative views, liberal views, we work hard to open this space to everyone.  We will work to keep this space focused on all folks working towards serving folks who are experiencing homelessness.  Theresa – thanks for you view – what I heard was let’s hope we can get folks engaged in their community. 
  • James – always welcome comments counter to the flow of the room. 

Presentation

Hire253

  • Kelly Blucher, Goodwill
  • An almost full report out
  • 542 people attended
  • 50% female and 50% male
  • Race (highest representation at the top)
    • White – 159 folks
    • Black – 106 folks
    • Multiracial – the next group
    • Others
  • Referrals – so many agencies – so collaborative
    • (She mentioned a bunch speaking really fast, and I didn’t want to leave anyone out, so a generic kudos to everyone –ed.)
  • Ages (highest representation at the top):
    • youth (16-24) – 104 folks
    • 35-44 – next most numerous
    • 55 and over –
    • others
  • Education Levels
    • Most had some college but didn’t finish – says folks need support while they are in college
    • Next largest group had less than high school diploma – so we need GED classes to support these folks
  • 404 of the 542 people would like follow up help an resources from organizations. – that is a big lift – now that we have it broken up, how can we all work together to reach back and continue working with them.
  • Over 100 veterans attended
  • Barriers (highest number of response at the top)
    • identified that they were currently experiencing homelessness – 150 folks
    • didn’t answer why.
    • Criminal background
    • Working poor
    • Single parents
  • Top fields – had 14 staffing agencies.  Fedex hired the most folks, but the staffing agencies were big.  Staffing is a good way to re-enter the workforce      
    • Office admin
    • Construction
    • Warehouse
    • Staffing agencies
  • Have only contacted 20% of the 80 employers in attendance, and have 154 verified hires so far (wait a minute, my neighbor was just telling me that “those vagrants are too high and too lazy to get work” – are you sure that is right, Kelly… -ed.)
  • Committee put in a really big effort to contact employers and let them know the purpose of the event. 
  • October event – will work with employers to get them prepared to work with folks with criminal backgrounds. 
  • Have a 25% hire rate so far –better preparation next time can increase that to 50% (as if that isn’t good enough…-ed).
  • Transportation for newly hired folks is important – sound outreach provided some.  Need way to get to work until 1st paycheck comes (honestly, I had never thought about this.  Two weeks of financial support to cover transportation seems like such a doable problem to solve. –ed.)
  • In an effort of good partnership, Goodwill would like to challenge another nonprofit in a softball match.  Create a team and challenge goodwill. (Catholic Community Services is on this in a big way –the trash talk has already begun… –ed.)
  • Al – Do you have a way to break out the demographics of the people who were hired.  Kelly – we can, with some follow-ups.  We don’t have staff to do those follow ups – we would have to distribute that follow up work out.  Gerrit – we can do the follow up for those who identified as homeless.
  • Did you ask about needing medical services?  Kelly – no but we can work on that (I think that is what was said – my notes on this made no sense. –ed)
  • Theresa – about barriers, did you ask if folks were formerly incarcerated – Kelly – did ask about “criminal background”.  Theresa – I can do follow up based on the criminal-record folks. 
  • Maureen – asked the County for 4 years of why people report being homeless – 2nd highest response was underemployed.  Would love to get data showing folks becoming fully employed and track them for a period.  If we can prove how employment impacts homelessness.  Kelly – we’d be interested in doing that.  The Goodwill Center for Strong families does track a lot clients for a long time.  Sound Outreach has a similar center for families that does that tracking. 
  • Alice – you keep hearing about follow up phone calls – was there a contact preference?  Kelly – we didn’t identify a follow up preference, but we do have phone and e-mail.
  • (Everyone clapped and cheered a lot – like so: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=opT_JGssUVk – or maybe not quite like that…–ed.)

Good of the Order

(lots of good of the order today – a flood of language – in many ways like reading – or trying to read -  Finnegans Wake –ed.)

  • The Tacoma TMEN (http://tacomatmen.com/ ) Resources Flyer was distributed (the resources are all listed at http://tacomatmen.com/resources/ )
  • Alice – have been out of work since the end of January – really appreciate that all of you feel deeply about making change to assist folks in need, has been a real source of strength for me. 
  • Patricia - want to get a Tent City going.  Need an organization willing to be a host site within the City Limits of Tacoma.  Want an organization who is considering hosting a tent city at a site they own, please connect in with Patricia Menzies.  Want a subcommittee to work to support that organization, get things ready to launch as quickly possible. The costs of moving into housing is extraordinary, and many low income individuals will prefer to be safe and stable in a lower costs location such as a tent city.
  • Zachary – What’s next Washington – work with folks formerly incarcerated, also do lots of advocacy in Olympia.  Recently held a convening of employers in Seattle to get information from them on why they don’t hire folks who were recently released from prison.  Had an idea that employers worried about criminal activity or stereotypical ideas of folks who were incarcerated.  Had a convening at Davis, Wright Tremain with major employers – Alaska Airlines, Bartells, others who wish to remain unnamed...  We didn’t hear that folks were afraid of formerly incarcerated people.  Employers said they can’t hire formerly incarcerated folks because of exclusionary Jim Crow-like laws that prevent hiring (speaking of Jim Crow laws, I just started The Color of Law, by Richard Rothstein – a fascinating read on the history and government causes of racial segregation in America - https://www.amazon.com/Color-Law-Forgotten-Government-Segregated/dp/1631492853 -ed.).  Chris Poulos – Executive Director of the Governor’s  Reentry Council (http://www.commerce.wa.gov/about-us/boards-and-commissions/statewide-reentry-council/ )– a lawyer who worked for President Obama, spoke about how he couldn’t rent a house in Washington DC because he was once incarcerated.  Folks such as myself who were formerly incarcerated can become lawyers again, but we can’t become barbers.  People don’t know why many of the laws exist.  The fact that laws and not employer prejudice prevent employment really bashed many of our own prejudices, and caused us to refocus our efforts. 
  • Greg – Associated Ministries is organizing faith-based groups through their quarterly meetings of faith.  The faith-based voice has been missing in policy advocacy.  It has started with a focus around the affordable housing action plan.  Started meeting with different leaders and consultants and other influencers in the community to gain an understanding of what is going on in City policy.  Presented four policy priorities that the faith community will speak to
    • Development of 0-30% Area Median Income (AMI) housing
    • Develop affordable housing protections and tenant protections
    • Mandatory inclusionary zoning with at least 10% focused on < 50% Area Median Income
    • Develop local housing trust fund with seed money from the City of Tacoma – targeting 1% of the general fund. 
    • Received positive feedback from Mayor Woodards and an invitation to present and further discuss with her. 
  • Kenneth – Continued working on project to create a tiny home village – have property and are working on zoning. 
  • Julio - it is challenging to speak about homelessness and poverty.  Immigrant are currently being treated as animals.  Historically, the US is largely guilty of interventions in Central America that led to many of the humanitarian situations in those counties today.  The CIA and the contras and US meddling all created room for instability.  President Clinton already apologized for the intervention in Guatemala in the 1950’s that destroyed the democracy.  The only force that can stop these crimes the US is perpetrating is the US.  We need to organize. 
  • Theresa - New connections is just starting to do release planning.  If you have printouts of your services, we’ll distribute to folks and we’ll make packets to distribute folks.  Looking for lists of resources folks can access.
  • Arranged July 13, 20 and 27th for candidate forums on homelessness.  Have sent out invitations and will call folks. 
  • Connie - Victoria Woodards and I are convening Pierce County mayors to take an interjurisdictional approach.  Want homeless services not to be pushed into just one part of the County.  Letter is going out next to Mayors in the County.  We also need a group of stakeholders with feet on the streets to be part of that effort as well. 
  • Sarah – the Continuum of Care (CoC) Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA)  has been released (although the County NOFA we’ll be applying to hasn’t been released yet). 
  • Projects that serve like populations can be combined into one, which will run uninterrupted.  Move info coming.
  • 2 bonus rounds (where increasing funding from HUD over the amount given the prior year is possible) have been opened – one is a typical bonus round, which allows adding a new project by up to $500,000. 
  • There is also a bonus round for domestic violence, including  the Transitional Housing/Rapid Rehousing combination project, Coordinated Entry, and Rapid Rehousing for Domestic Violence survivors.  Agencies that compete in this bonus round can also compete in the other bonus round.  Only accepting one application of each type in the domestic violence bonus round. 
  • Pierce County has around $3M in federal Continuum of Care funding, compared to Snohomish which has $7M – most of that extra funding coming from successful bonus round applications.  Want folks to come up with new project to compete.
  • E-mail pchscommunityprograms@piercecounty.wa.gov for more information
  • Al - Project from the Tacoma Human Rights commission
    • We have been concerned about the issue of medical debt, especially for those with limited or no English proficiency.  This is a large and diverse population – the best strategy seems like a train the trainer program for navigators and staff, so you in turn can explain to your staff on how to do that.  There will be a training event or series of training events and a webinar.  Will cover eligibility, financial rates, procedures, etc.  Need to work on translators for folks.  Hospitals are changing procedures to make things easier for clients to forgive past debt.  (I was just talking to someone from Multicare about research they are starting up into how language barriers can lead to worse health outcomes – I’ll have to connect you two together –ed.)
  • City of Tacoma – City staff will present tenant protections - Thursday June 28th, 4:30pm in Tacoma Municipal Building (747 Market Street, Tacoma WA) room 248.  Presentation is to the City Vitality and Safety Committee.  Alice - you can watch the meeting on-line, too.  We need to pay attention to these details.  (details at https://cityoftacoma.legistar.com/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=583581&GUID=C6BB0982-FA78-4EE4-8B0E-24D918065941&Options=&Search= -ed.)  Maureen - Councilman Booker is chair.  The City will receive recommendations from the Staff, but will also discuss the relocation assistance fund.  Committee will decide what it is going to do.  It can accept the recommendation and send to the City council.  If you live, work or assist people in the City of Tacoma, you might want to make time to attend
  • Maureen - Just cause evictions are a strategy to prevent homelessness.  – created a whitepaper.  I am thinking about what could a homelessness prevention strategy look like.  I know others are thinking about it.  I found some interesting data from other places.  Let me know if others are interested, and we’ll work a little bit on-line
  • Rodney - Sidewalk rescue and homeless rescue – feeding folks, giving them food and socks.  I need socks – new, clean, white crew socks.  I can use them even if it is one little pack or one pair – it isn’t expensive, either.  If anyone here has a conviction about this, I can use the resources.  I drive by and meet folks and it breaks my heart because they don’t have socks.  As a homeless teenager, I remember not having socks.
  • Dawna - 8 new people certified to do SOAR (folks stood – lots of clapping –ed.)
  • Al – We should consider having discussions back and forth with the business community. 
  • Patricia – Mario Lorenz with the Hilltop Newsletter (Hilltopper - http://www.hilltopactioncoalition.org/community-info.html ) wrote an editorial about homelessness (I’m not sure it is posted online yet –ed.).  He suggesting establishing a site for tents with  transportation at Western State or Lewis/McChord.  We all want clean business districts and a better way for all our citizens to live.  His article was presented in a compassionate manner.  This suggestion meets the needs of the business district, but not those who are homeless.  Theresa – lets approach them as an ally.  It is hard as a business owner.  It is important to recognize that he is suggesting something compassionate.  Patricia – I understand where they are coming from with this, but want folks to see the tent city as an asset to the community, not a liability. 
  • Lynn Jones – I’m new to this – I’ve been with CCS for a few months.  I love working for Gerrit (who wouldn’t? –ed.) I was once homeless because of domestic violence.  I couldn’t take another smack to the head and finally fled with no idea where I was going.  Have had a lot of calls where I can hear the person’s hurt and know their pain.  Sometimes I had a hotel to sleep in.  Let’s not lose sight of why we are here – we do need to support the whole person – so we can help them get where they need to go.  I go home to my children every night – hate to hear the stories of people who aren’t safe.  
  • Richard – get a different perspective when talking with business owners.  We all have different, limited perspective.  Met with Noah at TRM and had a class with some leaders of faith, but the pastor leading the opening was late because of a church fire started by folks who were homeless.  Different experiences can lead us to different perspectives. 
  • James – I’ve never seen someone who wants to be out on the streets, or who doesn’t want more than they have.  If I had a motel voucher, folks would always take it.   This was a good meeting where we challenged ourselves on who we are. 

Restaurant Review

Life can be a little stressful sometimes.  It has a habit of roughing us up a bit more than we might like.  As they say, when the going gets tough, the tough get ice cream.  I think that is the saying...  I’m not really a huge fan of sweets, but I do like the occasional ice cream.  Good ice cream.  I occasionally hit the FroYo stands where you load up some soft serve yogurt with a ridiculous load of toppings.  FroYo is fun, but never sublime.  But a good strawberry ice cream has a special place in this world.  For high-quality, locally produced, and absolutely delicious ice cream, I recommend Ice Cream Social (https://www.icecreamsocialtacoma.com/ ).  I frequent their 6th Ave shop, although you can hit up their new location at Point Ruston as well. And their ice cream is also served in many fine restaurants and coffee shops around the County.  They have around a dozen flavors and your choice of cones (standard, sugar, house-made waffle, paper cup).  They have nearly no toppings – it is all about good ice cream.  I like shops that know they have something good and don’t need gimmicks to sell you something you don’t want.  Their Valhalla coffee ice cream is supposedly good, if you like that sort of thing (Valhalla coffee rocks – but coffee isn’t a flavoring, it’s a beverage…).  But I don’t just visit for the Ice cream.  It is a nice spot to sit and chat after an event.  The 6th avenue business district is way cooler than I am (honestly, I can’t even say 6th ave in the cool way).  I love the vibe on 6th ave in general, and especially in Ice Cream social.  Heaven knows I could use a nudge in the hip direction. and if ice cream shop on 6th ave doesn’t help in that effort, I’m sure it doesn’t hurt.  And they have a wooden spoon option – I love eating ice cream with wooden spoons.  Anyway, you could do far worse than a taking a break with a little salted caramel ice cream at Ice Cream Social. 

Attendees

  • Norma Owens, Coordinated Care
  • Yuki Yee-Ishigamori, Coordinated Care
  • Cynthia Alicea, Coordinated Care
  • Matthew Jorgensen, City of Tacoma
  • Bobby Ocasio, City of Tacoma
  • Sarah Appling, Pierce County Human Services
  • Al Ratcliffe, City of Tacoma Human Rights Commission
  • Maureen Howard, Housing Navigator
  • Rodney Richardson, Sidewalk Rescue Homeless Outreach
  • Bailey Meade, Catholic Community Services
  • Hannah Dyke, Catholic Community Services
  • Megan Scott, Catholic Community Services
  • William Stinson, Catholic Community Services
  • Martin Tetloff, Associated Ministries
  • Lynn Jones, Catholic Community Services
  • Victoria Vass, Habitat for Humanity
  • Elly Claus-McGahan, Community members – interested in tiny houses
  • Carolyn Weisz, University of Puget Sound
  • Glenn Kelly, Multicare
  • Kalena Towle, Multicare
  • Dawna Bryant, Comprehensive Life Resources
  • Calvin Kennon Sr, Comprehensive Life Resources
  • Pamm Silver, Molina Healthcare
  • Jason Gauthier, Habitat of Humanity
  • Brandon Chun, Metropolitan Development Council (MDC)
  • Larry Seaquist, League of Women Voters
  • Connie Ladenburg, Pierce County Council
  • Cynthia Stewart, League of Women Voters
  • Wes Bailey, Metropolitan Development Council
  • Theresa Power-Drutis, New Connections
  • Julio Quan, Community Advocate
  • Kenneth Moultry, Recovery Foundation
  • Rosemary Powers, New Connections
  • Daryl Jones, Recovery Foundation
  • Kelly Blucher, Goodwill
  • Jerri Jensen, Valeo (visit https://www.valeovocation.org/ and https://www.facebook.com/valeovocation.org/ )
  • Greg Walker, Valeo Vocation, amongst other things
  • Zachary Kinneman – What’s Next Washington
  • Patricia Menzies, Tent City Tacoma
  • Josh Waguespack, Catholic Community Services
  • Richard Berghammer, Fellowship Bible Church
  • Shawn Mealey, Advocate and Volunteer
  • Alice Sofias Diakonos, Industrial Workers of the World.
  • Jennifer Stolle, Hilltop Action Coalition
  • Brenda, Department of Social and Health Services
  • Daisy Reyes, Catholic Community Services
  • Angela Delgado, Sea Mar
  • Dru Gonia, Tacoma Salvation  Army
  • Effran Davis, Pierce County District Court
  • Judy Flannigan, Tacoma Salvation Army & Gisseminee House (6 unavailable beds – looking for another house to sublease)