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What solid goals should the Coalition set for 2023?
Group Discussion Summary • Tacoma Pierce County Coalition to End Homelessness • 1.06.23
Assess 2022 efforts and adjust for 2023
- Follow up on the efforts to develop a fully funded crisis response system. Look at what’s working and what’s not working What more can we advocate for? Where have the investments gone? What improvements have we seen?
- Hold city and Pierce County accountable for everything they have said they are going to do. Create docs with what has been said to refer to. For example. City Homeless Action Strategy Doc needs metrics.
- Examples of previous goals. Engage the county and city to have a homelessness response, for example having prison interact with shelters. Setting up safe sites. Government accountability.
- Look back on pilot programs to learn what worked and what did not to create sustainable sites and programs.
- Where are the results and outcomes of all this money that is being spent? Not seeing any change on the ground even though all this money is being spent. Appears all the spending is on positions and titles and no action for the people suffering homelessness.
- Continued advocacy for 1/10th of 1% tax for affordable housing in Pierce County.
- Development of the comprehensive plan for the county, an on-going process.
Continue having conversations with decision-makers and deepening understanding
- How do we cut through the rhetoric and get to a nuanced conversation and negotiations?
- Focus on mental health and advocate for more immediate assistance in Pierce County.
- Push for more mental health response for those who are homeless.
- Lean on elected officials to learn the stories, familiarize with pathways and listen to lived experience as a building voice of new programs.
- Motivate decision-makers to take action that will improve health and provide housing for homeless people.
- More cooperation with zoning and planning.
Humanize, humanize, humanize …
- The variability between people who are living in encampments is stark. We need to create more opportunities to humanize people living homeless.
- Increase awareness of the compassion that exists for the homeless.
- Uplift voices of unsheltered community through Lived Experience Coalition.
- Discussion about needing to more effectively confront narratives about homeless drug abuse and crime.
- Mitigation with business people; education of public as to who are our homeless citizens.
Internal Coalition work we might consider
- Does the Coalition have a donations/fundraising sub-committee? If not, it would be a good thing to start.
- Power map our coalition to understand who can and can't make political stands.
- Ensure people know where to find Coalition info, minutes, contact info etc. Keep inviting groups to Open Table.
- Improve visibility of the coalition so that the breadth and depth of commitment to this problem is better understood.
- Sponsor convenings between groups where silo-busting is needed and/or will be of value. We have done this, for ex, responding to extreme weather, so let's do more.
- Bring back WFD Committee.
- Putting forward goals created at coalition summits.
- Address burn-out by promoting more social time.
- Add a "hot topic" action section to our Friday Zoom.
- Increasing diversity within the coalition.
Nearly every report-back asked for continued action on camping ban
- Bring attention to camping bans and the negative effects this is having on unsheltered community
- Do something to end the sweeps. Some people are taking matters into their own hands.
- What has city said about sweeps? Hold them accountable.
- Stop the sweeps: at least if you aren’t going to help, DO NO HARM.
- Need more honest and informative communication from city to campers.
- Is the Coalition doing anything formally to take a stance on the City's 10-block ban?
Additional actions to consider
- Identify ownership of rentals in Tacoma. Research what entities are owning property in Tacoma that limit housing availability
- Connect rental owners and property owners to people living homeless and build relationships with landlords that are interested in outreach and helping people heal from trauma.
- Crisis intervention money that was awarded appears to have been reallocated to the Tacoma Fire Department. Would like to look into the RFP process that was held for a Quality Assurance.
- Support efforts like Hire 253 and other work force development with homelessness.
- Provide access to housing if COT continues to sweep, especially housing close to bus routes and access to bus routes.
- Challenge PIT in terms of cost, usefulness, and accuracy.
- Could the group be more intentional in stocking items, -- warm weather items, hygiene kits all year (not just driving the discussion during times of extreme weather)?.
- Ways for people to do laundry.
- Advocate for medical respite options.
- Mitigation site in East Pierce County.
- Excited about Tenants Rights ballot initiative that is organizing toward the November ballot. Needs 4,000 signatures to qualify and hopes to collect twice that.
- Need to push rights of church parking lots for safe parking. Concern with city complicating that unnecessarily.
- Advocate for affordable housing at state level.
- Create accessible, quarterly list of 30 to 50% AMI housing developed.
- Address gap between low-paying jobs and housing costs. "Gray wave"/aging baby boomers coming. Social security won't pay for housing
- Talked about an event to help change the narrative on homelessness. Maybe stories from homeless people about who their heroes are at the history museum or main library? Tod Gunther interested in this.