Meeting Information


Meeting Type
Friday Provider Meeting
Date
Friday, 7/19/2019
Start
9:00 AM
End
11:00 AM
Agenda
Agenda
Summary
A presentation by LASA on their Homeless Prevention work, as well as update from the Washington Tenants' Union and Tacoma Tenants Organizing Committee around tenant protections. Finally, we have Tristia Bauman, with the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, a nationally know speaker who will discuss solutions to homelessness.
Minutes

Welcome

Presentation

Tacoma Tenant Organizing Committee - http://www.tacomatenants.org/  

  • Donna Seay, Tacoma Tenant Organizing Committee - tacoma@tenantsunion.org
  • Started with homelessness since I was 8 – I was a product of the foster care system
  • I was the first client that Sound Outreach helped in 2017 – I was housed – and had back surgery – and ended up in the Tiki Apartments (cue music foreshadowing impending doom. We really need a DJ providing a soundtrack for our meetings. –ed)
  • I thought I was forgotten about and had lost hope in life (every social worker in the room’s pulse quickened and I’m sure the “but you weren’t forgotten and that is why I do what I do” thought was crossing their mind. –ed)
  • When the eviction happened, we got a lot of media coverages.  I’d been disabled since 2014 – Amy came and Molly showed up, and I didn’t even know my neighbors, and everything was going on, and the biggest thing was the the media came –people from the community that had no hand in it anything showed up. 
  • When I learned that there was something we could do, a leaned in with my loud voice
  • I’d never been to the City Council, and we came in like a storm and got some resources (anyone that was there know that is the absolute truth. –ed)
  • It stopped being about me – it was a team.  We phone-banked, talked to people on the streets – and we found out this is huge.  We told our stories and the City Council heard us, and a City Councilmember shed tears, and things started happening for us.  I’m blessed to be here and hopeful for change.
  • Molly Nichols - molly@futurewise.org
  • Most of you know of recent protections we were able to get enacted:
    • 120-day notice for displacement
    • 60-day notice for other reasons
    • No retaliation
  • Used energy from this campaign for State-wide protections
  • Amy – saw some of you at homelessness and housing advocacy day – we did some amazing advocacy work to get eviction reforms – which go into effect July 28th:
    • Change from 3-day pay or vacate to 14-day pay or vacate (am I the only one that wants to call this a “fortnight pay or vacate”? I know, I’m a bad person – but it has a certain elegance that triad pay or vacate clearly lacks.  And don’t even suggest threesome pay or vacate – because that doesn’t work, the 3 thing is gone anyway, and that is totally not appropriate for a family publication such as this. Pretend you didn’t read that, Timmy. –ed).  Emergency rental assistance take more than 3 days, so time for the next paycheck to come or finding assistance will help
    • More judicial discretion – if you have a medical emergency the judge can take that into account, for instance
    • More laws allowing people to reinstate their tenancy (one thing about writing these notes – I now know how to spell tenancy without thinking. –ed).  In the 14 day window (ahem – fortnight window –ed.) if folks can their rent paid off they can prevent homelessness.
    • State-wide 60-day notice of rent increase (we could do threescore, but that does bring to mind Revelations 13 and the number of the best – Six hundred threescore and six. If you’re not reading revelations in the King James Version, you’re doing it wrong. –ed)
    • 120-day notice of renovation or demolition (cxx-day notice? – OK, I don’t really have anything for 120. –ed).
  • Did 8 workshops about rental rights – in Tacoma and statewide
    • July 25th at peace community center – 2106 Cushman – we are very excited
  • Also trained service provides on tenant rights – will send that out on  the list – or come and talk to me – the more we all know the law, the better we help ourselves and give power to our clients
  • Outreach to 5,000 tenants through door knocking, phone banking, social media, etc.  Teaching about the tenant organizing and the code.
  • Only the law can be enforced if the tenant knows the law and makes complaints – we worked hard to get protections, and now we need to make sure that folks know their rights.  We realized in our first workshop, people had all sorts of questions about deposits and repairs and such.
  • The focus of the City contract is outreach and education.  The tenant organizing committee is also about changing the law.
  • Advocacy efforts
    • Just Cause – landlords needs a reason to terminate a lease.  If the reason is just, go through a process to prove it.  Otherwise, it seems like a way for discrimination
      • We got close to this in Tacoma, it was added and removed from the final changes
      • Landlords are doing a 20-day notice instead of the 14-day pay or vacate (venti-day notice – no that sounds too much like a coffee. –ed)
      • We got really close in Olympia – Laurie Jinkins and Steve Kirby – thought it could make it through at the state level – it got out of the committee but didn’t make it to the floor, where it probably would have passed.  There is a good push for this year. 
      • Retaliation and discrimination are illegal – but what do you do if you get a 60-day notice – and think the eviction was related to discrimination.  If you file a fair housing complaint with the City, they will let the landlord know, and the City will ask for a hold on the lease termination.  If the landlord doesn’t do that, then the tenant is on the street and have lost their home. (I’m sure this made sense when they said it, but my notes on this item seem rather confusing – sorry folks. –ed)
      • Federal Way is running an initiative around Just Cause.  King County Council is working on that as well.  It is a growing effort.  The Spokane office is working on it.  It is a barrier, as landlords like that protection and will work against it. 
    • Rent controls
      • Push in Seattle for this
      • Want to repeal the Statewide ban and institute it across the State. 
      • Rent control can work statewide –
      • All the work around addressing the crisis – the idea that we can just keep people in their homes is a top priority.  
      • (rent control is a very controversial topic – it often allows renters to stay in a unit much longer at a lower cost, but can cause an overall reduction in rental-unit supply, driving up rents for those looking to rent. https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2018-01-18/yup-rent-control-does-more-harm-than-good shows this effect. However, rental rates are complex, and some dispute simple supply and demand conclusions drawn by economists, as in https://shelterforce.org/2018/03/28/rent-control-works/ .  There are real pros and cons – it is a question of whether the benefits outweigh the costs. -ed).    
    • Just Cause and Rent Control together are compelling. 
    • We next meet August 12th, but usually is the first Monday of every month at First United Methodist Church – 621 Tacoma Ave – 5:30pm. 
    • Contact us by:
    • Futurewise didn’t get funding to continue – so no longer a paid position to do tenant organizing. 
  • Marybeth - Thoughts on the new rent control law in Oregon – are there concerns it is too late? Molly - it is capped at 7% per year.  That is a lot for folks on fixed income.  Having it statewide is beneficial.
  • Northwest rental assembly in the fall – have Oregon and Idaho and California folks come and talk about rent control.
  • Statewide is a pretty big deal.
  • Nate – when someone enters into a rental agreement, there is a requirement to get a packet of tenant rights.   there is no requirements that it is understandable to a tenant.  Molly – yes, it a set of rules about following the code. 
  • Jeremy – the recent laws just passed at the state level – I just received notice from a good friend in federal way – they are a big landlord company that just put out a big set of eviction notices before the new law goes into effect.  Who is working in Federal Way?  Joy – or in Kitsap?  Molly – I think you are referring to FPI management, we are familiar with them and fight them a lot across the state – they are a California based company.  Tenants union is state-wide – we have a small staff but will do rights workshops or if we have capacity we’ll do organizing campaigns  - State hotline - 206-723-0500.  Washington CAN in federal way does lots of renter rights work.  Just got 10,000 signatures on their Just Cause initiative.  In Kitsap, we’ve done some Know Your Rights workshops in Bremerton.  We can also come out if you contact us, and do a workshop and see if there is potential for organizing.  Working on a mobile tenant clinic.
  • Theresa – Molly, when did you come to Tacoma?  Molly – 2 years ago.  Theresa – Molly has really challenged the City council – she has had a powerful impact and built relationships.  The Council  is honoring her this Tuesday. 
  • Questions – income requirements?  Amy – we should talk about that.  Even if they could afford it but didn’t have income of 3x rent.  Income discrimination, on the state level and the municipalities, landlords must take 3rd party rental .  The 3x can only count for the portion the tenant is responsible for.  A landlord can say rent needs to be 3x or 4x or 5x someone’s income – they have the ability to set the rules. 
  • Joy – would the tenant organizing committee – working with a client – not quite sure how to help, but who helps landlords when they have a tenant with no other options that is no longer a safe tenant because of behavior.  Molly – come check with both of us.  ChiQuata Elder would be a good resource.  APS is a good option as well (I’m assuming Adult Protective Services, not Antiphospholipid Syndrome)
  • Tristia – is there an effort by your organization for a right to council?  That is a critical piece for tenant rights movement.  Molly – Laurie Jinkins was pushing for that – California or New York just got right to council .  It makes perfect sense, but that doesn’t mean it will happen.  Tristia – lawyers for tenants help balance the power.  Amy – Tacoma Pro Bono – does work (Tacoma Pro Bono came and talked to us last year – minutes at https://www.pchomeless.org/MeetingMinutes/Details?id=65 –ed)
  • Carolyn – do you work with landlords so they don’t operate out of fear?  Molly – we had a stakeholder group working with the City on the protections.  It can be challenging, though.  For the landlords in the room it is a business space.  For the tenants, it is a survival space.  It can be challenging to bridge that, when it is such a difference. (love that comparison of business vs survival – central to so many of the conflicts we see. –ed) So many landlords are not slumlords and are following the law, but just because they are following the law doesn’t mean that everyone follows the law.  We need to have the law protect tenants from the bad landlords.
  • For the Just Cause campaign, if you get tenants that get no cause notices, have them make connect with our group.  We need to have more people help us to make the case for eliminating no cause – just give them our information.  

Presentation

National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty - https://nlchp.org/

  • Tristia Bauman, senior attorney
  • Organization around for 30 years - only national legal organization dedicated to ending homelessness using the law
  • My area of focus is the criminalization of homelessness - referring to policies and practice that punish homeless people for doing live activities in public spaces.  These are often criminal or civil punishments for standing or eating or sitting in a public space.   
  • We have the only data set for laws around homeless – not all are criminal, some are civil (by “civil” I think we’re talking laws that pertain to people and things, not something that is “courteous and polite”.  Glad I could help clear up any confusion there… -ed)
  • Tracking laws in 186 cities across the country since 2006. (187 cities would have been too many, 185 not quite enough – 186 seems like the right number. –ed) Laws punishing innocent activities that are legal in indoor spaces are treated as offenses in public spaces. There is significant growth in these laws over time.  Focus on camping bans and encampments.  Currently litigating against Pierce County about camping bans (it is interesting that I’ve not really heard about this in the local media – or I missed it somehow. –ed).  Of the 186 large cities – 76% of cities currently ban camping in public. Camping in public can be erecting a tent and resting inside it.  Sometimes they are broader – disallowing sleeping outside even without a structures (I know I shouldn’t have just rested my eyes at Owen Beach – luckily I avoided any Imperial entanglements. -ed). Some prohibit making preparations to sleep – it is a crime to lay down a blanket or rest with your belongings.  People who don’t have access to housing, they cannot avoid violating these laws.  Laws criminalizing this activity has increased 80% over the last decade (I’m not sure I heard that “80%” number right, but I’m going with it. –ed) 
  • Many are living in their vehicles – anyone want to take a guess at how many cities punish using your own private vehicle as a shelter?  60% of cities across this country.  It is a little nuanced, and are sometimes written in parking regulations.  The act of sheltering in your vehicle is being punished.  These laws have increase 232% in the past 10 years.  We see more laws as more people are doing this activity (well, maybe they should stop doing it? Oh, that’s right, they don’t have any other option. –ed.)
  • The Causes of homelessness and criminalization
    • Failed systems
    • Bad laws
    • Homelessness is not always a function of bad personal choices. 
    • Racism is a major cause – even controlling for poverty – people of color are massively over represented – a legacy of racial inequality (a good read on racism and homelessness in Pierce County is the SPARC report - https://www.piercecountywa.org/DocumentCenter/View/67289/SPARC-Tacoma---Pierce-County-Report-February-2018?bidId= )
    • That 187 cities we track – we’ve seen policies heading in the wrong direction.  As unsheltered homelessness increases, communities throw law enforcement as a solution.  In Seattle, they say they don’t’ criminalize it – they just ask people to move along.  In Califlorida – they are jailed for 90 days, then can be incarcerated 365 days if they are a habitual offended (I don’t know what she said, but what I heard was “Califlorida”, which as far as I can tell isn’t a thing. So I’m not sure what she said –ed) We can go across the county and explain that policies that punish homelessness fail to address the problem of homeless and won’t reduce visible homelessness – it will hide homelessness, but it doesn’t reduce the number of people living outside. 
    • An offer of services is rarely the services someone needs to end their homelessness. 
    • We do a lot of harm with enforcement.  People will  lose all their property and gear, have their service relationships strained. It doesn’t just hurt people experiencing homeless
    • Law enforcement groups support prohibition of laws against homelessness.  The work of enforcing those laws uses scarce policing resources.
    • We know sleep deprivation and exposure to the elements decrease health (people in Pierce County who have touched the homeless system die 22 year earlier than those who haven’t – homelessness kicks your butt. –ed)
    • Cities and community members are hell bent on eliminating tents.  These tents control disease and provide additional shelter.  55% of people, after saying that they want some help for people living outside, also want a zero tolerance approach to people living outside.  That leads to sweeps – and everyone pays for that.  We pay millions for that.  Los Angeles, which has the largest unsheltered homeless population in the Country - they spend $30M per year on sweeps alone.  The sweep activities are increasing.  Advocates, the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH), the Federal Government – have issued two guidances that describe constructive approaches to encampments based on the data.  To draw on that work – go the USICH website (https://www.usich.gov/ ).  You’ll find a review of why it is so ineffective, and why Permanent Supportive Housing and housing in general are the answer.  More people are going into housing from homelessness than ever before, but the inflow is massive (in Pierce County we average 250 people starting an episode of homelessness per week. -ed).  If you are interested in the case – the growing body of research shows how and why criminalization is bad.
    • Tent City USA report ( https://nlchp.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Tent_City_USA_2017.pdf ), we took the USICH guidance and did case studies and reviewed the 187 cities to see if they have policies in place to address encampments.  If they have any policy about how to address encampments – only 11% cities, even though they have policies against public camping, have no policy on how to address them. 
    • Principals of policies that work:
      1. All people need a safe place to be and a place to store things.  
      2. People need enough notice to find a new location.
      3. Delivery of services must respect the dignity of human rights.  If you don’t respect people dignity, they won’t use the services. 
      4. Any move or removal must follow clear procedures for residents.  A major complaint is that no one is communicating with residents – their belonging are at risk, but no one is talking to them about what is going to happen. Sometimes there is just a notice on a tree – that may be in just 1 language, or unclear or incorrect.
      5. Where temporary legal encampments are allowed, they must be as close as possible to adequate housing.  We all have an inherent right under international law to housing.  People need a legal, safe place tonight and today.  Authorized encampment are one way to  address that need.  Adequate housing needs to be decent – substandard housing does someone no good (then why do slumlords provide substandard housing? it can’t be just to make money off people living in poverty. Oh, wait… -ed)
      6. Law enforcement should serve and protect all members of the community.  There is growing law enforcement support for ending the punitive law enforcement of people experiencing homelessness. 
    • Ted- can you comment on the 4th district’s support of the 9th district?  Tristia – Martin versus City of Boise – it was a lawsuit on behalf of 6 individuals punished under 2 different laws – a camping ban.  The original lawsuit was filed in 2009 – the final decision came out recently.  It says it is cruel and unusual punishment to punish resting activities in public spaces when they have nowhere else to go.  The judgement means that any criminal punishment for resting activities in the 9th circuit can violate the 8th Many feel that it will be appealed to the Supreme court – they still have time to petition the Supreme Court – but that decision is the law now.  Many criticize the 9th circuit as being very liberal. But, just this week – the 4th circuit court rejected criminalizing owning alcohol or entering a liquor store if you are a “habitual drunk” – they found that punishing someone for something they can’t avoid is unlawful.  It can’t be illegal to be addicted to narcotics – that is a status and you can’t do that.  People are compelled to perform some activities, like resting, or if you are alcoholic, possessing alcohol, and it can’t be punished because it can’t be helped.  Martin is the narrower of the two opinions.  It is possible the supreme court overturns, but there is a lot of momentum now.  Martin does not protect you from being where you are, but protects you when you have nowhere else to go. 
    • Al – 4th court is that Manning v Caldwell (https://law.justia.com/cases/federal/appellate-courts/ca4/17-1320/17-1320-2019-07-16.html ) – original decision went the other way – it allowed punishment of homeless people.  Tristia - we aren’t sure how the law will be extended and applied.  Only the habitual drunkard law exists - since they have no private place to consume alcohol.
    • Question – Judge Shaffer in Seattle, the 8th amendment ruling citing the Washington homestead act, as it applies to unreasonable punishment given to  people living in mobile homes.  The City’s approach was to ticket.  In Seattle v. long (https://columbialegal.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/City-of-Seattle-v.-Steven-Long_Appellant-Longs-Superior-Court-RALJ-Brief.pdf ), the $900 fines were found unlawful.  The 8th amendment deals with excessive fines.  Tristia – homeless rights advocacy project at Seattle University – is very specific to Seattle.  Washington State constitution grants a right to privacy in your structure.  Sweeps can’t be performed to see what is going on in your tent –Sarah Rankin does good work on this topic - https://law.seattleu.edu/faculty/profiles/sara-rankin .
    • Al – how could a group like this get involved in these issues – what is the highest priority issue to get involved in? Tristia – I’d prioritize the greatest impact with the highest change of success.  I’d look at rental rights – the law center “protect tenants prevent homelessness” and covers a variety of protections that improve stability.  Things like rent control and right to council.  You get real benefits from providing people with access to lawyers.  I’d push those tenant rights and homeless prevention measure.  Senate Bill 1591 (https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=1591&Initiative=false&Year=2019 ) – Mia Gregerson (https://housedemocrats.wa.gov/gregerson/ )– a homeless bill of rights – that among other things would guarantee a right to council (well, more funding anyway) and would have baked the Martin v Boise decision into state law – preventing criminalization of homelessness.
    • Theresa –I’m wondering why you are suing Pierce County – we all want our resources to go to housing, and a lawsuit will draw funds away.  Tristia - I’m from Sumner – a proud Spartan.  Pierce County wasn’t our target – but they were breaking the law in Puyallup.  Private vigilante activity is inspired by criminalizing homelessness. (I didn’t do a great job taking notes on this part of the conversation. It doesn’t seem like I got the full conversation down correctly – sorry. –ed).  Tristia – I take your point that litigation is expensive and draws resources.  Ted Brackman has been advocating for well over a decade – and brought me in the conversation in 2015.  We filed the lawsuit recently relative to our attempts to get positive changes.  We found our plaintiffs and some were on County land.  The County brought a dump truck and gave someone 30 minutes to leave an encampment.  We regret the loss of resources, but we need to stand up to these human rights abuses.  A lawsuit is a tactic of last resort.  We do litigate, but talking with people and working with people is always the first step.  Only when that fails do we litigate.

(current scene at the Nyland house:
14-year old: Hey Dad, I ready to make the cinnamon roll dough for tomorrow morning.
me: Dude, its 10pm – at 8pm I said we should probably start now, but you were busy…
14-year old:
me:
14-year old: c’mon, you know you want to make it with me.
me:
14-year old:
me: OK. I do. Yes, I do.
And that is why I’ll be e-mailing this out at 2am... –ed)

Good of the Order

  • Al – how many people are aware of the need for solutions for people on Medicaid that need transportation to treatment services and can’t find that.  (Lots of hands were up. –ed). The Behavioral Health Advisory Board is looking how to get folks to services.  Medicaid doesn’t cover the cost of transportation to services. 
  • Martha – Suboxone clinics often have appointments at 6am.  If there was some kind of transportation for that. 
  • Continuum of Care Notice of Funding Availability has come out for next year’s funding.  Workshop is 9am on 7/26/2019 – info at https://www.piercecountywa.gov/DocumentCenter/View/82204/CoC-2019-NOFA
  • July 24th mini job fair at goodwill – 6 employers

Coming Attractions

  • July 26th – Some Employment topics - Skookum Contract Services - learn how to connect with an organization that provides people with disabilities employment in logistics and facilities management. Workforce Central and partners will provide information on their projects and initiatives.  Valeo  and Goodwill will also provide an update on their employment programs.
  • August 2nd – The Red Cross will come and discuss how we can partner to better serve people experiencing homelessness. We are also launching the Racial Equity committee, so come find out how you can contribute to this important work. And, we'll get to meet Kwabi and his Peace Bus, and hear about his plans to make the world a better place..
  • August 9th – Washington State Representative Frank Chopp (outgoing House Speaker) will come for a discussion about the State’s funding opportunities around homelessness.   We’ll also hear about the important programs offered by Shared Housing Services
  • August 16th – Youth themed presentations
  • August 23rd - The Tacoma Housing Authority will update us waitlist changes and solicit feedback on implementation options around the voucher and properties programs. Feedback on criminal screening policies will also be solicited.  Balance our Tax code will present, as well as update on Hire253 and the newly opened Coffee Oasis
  • August 30th - Beacon Health Options will provide a behavioral health administrative services overview of behavioral health crisis and non-crisis services in Pierce County and a bit beyond. We'll also hear from the Pierce County Veterans Bureau on their work supporting the veterans in our community. Finally, the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department will update us on efforts to prevent a Hepatitis A outbreak.
  • September 6th – Pierce County Councilmember Derek Young will discuss the County's response to homelessness, the job growth/imbalance, and provide an update on the County plans for implementing the affordable housing funds made possible by SHB 1406
  • September 13th - We'll hear a presentation about the Clubhouse model and the need for a Clubhouse model facility in Pierce County. We will also hear about Tacoma Public Utility programs that support low income households.
  • Steptember 20th – Are slugs just homeless snails?  Join our panel of limacologists, malacologists, Paul Bocuse, and the cinematographers responsible for the epic cinematic masterpiece Sluggy Come Home - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rye3ICBMOPE - and the academy award winning sequel, Sluggy Saves Xmas - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6z1zJkWvJGY  - as we delve into this increasingly relevant topic. 
  • September 24thHire253 – you need to wear your t-shirts.  Hosting at Goodwill again.  Want 50% employment.  Let’s put our energy into this

Restaurant Review

  • Say you want to go out to dinner with some traditional Bavarian food, but you also have a hankering to play a little Bocce ball and quaff a beer or two.  There was a day in the not too distant past that you would simply have been out of luck. Today, the Rhein Haus ( https://www.rheinhaustacoma.com/ - 649 Division Ave, Tacoma, WA 98403) is there for you.  Indoor Bocce ball? Yep.  Bier, as they say in Deutschland? oh yes, they have 20+ on tap. Bavarian victuals?– they have nurembergs, schnitzel, schweinbraten, knockwurst, veggiewurst, spätzle, and much, much more.  Located in the construction plagued Stadium District, you could do worse than brave the blocked roads and limited parking to support a business that offers so much goodness in one building.  Not into Bocce ball?  They have an indoor 9-hole mini golf course now. The food is pretty spot on too – you’ll think you’re in beer hall in Munich. I’d never been to Germany until a friend married a German, and we decided to escape our one-year old and attend their wedding in Southern Germany.  As a history major, Germany usually had the role of villain in my studies.  As we flew into Frankfurt, I wondered how I’d feel in the county that gave birth to Nazism.  But after I landed, those thoughts all slipped away and we stepped into the bustling modernity. Even the 70-year olds were just children during WWII, and they were also victims of the war, losing homes, parents and friends. I rather like Germany, I have dozens of stories of the kindness of strangers.  And I love their food, although it can be a bit heavy in the meat department.  My friends who were married in Germany are vegetarian and wanted the wedding menu to be all vegetarian.  I’m not so conversant in German, but it was clear much of the topic of conversation among the old men was the lack of “proper” food. Even though the food was lovely, those men needed their wurst in the worst way. Luckily, when I’m in the mood for a good brat, I can simply head to the Rhein Haus. You might consider it as well.  

Attendees

  • Eric Haley, Catholic Community Services
  • Kristina Didricksen, Catholic Community Services
  • Delmar Algee, Catholic Community Services
  • Bryan Green, Olive Crest
  • Pamm Silver, Molina Healthcare
  • Greg Hollman, Associated Ministries
  • Jeremy Walker, Housing Advocate
  • Shannon Ice, Tacoma Community College
  • Reanna Bettencourt, Tacoma Pierce County Health Department
  • Kevin Glasel, Tacoma Community College
  • Marybeth McCarthy, Tacoma Community College
  • Mitch Austin, Valeo Vocation
  • Alan Brown, Catholic Community Services
  • Theresa Power-Drutis, New Connections
  • Emily Less, Tacoma Pierce County Health Department
  • George Hermosillo, Tacoma Pierce County Health Department
  • Jennifer Morrison, Sound Outreach
  • Venus Dean-Bullinger, Sound outreach
  • Jonathan Jackson, Palmer Scholars
  • Al Ratcliffe, me
  • Joy Sanford, Shared Housing Services
  • Debra Grant, Share and Care House
  • Rob McNair Huff, Metropolitan Development Council
  • Lauren Angelo, Metropolitan Development Council
  • Matthew Jorgensen, City of Tacoma
  • Rosemary Powers, New Connections
  • Yuni Medlin, LASA
  • Larry Seaquist, League of Women Voters
  • Joseph McGinnis, UW Tacoma Student
  • Robin Webb, LASA
  • Richard Berghammer, Fellowship Bible Church
  • Kelly Blucher, Goodwill
  • Devon Isakson, REACH
  • Larry Parson, Helping Hand 4 Veterans
  • Carolyn Read, St. Leos Parish
  • Eric Hasstedt, Safe Streets
  • Nicole Mims, Greater Lakes Mental Health
  • CC Mendoza, Metropolitan Development Council
  • Andrea Sanz, Tacoma Rescue Mission
  • Haili Crow-Cyr, Tacoma Rescue Mission
  • Heidi Nagel, Comprehensive Life Resources
  • Maria Rodriguez, Catholic Community Services
  • Greta Brackman, Comprehensive Life Resources
  • Audrey Oliver, Comprehensive Life Resources
  • Molly Nichols, Futurewise
  • Nathan Blackmer, Comprehensive Life Resources
  • Amy Tower, Tacoma Tenant Organizing Committee
  • Donna Seay, Tacoma Tenants Organizing Committee
  • Benita Gonzales, Catholic Community Services
  • Barb Kaelberer, Elevate Health
  • Heidi Nagel, Comprehensive Life Resources
  • Trisha Munson, Greater Lakes Mental Health
  • Jessica Hall, Greater Lakes Mental Health
  • Martha Sheppard, Tacoma Salvation Army
  • Hawkins, Sea Mar
  • Ted Brackman, Homeless Advocate
  • Gail Misner, Molina Healthcare
  • Sid Sandstrom, The Coffee Oasis
  • Donald Pitchford, House of Prayer
  • Tristia Bauman, National Law Center On Homelessness and Poverty

Attendees

LASA Homeless Prevention - http://www.lasawa.org/programs-services/

  • Yuni Medlin, Prevention Specialist, LASA - yuni@lasawa.org
  • We started running an outreach program from a basement
  • I work on homeless prevention services.  I noticed some trends as a data manager.  I looked what we can do on a preventative end to see what we can do.
  • With our prevention funding, I can only guarantee 30 more days in your housing. 
  • We are working on interventions – looking at their situation and other resources that are available.  We are trying to slow things down and work get folks other resources.
  • Our services
    • Rent assistance program (one of the only folks in the County offering this service. –ed)
    • Screening for a driver’s license reinstatement program
    • We can tell if folks are about to get evicted. When we do assessment and review the paperwork, we present options to clients.
    • Enroll them in the bill credit assistance and the discount program. help fill out forms and get them submitted. 
    • Workshops are available where they learn to lower utilization of utilities and then can get additional services. 
  • Work with Pierce County Alliance (https://piercecountyalliance.org/ ) –when someone said they needed their license addressed, would complete survey, and get the referral and schedule an appointment.  We wanted folks to bring a driving extract, but it cost $13 and our clients didn’t have that funding.  We can now pay for those driving abstracts.
  • Will send out flyer for next workshop.
  • Still don’t know when we’ll have our next round of rental assistance.  We used to just have 2 times a year for call-ins for emergency assistance.  Last couple years, we have done a 4 to 6 rounds.  I’ll let folks know when that will happen.
  • Question – what is the water assistance program ?  Yuni – we’ll keep water on if they are behind and the water will be cut off.  Many home owners use this program.
  • Question – can you  reinstate a license for someone incarcerated.  Yuni - I can’t go into a jail, we just don’t’ have that capacity. 
  • Kelly – you mentioned your utility program – when you get people on a discounted rate on Tacoma Public Utilities – if people are on that rate – if they do the 10 hours of financial education will get $80 off their bill for attending the classes.  We are trying to get folks to Goodwill, but many are working and we don’t want them to miss work. 
  • Questions – You say you will help with their drivers licenses.  Many people come in and haven’t had their Drivers License for many years because of fines and fees.  Yuni – I look case by case at what is most sustainable.  The focus  is employment.  We look at how many jurisdictions they owe to.  Will do an occupational license for them (I didn’t even know this was a thing - https://www.dol.wa.gov/driverslicense/orl.html ) – Once they get SR22 insurance and whatever licensing fees are needed.  Won’t pay for drivers tests – have paid up to $300 for a license before.  Also will partner with other agencies.
  • Theresa – Tacoma pro bono has a relicense clinic -  Yuni – I registered for a clinic they have so I can connect in with them.  Theresa – also, I can take things in to the jails for you.