Presentation Minutes

The Tacoma News Tribune

  • Allison Needles – reporter with the New Tribune -
  • With News tribune for 3 years – covering the City of Puyallup – then my beat changed to Tacoma
  • Homelessness is a big topic. 
  • Came to a meeting a couple weeks ago – I want to ask what do you think the public should know more about?
  • Want to hear about  what you want to read about regarding homelessness
  • Peach – saw Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez proposed green new deal bills, I’d be interested in how that might relieve some of the needs in Pierce County.
  • Larry – Thanks for coming– and I understand your resource limitations.  One Gig Harbor (I think it was Gig Harbor, I sort of left that out of my notes, but I remember hearing this story somewhere, and I think that somewhere was Gig Harbor) City Council member mentioned her neighbors’ 10 year-old boy had observed her neighbor experiencing homelessness die on their trail behind them.  I was wondering if you could figure out a way to talk to smaller communities around the County – these personal experiences when families are stunned by the human story right beside them.
  • I’ve worked on Tacoma Avenue for 20 years with the County.  I’m tired of hearing people say it is people on drugs with no job – I want to see more individual stories.  People turn to drugs once they are on the streets – and people need to know that. 
  • Allison – I appreciated that presentation on Benevolence Blankets – I might be in touch later.
  • Question – the individual stories are important – but I’d like to see a series where we see how a story fits into legislation, or the way our City Council operates.
  • Rosemary – a growing population experiencing homelessness are people over 65, who are first time homeless because they can’t afford their rent.  It is not what one sees connected to other structural issues around homelessness. 
  • If you have an idea – someone who can speak to an issues – please connect me with them. 
  • Question – homelessness is like this river flowing into our communities – how do we stop the river from overflowing – we can’t keep bailing, we must stop the river from flowing.  Working with people out of prison or out of treatment – if they have nowhere to go, they become homeless again, and this keep happening.  Shared Housing is the future of many for many of these folks with low incomes – they just can’t afford a place on their own.  (I’ve heard there is a great future in plastics. Think about it.  Will you think about it? –ed)
  • Theresa – I’d like to see the connection between incarceration and homelessness – with a Pierce County connection. 
  • Theresa – I know of several tiny churches providing services for a person or a family at a time – and those are inspirational – showing ways that a church can contribute. 
  • Question – I like focusing on individual stories – but when looking at them alone, it is about success or failure – would like to zoom out to look at systemic things.  I look in homeless childcare subsidy programs – most clients have experienced trafficking or Domestic violence – we don’t see that so much in the media.
  • Greg – a lot of us here do advocacy work in the community, we’d like to amplify our efforts to do myth busting – like that our homeless come from elsewhere, or that they refuse services.  These are narratives people use to  dismiss homelessness as someone else’s problem. 
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