Presentation Minutes

Increasing Shelter Capacity and Addressing Homelessness in Tacoma

  • Rob Huff, Metropolitan Development Council (MDC) -
  • Last week we kicked off the work MDC is doing – we sent out notes.  If you have other suggestions or ideas, please send them to me.  We are looking for potential shelter sites around the City. (have you thought about using public parks?  Kidding –ed)
  • We did not have an official public meeting in the last week.  Metropolitan Development Council did meet with Associated Ministries and the Tacoma Ministerial Alliance to start and continue the conversation with that group – to see how they may get involved in that effort.  The leadership of the Tacoma Ministerial Alliance has invited us to a larger membership meeting on Tuesday – hopefully we’ll have more information to  present next week.  They’ve been involved in this effort to help those living without shelter for quite some time – though not too visibly.  They are interested in stepping up and serving in a more visible way. (Tacoma Ministerial Alliance has a couple recent grants to help people experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness – there is lots of excitement about their work extending deeper into responding to homelessness. –ed)
  • Coming public meetings  - different times to engage the public
    • Tuesday November 19th, 5:30-7:30pm (may change based on an overlap with the City Council Meeting)
    • Friday, November 22nd, noon to 1:30pm
  • Updates since last week – new email – or phone Rob Huff at (253) 284-9096 – send information there and it will get to Metropolitan Development Council and to Associated Ministries.
  • As we move towards December 1st, there is a dual track going on – a 6th month process to identify different shelter sites. There are deliverables on that.  (I’m guessing there was a second track I somehow missed, but let’s go ahead and assume it was immediate shelter. –ed)
  • Maureen – we appreciate this work
  • Maureen – for the South Sound Summit – can we get some cards that are specific to this project so we can hand them out at the Chamber summit – so we aren’t just rattling off an address.  Rob – what content?  Maureen – one line with phone, e-mail, event locations.  Al –do  have meeting locations for sure?
  • Theresa – are you hoping that some of us will come to these public meetings, or do you want people who aren’t us?  Rob – we are reaching out to different parts of the city, but everyone is welcome.  It is up to you to attend.  Theresa – you won’t feel  unsupported if we don’t come?  Rob – no, we won’t. 
  • Question – I’m interested in Martin v. Boise (a great overview of Martin v. Boise at and the full opinion at -ed) – there seems to be a lot of folks interested in this court decision who may be coming to a meeting.  Rob – we are interested in starting or continuing a conversation on locations for temporary shelters, and what organizations see as barriers to creating those sites.  Question – is there any part to educate the public about the civil rights component about Martin v Boise – many community members or people experiencing homelessness may not be aware of the new civil rights component.  Rob – we are not planning to do that at these meeting.  If folks ask off-line, we can certainly share these things. (this is certainly within the realm of activities the Coalition can undertake as well – I’m not sure who asked this question, but perhaps they can get with me and we can find some folks at the Coalition willing to spearhead an education campaign –ed.)
  • Maureen –  a follow up on Martin  v. Boise – I’ll send some key links about this to the list – about what the cities are doing through Municipal Research and Services Center (MRSC - -ed) and what the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty has out there (I’ll point again to their infographic - -ed) – and any info I have in my inbox. 
  • James – National law Center – they have a card that says “know your rights” – there is a link for that with cards you can print out and hand out. (I looked and couldn’t find it- hopefully James sends out the link –ed).


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