(Download the PDF version of this summary)
What resources or speakers would you like to hear from in future meetings? And what resources need to be added to the website?
“I tell you this
Group Discussion Summary • Tacoma Pierce County Coalition to End Homelessness • 7.29.22
to break your heart,
by which I mean only
that it break open and never close again
to the rest of the world.”
— Mary Oliver
Broadening conversations and participation
- Substantive conversations with elected officials/government officials present to hear what the needs are, concerns, and answer questions. Some seem well informed – but many don’t seem to understand the issue. Have a whole panel with them. Have them present to hold their feet to the fire.
- Another panel idea: neighbors of campsites to provide info on what may help campsites from being “swept.”
- Would like to hear from “enforcers,” at least annually, cops, mayors office, etc.
- Conversation with police depts re their response to people on street, with discussion of the training they have or may need.
- How do we hear more from communities and businesses impacted by encampments with an interest in moving response toward system solutions?
- Focus on who is not present (or at least not regularly) to include: police reps, reps of hospitals, higher education, American Leadership Forum, local experts (eg authors of new book Homelessness is a housing Problem by Colburn and Aldern).
- Newer City Council members invited to attend and learn.
- Need to invite general participation of communication leads for county and city (Tacoma as well as other cities with human services/housing staff).
Recommended Areas of Interest to Explore
- Interest in hearing more and recapping previous coordinated entry presentation.
- We spoke about sanctioned campsites, legal help, shared living/tenant rights, our individual projects, and a recap from last week’s topic of coordinated entry.
- Would like more depth in info from county – we get reports – but there isn’t an opportunity for questions and answers, for ex “why isn’t there more funding?” “More incentive for low-income apartments?” We get quick status but cannot ask additional questions.
- What positions make what decisions? What is the office? We want more accountability and to know where responsibility lies.
- Expert in vacancy and expropriation taxation to present to discuss as options for property.
- Homeless individual’s Rights
- Resources for foot care
- Mobile Hygiene units (showers, hygiene kits)
- Mobile waste disposal (bulk/grey water)
- Low income housing (what, where, how) & information on more permanent low-income housing.
- Peer-led spotlight, highlighting peer navigation, peer-kent, peer-seattle, peer-washington, etc. Mobilizing to assist those with lived experience to have someone to walk alongside them who have gone through the same course. Supporting folks experiencing homelessness without the crisis mentality. Relationship building and support.
- What’s missing from our system? where are the biggest gaps and can we have people that are positioned to speak to those? For example, huge housing gap for felons.
- How to evaluate the actual effectiveness of outreach and "connection to resources?"
- Would be great to hear about some gaps that folks are seeing. Case mgmt. for example – who is doing what?
- Who has housing for those with developmental disabilities and behavioral health needs?
- Would be great to hear about ways to support mental health interventions
- Attorney's working with the 9th Circuit on the Rights of individuals who are homeless.
- More info on the Housing Authorities and their work.
- Like to hear more people from other areas of the country who are working with homelessness.
- Are there model campaigns elsewhere? Can we hear from communities that are getting it right? Is anyone getting it right?
- Could invite people to present who are in other cities/jurisdications that have had some success in responding to homelessness/creating housing
- A “know your rights” segment to assist outreach folks when talking with folks on the streets
Specific Groups for the Community Spotlight
- Tacoma Rescue Mission for plan at Pacific Ave. Clarify more about what barriers are there.
- We talked about Tacoma Tenants Union making a presentation to this Coalition, in the future when we have a specific actionable event or campaign to discuss.
- Tacoma Area Coalition for Individuals with Disabilities (TACID) to talk about the challenges faced by folks with disabilities.
- Community spotlight needed for St. Vincent De Paul.
- Would be nice to see repeat presentations for some of the larger agencies since there are new faces.
- Would be great to hear more from the Lived Experience Coalition.
- Monique Brown talking about the process of setting up Veterans Village.
- CLR has the “Positive Interactions” line for concerned citizens and impacted businesses at 253-396-5065. Can we hear more about that?
- Presentation on current activities of new county group proposing land trust for home ownership possibilities (follow up with Ryan Mello).
- presentation by someone from South Sound Housing Affordability Partners (SSHAP)
- Tacoma Public Library (in a couple months!)
- Tacoma Pierce County Health Department (soon!)
- Consider presentation by affordable housing developers, such as Bridge Housing.
- Mobile Community Intervention Response Team (MCIRT).
Resources that might be added to the website
- Single doc or list of resources, schedules, contacts – that is up to date
- More tangible ideas for churches to carry out, don't oversimplify, urge people to dig deep and do their homework on these topics.