Meeting Information

Meeting Type
Friday Coalition Meeting
Friday, 11/15/2019
9:00 AM
11:00 AM
Learn about the new Tacoma fire Department Safe Station Program. Then, Benevolence Blanket - a club run by high school students providing blankets to people experiencing homelessness - will present on their work. Allison Needles with the News Tribune will also speak with us about story ideas and hopefully a chat about stories, homelessness, and the media. The Sexual Assault Center presentation planned for November 1st will be rescheduled to this date, where they will come and talk about the work they do to provide support and exits for people being trafficked. We'll get an Advocacy Update from Maureen, hear about the shelter initiative from Metropolitan Development Council, and get an update on action around homelessness at the City of Tacoma.
The Salvation Army Church (1110 S Puget Sound Ave, Tacoma, WA 98405)



Benevolence Blankets – presentation:

  • Zoe Bucher, Bellarmine Prep School Senior, and Girl Scout with 40220 -
  • I want to get a degree in social work or social services
  • For my girl scout Gold Award, I wanted to make a difference to people in need – gold award is highest award (read more about it at -Gerrit)
  • Created a community club to make no-sew fleece blankets for those experiencing homelessness
  • Purpose isn’t just to provide warmth to the most impoverished, but to show caring.
  • Jennifer – she received Gold Award for this work (earned – she earned the Gold Award for this work. The Gold Award ain’t no participation trophy. Only 6% of all Girl Scouts earn it, although that has totaled over 1,000,000 Gold Awards since it was introduced 1916.  Well, it hasn’t always been the Gold Award - it used to be called the Golden Eaglet, and some other things - but the rigor and distinction haven’t changed.  –ed)
  • Homelessness
    • What would you do if your family lost everything?  What would you do? You family might help
    • Most people on the streets didn’t have people to turn to?  What do they do?  They become homeless
    • Homeless individuals are hurting and have lost hope. 
    • What do you do when someone is homeless?  Do you look at them and nod? or look away?
    • People experiencing homelessness become disconnected and lose trust.  It takes time to build trust – it takes lots of outreaches.  Once a genuine relationship is created, they will eventually accept some resource to help them exit homelessness
    • It is tough to work on exiting homelessness- they have to focus on survival?  Can you imagine working on  survival every day, and having to write a resume or work on other issues?
    • How does addition connect to homelessness?  many homeless individuals become addicted because of their homelessness, not the other way around. Sometimes they use drugs to help them
    • Homelessness is a local, national and global problem.  The Pierce County Point In Time Count identifies 1,486 people homeless – some 629 sleeping outdoors, and 857 in emergency shelters. In 2017, 550,000 people were experiencing homelessness in the US.  The United Nations counted 100,000,000 worldwide.  And these are admitted undercounts. (I usually quibble with citing the Point in Time statistic, but Zoe both cited the number correctly- apparently a bigger challenge than I had realized – but also identified the possible short comings – so I’m giving her a solid A on this part of the report. –ed)
    • The problem seems overwhelming – but if we do small thing this will improve.
    • (I cannot possibly stress how often the straightforward facts Zoe laid out here seem to elude so many in our community – citizens and leaders alike.  Well done, Zoe. –ed)
  • Benevolence Blankets
    • Started in a club in the December of 2018 with a goal of distributing, over 12 months, 100 blankets to people experiencing homelessness. 
    • Partnered with Tacoma Rescue Mission to distribute blankets.  We partnered with them because they offer so much – veteran programs, meals, shelters, help finding jobs and housing, and have been around 106 years (and because she noticed they are awesome people to work with, too, I suspect. –ed)
      • Last year, Tacoma Rescue Mission provided 301,799 meals served to the homeless
      • 2,354 homeless men, women and children, were helped
      • I like the Tacoma Rescue Mission Search and Rescue mission team – they took my blankets with them at night to reach out to the homeless.  I really wanted the blankets not just to be handed out, but used as a good faith conversation starter to help build trust with the people experiencing homelessness – so some day they could take the van back to Tacoma Rescue Mission to get off the streets. (just so we’re clear, the blankets are Pro Bono – definitely not a Quid Pro Quo. –ed)
    • The Club started with 4 officers and 2 other members.  I was President, a friend was Vice President, Mom was Secretary, and a Neighbor was Treasurer.  The Club was a lot of work, and it was good to have partners helping run it.
    • We meet on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month from 6pm to 7:30pm at the Tacoma Public Library Swasey branch ( ). We make between 4-8 blankets each evening.
    • Club grew to 15 members – 10 adults and 5 high school members.  People learn about the club through flyers, and through seeing the club in action and on the facebook page ( ). I’m very grateful for my volunteers.
    • The club reached the goal of 100 blankets in just 6 months – and we complete 200 blankets in 11 months, broken down by Sizes:
      • 68 large adult
      • 32 medium adult
      • 40 small adult
      • 60 child
    • Has had a big impact on my life and on the lives of my volunteers. 
    • I wasn’t able to go on the search and rescue team to distribute blankets because I wasn’t 18.  But, twice Lucy and I passed out blankets in the courtyard of the emergency shelter. 
    • One person wanted a camo blanket – and when I provided them the blanket, the slept right there on a bench for an hour using my blanket.
    • What is most important to them was the emotional support, and that we uplifted them, and the face-to-face connection.  They like that we were helping them.
    • We asked one veteran about what was stopping him from exiting homelessness – he said it was his state of mind.  After money, what he needed most was emotional support (him and me both. –ed)
  • Each person on the streets has a unique story about homelessness. 
  • One man helped by search and rescue shared that it takes 13 blankets to keep him warm in cold weather. 
  • My Gold Award project may be over, but Benevolence Blankets continue on.  We started the club up again this year. (interesting word, Benevolence. I comes from the latin “bene” – meaning well – and volantem – meaning to wish. While it has a pleasant meaning, the sound of the word has a pleasant, euphonic finish that is hard not to appreciate.  –ed)
  • Now, blankets are going not just to the Tacoma Rescue Mission, but also to Serra house – the new Youth Shelter operated by The Coffee Oasis.
  • What can you do to make a difference in the life of someone experiencing homelessness?  An act of hope may be what it takes for someone’s life to get back on track.  Isn’t it worth the effort to try that? 
  • Does the blanket end homelessness?  No – but it all helps. 
  • Question – are you showing that presentation elsewhere – that is really useful, but lots of people could use that information.? 
  • Question – could you come to a Daisy and Brownie meeting?  Zoe – yes.
  • Theresa –Have you thought of making fleece scarves for the 99 stocking project.  Zoe – we often have fleece from the trim – we could.
  • Al – nice work – I’d like to get a copy of the presentation.  (it is at -ed)
  • Question – could you present to my church? Zoe - yes


Sexual Assault Center – (I was trying to fit too much into one meeting, so I sort of shrank their time down to less than ideal – so they flew through the presentation.  The presentation below is a great place to read more info, and community training and education is part of what they do, so contact the to setup more in depth training for you and your staff/coworkers. –ed)

  • (Presentation at –ed)
  • Carlyn Sampson, Deputy Director, Rebuilding Hope! Sexual Assault Center for Pierce County -
  • Sarah Ciambrone – Program coordinator - (I can’t say enough about how nice it is to have on-line agency staff directories – I didn’t quite catch the name, but I found her name and e-mail on their website.  –ed.)
  • Goal is to discuss how to identify and respond to sexual assault.
  • If you want formal training – 1-2 hours or even half a day – that is a service we provide at no charge – we are certified to provide both state and federal curriculum.  We always want to see what type of training you need.  
  • History – mission & philosophy
    • Started in 1972 – first and longest continuously running sexual assault center in Washington – been here for almost 50 years – 1972 – from the original name of Pierce County Rape Relief  to what we have now.  (it is interesting how language and euphemisms evolve over time. Choice of language carries weight and can impact whether people seek help when assaulted. The New York Times had a great article on this a couple years back - .  On the theme of language, just the other day my better half and I were arguing over whether Bill Clinton Raped Monica Lewinski or not.

me: <in jerk mode when I think I’m right> it was rape.

much better half: <in normal, decent tone of voice> she said it was consensual

me: <still in jerk mode> any sexual relationship with a subordinate is rape

14 year old: will you two be nicer to each other <stomps out of room>

much better half: he means you, you do sound like a jerk


much better half:

me: yeah.  Dang it. I’m sorry. I’ll go apologize to him too. But still rape.

much better half: <*sigh*>

                                An interesting article on Monica Lewinski and her evolving notion of consent is at .-ed)

  • We are the only state accredited center to serve folks in Pierce County
  • Have also done advocacy work
  • Advocates for victims, survivors and their loved ones. 
    • Empower clients
    • All services are confidential
  • 24x7 crisis intervention/referral
    • Crisis intervention
    • Information provided to  all client and community members, as well as professionals
    • Medical and legal victim advocacy
      • Our advocates are dispatched to any hospital when a survivor arrives – we rely on volunteers and interns - we are understaffed.  Recently, we had 4 unrelated cases happening at once on one night, and we could only get 3 folks to respond to the need.  (we need to figure out how to resource them to meet the demand – this seems important. –ed)
    • Survivors have a right to a community advocate during any legal proceedings relevant to the sexual assault – trial, medical, reporting, etc.
    • Al – is communication between survivor privileged?  Carlyn – yes
  • Therapy services - Specialized on sexual assault - trauma-focused.
  • Provide prevention education
  • Human Trafficking – definition
    • Anytime the victim or seller is under the age of 18 - or force, fraud or coercion exists when they are over 18 – it is trafficking.  If you are under 17, even if you are consenting to the sex exchange, it is stills ex trafficking.  Over 18, must prove coercion to hold the john liable.(am I the only one who gets pissed off when I read an article in the newspaper about a sting operation that arrests not just the johns but also  the sex workers? –ed)
  • Bruce – do you work nights?  Carlyn – the
  • Sex acts are considered prostitution, pornography, and nude massage.  Can be anything of value – money, drugs, clothing, protection – offered in exchange for those acts.  It isn’t just a financial transaction – it is a transaction of anything of value. 
    • While sex trafficking is known as “commercial sexual exploitation”, it is often called “the life”, “the game”, etc.
  • Neighborhood and Community Services hired Leslie Briner to do a needs assessment – found sex trafficking was indeed a signification issue – occurring in a variety of locations. 
    • Identified much of it is gang related,
    • It is caused by a lack of emergency or long term housing, shifting social norms, and the general demand for sex .
    • City offered funding for case management and services in 2015.  Expanded the name to sex trafficking and response in 2017 –locally and state-wide
  • What we offer
    • Specialized, confidential, wrap-around services for anyone aged 13+
    • Support for non-offending care givers as well
    • Community therapy
    • 24x7 hotline and dispatch services at law enforcement and hospital locations
    • Low barrier supports
    • No aging out
    • Non judgmental
    • Resource connections
    • Drop in center
      • program for youth and adults in Stadium district – past or present clients – can access the safe space
      • operates 8am-8pm, Wednesday through Friday, and Tuesday and Saturday by appointment
      • facility offers space for clients and space for case managers
    • sex trafficking affects all genders, all races, everyone
      • disproportionately affects young people experiencing poverty, LGBTQ, people of color, and those experiencing homeless. 
      • Vast majority have experiences of childhood sexual trauma (and we wonder why so many in our community struggle to be self-sufficient. –ed).
      • 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 6 boys experience sexual assault before age 18. 
    • 23 unduplicated clients in 2015, 48 in 2016, 178 in 2017, and 179 in 2018.  These numbers are similar to King County, a region with more services and more far more people. 
    • In 2018 – over 38,000 direct service hours – serving people aged age 5 to 55.  Most are between 14 and 25.  We take referrals from the Juvenile justice system, law enforcement, victim advocate, professional. 
  • Impacts to public health
    • Awful (this is all I had in my notes – I’m sure she said more, but I think this sums it up pretty well. –ed)
  • Recommendations
    • Critical to make public aware how sex trafficking impacts our community
    • Must hold buyers accountable
    • This is as preventable an issue as child abuse – and should have the same response
    • We need more sex trafficking education
    • Need housing
    • Need criminal record expungement
    • Need Job training
  • Theresa – that stat about Pierce County vs King County is appalling.  Why is it that way?  Answer – buyers are held responsible in King County more than in Pierce County – so the buyers come to Pierce County – so that demand is there.  Pierce County is unique a high-urban, high-rural area – and that expands how trafficking can happen.  Military installation contributes to the demand side.  Our Prosecuting attorney’s office is doing more stings to hold people accountable – we hope that reduces demand. 
  • Don P. – I deal with gangs and run a statewide program.  where do you send these young ladies once they exit trafficking (not just women, of course –ed)?  Answer – we don’t have places to send them. King County has more options.  The domestic violence shelters in King County isolate beds for trafficking victims.  We’ve had clients placed in shelters out of county.  Data shows clients attempt to leave 8 or 10 times before they are successful.  We often send folks out of state.  Sex trafficking is growing – and it is a renewable resource, unlike drugs.  Our case managers struggle to get folks out of trafficking. 
  • Al – what working relationship do you have with the homeless outreach workers. Carolyn – we make sure they know we are available – we see most of those folks at Emergency Rooms – our long term issue is we have no shelter for them.
  • Question – I used to do this work – we had a shelter - but traffickers found our victims.  Shelters have trouble maintaining confidentiality – we worry about the safety of our clients and others.  Answer – yes, there are lots of struggles in figuring out how to adapt services to this population. (The YWCA Domestic Violence shelter focuses energy on maintaining confidentiality – they are always pushing partners to better protect the identifies of their clients. They’ve definitely made us a better agency for that hard-core advocacy. But keeping folks hidden isn’t an easy task, that is for sure. –ed) 
  • Roxanne – can an underage that is trafficked still be arrested?  Answer – we see drug or other convictions , but not criminalizing the juvenile services.  But all those other things cause problems. 
  • Question – how do we bring a solution – because I do work within a community – we must identify organizations – we take and bring them back to traffickers – how do we work together to help them out.  We work across areas – this is often done across a family or a community.  How do we come together outside this group.  How can we come together?  Answer – we are working to create a  high functioning, multidisciplinary response so we can start putting together a cohesive action plan. 
  • Question – I’m a former prostitute – and I listen to the difficulties in getting out – from my experience – drug additions, addicted to money and lifestyle – it takes a lot of money to change that thinking in – and that struggle is with individuals.  You are in survival mode – to shut out other abuse and escape from it – it is a power thing – it has affected my life – even though I’ve been clean and sober for 15 years.  Our part is that we want help, but don’t want help.  We go back to what we know, what we think is family and support. (I am continually impressed that our coalition feels like a safe enough place for folks to share some pretty personal narratives. It is hard to overstate the value these contributions make. I love folks’ willingness to share and the rooms willingness to hear and support them. Yay us. –ed)


Shelter Capacity Work (or the “convenings” as the City often calls them.  Every time they say convenings, it makes me think of some weird doublespeak from Orwell’s 1984. I know this is a me problem, but I do sort of like the weight that word is given – makes the work seem vital than just a meeting - almost as if it were foretold in some ancient prophesy and only now coming to pass. Maybe something like “…At that time, a friend shall lose his friend's hammer, and the young shall not know where lieth the things possessed by their fathers that their fathers put there only just the night before… And there will great convenings…” –ed) 

  • Pam Duncan –Executive Director, Metropolitan Development Council -
  • Rob Huff, Metropolitan Development Council -
  • Here to discuss the community partnership work around the creation of temporary shelter sites – it is Associated Ministries, the Tacoma Ministerial Alliance, and Metropolitan Development Council working together. (I keep trying to come up with a name for this trio, but nothing really works – maybe TMAMDCAM? Probably not. –ed)
  • You provided us some info 2 weeks ago – when we initially came to you.  In the course of the conversation – we brainstormed all these potential sites you provided us.  Maureen also provided a list you already had – and we’ve compiled all that information.
  • Next week – we have 2 nights of public meetings schedule, Wednesday and Thursday nights  (well, these minutes were a bit late getting out, so that was a couple weeks ago now. And so it goes. –ed)
    • 20th and 21nd, in the Asia Pacific Cultural Center – press release already issued.  5:30-8pm- convening to accomplish great things .  Starting at 5:30 – dinner (again, this already happened, and I went the second night, and the food was fantastic – some kind of a red curry, and then those fresh spring rolls – yum. -ed).  6:00 – will have the list you provided onto a map, so you can see all those locations throughout the City of Tacoma – broken out by police sectors. 
    • Discussing most likely places temporary shelters can be established based on that map. 
    • “Right Now” – most eminently doable sites based on that information – putting them in the pipeline to the City. 
    • Many are interested in volunteering – part of that meeting is who is volunteering and in what capacity.  We want to have that whole cadre of volunteers
    • Looking for long term recommendations – you all already have a lot of ideas – about what needs to happen – we want to hear those ideas
  • Al- is Associated Ministries putting out word to the churches – I haven’t seen anything.  Pam – they will  be
  • Al – I raised the issue of safe parking – had a follow up conversation with  Linda Stewart – there are not regulations about safe parking on purpose.  Their invitation is for churches to submit a proposal, and they will work individually with churches to try and make it work out.  Safe parking lots will have individual negotiations.  I appreciate the flexibility - I hadn’t understood that flexibility until that conversation.
  • Emily -will  there be childcare at the events next week – Pam - we can make arrangements next week. 
  • Laura – really excited about attending this in the future – but my quick comment is that I’m eager, open and willing to throw some ideas on these dates, but I’d love to see the City of Tacoma devise some sustainable ways to do this – long term – house them so they can get on their feet.  It will be important.  Want to know options to hold the City accountable if they don’t provide shelter.  Pam – we also will schedule some meetings to address longer term issue – in  January to do work on the recommendations – and on the east side, where we’ve not been present.  I believe the City wants to be held accountable – and the City can speak for itself.  The Community has to create those recommendations. 
  • If you have suggestions, send them to – or let Rob know -
  • Theresa – what is the website that you all have that I can send out.  It would be great to put a link out on a website.  The front of the MDC website ( ) will have the links ( like to their temporary shelter page - -ed.) and the release.  I’d refer folks to  Rob – we’ll do that – thanks for the suggestions


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. 


City of Tacoma Update

  • Linda Stewart – Director, Neighborhood and Community Services -
  • We manage all human services for City, and code compliance, and neighborhood engagement
  • City funds services – like Rebuilding Hope – over $100 flowing into those programs (Linda must have said the real number, but I missed it. Sorry about that.  But I think it is safe to say my “over $100” is accurate, but not particularly informative. –ed).  In the competitive process, we hope to have additional funding for housing program areas.
  • Accountability – City Council priority is homelessness. Councilmember Ushka addressed law and justice around the myth that all individuals experiencing homelessness are Mental Health and Substance Use challenged.  It is our responsibility to myth bust – with members from the law enforcement and judicial committee – to talk about what they are seeing, what they think is happening, and what is actually happening.
  • I’m here to talk about what is happening right now.  You heard me talk about actions coming to the Council on November 19th.  I brought copies of City Council  agenda from the 19th.  Council will also hear them at the study session and will be discussed at the City Council Meeting.
    • Resolution – for Low Income Housing Institute for $388,000 to operate a temporary emergency shelter site on 8th and MLK.  We are bringing this forward to alleviate issues at People’s Park.  If you’ve been around People’s park, you’ve observed some of the misery there.  We’ve been trying to mitigate the impacts for the people there.  We activated the Medical Reserve Corp to provide immediate medical assistance and assessment – they are at the park right now  and will go weekly while there are people living in the park.  Put porta-pottys, hand washing there, as well as garbage cleanup.  Working with community to establish relationships, and trust is being built.  Of the 35 individuals, 27 are engaged in services – thinking about a housing plan, or on a list to get in housing.  They have built a trust relationship.  We anticipate being able to transition 35 to the 8th and MLK site.  We have served 310 individuals at the stability site – 115 have been housed.  We are at a 39% housed rate.  We are looking at the same model at the micro shelter site at MLK.  Will approve on Tuesday Night. 
    • Ordinance to amend the zoning laws.  Instead of requiring a minimum space of 7,500 ft2 – we’ll change it to match the number of individuals per person – 150 ft2 per person.  Change the minimum so folks looking at the code will be able to do one family, or 2 people.  We have tried to communicate that we were flexible on the rules – but people read the rule an thought It was the rule (being a bit of a rule follower myself, I can understand that. –ed).
    • Also changed (I wrote changed, but I suspect she actually said clarified and I just jotted it down wrong -ed) the “no more than  2 shelter sites per police sector” rule. We don’t want to limit the number of sites, but the number of people sheltered to 150 in each police sector.  We can then do shelter for 600 people. 
    • There are “clarifying amendments” – it does not require the formal review for public comment  that takes months to accomplish.  We wanted to make these changes (clarifications –ed) very quickly – so the folks coming to the convening table – Metropolitan Development Council, Associated Ministries and Tacoma Ministerial Alliance – can have the new ( –ed) rules.  Maybe there are additional locations we can look at. 
    • Extending emergency ordinance till 95% of Point in Time count number unsheltered have shelter. Proposing recommendation to extend emergency declaration.  According to the City Manager, Elizabeth Pauli -  extending 1 year at a time isn’t representative of where we are.  We need to extend it till we have open capacity for 95% of people who are unsheltered (I don’t think I got this phrasing right – sorry about that.-ed).  The data we want to use in for a period of 3 years.  If, 3 years from now, we’ve had access to shelter for 95% of Point in Time count clients, we may consider the emergency declaration over.  Until then, we won’t consider the emergency is over.  Those are coming at study session at noon in TMB room 16.  There is a listening session where you can observe at noon.  You cannot give public comment at study session. They are on the agenda on Tuesday night, so you can provide public comment on them at that meeting.  You can arrive early and sign up to speak.  
  • Greg – the temporary shelter ordinance changes (clarifications –ed) – as I read this – the proposed change still has the 1 mile distance between shelters – but you have the discretion to waive that determination.  Linda – the code is administered under the planning director – it is the planning department that would  consider the waiver.
  • Emily – I’m wondering if the new Low Income Housing Institute village will be low barrier, and what does that mean.  Linda – yes, low barrier – access to housing and we offer services and assistance and whatever we want to  work on outside of shelter- drug and alcohol, ,medical, etc.  Will take animals.  One reason folks don’t go into shelter is the pets.  24x7 staffed site – fenced, primary reason is to provide alternate for folks in People’s Park – close to where there community is.  It is a good chance to test the tiny house model.
  • Kelly – we are building temporary shelter for folks in people park, but cutting the Stability site beds by 27?  Linda – these are temporary shelters – 6 to 8 months – now and very soon, we’ll identify new shelters.  We anticipate being able to relocate to another micro-shelter site.  As we stand this up, we have invested 1.6M in beds at the Rescue mission – in March. The warehouse is being converted as we speak.  Bethlehem Baptist is bringing on 40 beds.  Altheimer Church is in the permitting process – 32 beds.  The Stability Site, is scaling back units – however we anticipate with this convening – to get folks like all of you, other service providers, other stakeholders, in the room together, to identify other spots for shelter in phases – to make space available for people who want shelter.
  • Al – thanks for all you are doing – there was a time when the City wasn’t enthusiastic about his.  Why chose vendor from out of town?  Were there local applicants?  Linda – we were directed by our Mayor and Council to find a spot for this operator.  Bethlehem Baptist – don’t’ have an operator – they are struggling to find people to operate shelter.  This is a way we can test a model – a tested model elsewhere – don’t know if it will work tomorrow.  It is 6 to 8 months – for a reason.  We want to make sure this is a fit for Tacoma.  Integrated in – service provided by local service providers – looking at a mix of people who haven’t been at the table as service providers – I’m intentional in laying their work as service providers.  Our community doesn’t always like people coming from the outside.
  • Theresa – Just in terms of the 24x7 – that is a huge cost for any kind of shelter – have you looked at self-governing models?  Linda – that isn’t this site – but we will work on that in the future. 


South Sound Summit Report Out

  • Event was held on Wednesday
  • It was a Chamber event – where they collaborate, and highlight successful businesses.  They promote their own agendas, but are also an advocacy group in Olympia - something similar to what we do. 
  • We networked and collaborated among us, and the business does that.  So our conversation is how do we work together.  Looking at what individual businesses can do to support people experiencing homelessness
  • Al – it is 2 ways, they help us, and we help them.  It worked out very well.


Coming Attractions

  • December 6th – Crossroads Treatment Center, New Hope Recovery center, 2020 Census, and the Community Engagement Taskforce.
  • December 13th – Forum on Libraries and Homelessness
  • January 3rd – More work on the 2020 Census
  • January 10th – Veterans Association of Real Estate Professionals interest in work around homelessness
  • January 17th – Racial Equity work day
  • January 24th – Point in Time Count – not time to meet when you’re out counting
  • January 31st – What are the chances the water in my glass next to me is the same water that Julius Caesar spit out when told a particularly good joke by Mark Antony?  Join our panel of experts, including the ghosts of Edward Gibbons and Plutarch, and spit-take expert Cecily Strong channeling the late, great Danny Thomas. 

Restaurant Review

I was a bit sad when Tacoma Cabana closed its doors a year or two back.  But like a phoenix, reborn it was, and just a few blocks away.  So, On a Wednesday, Thursday, Friday or Saturday, head over to Devil’s Reef (706 Court C, Tacoma, Washington - ).  It is a bit tough to find – there is no sign, just a ship’s wheel over the door.  The best directions I can give you is to go where the B-Sharp coffee shop used to be. And when you walk through the anteroom into the bar, you’ll know you are there. If you don’t feel like you’ve just walked on to the set of Pirates of the Caribbean, then wait a minute for your eyes to adjust to the dark. The attention to detail and love put into the décor are worth the visit. But Jason Alexander – co-owner and bartender extraordinaire – came over from the Tacoma Cabana and makes the best rum drinks the Northwest has to offer.  The drink menu is a bit longer than I’m interested in reading through, so I usually just ask for something good. Sometime they want a hint on what I’d like, but usually they just provide something worth drinking. The drinks are strong – so definitely take a bus, a walk or an uber home. The food is fine – nothing to write home about – but still totally worth ordering (bacon wrapped pineapple, please). But honestly, it’s this atmosphere and the competent staff that make the place something special. And because they are something special, they are often packed. So send your advanced party a hair after they open at 5pm (again, just Wednesday through Saturday) to snag a table, and you’ll be ready to weather the storm outside in your tropical escape.   


  • James Pogue, Comprehensive Life Resources
  • Larry Seaquist, League of Women Voters
  • Lisa Schrader, Schrader’s Safehouse
  • Stephen Pagan, Pioneer Human Services
  • Mike Craw, The Evergreen State College
  • Bruce Laidlaw, Sea Mar
  • Alice McMartin, Sea Mar
  • Juleeann Fisher, Shared Housing Services
  • Gary Rudd, concerned citizen
  • Joey Furuto, Metro Parks Tacoma
  • Haili Crow, Communities in Schools Tacoma
  • Donald Pitchford, House of Prayer
  • Theresa Power-Drutis
  • Al Ratcliff, me
  • Amanda Siburg, Pierce County District Court
  • Scott Willard, Inside Passages Pierce County
  • Jennifer Ammon, Northwest Justice Project
  • Zoe Bucher, Benevolence Blankets
  • Andrea Burns, Benevolence Blankets
  • Mike Blair, Pierce County Sheriff’s Department
  • Amanda Kenyon, Pierce County Sheriff’s Department
  • Rachel Mohr, Tacoma Rescue Mission
  • Rob Huff, Metropolitan Development Council
  • William Stinson, Catholic Community Services
  • Lauren Angelo, Metropolitan Development Services
  • Vickie Raymond, Community Member
  • Mary Johnson, Community Member
  • Allison Needles, Tacoma News Tribune
  • Teri Jalinek, Peace Community Resource Ministries, Peace Lutheran Church
  • Peach McDouall, Clubhouse Model advocate
  • Daphine Niguette, FOB Hope
  • Tammy Creley, FOB Hope
  • Kelly Blucher, Goodwill Industries
  • Don Sheppard, The Salvation Army
  • Hava Tursky, Childcare Resources
  • Richard Berghammer, Fellowship Bible Church
  • Daisy Reyes, Tacoma Pierce County Health Department
  • Katie Szymanowski, Tacoma Needle Exchange
  • Laura Reynolds, Tacoma Needle Exchange
  • Greg Walker, Cardo Community
  • Larry Parson, Helping Hands 4 Veterans
  • Serena Thomson, VADIS
  • Hanna Carroll-Day, Tacoma Needle Exchange
  • Kelly Triggs, Tacoma Pierce County Health Department
  • Stephanie Glover, Comprehensive Life Resources
  • Kendall Harman, Comprehensive Life Resources
  • Andrea, Comprehensive Life Resources
  • Emily Less, Tacoma Piece County Health Department
  • Shannel Janzen, Puyallup Tribe
  • Bonnie Rico, Comprehensive Life Resources
  • Roxanne Simon, Safe Streets
  • Someone from NW Integrated Health
  • Shelly, NW Integrated health
  • Tiegan Tidball, City of Tacoma
  • Carolyn Weisz, University of Puget Sound
  • A veteran I should know, but can’t remember and they didn’t sign in
  • Ursula Richard, The Homes of Naomi, Ruth & Boaz
  • Carla Sampson, Rebuilding Home
  • Donna Monroe, St. Francis Cabrini
  • Korbett Mosesly, City of Tacoma
  • J Gruenewald, Comprehensive Life Resources
  • Pamm Silver, Molina Healthcare