Meeting Information

Meeting Type
Friday Coalition Meeting
Friday, 11/2/2018
9:00 AM
11:00 AM
An update on progress with the City of Tacoma Affordable Housing Plan, and a presentation on the Wheela program by the State of Washington Employment Services Division.
The Salvation Army Church


  • James Pogue, Comprehensive Life Resources
  • New listserv is up and running – make sure you are migrating. 
  • New little teeny website at – to store information from the meetings and such
  • Want to keep the listserv limited to just housing topics, not politics
  • Use the facebook page for political information and other announcements – who runs our facebook page anyway (hint, it is someone in the room. –ed)


City of Tacoma Affordable Housing Action Strategy -

  • Tanisha Jumper, Media and Communications Director, City of Tacoma -
  • last time I was here I was in charge of phase 3.  I was frustrated we couldn’t get any traction on any of the work.  I realize there was not an immediate fix.  We split phase 3 into 2 parts – Daniel Murillo, Lauren  Flemister and I started working on an affordable housing action strategy.  We wouldn’t be able to move folks out of homelessness into housing without enough housing at the right price points.  I also do Tacoma 2025 ( ), where affordable housing is a priority.  Since we’ve done the strategy, the Mayor has convened other community mayors around affordability, which other communities are willing to engage in.  We want to expand the strategy with our surrounding partners – to make a dent in the affordable housing our entire community lacks.
  • Daniel Murillo, Housing Division Manager with the City of Tacoma -
  • I led the affordable housing strategy initiative.
  • Want to lay out how we are thinking about affordable housing.  This is an organizational strategy.  It is a multifaceted issue that impacts many parts of the City of Tacoma.
  • There is a growing affordability crisis – despite reports that things are leveling off, it is still a crisis.  If the market is not leveling off, it will continue to get worse.
  • we embarked on a quick process – for government this was very quick – this City Council and the City has accelerated the process – although no steps were skipped.  We still had an active engagement process. – a quick but mature process. (unlike me, who is getting less quick as I mature… -ed.)
  • We had 7 community meetings, 4 focus groups, and lots of other outreach. 
  • We had many examples of issues – lots of voices of people affected by the housing crisis.
  • Some Impressions from stakeholders in the interviews:
    • Tenant landlord relations
    • Households often have many barriers. 
    • Cultural competencies are lacking in the landlords and other groups (cultural competencies never seem like they should be hard until I accidently but my foot in my mouth and hope folks can appreciate intent instead of actual verbiage.  Being respectful of different cultures It is all about learning, and workshops and training are so useful, but challenging to make time for…I must do better. –ed.)
  • Affordable Housing Action strategy uses a data-driven approach (a process after my own heart. –ed.)
    • Housing needs assessment
    • Analysis of short-term and long-term market trends
    • Developed a dashboard
  • We still need to determine how to take these actionable steps – have done this analysis before, but need to do follow through with the action steps this time around.
  • Of importance is the ongoing disparity between housing costs and the wages that are just not keeping up with rising costs.
  • This is a broader, holistic approach. (holistic like Dirk Gentry’s Holistic Detective Agency? - - a Douglas Adams novel worth reading if for nothing more than the bit about the sofa impossibly stuck in the staircase.  The sequel – The Long Dark Teatime of the Soul - is worth reading for the part about his scheming to buy a new refrigerator because his current one was so filthy he was unwilling to even open it. I listened to this as a book on tape back when there were actually books on tape, and it was one of those marvelous narrations that make the book like twice as good – and it was a good read to start with – if you’re into that sort of thing… –ed.).
  • Housing prices have doubled over a period of time when household income only increased by 20%.
  • That imbalance is shrinking, but it is still a growing gap.
  • We are currently looking at an 8% growth rate.
  • For every 100  low income households, only 27 of those households are not cost burdened by their housing –leaving the vast majority cost burdened.
  • A significant portion of the community is overpaying for their housing – they don’t’ have housing affordable for them.
  • Dashboard created to determine effect of policy ideas on housing market
  • 4 strategic objective with 24 possible actions – with metrics to track progress.  How do we create a funding stream to address this – just have  around one million dollars of federal funding to support his.  This isn’t funding that we can always be sure of.  The 4 strategic objectives 
    • Production of new homes (address the lack of housing by building more housing – it’s so crazy it just might work. –ed)
    • Keep existing housing affordable and in good repair.  How do we keep seniors housed – folks asset rich but cash poor.  How can we keep folks in their housing
    • How do we help people stay in their communities
      • Expand tenant protections
      • Create resources for housing crises
    • Removal of Barriers to housing for people who often encounter them
  • Estimated investment targets – if we do all we say we will do – we can serve 10,700 households over the next 10 years.  This can’t be only city money, must bring in private investment.  These are ambitious goals – but do give us a goalpost to move towards.  We need to move beyond ideas and have goals to measure our success
  • Plan
    • Ongoing education and outreach
    • Keep, expand, and add new resources
    • Partner with local, regional, state and federal entities
  • No concreate action as part of this plan, but it was adopted by the Council
  • Next steps
    • Develop an implementation work plan
    • Convene a group of internal stakeholders within the City of Tacoma to map out a plan
  • Take a look at the action plan - - and really digest it
  • (The PowerPoint from the presentation is also attached)
  • Martha – wow, this is just what we need.  I’ve been encouraged to take some of the women in our housing programs that face these issues – is it useful for us to bring folks with these barriers to the City council?  You as a staff know their stories, but do the City Council need continued education.  Tanisha – the Council is getting ready to do the budget.  $1.2M is proposed for the housing trust fund.  The Council work for the residents of Tacoma.  Residents coming to Council and presenting the need is important, and it can feel awkward for folks presenting because the Council doesn’t usually respond, but presenting helps the council to have the backing to make decisions
  • Greg – how did we arrive at the $1.2M for the housing trust fund?  Daniel – Strategy has $1.8M.  That is from the consultant to do an initial capital investment in the housing trust fund.  It only goes so far – this is the first infusion of capital the City has made ever.  It doesn’t sound like much, but it is above and beyond what we’ve done in the past.  It is a down payment on this issue, and how we create a long term approach.
  • Greg – you said this strategy addresses the organization as a whole – from a work force development perspective, the 98% housing increase and the 20% wage increase – is anyone working on the employment side?  Daniel – you’re right that this strategy is city wide – there will be efforts to look at the workforce side.  Community and Economic Development (CED) has the housing department – and it will manage the workforce development and housing work.  Workforce development will be an integral part.  The 2025 group is looking at how all the administrative strategies can align and how cross departmental teams can work together.  Right now, the City Manager has been supportive of the project, and has said that this is everyone’s work. 
  • Larry – Will there be from the City manager a formal commitment to wrap this into the broader plan.  Daniel – this plan was received by the City Council unanimously – so it is the organization document on what will be done.  Larry – is there a real commitment to do all this?  Daniel – both the City Manager and the Mayor have expressed a commitment to me that this strategy is the driving force in working with affordable housing.
  • David – is there a possibility any money will go to agencies for accountable recovery housing or agencies investing in funding to assist agencies acquire properties in the community?  Daniel – Any funding we get will need to be used in the City.  There are conversations looking at this regionally.  Areas outside Tacoma are engaging.  There is a call for additional resources to help people with the housing crisis or other issue they are experiencing.  We are allowed to support the acquisition of property.  We will initially focus on housing preservation opportunities – preserve affordability or bring it into the community stock.  This will be an opportunity that launches quickly
  • Al – pages 66-72 (of the action strategy at )– there is a table with a huge number of possible actions – are the items underneath each heading prioritized?  Daniel – no, they aren’t in a priority order.  Al – you don’t mention people that pay a fee to be screened – is there a possibility there could be a provision for a single screening fee that would be applicable for all renters?  Would the law allow that?  Greg – and if not, ,why not.  Daniel – I don’t know the answer to that question.  I’ve heard that before and I understand.  We’ll need to be nimble and adjust when necessary – so that is something that could be included in expanded tenant protections – although I don’t know the details of the legality of that. 
  • Al – I’ve heard that the city has a large number of City Owned parks – are you looking at that?  Daniel – yes, the use of those surface lands is a possibility.  We can use those surplus lands and not require market value and donate to a developer for a public purpose.  We are having conversation about how we can put that into our code.  Tanisha – there is a focus from 2025 we need to have complete communities and have access to parks.  In the past, we’ve focused on low income housing and didn’t put in gutters and parks and that wasn’t a good neighborhood.  We want people to have dignity and to live in nice neighborhoods – like where grocery stores and banks and such should be.  We try to balance all those things. 
  • Greg – The quote about the cost of getting screening done is insane for our clients– it wouldn’t cost a lot to make some regulation happen, it would be a quick win, who do we need to talk to press this issue?  What organization in the city is the decision maker on this?  Daniel – Our tenant protections work is being handled by the Tenants’ Rights office in the Office of Equity.  I will speak with her about this and take ownership of moving it to her.
  • Patricia – I thought phase 3 would be able to include tent cities.  I think that is an important step that the folks on the streets want.  Our group changed the regulations to allow it.  We thought that by removing the regulations that someone would step up to run it.  We need more shelter, but we don’t have funding to pay for it. 
  • Sherri – is this phase 3?  Tanisha - phase 3 is still looking at the expansion of shelter beds in multiple different ways.  They are looking at increasing shelter beds by 100 new beds. Martha – that is phase 3?  Tanisha – we were working on tiny homes and container homes and they were all so expensive that no projects were getting any traction.  We needed something more comprehensive.  Council said they’d spend money and political capital on affordable housing, so Lauren and Daniel and I started on affordable housing, and human services took on shelter for their part of phase 3.  (the room was rather surprised by this news. ed.)


Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)

  • Gary Chambers, Outreach Specialist, Career Path Services - - 253-472-8094
  • What can we do to empower folks to be self-sufficient.  The Workforce Innovation ad Opportunity Program (WIOA) is designed around that. 
  • What is WorkSource and what is it made up of?. 
    • Several agencies created a unified group that operates as a unified whole – that is WorkSource
    • It is made up of ResCare, The Department of Labor and Industries, Employment Services Department, and others all working together as WorkSource.
  • We’ve identified an underserved group of folks over 25 with no high school diploma.  This totals some  38,000 folks. A goal by 2025 is for 50% of these folks to complete their education.  We can’t do that work alone.  We’re trying to increase awareness.
  • The General Education Diploma (GED) was created for soldiers returning from World War II who were conscripted before they finished high school.  The goal was to complete their adult basic education so they could get a living wage job. 
  • There are few positions where a GED or High School Diploma is not mandatory.  Even folks employed for decades who don’t’ have a high school diploma have trouble getting back into the workforce if they leave their job. 
  • Video on GED “why earning a GED is important” – comment from the speakers in the vide: (sorry I didn’t get the link to this video. –ed.)
    • Want to get it to be a role model
    • Wanted to learn better
    • I push my kids to do well in school – how could I push them if I don’t a have a diploma
    • I worked in restaurants in back of house  - the GED will allow me to open my own restaurant
  • That is a cross second of the folks we serve in PC
    • 30% take the GED to improve income
    • 65% take it to go on to further education (and 5% take it to make their mothers happy? –ed.)
    • Colleges often have support programs around GED students
    • The GED is in its 5th revision – GED has writing, math, science and social studies – test is proctored and can be taken over a 2 year period.  Can’t take the test on-line, but there are test sites across Pierce County.  Preparation is at the 4 colleges – Tacoma Community College, Pierce College, Bates Technical College, Clover Park Technical Collge, as well as the Family Investment Center, Tacoma Community House, REACH, Goodwill, Tacoma area literacy council, and MDC
    • Test costs $30 per module – and there are 4 modules - $120 per quarter.  These costs can be a barrier – as you’ve taught me over the past few weeks. Even $5 can be a huge barrier for folks.
    • WIOA - Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act
      • Career planning – short term training or getting folks ready for a 2 year degree
      • Short-term training
      • Paid internships
      • Supportive services – for folks with a GED and looking for technical education
      • If someone doesn’t have transportation, they can enroll in WIOA so they can get to school, get their GED, their work clothes, eye glasses, transportation, housing, child care, utility payments – all things we can provide.  It is not comprehensive, but it is a larger piece of a puzzle.  We have lots of community-based and faith-based organizations that integrate with  what we do.
    • WIOA eligibility
      • Primary focus – is low income adults and displaced workers.
        • low in come adults – though not just focused on adults – appreciate referral for any and everyone, including youth. 
        • Dislocated workers – these are folks who experienced a mass layoff and meet eligibility.  Common scenario is the closing of something like a Sears store, where there could be a mass layoff and we could provide all the WIOA resource to get those displaced workers into unsubsidized employment.  Folks off unemployment can fit this category as well. 
        • Age 16-24 work with a youth provider – ResCare – which is operates as WorkSource. 
        • Employment Services Division provides unemployment insurance. 
      • These initiatives have been tried before, but by listening to needs identified by the community partners, the response time to participants has been improved.  Also, we not only reach out, but when we get a referral, that comes to a single point of contact, and that is all that you need – a case manager is immediately assigned.  Within 24 hours the client is phoned or e-mail to expeidite the enrollment process.  We recognize that folks who have barriers like transportation – we attempt to address it by going to them.  We’ll meet the at school or go to their home in Eatonville or wherever.  We are expediting the process and going to them.  We are trying to avoid someone calling our office and not getting a response to a v-mail. 
      • If you are working with someone who is labor ready , we want to work with them to determine if they are eligible and get them enrolled. 
      • Creating a scrappy, grassroots soft launch through December.  We are working very grassroots to do what we can to get the ball rolling.  We are using the Employment Services Department network to get the word out. 
      • We need to leverage all of you – so we can work together – it takes a village to address this issue.  I can come to you to fully describe the program
      • We set up a table and will go out and do outreach anywhere.  (you can’t ask more than that –ed)
      • WIOA can help with retraining dollars.  We need to get that word out.
      • Job Center – on Cedar Street (3650 S Cedar St, Tacoma, WA) and at the downtown location (1305 Tacoma Ave S, Tacoma, WA).  We are merging the two location into a facility being remodelled at State street and 19th.   We’ll move in mid-December.
    • In the WorkSource model, the specific contractor providing services it isn’t as important as the unified approach
  • Larry – 38,000 people over 25 with no high school diploma.  How many 18-24?  Gary – it is estimated at  12,000. 
  • Valeo – referrals directly to you?  Gary – Yes, instead of Friday orientation, have them contact me directly.  You can fill out or scan and e-mail me the referral form, instead of the customer having to come to our facility and we can reach out to them without them needing orientation – they just start with a case manager.
  • Question - any chance instead of working with different municipalities that persons can start doing community cleanup?  Something that is easy for folks to access – like 4 hours per day – being developed for folks that are unwilling to get a GED but are willing to work?  Gary – we can provide career advancement and wrap around services.  We can partner with People Ready to get folks working.  I’ll scan the people ready flyer. 
  • Martha – lots of our folks lose their phones or can’t access them over their cheap phones.  Gary - We’ll have some kiosks, though, and folks could check that every day.


  • Innovative Shelter Team – Patricia - would like to reach out to any agency/non-profit/faith-based organization in police sectors 2,3 or 4 who might have land to host a tent city, please contact me.  The City considers the tent city the temporary shelter in sector 1.  Especially anyone with contacts at the Disciples  of Christ church on 6th and Orchard – they are trying to figure out what to do with their land and their parking lot.  Connect me up if you have some contacts with them.
  • Daily Meaningful Activity - Carrie Ching – Josh was on the radio and did a great job – focusing on Daily Meaningful Activity at the Stability Site.  He did really well
  • Advocacy – thank everyone for the participation – we got some positive feedback from the candidates.  Also, moving forward, trying to address the transportation issue.  Have a meeting with PC transit – looking for affordable transit to piece county.  Want subsided transit.

Good of the Order

  • James - Adonai Counseling, Metropolitan Development Council, the Pierce County AIDS Project – have not presented – if you’ve not presented, please contact Gerrit to do a presentation.  Valeo has been here awhile and could present. 
  • December 1st and December 8th – two shelter253 training meetings – for community people who want to volunteer at shelter or want to start a shelter or help with.  In Puyallup one weekend and Tacoma the next.  Talking to the different shelters about what they need volunteer-wise
  • Daniel – number of seniors that are becoming homeless is increasing. 
  • Carrie - Thanksgiving give-away – flyer
  • Al – vote and bitch, or don’t vote and don’t bitch (it may just be my probabilities training, but I think there are a couple other options here –ed.).
  • Charleen - free flu clinics at salvation army (with MRC) – clinic at new hope center – and MRC has some other clinics – flyer on the table.
  • Sherri – Valeo Vocation needs your referrals – launching rehabilitative and transitional employment program

Coming Attractions

  • November 16th – State Employment Pipeline
  • November 23rd – Black Friday – no meeting
  • November 30th – Molina Healthcare
  • December 7th – Experts Panel – Is it more than mere coincidence that all the US aircraft carriers were out on maneuvers when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor?  Listen to our experts, and then make up your own mind.  
  • December 14th – still don’t know
  • December 21st & December 28th – winter break
  • January 4th – back in business

Restaurant Review

Another South Tacoma gem this week – Patty’s Burgers and Milkshakes (5615 South Tacoma Way, Tacoma, WA – till recently they had a location in Downtown Tacoma, but that closed).  You go to Patty’s when you’re really hungry.  At any other time, you’re making a mistake.  They do wonderful burgers and fries and breakfasts and shakes, but you have to be prepared for some serious portions.  Split a meal, know you’ve got a second meal you can take away and eat later, or, as I usually do, make it a late lunch/early dinner, and just toss your will power out the window and indulge yourself in a big meal and some serious nostalgia.  The restaurant décor is an homage to a 50’s dinner and the classic car reverence South Tacoma is steeped in.  This neighborhood was a regular haunt of mine growing up – my father had a business a few blocks away, and working in the family foundry was an obligation every day after school and most weekends.  The plus side to working in the foundry on Saturdays was dad provided breakfast and lunch out – always at South Tacoma diners.  Most of the restaurants of my adolescence have changed hands or formats over the years (it was a sad day when starbucks replaced Bobs Burger Barn on 56th and South Tacoma Way).  The problem with South Tacoma diners is that the patrons are just too cheap to pay what I takes to actually keep a restaurant afloat.  So you can typically get a cheaper than average meal in South Tacoma, but just know that the diner probably isn’t changing enough to make it.  Since opening in 2010, Patty’s has never fallen into that trap, and they charge reasonable prices for excellent fare.  Patty’s has a great reputation and doesn’t have to rely on South Tacoma cheapskates to keep things going (although South Tacoma folks eat there all the time – take note struggling diners).  The cook and the wait staff are friendly folks –and provide another great example of a restaurant that wouldn’t be around without the flow of immigrants into our Country (from Guadalajara, in this case).  Running a restaurant isn’t for the timid, and my hat is off to anyone who can make it happen.  When my kids were little, we often stopped in a Patty’s after a cold day of watching soccer at SERA field (a couple blocks away).  My father would go with an all-day breakfast option, the kids could have a hot dog or some chicken nuggets, and I’d go with a BLT – the world’s greatest sandwich.  But the burgers really are king, and my now 16 year old can put away the entire meal without appreciating the enormity of the accomplishment.  Ah, to be young again.  Anyway, Patty’s is worth a visit.   


  • Larry Seaquist, League of Women Voters
  • Roxanne Simon, Safe Streets
  • Brandon Chun, Metropolitan Development Council (welcome back. –ed.)
  • Ed Peterson, Washington Recovery Alliance and Not One More
  • Joseph Denton, Sound Outreach
  • Emily Less, Tacoma Pierce County Health Department
  • Joseph?
  • Martha Sheppard, Tacoma Salvation Army
  • Dru Gonia, Tacoma Salvation Army
  • Kalena Towle, Multicare
  • Glen Kelley, Multicare (I swear you’ve written your name Glenn every other time you’ve signed in.  Is Glen a nickname for Glenn? –ed.)
  • Marilyn Duran, Tacoma Rescue Mission
  • Calvin Kennon, Comprehensive Life Resources
  • Samie Iverson, Tacoma Public Schools
  • Coley Wiley, Comprehensive Life Resources
  • Barbara Kaelberer, Accountable Communities of Health
  • Pamm Silver, Molina Healthcare
  • Jessica Arteaga, Comprehensive Life Resources
  • Carrie Ching, Molina Healtcare
  • Al Ratcliffe, happy wanderer
  • Daniel Gross, Pierce County Aging and Disability Resource Center
  • Sheila Miraflor, Molina Healthcare (congratulations on the new job! –ed.)
  • William Stinson, Catholic Community Services
  • Matthew Jorgensen, City of Tacoma Human Services
  • Christina Valera, Department of Social and Health Services – Juvenile Rehabilitation
  • Charleen Fitzgerald, Coordinated Care
  • Clara Le, Metropolitan Development Council
  • Terra Island, Metropolitan Development Council
  • Gary Chambers, Worksource/Career Path Services
  • Karleen Essary, Employment Pipeline
  • Susan Gordon, Writer, private citizen
  • Dana Orr, Pierce County AIDS Foundation
  • Richard Berghammer, Fellowship Bible Church
  • Stephanie Wright – Adonai Counseling & Employment
  • Sherri Jensen, Valeo Vocation
  • Greg Walker, Valeo Vocation
  • Luis Rivera Zayas, Tacoma Rescue Mission
  • David Venes, Point Defiance AIDS project – nice to be back after 4 months away (nice to have you back. –ed)
  • Patricia Menzies, Tent City Tacoma
  • Tanisha Jumper, City of Tacoma
  • Daniel Murillo, City of Tacoma
  • Elaine Tuisila, Metropolitan Development Council