Meeting Information

Meeting Type
Friday Coalition Meeting
Friday, 6/1/2018
9:00 AM
11:00 AM
Youthbuild, RAIN, Tent City update and Committee Reports
The Salvation Army Church


  • James Pogue, Comprehensive Life Resources
  • Glad you are all here to help us work to end homelessness
  • Glad to see people coming back and some new faces
  • If you want to join the e-mail listserv, contact James ( ) or Gerrit ( )
  • All our work in this room requires lots of partnerships – it is great we are all here working together.


YouthBuild -

  • Michaela Woodmansee, Goodwill Youthbuild Program,    
  • There is new class starting at the end of July
  • Program is for 18-24 year olds who are preparing for the work force
  • General Equivalency Diploma (GED), construction training and leadership development are part of the program
  • Students are in GED classes part of the time, other part is in the construction lab.  Students learn about tools, do framing, how to read blueprint reading, earn certifications, etc.
  • Starting wages for students completing the training are in the $20-$25 range (but I’m sure none of the job satisfaction of working in social services, right? –ed.)
  • Case management and support services are available during the 6 months program.
  • Transportation services are available
  • Breakfast and lunch is provided (I think I picked the wrong professional training – my Library School program didn’t have meals, transportation or starting salaries over $20/hr on exit.  Now that I think about it, I do believe my father pointed that out to me on multiple occasions… – ed). 
  • Any needed clothes and tools are provided.
  • Get 1 year of support after graduation
  • The program tries to bring folks in to meet the interests of the young folks – construction trades aren’t the only interest of students.
  • Kelly – how do you apply?  Michaela -  2 application avenues – paper or on-line at
    • Simple application (like, really simple – it took me 2 minutes to fill out, and that was being a bit wordy.  The application does put everything you type in capital letters, so it is like you are shouting at them – WHICH IS KIND OF FUN. –ed)
    • we focus on folks who are low income or experiencing homelessness, part of foster care system, in the criminal justice system or children of incarcerated parents
  • Sherri – how do you address housing?  Michaela – Easy, we teach them construction, so they can just build their own house when they are done with the program.  Bam. Next Question. (Michaela didn’t actually say this, which I think was a bit of a missed opportunity… Instead, she said what follows, which really is a much better answer: -ed) We have partnerships, such as with the REACH Center ( ) and with other organizations that can assess needs.  We also partner with Housing 4 Success and with Shared Housing Services ( )
  • Alice – I appreciate the focus on the education aspects – I’d like to hear more about Youthbuild and building houses.  How many hours of labor do the students put in?  Michaela -  I’ll need to get back to you about that.  Alice – are these kids getting exploited for their labor? (Alice phrased this in a much nicer way, but that was the gist. –ed.) Michaela – students do receive a small stipend, not a livable wage – and they do get $17,000 worth of the training at no cost to them.  Within the job focus, we do work to get folks livable wage jobs so they are ready for the workforce. (Michaela answered this question a bit better than I was able to jot down - she's a fast speaker though, so I didn’t always get everything… -ed)
  • Sherri – what about kids that are on the verge of exiting the foster care system or on the cusp of 18 (still 17)?  Can they apply then so they can work on housing?  Micahela – Youth under 18 can still work with use about housing resources before entering youthbuild, we have other programs as well that might be a good match, like Freshstart, barista, GED, etc. 
  • LaVada – What percentage of participants are successful?  Micahela - 75% graduate, but if they don’t get GED, will still work with them
  • Sherri – what if you have a 24 year old – must they exit when the turn 25?  Michaela - if they enter the program when they are 24, they can stay until completing, even if they turn 25.
  • Location – Goodwill - 714 S 27 S, Tacoma, WA 98409, 1st floor (REACH center)
  • Question – I’m homeless right now, I have kids in the foster care system, but I have a high school diploma already.  I have done youth training programs – what more resources are available?  I’m 32.  Michaela – with Youthbuild – the age limit is a barrier.  Other goodwill resources can help you out.  Connect with Kelly blucher over there (Kelly waves. –ed).  Goodwill program is for the whole community.  James – I’ll make sure you connect with who you need to when we break into small groups 
  • Question - Did Youthbuild used to include technology programs?  Michaela – yes, but not anymore. 
  • Kelly – come see the construction lab at Youthbuild – They have built 2 microhomes so far – that is one way students get their experience in framing and building.  Tour the reach center, youthbuild, and the upstairs work spaces (don’t forget the café. –ed.) James – I’ll be taking a tour of the Goodwill facility soon. 
  • Ben - I appreciate what you all do – as a former gang worker – getting a skill set and going into the work world – it means a lot.  Kids need the confidence and a place to be a part of a community. 
  • Michaela - thanks for all the work you do – I appreciate the partnerships.


Rising Above the Influence (RAIN) -

  • Calvin Kennan Sr., Comprehensive Life Resources,
  • Benjamin Feldbush, Comprehensive Life Resources
  • We are wearing Orange today for a purpose.  The City of Tacoma is supporting National Guns Violence Awareness Day – in is actually June 2nd.  To show your support for mothers, sibling, children affected by gun violence, wear orange on June 2nd..  We’ll keep you updated on future efforts related to gun violence awareness.
  • Adam, Shelby, and Patrick are part of the RAIN team as well.
  • In 2011 city of Tacoma did a gang assessment, established a “gang reduction model”.  A new assessment is underway, but we are still working off the current assessment.
  • The RAIN program does outreach and get referrals from a variety of organizations, including Tacoma Public schools
  • We help with:
    • Jobs
    • Internships
    • Court supports
    • Supporting and assisting the entire family
  • Prevention strategies
    • Assist youth by stabilizing families – holistic approach – work not just with  the youth, but the mom and dad and work to support them however they need that support.
  • In the first 9 months
  • 278 contacts
  • 52 enrolled clients (1 in 6 of contacts – pretty good)
  • 31 family members are engaged for 18 different clients
  • Over 90 partners -& Multi-disciplinary Team (MDIT) members
  • Multi-disciplinary Team (MDIT) –everyone has to work together to address the impact of Gangs.
  • Next MDIT meeting is Wednesday June 6th
  • Outreach Approaches
    • Schools
    • Community organizations
    • MDiT members
    • Remann Hall – work with juveniles
  • Benjamin –
    • I was raised in gangs, brothers were gang members – watched their friends die – later on I watched my friends die
    • Kids often don’t have a home, or parents are often not at home for a variety of reasons.
    • Program does outreach in Tacoma Public Schools, like Lincoln, Stadium, Mount Tahoma, and Oakland.  We talk to 12 year olds worried about being sex trafficked – 10 year olds worried about getting killed. 
    • We bring clients to community partners with resources – without these resources, we can’t build the trust with these kids. 
    • Passia is doing yoga with some high school kids – didn’t know about yoga until college at TCC – it has made me more successful because of it.
    • Shelby runs a basketball program – kids need an activity – it helps to take pressure off of them
    • Another basketball camp is in the works – talk about recruitment options – kids need their minds off the negatives
    • Need to teach kids communication skills.
    • Just signed up 11 or 12 kids for Freshstart at TCC – kids need something to take up their time so they don’t get in trouble –school and homework fills their time so they can’t get in trouble.
    • We help them build a team of friend and network of support to help them be successful.  Helping their families is important too – that is when the community partners come in.  Giving these kids help is important.
    • Kids do deviant behaviors because they are hungry or have other basic needs.  We bring them hope and a way to find success. 
    • My friends are watching their kids get murdered today.  Success is by changing kids one-by-one, and that is the work of the Rain team and our partners.
  • Calvin –
    • Have 15-20 referrals at a time at the schools
    • 4 of our youth who attended the last job fair were immediately employed
  • Success stories – we are getting kids employed and in school.  (they had some narrative success stories on their powerpoint, but I didn’t get a chance to copy them down or snag a copy of the powerpoint –ed).
  • How to access us –e-amil or call 253-302-1099
  • We serve as young as birth to 24 year old.  We’ll figure out a way to make things work for folks that need services.  This is a City of Tacoma initiative – so only the City of Tacoma residents.  Looking at other school districts to work with (Bethel is interested).  
  • Patricia – do you go out to the hot spots with lots of gang activity?  Calvin – we get referrals from the TPD – we get few referrals from the hot spots.  Gang activity has changed in the Tacoma area – you used to see gangs on the streets.  Can see them in pockets at a store or someone’s house.  Most referrals are from the schools.  We work hard to find a story to engage gang members.  Need a way to not stereotype kids.  Kids being kids and gang activity can look similar – need to be respectful of folks.   
  • Street outreach is typically referrals – trying to divert youth from gangs, but not necessarily engaging kids in gangs. 
  • Engaging a gang member on the street can put that gang member at risk.  We do street outreach in a very careful, deliberate way.
  • Al – Academic question – we focus on the damage and negatives of being in a gang – but kids who get in gangs learn some skills that if they were acknowledged and shaped could help them succeed in the real world (I was looking for some Rap lyrics to counter the notion that gang lifestyles aren’t the real world, but all the lyrics I read through were either indecipherable to me or used words I’m unwilling to put in the in the minutes on each line, so I gave up. But somehow I got the image of Al rapping stuck in my head, and it is making me smile.  Any chance of a rap performance, Al?  -ed).  Do we address that at all?  Ben – just because you are in a gang doesn’t mean you can’t take what you learn in a gang and do something else with it.  In gangs, there is love, honor and respect.  There is drive to be successful in gangs – you can transition what they’ve learned into something better.  Kids often think they can’t do school –but they can successfully sell drugs and do work where they might get shot – then they say they can’t read a book.  Work with them to see their strength and help them redirect it to something more positive (I loved this bit, I wish I could capture Ben’s clear faith in the worth of the youth he’s working with – ed.)
  • Alice – how much success have you had overcoming disabilities with clients – either families members or clients with disabilities?  Calvin – we work with our partners to help them out. 
  • Ben – engage with one kid, that can start a trend. 
  • Kenny – are your youth homeless or in their homes?  Calvin – some are homeless, for whatever reason.
  • Kenny  - What is the deterrent to gang life?  Calvin – if family members are gang involved, we work with the family to let their child work with services so they not live the gang life.  Ben – influence is the toughest to work with – kids get direction from music – don’t know that they will necessarily end up in prison.  Many kids thing that no one cares about them – we need to show these kids they have value that they matter.  For us to make this work, we can’t just do interventions, the whole community needs to support these kids.
  • Come listen to the Gang Panel – Monday, June 4th 11:30-1:30 – TCC – student center building 11 - learn about gangs – 5 folks talking about barriers they go through.  Send youth and families – a great opportunity to hear real experiences people in our community are having
  • James - RAIN can work with anybody – can work with everyone – no Medicaid limits – no limits to other interventions. 


Tent City Information Resources


  • Workforce Development
    • Kelly Blucher,  – new chair of the workforce Development committee
    • Action Items
      • Get core set of employers ready to hire
      • Is the Court CRC open to all?  James – Yes – need to Invite Dom (Dominique Hardeman, Pierce County Courts) again for an update
      • Hire253 – have 80 confirmed employers and resources –  Need tables
    • Evictions
      • 17 units at Tiki that are still occupied – 2 in evictions – haven’t made contact with many residents
      • Several folks have been housed.
      • Have some strategies to engage
      • KOMO 4 news (find) was incorrect – said only 2 families needed housing – will send out a correction to them
    • Daily Meaningful Activity
      • Create interview list of topics of interest for discussing options with folks experiencing homelessness
      • Have a spot selected for gardening

Good of the Order

  • James – have an appointment to go out next week to the midland property – Gerrit and I met with Rick Talbert – excited to get this done on his way out the door – knows the property and grabbed folks in survey and engineering – looking to youthbuild and communities in schools to build tiny homes – will eventually need an agency will run the site.  Hope by the end of the year we can launch.
  • Larry – Talbert and 9:30am Tuesday Morning – Pierce County council Human Services Committee – presentation by Cynthia and all the work the League of Voters has been doing on homeless strategy – in county council chambers (930 Tacoma Avenue South, Room 1045, Tacoma, WA 98402) – if you want to be there to show interest, you are most welcome to do that.  Further Meeting info at   

Coming Attractions

  • June 5th – 10am – Hire253 at Goodwill
  • June 6th – 9:30am -League of Women voters Presentation to County Human Services Committee – County City Building – room 1045
  • June 8th - Update on Family shelter utilizations (maybe)
  • June 15th - Prosperity Wellness Center and ACTS Behavioral Health & Recovery Overview
  • June 21st – Summer Solstice
  • June 22nd - Concerto Health
  • June 29th - The Rescue Mission

Restaurant Review

With our meeting on National Donut Day, I can’t help but call out the finer donut establishments in Tacoma.  While I grew up Presbyterian, there was always a spiritual aspect to both pork product and donuts.  The Salvation Army wifi password used to be “Jesus saves”.  My father’s always has something to do with donuts.  Donuts took a bit of a popularity hit in the 90’s, but I’m glad to see they are back in ascendance.  When I was a teen, you could sate your donut desire 24x7.  Winchell’s and then later Dunkin Donuts were everywhere, open all day and all night - as it should be.  But the dark years were bleak - major players in the donut world shut down.  In the mid 90’s, one could walk a block in any direction in Downtown Seattle and get a pastry and a latte at 5 different spots, but nary a donut was to be seen.  But then something happened, and good people everywhere realized the value of deep fried dough topped with a sugary glaze – and donuts were back.  They are everywhere now, even fancy, high-end outlets.  But I’m a fan of the classics – apple fritter, glazed raised, maple bar (and donut holes – essentially calorie free, as I understand it).  And if you want the best of the classics, Pao’s (6919 6th AveTacoma, WA 98406) in Tacoma is the place to go.  Open from 5am-4pm (but don’t bother showing up before 7am if you want a maple bar – that is a later morning creation), they crank out just what you’d expect.  Family run (the kids used to wander around the dining room – they’ve grown though), they are a no-nonsense donut shop.  It’s cash only, but they do have a drive through, which I appreciate.  They haven’t bought in to the boutique donut craze (huge donuts, or donuts topped with bacon and cap’n crunch), just the 50 varieties on the themes you’d expect (cruller, old fashioned, cake, raised, fritter, etc).  The sprinkle colors change on the cake donuts seasonally, but that is about their only nod to trends.  They can do big donuts, as seems to be a craze – the first birthday photos of the kids on the dining room wall are next to a crazy huge donut.  But it isn’t on the menu – just normal donuts.  Sadly, they aren’t open all night.  For the longest time, Tacoma didn’t have a 24 hour donut shop.  I recall one night, a few years back, by friend Jason and I were driving the streets of Tacoma at 2am looking for a donut shop.  If you’ve never done a midnight donut run, you probably need to find a friend like Jason.  Anyway, there was nothing, so we had to make do with a rather hip Pho shop on South Tacoma Way that was open till 4am (The parking lot was filled with lowered Hondas, the dining room filled with 22 year olds– and Jason and me in a VW.  There was that feeling of not quite belonging, but the soup was amazing).  As much as I enjoy the dining options a city of immigrants has to offer (I do love this about Tacoma), midnight donuts are an unmet need.  For quite a while, Dockside Donuts (1112 Puyallup Ave, Tacoma WA) filled the 24 hours donut niche, but I’m not sure they are any more.  Dockside is another solid classis donut shop, with a bit more expansive menu than Pao’s (you can get you bacon topped donut here).  While the lure of watching the Crispy Crème conveyer belt does occasionally sucker me in (the mini conveyer at the pike place mini-donuts is cooler though), I’m no fan of the crispy crème donut – give me a Pao’s sprinkle cake donut any day.  Every day.  Life expectancy may take a hit, but I can’t always be in life for the long game.        

Restaurant Update – The drive-thru at Dockside Doughnuts (1112 Puyallup Ave, Tacoma, WA 98421) continues to be open 24 hours a day.  I’m as relieved as you are to hear the news. 


Introductions and why you came or keep coming back (I know a couple of these names aren’t quite right – sorry about that)

  • James Pogue, Comprehensive Life Resources
  • Calvin Kennon, Comprehensive Life Resources
  • Roseann Martinez, UW Tacoma
  • Larry Seaquist, League of Women Voters – creative energies in the room – headlines get you depressed – get undepressed here
  • Pamm silver, Molina Healthcare – come for compassion – we all want to make a change for the good
  • Michaela Woodmansee, Goodwill – support young people in community
  • Kristen Smith – Goodwill, job developer for youthbuild
  • Kelly Blucher, Goodwill – I’m here because Hire253 is on Tuesday – I love this group
  • Rodney Richardson, first meeting – want to reach out
  • Angelina Thompson, Associated Ministries - filling in for Tammy Boros
  • Patricia Menzies – Tent City Tacoma – come even though I’m not a morning person – will be here until we have a tent city in Tacoma
  • LaVada Napier, entrepreneur – in business over 30 year as a general contractor and food service – moved to Tacoma and saw a high need – hope the development and networking are here and do a tent city project
  • Brendan Baker, Veterans Administration – come to learn about latest resources and the actions being taken to helpl folks find housing – enjoy being around like minded people with a similar sense of urgency
  • Charleen Fitzgerald, Coordinate Care – how I and my employer can make a different – lots of good energy here
  • Catherine Rupp, Coordinated Care – First meeting
  • Brian Wilson, Catholic community Services
  • Byron Corzo, Tacoma Rescue Mission – I like to hear every success we have – big or small – very inspiring
  • Lynn Jones, Catholic community Service – coming here makes me aware of the resources in the community
  • Valentinya Germer, Community Youth Services, learn more about resources
  • Jason Gauthier, Habitat for Humanity – come from a homeless service background – we seeing that more and more, want to serve everyone
  • Sheila Miraflor, Sound Outreach – network and community
  • Maureen Howard – housing activist - started housing and employing the homeless in 1982 – didn’t do a very good job because there are still folks experiencing homelessness – I come because I want to understand what the system looks like now, and I have a good 10 years left to get a right to housing approach adopted
  • Angela Delgado, Sea Mar, come for resources
  • Sarah Appling, Pierce County Human Services - come so I can better understand what everyone is doing and to be a resource
  • Paul Carlson, RI International – here for resources to know what is up an coming – many of the folks you take care of, I take care of.  Crisis center is often the closest place they can get to. 
  • Al Ratcliffe - come because I’m stubborn.  Am amazed how much folks penetrate the walls each agency.  The willingness to work together is great
  • Matthew Jorgensen – city of Tacoma TPD hot team – learn about resources
  • Marybeth McCarthy, come because homelessness in students is alarming.  It is amazing what I’m seeing and hearing, and need to get into this issue at the system level
  • Sharon Movik – need to find more resources because I’m homeless right now. 
  • Alice Sonasdiakonos, Industrial Workers of the World, come on behalf of IWW since job justice and housing justice are tied together.  I come here because I’m unemployed  - but have job interview on Monday.  Will still be involved
  • Nathan Blackman, Comprehensive Life Resources, come because I have, and for the resources
  • Greta Brackman – Comprehensive Life Resources, hope is believing in spite of the evidence and watching the evidence change
  • Audrey Oliver, Comprehensive Life Resources – Here for the reasons everyone said – for the resources and tiki apartment support
  • Candace Madlena, Career Path Services – love the energy and passion
  • Rosemary powers – New Connection – I love to come for the hope – this is where the synapsis are
  • Greg Walker – Valeo Vocation – come because sherri made me – come back because the people in this room are special and inspiring –like being around that kind of energy
  • Sarah Ciambrone, STRAPWA/Rebuilding Hope  – resources for clients
  • Joanna Gutierrez – STRAPWA/Rebuilding Hope – first meeting to learn more and see what I can take to clients
  • Joseph Denton, Sound Outreach – nowhere I’d rather be than with all of you beautiful, live changing people – and the food.  Unity, connection, education
  • Sherri Jensen –Valeo Vocation – I want to be part of the solution to end homelessness and make a dent in poverty – jobs are my thing
  • Benjamin Feldbush, Comprehensive Life Resources – RAIN program – diverse community of resources – and bring hope to my clients and families.  Any day could be a client’s last.
  • Daryl Jones, Recovery foundation - for resources
  • Dawna Bryant, Comprehensive Life Resources - ditto
  • Stephanie Wright, Adonai counseling – god keeps blessing me with the ability to get up and be part of change
  • Dru Gonia, Salvation army – every Friday I get uplifted and I meet new people
  • Samie Iverson, Tacoma Public Schools – Human connections – the closer we are the better we serves our clients
  • Bonnie Rico, Comprehensive Life Resources – excited to be here and get paid for it – network and meet folks that help me do my job better
  • Kenny Moultry, Recovery foundation – I believe in helping – folks need lots of resources
  • Gerrit Nyland, Catholic Community Services – I can’t remember what I said. 
  • Melissa Moss – CCS – I love the collaboration and find new resources and help our guests better
  • Brenda, DHSH – come despite ice breakers – for the collaboration, to know what the resources are, and to find ways to alleviate the homeless problem
  • Someone from ACH whose name I should know– here for resourcing and the great activism in the room
  • Carrie Ching – Molina Healthcare – come here every Friday – feel good Fridays – love being in this room because of the all the passion in the room.  You aren’t ignoring the marginalized  - you are there.  Thanks to the Salvation Army for the hospitality
  • Brian Fullerton – CCS – here because everyone wants to make the world a better place and like to see that collaboration
  • Effran Davis, Courts – Here for the coffee and the collaboration.  Trying to help people help themselves
  • Ken Patterson – going to sponsor some property on the south end for a homeless encampment – seeing how things are progressing – protecting the city’s interests and mine.