Meeting Information

Meeting Type
Friday Coalition Meeting
Friday, 4/27/2018
9:15 AM
11:15 AM
City of Tacoma Temporary Shelter Regulations, Pioneer Human Services and Updates.
The Salvation Army Church


New City of Tacoma Land Use Regulations - overview

  • Lauren Flemister, City of Tacoma
  • Two sets of codes will determine how temporary shelters will operate.
    • Land Use.  Recently passed final temporary Land use regulations around temporary shelter. 
      • For car parking, tents or sheds, the land use code will take preeminence, and the building code won’t matter. 
      • Non-permanent structures are not regulated by the building code. 
    • Building Use.
      • Have similar changes for building use regulations going through the update process as well. 
      • If someone wants to do sheltering in a building, the building code will be significant.
    • In one or two weeks, both sets of code will be approved
  • Patricia – Thank you for all you’ve done.  My main question is are there new ordinances for opening car parking facilities?  Answer – they can do it under the existing ordinances – but must apply for a permit.
  • Patricia – would they need all the toilet, shower, etc.?  Lauren – Yes, they would.  But there is $660,000  set aside for assisting with temporary shelters.  The shelters need to meet the requirements in the code, but the City is willing to support with fencing and temporary toilets.  City is willing to help financially and with technical assistance to get a site up and running.  City is happy to help in any way it can. 
  • Theresa – one concern of people working with churches is that the building codes are pretty steep.  We have the ideal, but we have people sleeping on the streets.  It is better to bend some building codes than have folks on the streets.  Lauren – for temporary shelters, the building code is relaxed.  For instance, fire watch (I think that is what she said – I couldn’t find a special meaning for “fire watch” though –ed.) instead of sprinklers.  Most any building can meet these codes.  Things like fire alarms.  We are focused on only the health and life safety standards – and removing whatever else we can do we did.  Barring life and health safety issues, any operating building can meet the standards.
  • Theresa – Nick Leider is working and hitting barriers.  Lauren –language in ordinance requires a background check to identify sex offenders.  There is no specification on what needs to be done with that information.  Will leave decisions about who to serve to the providers.  The City would live everyone to be served, but organizations can target specific populations. 
  • Theresa – can a church serve sex offenders on a case by case basis?  Lauren – that is against the code, but may be possible.  (I got a little confused on this – I think sex offenders are by default not allowed in the shelters, but the City will entertain exceptions on a case by case basis.  Let me know if I got that wrong –ed.)  
  • Al – you all have come a long way, thank you.  Nitpicking questions: the temporary shelter regulations require something to shield the shelter site from public view.  It seems like that highlights the fact that there are homeless folks there.  Lauren – there is room to negotiate anything.  If the neighbors are OK and it doesn’t look unseemly, we will consider solutions in lieu of fencing.  But the City will try to provide fencing if it is needed.  Patricia – fencing provides residents in the camp some control over who is in the camp.  Is it “site” exclusion or “sight” exclusion?  Lauren - “sight”.  (this discussion was becoming a grammatist’s dream – ed.)
  • There is lots of language in the code – the big change is the extension from maximum stay from 6 months to 1 year.  There is also the possibility of doing self site management - so someone from the organization hosting the site doesn’t need to be on site all the time. 
  • there are some reporting requirements around interactions with neighbors – not too onerous.  We want to make sure extensions are for sites where things are going OK with the neighbors.
  • Patricia – if you apply for a temporary permit, you just go down and apply.  Do you need to have a meeting prior to applying.  Lauren – there will be a pre-meeting, which is a standard practice for projects.  The meeting is mostly designed around determining financial needs the City can help with, as well as providing technical assistance about the type of permit (building and/or land use) needed.  This isn’t a hold up, but more a way to make sure the permit process goes smoothly.
  • Patricia – how long would it take to get a meeting setup?  Lauren – it takes about 60 to 90 days to get a permit.  Patricia – how long would it take to setup the pre-application meeting?  Lauren –  It is very quick.  Also, the 60-90 days includes the time it takes to get the pre-application meeting.  Patricia – I am thinking that things could turn around much quicker.  Lauren – staff has a workload and have to get through it as fast as they are.  I’m unaware of any priority tracking through the system.  A lot of the time is dictated by code.  I know, we are slow .  it is just the nature of government.
  • Theresa – appreciate the hard work and you coming to speak with us.  We would love to have this work fast tracked.


Pioneer Human Services  -

  • Joseph Nagel, Director of Service Enriched Housing,  -  11 years with Pioneer. 
  • Pioneer created first halfway house for folks coming out of incarceration.
  • Social enterprise – serve folks in the workforce.  Pioneer owns and operates manufacturing plants (read about social enterpises at -ed.)
  • Work in our housing and treatment departments – give folks skills to get housing and move on with their lives. 
  • 50 sets of program. 
  • 750 units of housing – serving folks out of the prison system
  • Full service treatment provider. 
    • Detox
    • Crisis stabilization
    • Co-occurring disorder treatment. 
  • In 2018 served around 10,000 folks in Washington State. 
    • 68% had criminal history. 
    • 75% received substance abuse treatment.
    • 60% mental health. 
    • 41% have minors in the household. 
    • 38% have less than a high school diploma.
  • 85% of folks in job training retain employment after 90 days.
  • Average wage is around $13.50
  • 60% of grads secured employment
  • 63% of enterprise workforce were mission employees. 
  • Amanda Johnston – Regional Program manager for Housing South – 3 apartments in Tacoma – also manages permanent housing in Auburn (Auburn motto: “More than you Imagined”.-ed.) and Burien (Burien slogan: “Room for Life” –ed.)
  • Located on 9th and Market and St. Helens.  There are 52 units integrated into permanent housing.  Have a 2 year cap on permanent housing (Permanent - lasting or meant to last indefinitely.-The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 1969 –ed.).  Moving one building to permanent – no cap on duration of stay. 
  • Mostly studios and 1 bedrooms.  Follow the THA income rates - $620-$766 for studios, $720-$885 for single family. 
  • House singles and families. 
  • Have 3 building that combine into 1 campus with a courtyard for families to integrate – playground present too.
  • Serve individuals with significant barriers to housing – often have criminal histories or monitored by the Department of Corrections (DOC). 
  • Have low folks income who are on social security.  Many had been experiencing homelessness.  Just housed someone yesterday who had never had their own apartment. 
  • Serve folks with substance use disorders.
  • Is clean and sober, but they don’t need to be in recovery.  
  • Serve folks with Child Protective Services (CPS) involvement.  Often their clients only barrier to unification with their children is securing housing. 
  • Serve just about everybody.  In King County, serve sex offenders, but manufacturing and arson are enrolled on a case by case basis.  In Tacoma all properties are family, so sex offenders are on a case by case basis.
  • Low income, affordable housing – structured as a supportive environment.  We have some rules for Residential Recovery Services (RRS) agreements – for apartments with the 2-year cap on residency.  Housing is structured with case manager on site.  There is a locked entry.  No overnight guests allowed. 
  • Use Washington State Housing Finance Commission ( -ed.) income guidelines.  Set at 50% and based on how many people are in the units.  If folks are over income they can be tough to house, but we try.  t
  • Do use bonds. 
  • Permanent housing has 2 year limit. 
  • Landlord tenant laws – each tenant has own lease and we follow the landlord tenant laws ( -ed.).
  • Working with Tiki housing situation – have housed 2-3 folks from there.  Working with City council.  Do have some openings – we’d love to house Tiki residents in them. 
  • We also have supportive services – huge part of the program.  These wrap around the client and their needs.  Many have high barriers and low income.  Many have evictions, low credit, no rental history, no long term employment.  We house them and wrap around with holistic case management to integrate into permanent housing. 
  • Work with lots of mental health in the community – South Sound, Greater Lakes Mental Health, etc. 
  • Reunification is a priority – work really closely with Pioneer Counseling Service.  Can get folks into treatment program.
  • Girls beyond bars is our girl scout program (info at -ed.).  This is a Girl Scout program for folks that have a tie with the criminal justice system – selves or parents.  Serves girls aged 5-18. 
  • Go into all the prisons in the area to do resource fairs and workshops. 
  • How to get in to Pioneer Housing?
    • Have orientation every Tuesday at 11am and every Thursday at 3pm at 313 S 9th Street, Tacoma Washington.  Orientation is on a walk in basis.  If we have openings, will do immediate appointments and will also work around clients’ schedules.
    • Get community referrals – trying to integrate more with coordinated entry.
    • Do background checks – since we work with folks with criminal histories.  But we don’t discriminate.  Look for sex offense, arson and meth manufacturing. 
    • Deposits – started about 1 year ago – started because a lot of tenants in the move from transitional to permanent have higher expectations of the housing.  Deposit process allows for better units.
    • Do Urine analysis on day of orientation.  Don’t expect clean, but have to have clean for 30 days prior to entry.
    • Have landlord Residential Recover Services (RSS) agreement – being clean and sober is put into the lease.
    • Use month-to-month leases. 
  • Gina Monroe – SCD Clinician. 
  • Clinic is at 758 Saint Helens Avenue, Tacoma, WA
  • Do walk in assessments daily. 
  • Worked at the Tacoma Clinic for about 6 months.
  • Have a contract with Pierce County – offer walk in assessment at the Court Resource Center (CRC).  2-3 slots in the calendar.  At the CRC Monday-Thursday, not Friday.  There is always a clinician at the CRC to do referrals for detox, outpatient programs, and inpatient programs. 
  • Also do DUI assessments.  Try to refer that day and get them in services the very next day.
  • Outpatient treatment services happen at clinic – the Court Resource Center location only does assessments.
  • Have night and day treatment groups – very flexible group since schedules for clients often shift.
  • State certified.
  • Culture of the Tacoma clinic is a relaxed environment – focus on accountability of clients.  Celebrate successes.  Use trauma informed care. 
  • Kalena – walk in clinic at the CRC, are there barriers?  Gina  - Our agency only accepts Medicaid (or out of pocket).  If folks are just released, can reinstate medical coverage immediately over the phone, and can do the assessment immediately.  If probation officer can vouch for someone, can serve right away as well.  Do need an ID, though.  If no Medicaid, have to go to DSHS (although at some point the CRC will have DSHS staff on site to do enrollment).
  • Question – is supervision or probation required for assessment at CRC?   Gina – no, we take anyone, just using the CRC as office space.  Can help anyone.
  • Pioneer is trying to be more community engaged. 
  • J-street Youth Program – do folks know about program. 
    • Modelled on Juvenile program in Snohomish County – supportive services to homeless youth from Snohomish county. 24x7 staff. 16 beds, work with social workers at DSHS to get referrals into that program. (info at )
  • Al - Are you guys on the listserv? Gina -  Yes. 
  • James- Crisis Resource Center – it is at 901 Tacoma Avenue, Tacoma, WA.  Use the door that says “day reporting” – has metal detector.  Friendly once you get past that front door.  Clothing bank on 3rd floor is open to anyone – job interview attire is available.
    • Workforce is there, Coordinated Entry, lots of other providers.  Take a look at what all is there. 
    • Resource center is open to all.
    • Part of the Trueblood grant – if they qualify for that, they get extra resources.  But all are still welcome. 


League of Women Voters

  • Larry – looking forward to seeing everyone and your best friends tomorrow at the Homelessness event.  10am-4pm at the Tacoma Convention Center – Facing Pierce County Homelessness – creating Homefull
  • We want to infect the whole county with the enthusiasm in this room.
  • Patricia - Got an e-mail that requires a ticket.  Cynthia – no registration required. 
  • Al – is there any food? – Cynthia – speakers, moderators, presenters will be provided food – others will buy their own.
  • Goal tomorrow is not to enjoy each other’s company.  Our goal is to mobilize the whole county to action.  Figure out what we can do to move beyond where we are. 


Phase 1

  • Byron Corzo – need more room.
  • If we have other tent cities with religious organizations running them, we could easily fill them.

Phase 2

  • Josh Waguespack
  • Al – who do we coordinate with for meals at the Stability Site?  Josh - e-mail Jessica Bangerter at
  • Not many updates. 
  • Remember that the Stability Site is filled with the highest barrier folks in the City – the most difficult to house. 
  • James – One of the folks was going to do some poetry this week, correct?  Site Resident – how about next week. 

Committee Updates –

  • Employment – Sherri Jensen
    • Hire253 facebook page (at - ed.).  Kelly Blucher with Goodwill is now taking the lead – and doing some great marketing.  Have a budget of $8,000 of new funders.  Looking at City of Tacoma to get funding, too.  65 employers coming to the next event.
    • New website coming, too.
  • Housing Group – Theresa Power-Drutis
    • But a spreadsheet together of what organization have to offer. 
    • Will put the spreadsheet up as a google doc for other organizations to update – will e-mail out link to the spreadsheet. 
    • We could also add a column with information about Daily Meaningful Activity. 
    • Are there other columns we should add
  • Messaging
    • Nothing new


Tiki Apartments Update (the pre-lets-evict-them-all marketing blurb for the Tiki apartments on “Find true Tacoma living at The Tiki Apartments. … You'll experience a unique variety of features and amenities at this community. Some of these include: recycling, high-speed internet access, and convenient on-site parking options. Experience a new standard at The Tiki Apartments.” –ed.)

  • The City council just held an emergency vote to pass tenant protections.  Something unfortunate happening often causes action.  Losing low cost housing in 20 days is a real challenge.  The tenant protection is  part of a set of tools available to help stabilize folks.  Notification from landlord to tenant was changed from 20 days to 90 days, although even 90 days is still a challenge, with the high prices and low inventory. 
  • Other solutions to support the residents facing this situation include looking at vouchers and also risk management funds to support landlords. 
  • Tenant protections and fair housing are responses to this situation
  • Theresa – even though Washington doesn’t allow rent control, Seattle may be looking at limits to rent increases.  Lauren – I don’t think that is legal in Washington.  We do need to be careful about rent control – it often makes prices worse (A good read on this topic is an Economist blog post from a couple years back – )
  • City is studying affordable housing tools to make sure they are appropriate.  Need to make sure things are right sized.  If we put fees on developers that are too low, we won’t have enough affordable housing.  If the fees are too high, it may impede development.  We can’t afford to implement the wrong tools.  Rent control is off the table. 
  • Chris – what tools do you have?  Lauren – looking at:
    • capitalizing on the housing trust fund (a state capital fund resource used to build and refurbish affordable housing – more info at -ed.). 
    • Looking at inclusionary zoning (requiring a portion of new construction to be affordable to folks with low income – an older by well written overview of inclusionary zoning is at ). Inclusionary zoning doesn’t help with deep poverty – affordable housing units are targeted at 80% of AMI. 
    • Looking at mixed use centers and what the carrot and stick parts are to the. 
    • Looking at tenant controls.   
    • Looking at infill – letting folks do duplexes, ADUs (Accessory Dwelling Units – a unit in or next to a single family home that can be rented out - -ed.) to create more density on single family lots lots.  Subdivide lots.  Goal is to incentivize density. 
    • (someone e-mailed me with some info about seniors aging in place.  Here is what they said: "To help seniors age comfortably at home, we created a guide that compares various financing options available for senior home modifications. We updated the guide to include information for seniors in various living situations so they can easily view the options that apply to them. This content is completely W3C compliant, making it fully accessible to all readers including those with visual or hearing disabilities. You can view our guide here: ." -ed.)
    • Also looking at working with CFIs (I think she said CFIs, but I couldn’t find anything to explain what that is –ed.) to provide low interest loans. 
    • Looking at more things – more technical (kind of makes you appreciate the expertise needed to be a city planner…-ed.)
  • Patricia – Is there a discussion on what is allowable for homeowners living on a property vs. developers who don’t live on the property.  Lauren - Adding a “flipper” tax possibly.  The City is worried about absentee owners.  City is looking at those rules.
  • Happy to come back and talk about affordable housing strategies (hopefully speaking slower and with pictures and diagrams…-ed).
  • James – exciting to hear what is going on.  Declaration on May 9th of 2017 – as a community we’ve come a long way in a year.  We still have challenges, but we are making progress. 
  • James – received permission to direct some City funds provided to CLR to assist.  Any ideas on what form that assistance should take?  Has the deadline changed? 
  • Greta – article in  the News Tribune ( ) some folks can stay until the end of June.  Folks will get $600 if they leave in June, others will get $900 if they leave earlier.  Sherri – need to give landlord their SSN and a forwarding address to get the check. (collective eye roll and muttering under breath –ed.)
  • Theresa – they were not given a choice of the shorter vs. longer period of time. 
  • Brandon Chun – There are 3 positions open on the City of Tacoma Planning Commission (which has a great deal of influence on City policy - info at .   I highly recommend volunteering on a City Board or Commission.  I’ve been on a couple, and you have a real opportunity to make change happen at the City.  Boards and Commissions are a bit of a time commitment, especially the planning commission, but totally worth it – ed.)
  • City if working to extend all no cause evictions to the Tiki Apartments to delay evictions until June 30th
  • City and United Way is working together.  United Way is coordinating services. 

James – have United Way come talk to us at this provider meeting. 

Good of the Order

  • Dru – thanks for help getting a walker for a client.  Still need two double strollers, if anyone has access to a used one.  Mom is due on Monday and already has a one year old. 
  • Byron – for Search and Rescue- can go to any part of the County.  Can get families sheltered. 
  • James – good to be reminded what all folks do. 
  • Thanks


  • Joseph Nagel, Pioneer Human Services
  • Josh Waguespack, Catholic Community Services
  • Amanda Johnston, Pioneer Housing
  • Gina Munro, Pioneer Human Services
  • Kelsey Potter, Coordinated Care
  • Charleen Fitzgerald, Coordinated Care
  • Al Ratcliffe, Coordinated Civilian
  • Angela Delgado, Sea Mar
  • LaPaige Bethney, Comprehensive Life Resources
  • Brandon Chun, Metropolitan Development Council
  • Byron Corzo, Tacoma Rescue Mission
  • Calvin Kennon, Comprehensive Life Resources
  • Alma Quinden, Multicare/Tacoma Police Department
  • William Rose, Northwest Integrated Health
  • Greta Brackman, Comprehensive Life Resources
  • Rosemary Powers, New Connections
  • Julio Quan, Community Activist
  • Brian Wilson, Catholic Community Services
  • Patricia Menzies, Tent City Tacoma
  • Valentinya Germer, Community Youth Services
  • Theresa Power-Drutis – New Connections
  • Dru Gonia, Tacoma Salvation Army
  • Amber Beers, Comprehensive Life Resources
  • Stephanie Wright, Adonai Counseling and Employment
  • James Stipes, Adonai Counseling and Employment
  • Carolyn Belleci, Pierce County Human Services
  • Carrie Ching, Molina Healthcare
  • Larry Seaquist, League of Women Voters
  • Cynthia Stewart, League of Women Voters
  • Earnest Aguilar, Department of Social and Health Services
  • Nathan Blackmer, Comprehensive Life Resources
  • Rainey Carlin, Comprehensive Life Resources
  • Kalena Towle, Multicare
  • Glen Kelley, Multicare
  • Shelbie Drey, Compresive Life Resources
  • Shawna Nunley, Comprehensive Life Resources
  • Greg Walker, Valeo Vocation
  • Sherri Jensen, Valeo Vocation  
  • Sheila Miraflor, Sound Outreach
  • Anita Yandall, Sound Outreach
  • Anisha Fernando, Catholic Community Services
  • Chris Boitano, Catholic Community Services
  • Richard Berghammer, Fellowship Bible Church
  • James Youngs, Stability Site Resident
  • Sarah Stutzke, Catholic Services of Western Washington
  • Kara Koehn, Northwest Integrated Health
  • Judy Flannigan, The Salvation Army
  • Gerrit Nyland, Catholic Community Services