Meeting Information

Meeting Type
Friday Coalition Meeting
Friday, 4/6/2018
9:00 AM
11:00 AM
YWCA of Lakewood and the City of Tacoma Phase 3 request for idea, Update and the League of Women Voters
The Salvation Army Church


  • Josh Waguespack, Catholic Community Services


YMCA of Lakewood -

  • Dave Ramirez, Senior Director of Health and Wellbeing, Lakewood YMCA,
  • Representing the Lakewood YMCA, but there are 9 branches in Pierce and Kitsap county.  Gig Harbor, Bremerton, Haselwood, 3 in downtown Tacoma, Lakewood, Sumner, and Puyallup
  • Perceptions of the YMCA in east la it is not a place to hang out.  Ideas – workout, village people, programs, swimming, showers, gym – most people come for a physical impact.  It is much more than that.  Some 12,000 members at Lakewood YMCA alone.  People come for lots of different reasons.  (I totally didn’t believe this number, but that is what the annual report says too – with YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap County reaching some 160,000 people in 2015. Kind of makes you want to go to their donation page at  -ed.)
  • Tiffany Stewart-Harris,  Senior Membership and Administration Director, Lakewood YMCA -
  • Have treadmills and pools and slides.  Everyone assumes you have to use the treadmills.  We do so much more. 
  • 3 types of memberships – want to connect families and communities together. 
    • Individual and Family Memberships – at a cost – can provide up to 50% off for a family – from $20 per month to highest of $130 per month.  1 in 4 are memberships are on financial assistance.
      • 7 branches are family
      • Do community outreach – late night for community members (don’t need to be a YMCA member) – high schoolers use the Y, swim, basketball.
      • Provide no cost individual/family membership to all foster children in Washington State.  Case Manger or a care giver would show proof of foster enrollment, and get membership complimentary.  Can do everything a family membership would provide.
    • Corporate Memberships – employees have no joining fees, get a discount. 
      • Some companies give financial incentive to work out – or no joining fee.  Can also do family nights for companies. 
    • Group Membership – Catholic Community Services uses Y for Case Workers and Children. 
      • Group pays one fee an use all our YMCAs as much as we want – use
      • DSHS – uses the safe and fun space for family visits.
      • Greater Lakes Mental Health – has a workout program for participants twice per week. -  sometimes swimming, sometimes individual workouts. 
      • Can work with other nonprofits and other groups in ways that work for them
      • Work with group homes and do a little of everything – Western State, other groups
      • Women to work program partnership.
        • Kelly - is there a possibility of getting a whole group together to do something?  Tiffany - yes, we are always looking to do things as groups.  Can do a group fitness class, for instance.  We often reach out to businesses near the Lakewood YMCA offering a group event – just to increase awareness of programs.
      • Thinking about how to connect people – let us know about ideas you have.  Group memberships are really customizable. 
      • Questions - what is your Multicare partnership.  Tiffany – all employees have no joining fees.  They run some programs on site at some facilities
      • Work with Community Youth Services too. 
  • All branches except UW Tacoma provides free showers to the community.  Family branches is before 8am and after 8pm.  Anyone can use the shower – between 30 and 60 minutes – every time someone comes in, just show photo id (any state ID or high school ID) and sign a waiver.  Background checks are done – to identify sex offenders.  Look monthly for sex offenders in BIB or Rafter.  No sex offenders allowed.  Not limit to the number of visits.  Downtown Tacoma also has showers available mid-day, depending on the season.   Al – homeless person who needs a shower can get one with ID.  Some programs exist that are free of charge.  Theresa – shower program made a difference in our neighborhood.  Doing a great job – will work with folks with no income.  Work with LASA and KWA. Want to create a safe space for folks. 
    • Josh – trying to start a mentor program – anything like that working for a population like ours?  Tiffany – there is the late night program – teen program – work with mckinney vento families.  When Y closes, it is open for youth 6-12th grade – swim lessons, zumma classes, we provide mentors in that program.  work with other nonprofits to provide resources – lots of needs come up. 
  • 3 programs of note:
    • Activity changing together (ACT)  - doctor referral or self-referral – for families looking for a lifestyle change in terms of nutrition – for when a child is on path to obesity, for instance.  Program is 90 minutes per week.  Each child comes with a parent or guardian.  Everyone plays together in first 30 minutes.  Next 30 minutes, kids keep playing while adults work on shopping, meal preparation, etc.  Last 30 minutes, family creates a meal together.  Newer facilities have better kitchens.  Lakewood has this ACT program – currently 8 families (35 participants)- get free membership during the 3 month program – so can use all other activities at the YMCA in addition to the activities that are part of the program.  Families are strongly encourages to do other activities. 
      • Sherri -  Do you work with DSHS? Answer - We are happy to find a way to better advertise to community partners. 
      • Question - is there daycare?  Answer - 2 hours of Daycare is included with YMCA membership (for extra $35 per month – I think).  We will try to figure out how we can make the program work for folks. 
    • LiveStrong – a number of Y’s have this program for current cancer patients and cancer survivors.  Requires a referral from physician.  LiveStrong is a support group based on physical activity (no mention if doping is part of the program, now that Lance Armstrong is no longer associated with it.  Sorry, couldn’t help myself –ed.).  During the first 15-20 minutes, the group - around 8-10 patients and care givers – talks.  Then they do 60 minutes of activity (differs each week, but can include yoga, dance, walk, free weights, etc.).  3 month program – membership is free during the program as well. 
    • Late Night – open to community – high school and junior high kids, don’t need to be YMCA members. 
      • Senior High program runs every Friday night.  Usually 9-11:30. – no cost
      • The University YMCA has a Friday night program is for college age community members (up to 35 years old even – no proof needed that they are in college).  Lots of fun stuff for young adults. 
      • 6-7-8 – junior high program – Saturday evenings.   – again, no cost
  • Al – would Y be interested in sponsoring team sports for homeless individuals?  Dave - yes, we’d consider anything.  We are limited on time and space – happy to try to figure out how to make something happen.
  • Kelly – we need a nonprofit sports league (I think she actually said softball – ed.)
  • Contact us to figure out how we can support you better. 


City of Tacoma – Request for Information

  • Erica Azcueta – The Request for Information is now closed.
  • Colin DeForrest -  We received a lot of great ideas
  • Phase 3 team has selected a couple submissions to learn more about – will meet over the next couple weeks with submitters to get more information.
  • Timeline - Will make recommendations in a couple weeks to send to leadership.  Joseph – more of a timeline of how this will progress.  Erica – We don’t have exact dates, but current schedule is meeting to clarify submittals in the next two weeks.  After that, in maybe a month will have a recommendation for leadership.  Looking to have ball rolling by June.  Again, this is a tentative schedule.
  • Sherri – There is still need for tent to treatment to transitional.  Colin – we do need a transition from treatment to a safe place – not released into homelessness.  Nothing in that area was suggested.  James is focused on that and has had some success.  That is important, and something needed on the radar for this.  Easier to get someone in treatment now vs. a year ago.  But it is still challenging.  At least now we know what the connections look like.  We need to tell the stories of the folks who have been successful and why this linkage is important. 
  • Theresa – in housing group – no one proposed ideas about transitional housing.  I thought if other ideas came up they could still be considered. It would be great to have the City sit down with innovative housing group to talk about ideas.  Greg – would like that as well.  Erica – This is a helpful idea.  Colin – We can take that back and see what comes from it. 
  • Patricia – For some us who are private citizens that aren’t part of an organization – The Request for Information process is a barrier to submitting ideas.  Would like it to be more user friendly.  Colin – are you looking for technical assistance.  Patricia – more like a more user friendly process.  Colin – the Request for Information was a very informal process. Everyone – not so much.  Colin – OK, I guess it was more complex.  Patricia – I want to be able to get my idea to you without having to formalize them. 
  • Josh – could our group help put together something.  By next week, could our group submit some ideas that might complement ideas submitted.  (I think somehow Josh got volunteered into putting something together, but I’m not sure –ed.)


Phase 1 updates

  • Luis Rivera, Tacoma Rescue Mission
  • Still doing the mission of mitigation – going to encampments – doing coordinated entry. 
  • Since clients are slow to exit the Stability Site, we need help with how we can get people on the waiting list into something before they go to the site.  Need help getting folks directly to treatment program.  Can we connect them to workforce development before being put into the stability site.  Stability site wait list is growing by the day. 
  • Josh – growing waitlist – shows success of program – people are interested in entering the site and are trusting folks for the support our community is providing


Phase 2 updates

  • Faatima Lawrence, Catholic Community Services
  • Have been moving folks out – to housing and treatment.  – and we do need fill up some openings.
  • We have had a lot of issues with Couple sharing tents.  We had been putting couples into one tent.  But that is creating problems.  With a couple in one tent, there aren’t places for them to get some personal space.  We are now making sure that each resident has their own tent.  Married couple are a little more stable in a single tent.  But unmarried couples have been shown to be difficult.
  • Have a request for meal support.  We have 1 day with only breakfast.  Sunday don’t have any meals.  Thursday and Sunday, need some volunteers and meals.  Please call 253-307-6198 to coordinate food.
    • Sherri – is life center doing meals?  Faatima – not that we know of. 
    • Question – how much food is needed?  Faatima - need food for 100 people. 
    • Patricia – Could we setup a go fund me site to manage funds for folk that want to feed residents but don’t have personal resources to pay for the food?  Allow folks to donate money so that folks without money can fix the meals and bring them to the site.
    • Question – can any people do a meal?  Yes, anyone can do a meal.  Jessica will schedule the meals. 
  • Next Saturday is the Spartan race for the stability site residents that have been training.  They are fundraising to pay for 1 meal per day on the site.  Do donate and see what the team is up to, go to (page takes a bit to load – be patient – ed.).   Team of 5 has been committed to the racing over the past 2 months.  Just by watching folks train at the site, other stability site residents have gotten excited about doing other races. 
    • Theresa – will the funds from the race be able to help fund someone who wants to cook the meals.  Josh – wasn’t thinking about that funding that way.  Open to it, though. 


League of Women Voters

  • Cynthia Stewart, League of Women Voters
  • April 28th is the community forum on homelessness
  • Not getting a lot of signups – need to get the word out to as many folks as possible.  Sign up at (I just signed up, shared the event link on my personal facebook page and the Coalition to End Homelessness Facebook page. Now it is your turn.  Let’s make this event amazing  –ed.)
  • If you want a table, please come talk to me.  Still need to pay $10 each table, though. 
  • Larry will demo the opening remarks at next week’s provider meeting. 
  • Patricia – do  you have a flyer and agenda and such.  Is there a something on-line?  Cynthia – go to for the program and the link to register.

Good of the Order

  • Theresa - City Council  Meeting Next week – will speak in support of transitional site.  Request the support of the group to keep a Transitional Site on the table. 
    • Gerrit – what do you mean Transitional Site.  Theresa – City has put out the 3 phases, this could look like a lot of different things – tiny houses, city property to use pallet shelters on.  Unfortunately, with no group putting this option forward, it seems to be off the table for the City.
    • Colin – The stability site was supposed to be setup for people who are stabilizing  – designed as a place for chronically homeless folks to go.  The “Transition Site” was part of that plan, but was designed as a  place for folks working to become independent.  This was segregation in a good way.  The “Transition Site” for folks who are working or will show they are willing to work.  The “Transition Site” folks just need housing navigation so they can get into housing as quickly as possible.  Also need employment program – and we have all kinds of them.  That is what the “Transition Site” was supposed to be.  The original plan was to have 4 or 5 stability sites and transition sites.  But it was scrapped because of cost.  Can’t have the successes the Council wants by jamming everyone together in one site.  Looking at a “transition site” of 20 people, or maybe not that many folks.  We have the pallet shelters sitting around to use.  That is the idea. 
    • Gerrit – The real challenges with transitional housing is putting barriers on housing and it is not permanent housing for the long term.  When you put barriers on housing and aren’t doing permanent housing, the data shows you spend more money to be less successful.  Colin – This is not transitional housing.  Gerrit – what you are describing sounds like transitional housing to me – barriers to entry and you still have to get permanent housing at the end of the program.  Transitional housing is still a way to house folks, just not as effective as housing first.  Theresa – sounds like I can speak for the housing group, but not the whole group.  Sherri – how long will they be in the program?  3 months?  Colin – it will vary.  Josh can speak to the challenges of having “Transition Site” folks and Stability Site folks at the same site – trying to get folks motivated to work.  And this isn’t transitional housing – they are small pallet shelters.  This is run successfully in other areas - LIHI ( )does something similar in Seattle.  This isn’t transitional housing – it is a “transition Site” like nothing else we’ve done around here.  The goal is to move people as quickly as possible.  Transitional housing uses a cookie cutter program.  This is the program we tried to do it at the Calico Cat (Pacific Lodge –ed.) – a work program.  The goal is to connecting people who are working or on the verge of working with support from Sherri’s programs or Christopher Write’s programs.  Very different from what we think about Transitional Housing.  (what a fun discussion.  I think I failed in one of our group’s core missions – which is to support all the work providers are doing to address homelessness. That said, if you are interested in reading more about why people like me obsess over Housing First programs, take a gander at or .  There are some that believe transitional housing programs are still best practice in many situations – take a look at for some discussion from that point of view.  They make some good points, but those points seem to me to support improving our Rapid Rehousing programs as opposed to using the transitional housing model.  And the financial comparison in the article makes no sense to me – they are leaving something out in their transitional housing costs.  I do like inclusion of permanent housing in the joint transitional housing and rapid rehousing model suggested here:  –ed.)
  • Patricia – next week at the City council meeting – final reading on proposed changes to the temporary shelter amendment.  One amendment deals with the length of stay – changing from 6 months to longer if it is successful (and is ok with neighborhood).  2nd amendment has to do with background check – what will be checked for?  Active warrants, restraining orders, sex offenders.  5 minutes to comment on agenda items if you attend. 
  • Gerrit – the Point In Time (PIT) count is out (– not a perfect count – like IQ test, tells you something,  but not necessarily how smart someone is.  The PIT count is showing 1,619 people.  That tells us something, but not how many folks are homeless in Pierce County.  Do remind folks that count is probably more like 5,000 people. 
  • Josh – want to thank everyone – our objective is the same.  We don’t have to agree with everyone.  Our objectives  - to serve vulnerable folks -  are all the same.  No idea is a bad idea – as long as we work through it stay focused on what we want to accomplish.  Thanks for coming. 

Coming Attractions

  • Next Meeting - Friday the 13th:
    • Sex Trafficking – available resources
    • Betsy Ross House – a Female Veteran Transitional housing option in Orting
    • League of Women Voter Preview presentation
  • April 20th:
    • Medicaid and Medicare independent insurance brokerage (we are really doing it this time)
    • Committee Meetings
  • April 27th:
    • Pioneer Human Services
  • April 28th - Facing Pierce County Homelessness: Creating HomeFULLness
  • May:
    • Ex-Social Security Appeals Judge – how the process works.

Restaurant Review

In each week’s minutes, we try to highlight a major botanical conservatory in Tacoma.  This week we are focusing in on the W.W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory.  Established in 1908 by Metropolitan Park Board (with a generous gift by none other than William Wolcott Seymour), it has provided a warm respite from the rains of April to generations of Tacomans.  While they have a solid set of tropical plants resident year round, the seasonal displays are always a draw.  My favorite times are when they’ve had glass blowing work by Jason Lee Middle School students interwoven with the plants.  This Friday the 13th, the “Our Dreams” Special Exhibit opens, with an Artist reception from 5-7pm.  Our Dreams is part of Arts Connect, a Hilltop Artists' community-based program for girls who are involved with the Pierce County Juvenile Court and the foster care system.  I don’t know about you, but I love artist receptions - there is someone there to explain the art I’m too thick to understand, and almost always punch and cookies.  Beats the Uffizi any day.  If you can’t make the reception, this exhibit will be around a month or two – so head on over during your lunch break.  Admission is free (although they do suggest a donation).  The Conservatory is not just warm, but also has a warm place in my heart.  My brother spent a lot of time at Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital when I was a wee lad (not my fault, honest), and I often wandered over to Wright Park and the conservatory to escape the hospital and kill some time.  If you’re nice (or are a small child), the gift show cashier will give you food to feed the fish.  You can’t beat that. 


  • Josh Waguespack, Catholic Community Services
  • Sarah Appling, Pierce County
  • Coley Wiley, Community Youth Services
  • Valentinya Germer, Community Youth Services
  • Patricia Menzies, Tent City Tacoma
  • Paul Carlson, RI International
  • Nelsen Rascar, United Way 211, also Dad’s Move
  • Sheila Miraflex, Sound Outreach
  • William Rose, Norhtwest Integrated Health
  • Charleen Fitzgerald, Coordinated Care
  • Al Ratcliffe, without portfolio
  • Brendan Baker, Veterans Administration
  • Che Smith, Sexual Assault Center of Pierce County – STRAPWA program
  • Raksmey Lim, Department of Social and Health Services, Auburn CSO
  • Alan RcLaughlin, Department of Social and Health Services, Auburn CSO
  • Marg Blount, Tacoma Pierce County Health Department
  • Pat Steele, Coffee Oasis
  • Dave Frederick, Coffee Oasis
  • Meridee Heimlich, Step by Step
  • Julio Quan, Centro Latino
  • Earnest Aguilar, Department of Social and Health Services, Pierce County CSO
  • Brenda O’Brien, Department of Social and Health Services, Pierce County CSO
  • Theresa Power-Drutis, New Connections
  • Carrie Ching, Molina Healthcare
  • Larry Seaquist, League of Women Voters
  • Cynthia Stewart, League of Women Voters
  • David Venes, Point Defiance Needle Exchange
  • Colin DeForrest, City of Tacoma
  • Cate (there is always someone whose name I don’t catch and doesn’t sign in, apparently “Cate” is that person this week. –ed.)
  • Joseph Denton, Sound Outreach
  • Luis D. Rivera Zayas, Tacoma Rescue Mission
  • Sherri Jensen, Sound Outreach/Valeo
  • Faatima Lawrence, Catholic Community Services
  • David Ramirez, YMCA of Lakewood
  • Tiffany Stewart-Harris, YMCA of Lakewood
  • Richard Berghammer, Fellowship Bible Church
  • Kelly Blucher, Goodwill
  • Carolyn Weisz, University of Puget Sound
  • Erica Azcueta, City of Tacoma
  • Calvin Kennon Sr., Comprehensive Life Resources
  • Judy Flannigan, Tacoma Salvation Army
  • Zachary Kinneman, Whats Next Washington
  • Gerrit Nyland, Catholic Community Services