Meeting Information

Meeting Type
Friday Coalition Meeting
Friday, 3/15/2019
9:00 AM
11:00 AM
Lots on the agenda, including Youth programs like the Anchor Communities, Youth Homeless Demonstration Program, the Tacoma Police Department Homeless Outreach Team, REACH youth and young adult programs, and more.
The Salvation Army Church (1110 S Puget Sound Ave, Tacoma, WA 98405)


  • James Pogue, Comprehensive Life Resources
  • Listserv – very useful, heavily used – but not HIPAA compliant and because of governmental employees is publicly discoverable.  Limit too much identifying details.  Daily digest is helpful if you just want to limit the number of e-mails to your inbox every day.  Sign up at
  •  – good source of information for our clients


City of Tacoma Homeless Outreach Team (HOT)

  • Lieutenant Travis, Tacoma Police Department, supervises the HOT team -
  • Erica Azcueta, City of Tacoma, Human Services Division -
  • The HOT team is composed of 4 police officers and one supervisor - just staffed with 3 patrol officers right now, though. (glad to hear it isn’t just us that is struggling to fill positions – ed.)
  • Have embedded Human Services staff and a Mental Health Professional on the team
  • Goal of the HOT team is to connect and engage people experiencing homelessness
  • We try to connect folks experiencing homelessness to services.  You, as service providers, all do a lot of great work – and we needed to be better partners with you. 
  • I’ve interacted with many of you, but appreciate being able to put a name to a face today.    
  • The HOT team is trying to connect folks to services.  It is challenging for police officers to know what all services are available.  We want to be efficient and provide quality services – and know it isn’t one time, it is often 20 or 30 interactions with individuals before they are interesting in engaging.  We want to fully understand what is available and what is not available. 
  • As police, we know we are not going to “arrest people out of a situation”. 
  • We are comfortable going out 10 or 20 times to engage with someone.
  • If we can get one person to services – it is a win. 
  • Al – What is a typical contact, and what happens during it?  Lt. Travis – It can start with a  citizen call to 311, or citizen or business complaints, or a call from a Police patrol that gets referred to us.  The HOT team then goes out, with code enforcement, and we try to contact and engage them, see if they are involved in services.  We’ll bring Bobby Ocasio and Kiedrick O’Bannon to get them connected.  Every call is a bit different.  We try to find things to mitigate a situation.  It might just be a ride, or connecting them to other services.  Most calls are repeated contacts to get folks services and get them connected.  The police are beholden to the city and residents and businesses, but also beholden to the person experiencing homelessness.  Most people want help and are compliant, but many are suffering, perhaps with an addiction or mental illness.  We try to get the connected to services to help them.  However, sometimes we have to do enforcement – but we enforce the behavior, not the person (just as Saint Augustine famously wrote –Cum dilectione hominum et odio vitiorum – Love the sinner and hate the sin.  While St. Augustine is the first known use of the phrase, most credit Gandhi’s 1929 biography – and more correctly ,the 1948 English translation, with popularizing the phrase.  If you’ve not had a chance to read any of Gandhi’s writings, you are missing out.  A favorite quote of mine is “There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread. “ –ed).
  • Patricia – if you arrest someone and take the away from their camp and belongings, what do you do to keep their things safe?  Lt. Travis -  We take their belongings to a storage facility – the Cavanaugh site.  They get a receipt for it.  They can then claim their property.  Patricia – what if they lose their receipt?  Lt. Travis - I’ll take that question off line.
  • Maureen – sometimes social media has some pretty atrocious statements from community members – do you have a 2 liner that any of us could post, not to change someone’s opinion – but something to give them some direction, like “call 311” and about what it is you do or can expect.  Lt. Travis – sometimes things get portrayed in the media, we have a new community engagement person and is working to get our social media aspect up and running – and I would like to connect you to them.  We don’t like to make general statements.  We just addressed a community concern – a person who was homeless that committed a crime.  We didn’t engage with the person because they were homeless, but because they committed a crime.  Maureen – you can make a general statement that directs people to what to do – “call 311 and the hot team with MHPs and such will connect in with them”?  Lt. Travis – I’m on board with that.  I’ll get Jason involved in that.  We as police officers don’t do a good job telling our story of what we do well.  I’ll take your advice and get with them.
  • Travis – as police officers, this engagement approach to people experiencing homelessness is new to us.
  • Al – Are you deployed city-wide?  Lt. Travis – yes.  Our original focus was the downtown , but we do go into the rest of the city, although most folks are located downtown. 
  • Al – I would really invite your staff to come to these meetings as often as they can.  Lt. Travis -  I want the team out in the field engaging folks.  I need to balance how much I take them away from that for training.    
  • Joe – your job is terrible.  Lt. Travis – I love my job, and I’m thankful the citizens employ me in this job.  I appreciate the citizens.  Joe - You are in a position between folks breaking the law and you not having the resources to provide to them.  Lt. Travis - Citizens often have expectations of us, and we need to educate them on what we can do and what we will do.  Yes people are property owners and have rights, but folks experiencing homelessness also have rights.  (this simple, declarative statement warms my heart –ed.)
  • Theresa – he is mentioning our block – we have lots of tents and drug dealing.  We could have hundreds of people doing outreach, but as long as there is no place those folks can be, we will struggle.  We need to have clear places that people can camp.  Can you  use your position to push that?  Travis – there are some ongoing conversations – we are looking at best practices and looking at what the right answer is.  We are trying to find what other people are doing. (hint, it involves making safe places for people to camp, or spending money on shelters and permanent housing –ed) I’m not a great politician – I like to be direct.  We have some suggestions, and none have gotten traction – it would be good to have a discussion about  that.  Theresa – you aren’t going to make a dent until you have something you can say about what people are doing.  I don’t have solutions – if I did, I would write a book and get rich (second hint, there is no way to get rich in human services. –ed)
  • Patricia – you don’t need to write the book - tent city urbanism is a great book (info at -ed.) that can address many of these things.  In Tacoma, the tent city code creates barriers – because a police precinct can only have one tent city.  MaryBeth – the City has unused land – it would be nice if they could offer that up for a tent city. 
  • James – we often provide information to the HOT team on where someone is in the homeless system – what the person is currently working on.  Lt. Travis – Yes, we do work to support folks.
  • Question - Are there other HOT teams in other jurisdictions?  Lt. Travis – no.  Pierce County has a couple deputies that are assigned to do similar work, but I don’t have many details on that.  As far as I know, we are the only ones here. 
  • Question – do you only work in Tacoma?  Lt. Travis – we go a bit further if it impacts Tacoma – will partner with the County to go beyond our normal boundaries.  (“Deputy sheriff said to me, Tell me what you came here for boy, You better get your bags and flee, You're in trouble boy, and now you're heading into more, It's the same old story, everywhere I go, I get slandered, Libeled, I hear words I never heard in the Bible, And I'm one step ahead of the shoe shine, Two steps away from the county line…” – Paul Simon  -ed.)
  • Question – what training do your deputies receive? Lt. Travis – all officers receive Mental health training –some 60% have done a 40 hour course – everyone gets 8 hours per year.  Question – implicit bias training?  Lt. Travis – every officer get that as well, I just finished an 8 hour class last week.
  • Question – when you encounter someone that you want to connect with resources – what does a warm hand off to a referral look like?  The Mental Health Professional does the referral.
  • Maureen – the Mayors are meeting across jurisdictions, if the law enforcement all sang the same song about the need for local hot teams, that would make a difference – so go find your law enforcement friends.  Lt. Travis – the Tacoma Fire Department started an opioid taskforce that is coming on-line.  They are going to have a team to go out in real time to get folks with addiction.  I can’t force folks to do that – Marueen – someone has to introduce them to the idea…  Lt. Travis – I think the politicians will be interested when they hear about the success of the program.
  • Travis – Patrol also has 2 Designated Mental Health Professionals –DMHP – (info about DMHPs, or DCPs as they are now called, from a previous presentation is at –ed) embedded on patrol – as well as one in the HOT team.  The DMHPs have done great work with us.  I’m looking forward to the work of the homeless task force. 

Emily Less – does the HOT team do naloxone distribution?  Lt. Travis – no.   Emily – the State Department of Health has new program to provide access to this resource.  Lt. Travis – lets connect


Anchor Communities Initiative (Valeri talks fast, so I may have missed a few things, and I’m running out of time to verify things against my recording, so if I sound wildly off, blame the note taker – ed.)

  • Valeri Knight, Pierce County Human Services –
  • Continuum of Care Notice of Funding Availability – coming out very soon.  Please consider applying for new project – Permanent Supportive Housing, Rapid Rehousing, and Transitional Housing to Rapid Rehousing. (I second that – let’s get some new projects funded –ed).
  • Anchor communities Initiative  (  ) to end youth and young adult homelessness by 2022.  We have a few months to create a By Name List (I can create you one today, if you’d like –ed.) – the initiative is focused on exiting behavioral health and exiting foster care.  This may have $1M available from the state.
  • Once we have a By Name List (really, it is a matter of minutes to get it to you.-ed), how do we contact and house the folks on the list (well, it will be easier with that $1M. –ed.)
  • If you are in foster care, you have a high risk for getting involved in the criminal justice system.
  • Applied for the Youth homeless demonstration project – scored a 92 out of 100 – 1 point away from being awarded that.  It is open again, and it is up to $15M per community.  We are working get Memorandums of Understanding and support letters and in-kind donations and cash matches.  It allows us to create projects and link them with the anchor communities initiative.  $5M to $15M is a lot of money.  We have until May 15th to submit this grant – we’ll be leveraging what we did last year.  We need some youth to work on this application with us.  A huge part of the scoring this year is on youth engagement.  We need to hear from youth what will work for them. 
    • Al - Do these programs allow for multiservice outreach teams or locations?  Valeri – yes, they encourage it.  They encourage you to think outside the box – rather unlike normal federal government guidance.  Employment, education, behavioral health, mental health – they want all these providers to work together. 
    • Question – you should reach out to the McKinney Vento liaisons.   Valeri – we do.
    • Maureen – are you connected to Major Woodards Youth Commission?   Valeri – no, but will look how I can get connected.
    • Coley - Only currently homeless youth, or at risk as well?  Valeri – all those groups – any adverse experience is valuable. 
    • Contact me to get involved -
  • James – at the Continuum of Care and at this level, we want to have a single comprehensive plan.  We want all the best minds to put a plan in place to address need – then have different agencies take parts of that plan and make it all happen.  We are collaborating now, but we can work together to make sure we are all working with a global plan.  Large funding streams are coming on line to end youth homelessness.  If you work with youth or want to – lets work together.  We’d love partnership to do property management and we do youth services. 


Oasis Youth Center

  • Matthew Wilson, Oasis Youth Center -
  • We’d love to give you a tour and show you our building – at 23rd and Pacific – we are collocated (I wasn’t sure if I should go with co-locate or collocate, but the Latin roots of collate, “col” – together, and “locare” – seems more elegant than having to put the hyphen in the middle of the word.  However, Collocate, to a grammarist, also means two words that often appear together, like “take pictures”.  Non-native English speakers are often not familiar with the common “take pictures” collocation, and say “make pictures”, which is perfectly sensible and understandable, but just not how native English speakers typically collocate words about photography.  Collocation is often arbitrary, but not knowing the usual collocation makes you sound odd.  I’m sure you’ve observed it – now you have a word for it – collocation. –ed.)  with the rainbow center.
  • We serve ages 11-24
  • We started 34 years ago in a church basement – a support group of youth excommunicate, rejected by family, bullied, etc. (some days I feel like a failing parent, but then I haven’t kicked them out just for who they love, so that is something. -ed.)
  • Advocacy – subcontracted through the State to provide advocacy services – if youth are experiencing bullying at school – we can meet with  teachers and administrators, can be a supportive ear to listen, also have therapy vouchers to cover costs, even if they have documentation issues.  Help them navigate difficult situation.  We can help transgender youth with name changes – covering the $300 costs and walking them through the process.  It is tough to focus on life actualization goals when you are not called the name or gender you identify with. 
  • Prevention – Project 13 – our middle school program – ages 11-14.  This is different in that parents are involved – they sign up for an 8 week cycle – online safety, healthy relationships, connect with LGBT identifying youth to help with creating the social connections.  Many suicides are caused by isolation, and we are working to address that. 
    • Question – do parent have to be involved?  Matthew – yes, ages 11-13 – parents must be involved – after 14 – can be on their own.
  • Leadership – have a youth council on Monday – youth are in charge of fundraising, planning events, civic engagement, events, planning a prom –we put on the largest LGBT prom in the state – on May 18th (a Mount St. Helen’s eruptions themed prom, perhaps?  Just an idea… -ed)
  • Do HIV testing – confidential and only takes 5 minutes (modern medicine has its moments – while not yet producing an HIV vaccine for the masses – it does some amazing things, and an instant HIV test is pretty darn useful –ed.)
  • Have a workshop called Open, which addresses racism and sexism and openness.
  • Open Monday through Saturday, also a satellite location on the Kitsap Peninsula on Tuesdays.
  • If you want to connect to OASIS, we are mobile and can meet wherever the youth is.  Intake takes about 20 minutes – we ask demographic questions, ask what is going on in their life, discuss what they can expect from us and what we expect from them
  • Have some bus passes if transportation is an issue to get to oasis or medical appointments
  • Al – geographically, out of the south county, do you have much participation?  Matthew – 50% come from the City of Tacoma, the other 50% come from around the County
  • Questions - What do you do on Kitsap Peninsula?  Matthew – at the civic center we rent a room and have a group that meets, have a check in, play games 2:30-6pm.  Kitsap Peninsula has been supportive and provided an activity bus to get folks home. 
  • Our next satellite location is Lakewood. 
  • We serve everyone, not just folks that are homeless
  • Every Thursday – have Coordinated entry on site at OASIS.
  • Question – do you need prom volunteers?  Matthew – yes, some 500 folks show up, and we need lots of folks to help put on the party.  I’ll send the poster out when we complete it.  We also need general drop-in volunteers. 
  • Al- do you still do open mike?  Matthew – yes, once per month.  Sometimes it is improve, sometimes it is just open mike.
  • Martha – do you connect with youth in the foster care program?  Matthew – yes.
  • We have free haircuts twice per month – 1st and last Thursday of each month.
  • James - Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, after the 4pm-10, have transportation to get them to the youth shelter.



  • Nick Bayard, Executive Director -
  • Launched REACH 10 years ago – serving ages 16-24 at Goodwill Milgard building – have first 2 floors.  Semi-independent, but do a lot of collaboration. 
  • 12-20 agencies co-locate (OK, I’m trying co-locate this time, I kind of think it is more readable with the hyphen in there –ed.).
  • They can get General Education Development (GED), substance use treatment, some housing resources
  • In 2013, the need for housing was screaming.  Launched Housing for Success – a Rapid Rehousing program.  We accept referral from Coordinated Entry into apartments, host homes, or group homes. 
  • Were part of the 100 day challenge to get folks housed quickly and creatively.  From that, the ACT program was born, including prevention.  We are designed to help folks in crisis, but want to figure out how to  intervene before that.  The system is designed to hit rock bottom before they get support
  • We offer mentorship, GED, legal aid, case management, walk in computer lab to look for a job, help getting into college, ResCare – federally funded job placements.  Lots of different agencies come in from time to time. 
  • Questions - Housed for Success, any plans to expand it?  Nick – working on housing navigation.  We pull from the priority pool, get referrals based on vulnerability.  There is no waitlist – it is all based on vulnerability.  Clients are also offered diversion.  The ACT team is being deputized to get diversion.  MaryBeth – started sending folks to ACT instead of coordinated entry.  Nick – if everything works well, going to ACT or through Coordinated Entry both work. 
  • We are trying to use diversion dollars instead of using the priority pool.  – in the Priority Pool, they may never get a referral. 
  • Questions - why do an intake and then they won’t be helped?  Nick – for Rapid Rehousing, we accept referrals from the coordinated entry system.
  • MaryBeth – will there be an ask for more funding since there is a bigger need – will you try to expand ACT?  Nick – there will be asks. 
  • Theresa – have you considered the Center for Dialog and Resolution (CDR - ) as a place to host some work on Diversion – they do work around getting parents and youth to get to work together better. Nick – we purchased 10 mediation sessions from them early on, and only one worked out.  We need to figure out better coordination for that.  Scheduling 6 weeks out didn’t work. 
  • Question – in the 90s I moved here, I worked with lots of homeless people, we went to find them and the drugs were really bad, and one thing that worked well was the case management.  We advocated for homelessness.  When  folks go to DSHS to apply for services, they don’t know how to do the paperwork.  We went to DSHS with them.  We worked with the landlords.  We checked in with them every day to ensure they were in housing.  We took them to western state.  One of the key things to homelessness is the case management.  When they lose their paperwork, we help to maintain that.  We worked with the police – we provided.  We really need intense case management.  Nick – I agree.  James – we all do a lot of case management like that.


Legislative Update

  • Maureen Howard, Housing Advocate -
  • Cynthia Steward has been in Olympia a long time – monitoring bills along the homeless continuum. 
  • If the bill hadn’t moved on by now, they died.
  • Budget will be the 25th of March, should see Housing and Essential Needs (HEN) and housing trust fund.
  • Cynthia - I don’t have anything prepared.  When you look at the overall picture, almost everything died.  We have some state sales tax and real estate tax opportunities to fund housing.  Let your legislators know you support the $200M for the housing trust fund.  Want jurisdictions to include housing in their comprehensive plans – especially affordable housing.  Many tenant bills are still alive, as well as bills supporting homeless students. 
  • Family reunification and prevention around that population are still in the process.  They may not live, but they are still alive
  • The 6 months on the voucher is still alive
  • E-mail me if you have a specific interest -
  • The Town Hall meetings are coming up –if you need to know how to find them, let me know – just look for them. 
  • Things that seem like they don’t affect us, they can affect things in the long-term.  Changes to growth management act, for example.  Being able to bond for infrastructure in rural and smaller communities is important.  Don’t write off what isn’t directed to the City of Tacoma.  We are in a regional opportunity.  The task force is moving ahead with the affordable housing task force.
  • The mayor of Tacoma is having coffee around the city.  The more all the mayors hear, the better our chance to move the agenda forward.
  • If you run a group home, Permanent Supportive Housing, if you rent our rooms, or run an adult home – I’m looking to you to make sure you have the rental housing code information. 

Good of the Order

  • Chris Gildon – newly elected on the legislature – he is interested in strategic plans.  You can contact him to remind him he’s been in the room and we are paying attention -
  • Valeo  - send clients on Tuesdays, between 1pm and 3pm. 
  • Easter Diner at the fairgrounds – kids games, eats -
  • Tess Colby gone – opening position soon (I didn’t see this posted yet – ed.)
  • Peter Ansara  – position open and posted -
  • Health and Wellness fair and Crossroads grand opening (I went, it was fun –ed.)
  • Pierce County Coalition to End Homelessness – won the  City of Destiny Award.  (thanks to the folks that submitted the application for this – a non-trivial task. I was completely unaware someone was applying, and am still grinning about this –ed.)
  • Hire253 posters – post these – you do our best outreach -

Coming Attractions

  • March 29th – Committee Work Time
  • April 3rd – Hire253
  • April 5th – Korean Women’s Association – programs overview
  • April 12th – the new The Coffee Oasis youth Shelter overview
  • April 19th – Why do small loose clothing fibers that gather together, often in belly buttons, inspire a 40 day long Christian focus on prayer, good works, and penance every spring?  Our religious experts will delve into the history, three major types (dryer, navel and pocket), customs, and future of lint.  This enlightening and engaging tour de force will no doubt provide context and depth to your linten observances.      

Restaurant Review

Ah, the ubiquitous Teriyaki Restaurant.  While teriyaki did originate in Japan – sort of -  the strip-mall version is really a Seattle invention.  Well, a Toshihiro Kasahara invention.  Kasahara, an immigrant from – Portland Oregon - opened Toshi’s Teriyaki in a lower Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle in 1976.  From there, he went on to operate a dozen plus Toshi’s Teriyakis, until deciding that managing a mini-franchise was sucking the life out of him, and now has a tiny 3 table teriyaki place in Mill Creek.   But teriyaki is everywhere now.  Well, everywhere in the Puget Sound region – it is still new to many communities around the US – mostly because, for a fast food option, it doesn’t yet really have any dominant chains.  But that doesn’t matter in Tacoma, where teriyaki is abundant.  The Japanese version is lovely – grilled meat very lightly finished with mirin, sake and soy sauce.  You’ll find it at street vendors and in small restaurants in Japan.  But that isn’t what we’re talking about.  Seattle Teriyaki is served with a  thick, sweet teriyaki sauce.  I love it, in spite of myself.  And everyone else does too, or there wouldn’t be at least one teriyaki place in every single strip mall in the Puget Sound Region.  I wish I could provide some advice on good and bad teriyaki places, but I think of them all as pretty much the same.  I’m sure there are better and worse, but the variation isn’t enough to influence my restaurant choice.  I’ll eat it anywhere.  I still remember my first Teriyaki meal.  I was a freshman at UW in Seattle (back with UW only meant Seattle), and working at a little photographic supply warehouse (back when you needed film and photo paper to make pictures).  Doris was an accountant there, and she introduced me to lots of new foods, including teriyaki.  It was one of those food that, after eating once, I  couldn’t help but feel deprived I’d never tried it before.  As luck would have it, that first Teriyaki was from Toshi’s Laurelhurst location – so the “original” recipe that made him famous – and everyone uses now.  I remember wondering how something so good could have never have passed my lips before.  After that, I ate a lot more teriyaki.  The chicken teriyaki, the rice, the anemic salad – I love it all.   Anyway, I hardly need to recommend teriyaki –  the number of restaurants out there tells me it’s popularity isn’t waning yet.  So, go out and get yourself some teriyaki -  from anywhere.  You will probably leave smiling, full, and not too much lighter in the wallet.       


  • Martha Sheppard, Tacoma Salvation Army
  • Coley Wiley, Comprehensive Life Resources
  • Stephanie Glover, Comprehensive Life Resources
  • Mel Leary, Comprehensive Life Resources
  • Matthew Wilson, Oasis Youth Center
  • Valeri Knight, Pierce County Human Services
  • Bobby Ocasio, City of Tacoma
  • Keidrick O’Bannon, City of Tacoma
  • William Stinson, Catholic Community Services
  • Brendon Baker, Veterans Administration
  • Maureen Howard, Housing Advocate
  • Abiodun Faleke, Tacoma Rescue Mission
  • Justin Tillis, Tacoma Rescue Mission
  • Haili Crow, Tacoma Rescue Mission
  • Joseph Sanders, Tacoma Rescue Mission
  • CC Mendoza, Metropolitan Development Council
  • Charleen Fitzgerald, Coordinated Care
  • Valentinya Germer, Comprehensive Life Resources
  • Bryan Green, Olive Crest – Safe families for children
  • Claudia Miller, Franklin Pierce School District
  • Devon Isakson, The REACH Center/ACT Program
  • Pamm Silver, Molina Healthcare
  • Emily Less, Tacoma Pierce County Health Department
  • Elijah Moon, Department of Social and Health Services – Community Services Division
  • Susan P-a-bunch-of-letters-t, Adult Protective Services
  • Larry Seaquist, League of Women Voters
  • Cynthia Seaquist, League of Women Voters
  • Kim Tosch, Tacoma Human Rights Commission
  • Al Ratcliffe, me
  • Patricia Menzies, Tent City Tacoma
  • Eric Hasstedt, Safe Streets
  • Kelly Blucher, Goodwill Industries
  • Sherri Jensen, Valeo Vocation
  • Judy Flannigan, Tacoma Salvation Army
  • Greg Walker Valeo Vocation
  • Stephanie Prudhomme, Adonai Counseling and Employment
  • Dawna Bryant, Comprehensive Life Resources  
  • Calvin Kennon Sr., Comprehensive Life Resources
  • Bill Bruno, Catholic Community Services
  • Sandra Sych, Pierce County AIDs Foundation
  • Richard Berghammer, Fellowship Bible Church
  • Chris Travis, Tacoma Police Department
  • Erica Azcueta, City of Tacoma
  • Martin Tetlof, Associated Ministries
  • Keith Galbraith, Family Renewal Shelter
  • Dug, Family Renewal Shelter
  • Taniesha Lyons, Tacoma Community College Student