Meeting Information

Meeting Type
Friday Coalition Meeting
Friday, 3/29/2019
9:00 AM
11:00 AM
Committee Work Time and an overview of the Happy Destiny House
The Salvation Army Church (1110 S Puget Sound Ave, Tacoma, WA 98405)


  • James – The “Seattle is Dying” piece has started a lot of discussion.  I am happy to have conversation about how the homeless system really works – we can bring folks for a ride along, want to  bring folks into a conversation  and engage folks. 
  • On Tuesday, April 2nd, the Pierce County Human Services Select Committee will receive a report on the Point in Time count– Feel free to join many of us 9:30am Tuesday 10th floor of County City Building
  • - updated with meeting agendas and the listserv.  It is a great resource for finding the resources your staff needs (not only that, it is made from scratch with lots of love, just like Grandma’s cookies. –ed).  Listserv has a lot of e-mail, you may want to try the digest if you’re getting too many e-mails.  The listserv is public – be careful of what you share and what you say (probably not bad advice for e-mail in general. –ed.)
  • Also go to - easy place to find community resources.
  • Question: please shut down the old listserv. James – I need to do this.
  • We are here to help with ideas that can impact homelessness, we want you to come here, get inspired, get an idea,  spearhead it, and make it happen.  We’ll be at your side the whole way (that is the gist of what James said – I’m ad-libbing with the “at your side” thing, but I do like the imagery, so I’m stickin’ with it – ed.)
  • New ideas means we got more Continuum of Care funding this year than in past year – the work we are doing here is boosting funding for the whole community


Happy Destiny House - (in English, “destiny” has always has a bit of a predestination element to it, but the Latin root, destino – meaning to make firm, to establish, to choose - gives a bit more agency to us.  I do like the idea of a place you were meant to go to and also where you build a better future.  It is a melding of a Calvinist upbringing and my own appreciation for free will.  Fun word, Destiny.  –ed.).    

  • Breanna Willard, Happy Destiny House -
  • Robert Willard, Happy Destiny House – (I’m guessing at Robert’s e-mail, so use at your own discretion. –ed)
  • Our Mission, as a nonprofit, is to help individuals become self-sufficient with clean and sober housing. 
  • We don’t kick people out – more like permanent supportive housing.  We still want people to be independent and move out, of course.  
  • Breanna - I got sober 8 ½ years ago in sober living in Phoenix.  I have worked a lot with addicts and in treatment centers.  With the “Seattle is Dying” thing, it is important to remember that not all (and this is where my notes end on this point – I think she said “it is important to remember that not all folks who are homeless have substance use disorders”, but I’m not sure.  They dock my pay every time I don’t complete a sentence correctly in the notes, so if we could just keep this between you and me – I’d appreciate it.   –ed)
  • We serve the folks who are both homeless and also have substance use disorders.  We want to serve those who self-identify that they are homeless and have an SUD.
  • We think we have an ability to really impact these people. 
  • A lot of low income housing doesn’t have support to stay sober.  I love housing first, but then they are just left there. 
  • There are some sober living, but it isn’t always as supportive as it needs to be. 
  • This program is not faith-based, but is rooted in 12 step recovery program. (which is rooted just a little bit in God – well, at least 6 of the 12 steps are – just sayin’. –ed)
  • Have full blown case management, with sobriety support and structured housing. 
  • We partner with other agencies for financial training, vocational training, life skills, etc.  That might mean taking them to Sherri at Valeo Vocation, or services at the Recovery Café. 
  • We have shared rooms – with space for 6 men.  It is a men’s house.  Cable, phone, WIFI, a computer, printers, washer and dryer are included in the rent.
  • We are located right by the mall, within easy walking distance to transit.
  • Requirements
    • 18 or older
    • Pee clean – although this is a gray area with marijuana as it remains in the system so long – so it may come back positive, but needs to be diminishing over time
    • Must attend 12-step meetings
    • Have weekly chores
    • $200 move in fee, rent is $480 per month
  • Audrey – are Methadone or Suboxone users allowed?  Breanna – no – if they are working on getting off those medications, then, yes.  Otherwise, no.  Question – Why not?  Breanna - What we can do is create a path to permanent sobriety based on what we do well.  Folks on Methadone are on a different path – and that may interfere with others working on the 12 step path.  It is challenging for clients to have roommates not also following the 12 step path. 
  • Don – Have you considered partnering with referrals to Methodone programs ?  Deanna – sure.  We are happy to refer clients to other programs
  • James - there is an argument on Medical Assisted Treatment (MAT) vs. abstinence programs.  There are strong beliefs on both sides.  As long as we have both and a significant demand for both, and success with both, our community should welcome both (that isn’t exactly what James said, but that is the core idea. –ed). 
  • How to folks get in
    • We have a website with an application –
    • Call us - 360-663-4594 (it might just be time to make the commitment to Pierce County and get yourself a 253 area code –ed.)
    • E-mail -
    • We’ll meet folks at the house the day they reach out with an interest in the program.
  • Greta – what about prescribed cannabis products?  Breanna – not OK. 
  • Robert – we are concerned with making this a good service in a system we know how to do.  We know clean and sober housing.
  • Question  - What sort of vocation referrals do you do?  Breanna – we do resume writing and job searching on site – and partner with other organizations.  Our first move-in is going to House of Matthew’s classes.
  • Marybeth – would house requirements preclude folks from going to school?  Breanna – we are absolutely wanting to fit their other obligations in with the program requirements.
  • Question – thanks for stepping forward and providing another option.  Do you have openings?  Breanna – yes, we do.
  • Al – what co-existing physical or mental health disorders would disqualify someone.  Breanna – if folks can shower themselves and get up and get out of the house on their own, and be able to interact with others early in their recovery, they are welcome.  There is nothing that will stop someone – if you can go to 12 steps, you can be a part of the program.
  • Sean – is the live in house manager part of the program?  Breanna – they are in recovery and a great role model for the folks in  the house. 
  • Do they have to be out of the house for a period of time every  day?  Breanna – first 30 days – must be back at the house by 9pm (or out with other house members).  Normal curfew is 11pm – midnight on weekends.  If they have a job and want to relax on the weekends –great, they can lay around the house.  If not employed, they need to be out of the house by 10am looking for work.  If folks have a disability, we need them to be getting out to meetings or places to volunteer.
  • Al – felonies and sex offenders?  Breanna – we are open to anyone – everyone needs a place to get sober.  It may depend some on who is in the house – if we have someone who is vulnerable, we may need to exclude them.
  • Marybeth – time limits?  Robert – it is a 6 month program, but folks can stay as long as they want.  At the end of 6 months, if they stay sober, they get their $200 deposit back.  While the rent is $480 per month,  clients can do $120 per week if week-by-week is needed.
  • Al - As people get close to 6 months – will you connect them to other community housing  resources?  Breanna – that is the goal for the entire program.  Robert – we may refer folks to House of Matthew. 
  • Breanna – we want to create some community for our clients – BBQs and events in the summer.   
  • If people relapse, they aren’t kicked out right away.  Our first response will be to bring folks in closer.  If they are putting other’s at risk, the response may be different. 
  • Emily – random UA’s?  Breanna – yes. 
  • James – Breanna used to work for me, and I totally adore her.  This program may not be for everyone, but if clients are fully aware of what they are coming into, it is a great solution
  • Question – it is inspiring to see Sherri and Breanna  take what they are doing and do something new and amazing that adds to the community.  


Legislative Update

  • Theresa Power-Drutis
  • Maureen will be back next week.  Take a look at what your organization  is supporting legislatively.  Just because the bill made it to the floor, that doesn’t mean it will pass – still need to voice support.
  • Bring some items for us to focus on next week
  • Al – it isn’t just what your organization supports, it is what you support as well.  We all need to take the responsibility to communicate our wants and needs to our elected representatives.
  • James – our agency has taken a more active approach.  We testified to the legislature about “Seattle is Dying”.  “Seattle is Dying” layered all sorts of stuff together in inaccurate ways.  It required us to work hard to quickly inform representatives about the reality of the situations we see in our daily work.  Stephanie provided some moving personal testimony – so many legislators contacted us to let folks know that what we presented to them was new information. 


Committee Day workgroups

  • Our committees work on holes in our system.  We work to cut red tape. 
  • The Workforce development team has done great things – Hire253 came from that, as did Valeo Vocation
  • Adovcacy – not happening today, but a very active committee.
  • Innovative Shelter Team – Looking at how we can be innovative and spoon feeding local legislation on solutions
  • Daily Meaningful Activity – we come up with all sorts of connections to folks, but then we house them apart from their social structure, we often leave folks isolated and lonely.  We are looking for ways to build community based support networks that aren’t just focused on recovery and such.
  • Eviction Mitigation – the data shows it is hard to predict who that is facing eviction will end up homeless.  Most of our resources work to get folks housed again.  This works to slow the tide of eviction. 
  • Racial Equity – intersection of race and equality, Sami is going to start that work group. 


Good of the Order

  • Spring Bling Fling – Friday, April 4th from 3-7, Saturday, April 5th from 10-5.  Taking donation of lovely things from your closet – drop it off on Thursday from 4pm to 7pm. 
  • Tuesday, April 2nd,  – Medical Reserve Corps immunization clinic from 4-6pm
  • Telecare open house – 16 beds available for inpatient and outpatient treatment - open next Monday
  • Last Friday of the month – used closing and household goods accepted at Family Renewal Shelter
  • Hire253 – this Wednesday, April 3rd
  • Tacoma Community College job fair – April 18th – if you want a table – sign up at  employment for the general public, not just folks experiencing homelessness. 

Coming Attractions

  • April 12th – the new The Coffee Oasis youth Shelter overview
  • April 19th –Something youth-y
  • April 26th – Child care for households experiencing homelessness
  • May 3rd –Pierce County Emergency Management will come and discuss how the homeless system and emergency management can better support each other during inclement weather and other emergencies.
  • May 10th – Has the introduction of straight pretzels sufficiently angered the Celtic water god Sirona, causing her to punish humanity by raising global sea levels?  Our panel of experts, including Al Gore, Brad Stevens, and Acme Bread CEO Wile E. Coyote, will present the evidence.  All you have to do is separate the wheat from the chaff.  Complimentary pretzels provided.

Restaurant Review

People love a good hotdog at the ballpark.  They even like bad hotdogs at ballparks.  But it isn’t about the hotdog, it is about the ballpark.  And hotdogs are often offered at a BBQ for folks that don’t want a burger.  The hotdog is seldom the star of the show.  Oh, the pitiable hotdog, ever the bridesmaid, never the bride.  So about 10 years ago, when I heard a hotdog-only place opened up on 6th avenue, I questioned the wisdom of that venture.  But, I figured I’d take my boys there and check it out.  Then I learned it is an over 21 establishment.  That is when I figured I better get in quick to try the place out before they close down – is there really money in hotdogs?  Turns out yes, yes there is.  Some 9 years after opening, The Red Hot (2914 6th Ave, Tacoma, WA - ) is an institution.  It is mostly beer and hotdogs, although they do have sausages too.  The dogs span the simple (the “Red Hot” – with mustard, onions and relish) to the sublime (the “Rainier Rueben” – mustard, special sauce, swiss cheese and saurerkraut) to the suspect (the “Hound Dog” – with peanut butter and bacon – although I have friends that swear by it).  If you are less hunter and more gatherer, they have an inspired vegan menu – including “The Green Machine” – field roast chipotle faux-sausage, onions, salsa verde, vegan Mozzarella, arugula and pickled jalapeños.  They also have nearly 30 beers on tap – and a nice variety.  I like the ends of the beer spectrum – the pilsners and the stouts – and the Red Hot always has options for me.  Not so at every bar.  I’m always surprised when a seemingly impressive tap list is really just 27 IPAs and an amber.  Oh, I know there are folks who would consider that some form of utopia; there is no accounting for taste.  And the Red Hot does have its share of IPAs, but plenty of ciders and porters and lagers as well.  The Red Hot used to be wedged in a small space that had a great Tacoma vibe, too many people, and not quite enough bathrooms.   They’ve since expanded to a larger place, and what they’ve lost in Tacoma grit they’ve made up for in comfort and urinals.  I don’t know how many of our pub crawl plans have started at the Red Hot, and just never quite left.  It is a great place to rendezvous with some friends, enjoy some good eats, quaff a few beers, and let the time slide on by till well after when you should probably have gotten home.   



  • Theresa Power-Drutis, New Connections – I’m glad you are responding
  • Larry A. Quintana – Tacoma Community College
  • Marybeth McCarthy – Tacoma Community College
  • Samie Iverson, Tacoma Public Schools
  • Rodney Robinson, Treehouse
  • Rosemary Powers, New Connections
  • William Stinson, Catholic Community Services
  • Matthew Jorgensen, City of Tacoma
  • Keidrick O’Bannon, City of Tacoma
  • Sandra Sych, Pierce County AIDs Foundation
  • Dana Peterson, Catholic Community Services
  • Sean Lewis, Associated Ministries
  • Carolyn Read, St. Leo’s Parish
  • CC Mendoza, Metropolitan Development Council
  • Al Ratcliffe, Me
  • Jeria Smith, Department of Social and Health Services
  • Anna Behrens, Coordinated Care
  • Charleen Fitzgerald, Coordinated Care
  • Emily Less, Tacoma Pierce County Health Department
  • Carolyn Weisz, University of Puget Sound
  • Andrea Sanz, Tacoma Rescue Mission
  • Kristinia Argent, Volunteer
  • Megan Towey, Catholic Community Services
  • Pamm Silver, Molina Health Care
  • Sheila Miraflor, Molina Health Care
  • DeAnn Johnson, United Health Care
  • Jacque DiGideo, United Health Care
  • Nathan Blackmer, Comprehensive Life Resources
  • Greta Brackman, Comprehensive Life Resources
  • Audrey Oliver, Comprehensive Life Resources
  • Carlos Castanon, Comprehensive Life Resources
  • Denise Webb, Pierce County citizen – here to be part of the solution
  • Jessica Hall, Greater Lakes Mental Health
  • Trisha Munson, Greater Lakes Mental Health
  • Stephanie Wright, Adonai Counseling and Employment
  • Robert Willard, Happy Destiny House
  • Breanna Willard, Happy Destiny House
  • Sherri Jensen, Valeo Vocation
  • Keith Galbraith, Family Renewal Shelter
  • Dug, service dog in training
  • Byron Corzo, Comprehensive Life Resources