Meeting Information

Meeting Type
Friday Coalition Meeting
Friday, 5/24/2019
9:00 AM
11:00 AM
Michele Thomas, with the The Washington Low Income Housing Alliance will be presenting on their work over last State Legislative Session, successes, and to begin planning for the next year. Will Harrison with MDC will also present on the Upward Bound Summer Program.
The Salvation Army Church (1110 S Puget Sound Ave, Tacoma, WA 98405)


  • James Pogue, Comprehensive Life Resources,
  • Lots of new folks here, probably time we do another presentation about the services at Comprehensive Life Resources
  • There are a lot of folks here for the near start of a 3-day weekend
  • At the bottom of the agenda, there is the website  - - you can see upcoming meeting, minutes from past meetings, etc.
  • The listserv is amazing – you can connect to is at
  • Resources database is available at - new feature on the resources database for a client to ask for help - it will leave a message for the Comprehensive Life Resources team to connect in with the client


Washington Low Income Housing Alliance -

  • Michele Thomas, Director of Policy and Advocacy,
  • Presentation materials are at
  • Lots of familiar faces here
  • If you’ve been paying attention since April 28th – lots of good news to share
  • A very bleak budget year, but had historic investment if housing and homelessness
  • As you probably know, Pierce County and Tacoma are critical parts of the state.  You have a lot of influential law makers - very driven and motivated law makers in positions of power in the State House and Senate.  For instance, Senator Jeannie Darneille chairs the Human Services Subcommittee.  The Chair control what gets through committees, so those positions are key to passing legislation. 
  • Appreciate everyone who came to the advocacy day – we were 650 people strong.  And also appreciate all the outreach you  all did. 
  • We are an organization that works on statewide policy – mostly pushing for investments in affordable housing and work to end homelessness in Washington State. 
  • There are 1000’s of folks in our network across the state working to end homelessness
  • We want you to be as effective as possible in moving and motivating your lawmakers
  • Much of our work has opponents – often with well-funded lobbyists.  We need to create a movement to combat that funding. 
  • We want to know what we can do better to help you connect in with your lawmakers
  • A shout out to Cynthia and Maureen – two very powerful and engaged advocates (lots of clapping, cheering and some reserved waves of acknowledgement. –ed).
  • Cynthia – I’ve been involved with the League of Women Voters on many big campaigns, Michele was very successful and deserves the credit for what happened in Olympia this year
  • Bills have a long pathway to get approved.  Almost all of our bills have made it through the whole process and were signed by the Governor.
  • Wins
    • Eviction Reform- Senate Bill 5600 ( ) by Kuderer and HB 1453 ( ) –by Macri – The biggest overhaul of the landlord tenant act since it was first enacted in 1971 – it hadn’t really been updated since then.  Under our current law, tenants get only 3 days once they become behind, to pay.  That was extended to 14 days – this gives them much more time to have another pay period or get funding from friends or family or non-profits.  This is important because so much homeless is driven eviction.  This is also because so many more people of color are more impacted by evictions than white folks.  From a racial equity agenda, this work is vital.  Also, people of color are more likely to be tenants as opposed to home owners.  Laurie Jenkins, the head of the civil rights and judiciary committee – she was a fierce advocate for it in the committee.  Jenkins stood up time and again to refute misinformation from the opposition.  Melanie Morgan was also incredible this session – she is one of the bravest lawmakers I’ve ever met.  I’ve see a lot of sessions, so I’ve met a lot of lawmakers.  Her story of currently being evicted and experiencing homeless was powerful and took real bravery.  She countered many of the arguments critical of people experiencing homelessness with her own story (I just sent her an e-mail asking if she’ll attend a Coalition meeting and talk a bit about the work she is doing in the House.  Let’s hope she says yes. –ed)
      • We did a webinar on Wednesday – that is available now – I recommend (you can watch it at -ed)
      • Tenants have 14 days to correct any rental arrears (I rather like the word “arrears” – it sort of connotes what it denotes, sounding like something bad, which it absolutely is. It is derived from the latin ad retro, meaning “to be behind”. –ed)
      • Tenants can’t be evicted for monetary costs other than rent.  They can be taken to small claims court to collect those debts still, but not evicted over them.  However, behavioral allegations can still be cause for evictions.  This protection is only for non-rent monetary charges. 
      • Tenants are often brought to court for 1 months or less of rent, and end up with lawyer and court fees – but now only $75 can be charged in an eviction lawsuit.  (this is such a beneficial law.  There is lots of reporting on the compounding nature of fines on people living in poverty - - is a great place to start.  It is nice to see some legislation addressing these sorts of practices.  –ed.)
      • Judges have some discretion (embarrassingly, I took me like 6 guesses to spell this word right –ed.), and can take other information into consideration to prevent an eviction.
      • Language access was approved – the eviction form will be translated in the top 10 languages in Washington.  The Attorney General’s website will also have resources in those languages. 
      • Al – can a judge mandate a payment plan?  Michele – absolutely.  The mitigation fund created last year will help with this too - if there are damages that exceed normal wear and tear.  That mitigation fund will front the cost of the payment plan or the judgement.  So the Commerce Department will pay the landlord, and the tenant will have to repay Commerce.
      • Marsha – what monetary cost were you talking about?  Often late fees can be $50 per day.  Michele – the landlord can charge late fees, but can’t evict for nonpayment of those.  But they can take to small claims court to get the money back. 
      • Tacoma Tenants Organizing committee did great work.  A lot of your work created an environment where the laws needed to pass – the legislators understood the connection between evictions and homelessness
    • House bill 1406/Robinson – a new source of funding for homes – homes must be affordable – for people with under 60% Average Median Income (AMI).  This can also be used for operations and maintenance.
      • Counties and cities can each use it – max is .0146% of state sales – it is locally collected tax that has been going to the state but can now be redirected  to the jurisdictions.  Jurisdictions can bond against it.
      • Jurisdictions like Pierce County have some decisions to make.  Pierce County and Tacoma need to decide which group will enact the law, or if they both do who will have control over those dollars.  We want Cities and Counties to work together to spend the money (we all want Cities and Counties to work together, and they say they want to work together, and yet… -ed)
      • On June 6th there is a webinar around how to get local jurisdictions to take action.  –
      • Need to decide on how to use the funding – for folks 30% AMI or 60% AMI or permanent supportive housing – lots of choices to make.  And lots of chances to get active. 
      • This is a $500M investment in housing across the state over 20 years.
    • Impediments & cost
    • Budget investments
      • $175M for Housing Trust Fund – biggest investment in affordable homes in state legislative history.  The housing trust fund is how the state invests in affordable housing.  Affordable Housing developers cobble together different funding sources, but this investments is the lynchpin for this work. 
      • $1M in risk mitigation fund
        • $35M for Permanent Supportive Housing
        • $57M for affordable housing for special needs populations – veterans, people with Developmental Disabilities and farmworkers
        • $5M for home ownership
      • First increase - $14.5M increase – in Housing and Essential Needs (HEN program).  Catholic Community Services and Share and Care house were big players in getting this passed (Catholic Community Services provides HEN in Kitsap and King Counties –ed.).  We wanted much more, but this was a huge win in a tough budget year.  This should help an additional 1,000 people across the state.
      • $7M for operation and maintenance for Permanent Supportive Housing
      • $44M into homelessness programs
  • Looking at the 2020 legislative session  –
    • Current budgets cover 2 years.  The next legislative session is a short one – ½ the time.  It will have fewer changes – but can still have new investments, although probably won’t.  This will be a policy discussion year.  There could be new policies. 
    • If there are new needs not represented in our work let us know.
    • Work carry over from last year
      • HB 1656 /Macri – a law to have just a legitimate business reason to make someone move.  This exists in Seattle and in Oregon.  This is vital for racial equity and to prevent retaliation.  Often requests for repairs can cause a landlord to evict.  Landlords also will threaten immigrants with deportation.  Another big thanks to Laurie Jinkins, a key player in this work.
      • HB 1694/Morgan – to require move-in fee payment plans.  Modeled after the City of Seattle – which requires a 3 month payment plan to allow someone to spread move-in costs over 3 months.  Missing a payment is evictionable – but still a good plan idea..  Encourage Representative Morgan to keep working on this.
      • HB 1590/Doglio – local sales and use tax to pass with a simple majority of lawmakers. 
    • Housing alliance listening tours – like last year, we will do this again.  But it will be different because of the shorter session.  We will be in contact so we can again come and hear from you
    • We talked a lot about a bill to outlaw a landlord’s ability to use a prior criminal record as a barrier to housing.  The idea is you shouldn’t be able to deny housing solely because of a prior criminal record.  The City of Seattle passed that, and it is being challenged in court.  The bill was delayed to see how those lawsuits play out. 
    • Sing up for the housing alliance action alerts -
      • You get alerts about federal policy and notification about how to get involved in the housing alliance
      • Also get alerts about webinars.
      • And special money saving opportunities only available to platinum level members (OK, I might be making this one up –ed.)
    • Some of you work for nonprofits that are hesitant to allow you to meet with law makers (forgiveness, not permission, folks. –ed).  It is legal, but you have to watch the time you spend on lobbying – contact us to learn more.  You can always meet with lawmakers as an individual.  Always be thoughtful and careful about how you talk about housing and homelessness – not furthering stigmas and stereotypes – we have training around this to help you be as successful as possible. 
    • Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has a new proposed rule that will evict family members that are unqualified because of their immigration status.  To set the facts straight, HUD currently doesn’t subsidize that person’s part of the rent.  This is inhumane and we need to submit comments to HUD.  If you want to – the National Low Income Housing Alliance has a webpage about this topic (I looked, but couldn’t find this information – their website is - I hope you have better luck than me –ed.)
    • Mark your calendar for our annual conference – it is usually in May.  We changed it to fall this year – November 6th-7th in Spokane – we rotate sides of the state to have the conference. (one year it is on the right side, and the next year it is on the wrong side… -ed)
  • Let us know what is missing from our policy objectives.  
  • James – Michele really helped walked me through talking points, what to as.  She really gave me a good script to follow. 


MDC Upward Bound Summer Program -

  • Will Harrison, Metropolitan Development Council, Academic Event Planner,
  • Presentation Materials
  • Two weeks in to this work.  Work for the Upward Bound Youth Program
  • Helps financially challenged students get prepared for college
  • 6-week program planned for these students over the summer
  • We have staff on site at Foss, Stadium, Spanaway Lake, Mount Tahoma and Lincoln
  • Eligibility
    • Entering grade 9th-12th
    • Want to learn about college
    • At least a 2.0 grade point average
    • Under a certain income
    • Potential First generation in their family to attend college
    • Attend Foss, Stadium, Spanaway Lake, Mount Tahoma or Lincoln High Schools
  • Trying to get 185 students by June 24th.
    • We need help connecting to these students. 
    • This program was recently funded so are working hard to get it up and running
  • Also need teachers for the summer.  Must be certified teachers or substitutes.  It is a $40 per hour position for teachers – for a 6 week program.  They create their own curriculum.  We work to put together a program that the students want to do. 
  • Include Friday field trips – part of the STEM (Science, Technology Engineering and Math) program
  • Program has breakfast and lunch daily, and a trip to San Francisco at the end of the program. 
    • Classes are Monday-Thursday - starts at 8:30am at the University of Washington Tacoma, and last until 3:00pm.
    • Fridays are field trip days
  • Some transportation is included
  • The program is free
  • Question – if the low GPA is because someone doesn’t apply themselves.  Will – we have some flexibility so this is the right program for these students
  • Carrie –what is the income eligibility limit?  Will – I can get that to you. 
  • Al – have you connected to programs like Palmer Scholars and similar program?  Will – I’ll get those program names from you and connect with them. 


Good of the Order

  • Carrie Ching – shout out to Comprehensive Life Resources – there was a gal on 38th and Pacific – e-mailed Comprehensive Life Resources at like 8am – got a response that they went to see her already an hour later – thank you homeless outreach team
  • Maureen – sometimes it seems really frustrating that nothing happens fast enough, there isn’t enough money.  Don’t ever think your idea won’t go anywhere – just be bold enough to try. 

Coming Attractions

  • May 31st, Daily Meaningful Activity Committee Report out on current work, past accomplishment, and future plans. The Evictions Committee will also do a full report out on their last year+ of work.     
  • June 7th, County Assessor Julie Anderson will present on Voter Registration and the coming Census as well as UnitedHealthCare
  • June 14th, City of Destiny Awards – bask in the glory of the Coalition’s recognition
  • June 14th, Safe Families for Children – temporary hosting for children when families are in crisis and an update of the programs and goings on at the Stability Site
  • June 21st, Youth focused presentations, including an update on the ACT youth initiatives, and an update from The Coffee Oasis on progress on their new Pierce County youth shelter
  • June 28th, Wellfound Behavioral Health Hospital - program offerings and how to connect clients to services
  • July 5th, No meeting
  • July 12th, Is an electric toothbrush with a dead battery simply a regular toothbrush, or something sadder.  Join our panel of experts as they delve into the emotional impacts of toothbrush charging catastrophes, how dental tool anthropomorphism can enhance your life, and the dark side of failed charging routines.  

Restaurant Review

As summer approaches, my mind does tend to drift to road trips.  There are lots of places to wander to in the Pacific Northwest, but, like many of us, I’m a fan of the Oregon Coast.  It is hard to beat a weekend camping at Oswald West State Park above one of the best coves on the coast (camping just for tents, thank you very much) or doing some sand-boarding on the dunes at Honeyman State Park further South.  Are you not the camping type?  Maybe rent a house with friends in Manzanita?  Superb beaches, cute town, and a great little bakery or two, all within walking distance.  No matter how you go about it, a drive down the Oregon Coast is a joy.  And I usually stop at a Mo’s for some chowder.  They have 8 locations up and down the coast – but I prefer Mo’s Annex in Newport (657 SW Bay, Newport, OR - ).  It is right on the docks, and you can watch the commercial fisherman come and go.  There are usually some Sea Lions making a riot of things, as well.  Mo’s Annex, sadly, doesn’t have a deep fat fryer (they do at the original Mo’s, across the street).  But, the chowder, steamed clams, and shrimp salad sandwich make me happy – as does the activity out the window.  And, like the Devil’s Punchbowl a bit up the Coast, it is well worth a visit. 

And a follow up note from Sarah Appling - "Oh Gerrit you have missed the true gem near Newport. Do not be fooled by Mo’s, take yourself to the South Beach Fish Market ( - 3640 S Coast Hwy, South Beach, OR 97366) and get a crab sandwich and a cup of chowder. You are welcome!" - Advice I plan on taking


  • Roberta Washington – Eastside Liaison – looking to find out what is going on in Tacoma
  • Al Ratcliffe, international man of mystery
  • Gail Meisner – Molina Healthcare
  • Pamm Silver, Molina Healthcare
  • Carrie Ching, Molina Healthcare
  • University of Washington Tacoma Nursing Program
  • Annie, University of Washington Tacoma Nursing
  • Andrea Sanz, Tacoma Rescue Mission
  • Emma Seal, Tacoma Rescue Mission (I think that is who it was)
  • Martha Sheppard, The Salvation  Army
  • Yuki, Coordinated Care
  • Theresa Power-Drutis, New Connections
  • Valentinya Germer, Comprehensive Life Resources
  • Charleen Fitzgerald, Coordinated Care
  • Bryan Carbullido, Comprehensive Life  Resources
  • Marilyn Duran, Comprehensive Life Resources
  • Helen Hernandez, Comprehensive Life Resources
  • Jeremy Walker, Housing Advocate
  • Maureen Howard, Housing Advocate
  • Rosemary Powers, New Connections
  • Dana Peterson, Catholic Community Services of Western Washington
  • Delmar Algee, Catholic Community Services of Western Washington
  • Patty Schneider, Catholic Community Services of Western Washington
  • Keegan Buckley, City of Tacoma
  • Matthew Jorgensen, City of Tacoma
  • William Harrison, Metropolitan Development Council
  • Michele Thomas, Washington Low Income Housing Alliance
  • Nathan Balckmer, Comprehensive Life Resources
  • Greta Brackman, Comprehensive Life Resources
  • Carlos Castanon, Comprehensive Life Resources
  • Brendan Baker, Veterans Administration
  • Allison, University of Washington Seattle Nursing Program
  • Donald Pitchford, House of Prayer
  • Maybe others, I can’t find my sign in sheets…