Youth & Young Adults Committee 12/9 recap: Survival Sex Workshop

PSKS LogoLast Tuesday about 50 community members gathered at the Coalition’s Youth & Young Adults Committee (YYAC) monthly meeting to share in a powerful workshop about Survival Sex facilitated Queer Youth Community Organizing Interns TJ Petrik and Jackie Sandberg from PSKS.  (These two participated in the YYAC’s Youth Advocacy Summit this year, and it was great to reconnect!) As a topic that is very prevalent in the lives of many in our community, but not discussed as much as it should be, it was good to share this conversation with service providers, case workers, advocates, and more so everybody could get tips for how to share important information with those they work with.

Some highlighted tips for service providers:
Find full list of tips from TJ and Jackie here

  • Survival Sex can loosely be defined as “needs-based sexual activity” and is often traded for assurance of safety, a place to stay, money, protection, and drugs among other reasons.
  • Needs based sexual activities are very complex and personal, and are especially prevalent among homeless youth and LGBTQ youth.
  • Service providers can and should provide information and resources about sex work while being sensitive to those they are serving.
  • Many people may not be open about sharing so it is important to make sure everyone knows that resources are available by using space in your facility to educate people via fliers, events, and non-derogatory language. It was suggested by many in the room that one approach for intake workers and service providers to share information would be by asking: “Would you or anyone you know like information about resources for those involved in survival sex.”  Asking questions such as this allow space for individuals to access resources without having to disclose personal information.
  • When working with a young person who’s engaged in needs-based sex work, it’s important to discuss risk reduction. For example: If the young person works alone, then discuss what having a buddy system could look like, and what the ups and downs of that would be.

List of Important Resources and Organizations from TJ and Jackie:

These are important conversations to have and we are glad that so many organizations were represented at the meeting to take this information back to their spaces and spread the conversation widely.  If you have any questions or would like to look into the possibility of having a Survival Sex workshop at your organization or continue to be part of the growing educational movement, please email Hillary@homelessinfo.org.

Thanks to everyone who came out and especially thanks to Jackie and TJ for leading such a dynamic and important discussion!

We hope to see you at the January Youth & Young Adults Committee Meeting: Tuesday January 13, 2015, 10:00-11:30 a.m. @ All Pilgrims Christian Church: 509 10th Ave E, Seattle, 98102 (note temporary location change for Jan). 

Winter Shelter & Severe Weather Shelter in King County

It’s cold outside, Winter is here.  Updated Shelter locations around King County can be found below. Please note that Winter Shelters are opened nightly and Severe Weather Shelters (listed below) are usually open when the weather is below freezing.  This post will be frequently updated with the most recent information. If you know of new or updated information please contact hillary[at]homelessinfo[dot]org.

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SEATTLE SHELTERS

King County Men’s Winter Shelter

Open every night October 1, 2014 – April 15, 2015

  • Location: King County Administration Building – 500 4th Avenue Downtown Seattle (Between Jefferson and James)
  • Operator: The Salvation Army
  • Capacity: 50 men
  • Hours: 7:00 PM to 6:00 AM
  • Access: Line up for the shelter in front of the loading dock garage door at the corner of 4th and Jefferson.

King County Women’s Winter Shelter at Angeline’s

Open every night October 1, 2014 – April 15, 2015

  • Location: YWCA Angeline’s 2030 -3rd Avenue, Seattle, 98121 (Belltown neighborhood – 3rd Avenue between Lenora and Virginia)
  • Operator: YWCA
  • Capacity: 40 Women
  • Hours: 8:00 PM to 7:00 AM – Women have the option to stay at Angeline’s in the morning for breakfast and throughout the day.
  • Access: Women may stop by and register with the Women’s Referral Center daily between 6:00 to 9:00 PM. After 9 PM drop-in or call (206) 436-8650 for space availability.

For more information on the shelters, please contact Janice Hougen with King County Community Services Division at (206) 263-9089or janice.hougen@kingcounty.gov.

Lake City Winter Shelter – CLOSED UNTIL DECEMBER 2

FLYER with all locations. Open every night December 2, 2014 – March 23, 2015 – ROTATING LOCATIONS 

  • December 2 – December 20 LocationPrince of Peace Lutheran Church, 14514 20th Ave. NE, Shoreline, 98155     
    • Hours: 7:30 PM – 6:30 AM
    • Access: Use the outside stairs on 20th Avenue direct to the shelter entrance. Bus directions: Depart NE 125th St & Lake City Way NE (Westbound) on 65 JACKSON PARK. Arrive at NE 145th St & 19th Ave NE. Walk approx. 1 block E on NE 145th St. Turn left on 20th Ave NE.
  • December 21 – January 3 LocationGeorge Center for Community, 2212 NE 125th St, Seattle, 98125
    • Hours: 7:30 PM – 6:30 AM
    • Access: Enter shelter at main entrance of church.  Bus directions: Depart NE 125th St & Lake City Way NE (WB) on 41 DOWNTOWN SEATTLE. Arrive at NE 125th St & 20th Ave NE. Walk approx. 1 block E on NE 125th St.

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EASTSIDE SHELTERS

Sophia Way – Eastside Women & Families Shelter – Rotating Location

FLYER: Open every night November 15, 2014 – March 31, 2015

  • Location:                                                                                                                       (November 15 – January 31) St. Peter’s United Methodist Church, 17222 NE 8th St, Bellevue, 98008                                                                                          (January 31 – March 31): Redmond United Methodist Church, 16540 NE 80th St, Redmond, 98052 
  • Operator: Catholic Community Services & Sophia Way
  • Hours: 8:30 PM – 7:30 AM Daily
  • Access: Dinner, Breakfast, Sleeping Mats provided. Walk-in for intake (8:30 PM daily). Single women and families are admitted until shelter closes at 7:30 AM.  Advised to call (425) 417-4815 ahead for information about availability.

Eastside Men’s Shelter

FLYER: Open every night November 15, 2014 – March 31, 2015

  • Location: Old International Paper Company – 1899 120th Ave NE, Bellevue, 98008
  • Operator: Congregations for the Homeless
  • Capacity: 50 Men
  • Hours: 8:30 PM – 7:30 AM Daily
  • Access: Dinner, Breakfast, Sleeping Mats provided. Walk-in for intake (8:30 PM daily). Men are admitted until shelter closes at 7:30 AM.
  • Phone: (425) 614-8544

Snoqualmie Valley Shelter – North Bend – CLOSED UNTIL DECEMBER 3

Message from the Valley Renewal Center: We are excited to announce that Mount Si Lutheran Church has graciously offered to host the first portion of our shelter season.  Our scheduled start date is Wednesday, December 3, 2014.  

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SOUTH KING COUNTY 

Catholic Community Services Winter Shelter 

Men’s and Women’s Shelters open November 3, 2014 – March 31, 2015

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SEVERE WINTER SHELTERS 

Please share information about severe weather shelters with your clients and the community.  Check back for frequent updates about openings. Information can also be found here. 

SEATTLE: Severe Weather Shelter

The emergency shelter serves men and women over the age of 18 and is operated by Salvation Army Staff. The Rainier Room at the Seattle Center is located at 305 Harrison Street just to the north of Key Arena.  This shelter is open access.  Referral forms are NOT required.

AUBURN:

Veteran’s Memorial Park 

Les Gove Overnight Shelter 

  • Location: Les Gove Multipurpose Building: 1024 Deals Way, Auburn, 98002 (between Auburn Senior Activity Center and Auburn Library)
  • Date & Time: Closed
  • Phone: (253) 876 – 1925

KENT: Kent Lutheran Church

FEDERAL WAY: New Hope Christian Fellowship

RENTON: Cold Weather Shelter

  • Location: Renton Harambee Center: 316 South 3rd St, Renton, 98057
  • Date & Time: Closed
  • Phone: 425-430-6600                                                                                                       

Queer Youth Healthcare Fair Sunday Nov. 16th

Our friends at Seattle Counseling Services and HEYO are hosing a Queer Youth Healthcare Fair this SUNDAY the 16th at the Seattle Downtown Central Library from 2-5pm. Please spread this information to your networks, clients, guests, and the community by printing & posting or emailing the flyer and this message from SCS! 

There will be FREE HIV testing, FREE food, #MYHIVMOMENT photo booth, and in-person healthcare navigators available to answer questions and help individuals enroll in qualified healthcare plans. Everyone is welcome to this event!

QYHC Fair Poster (Final)

 

 

Severe Weather Shelters around King County UPDATED

Please share information about severe weather shelters with your clients and the community.  Check back for frequent updates about openings. Information can also be found here. 

SEATTLE Severe Weather Shelter

Location: Seattle Center Rainier Room: 305 Harrison Street (next to Key Arena)Map

Date & Time: Wednesday 11/12 & Thursday 11/13: 8:30pm to 7:00am

 Severe Weather Shelter Seattle Flyer Nov 12 & 13, 2014.

In response to forecasted low temperatures, the City of Seattle is opening Severe Weather Shelter at the Seattle Center Rainier Room on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights, November 11th, 12th, & 13th.   The emergency shelter serves men and women over the age of 18 and is operated by Salvation Army Staff.  The hours of operation are 8:30pm to 7:00am.  The Rainier Room at the Seattle Center is located at 305 Harrison Street just to the north of Key Arena.  This shelter is open access.  Referral forms are NOT required.

AUBURN: Overnight Shelter confirmed open Wed 11/12 & Thurs 11/13

Until power is restored, the following Warming Centers and Shelters will be in place:

  • Overnight Severe Weather Shelter: Les Gove Multipurpose Building: 1024 Deals Way Map (between Auburn Senior Activity Center and Auburn Library)- 8 PM – 7 AM; Phone: (253) 876 – 1925
  • Warming Center: Auburn Senior Center: 808 9th Street SE - 8 AM to 9 PM
  • Warming Center: Auburn City Hall: 25 W Main Street – 8 AM to 6 PM

FEDERAL WAY: New Hope Christian Fellowship

Location: 31411 6th Ave S, Federal Way, WA, 98003 Map
Phone: (253) 269 – 6585                                                                                                  

Date & Time: 4pm-8am, open until further notice

RENTON Cold Weather Shelter

Location: Renton Harambee Center: 316 South 3rd St, Renton, 98057 Map              Phone: 425-430-6600                                                                                                       

Date & Time: Wednesday 11/12: 8:30pm – 8am

Print and share this flyer: Renton Cold Weather Shelter 11.12.2014

The City Renton is partnering with Catholic Community Services to open the Severe Weather Shelter (SWS) at Renton Harambee Center, due to dangerously low temperatures.This Severe Weather Shelter will be open TONIGHT, Wednesday November 12th. 8:30PM - check in and registration, 8AM - shelter closes, all must vacate.  All are welcome. The SWS is available for single women and men, couples, and homeless families with children who are living on the streets or in vehicles; separate sleeping spaces have been prepared for men, women, and for families with children. The SWS will be operated by Catholic Community Services staff and volunteers from the greater Renton community. All must register at the door. As with all shelters, rules for the health and safety of clients, staff and the broader community will apply. For more information please contact the City of Renton, Human Services office at 425-430-6600.

Single Adults Advocacy Committee: Report back from 25 Cities Initiative + Coordinated Entry for Single Adults

The most recent Single Adults Advocacy Committee meeting on Thursday, October 9 was focused on our community’s involvement in the national 25 Cities Initiative, designed to reduce homelessness among veterans and people who are chronically homeless. With that included how ’25 Cities’ relates to coordinated entry for single adults, and how we can be good informants and advocates as these policies, programs, and budgets are developed. Kelli Larsen, Director of Strategic Initiatives at Plymouth and a Design Team member for the 25 Cities Initiative, led us in conversation. 

Here’s a brief report of what was discussed…

The 25 Cities Initiative is in the twenty-five cities where Veteran Homelessness is highest. Goal is to end homelessness, and, locally, we know that a single solution – just increase housing, or just coordinate the stock we have – is not enough. Within this goal is a focus on creating and implementing a single adults coordinated entry, much like has happened with families (Family Housing Connection) and youth (Youth Housing Connection). This is not an easy, straightforward or simple task: the single adults population is much, much larger and still very diverse. Officially, the four principles guiding this complex coordinated entry process are: (1) assess, (2) assist, (3), match, and (4) place. More loosely, leads on this project want to ensure that the system they create and implement is simple, meets real needs, and has true benefits (that eclipse any inherent negatives).

An example of the complexity is that it is not possible to screen thousands of single adults who are homeless, and perform regular check-ins. Our community has learned (and is still learning a lot) from the successes, complications, and frustrations associated with YHC and FHC. Plus, we want to be sure to coordinate the coordination that already exists. SAAC explored important elements of a coordinated entry system for single adults, as well as discussed positives and negatives of various components.

The assessment tool of choice at the national level is the VI-SPDAT, which Kelli shared with the group. In conjunction with our local community’s involvement with the 25 Cities Initiative, this tool was tested within a handful of agencies. SAAC talked bout the positives and negatives of the tool, areas for improvement (e.g., wording, language, tone, etc.), and what is missing. Some complicating factors are that this test does not appear to be adaptable, it doesn’t plug into our HMIS system, and the process for Case Managers to upload information had many glitches. Some SAAC members had administered the test, and shared their experience and feedback as well as compared it to the VAT. As a result of this conversation, Kelli will be sharing our valuable feedback about the VI-SPDAT with the ’25 Cities’ federal partners, as they are exploring ways to improve the tool with its designer, OrgCode.

Other points of discussion centered around willingness and ability of certain folks who are homeless to easily complete the process, or gather necessary documentation to move into housing (when available). Also brought up were concerns over how an assessment could discern situational-related issues, length of homelessness, and changes over time with clients that would affect their ‘score.’ Many discussed the need for – and current examples of – continuation and coordination of care for single adults – now popularly termed “case conferencing and navigation.” In addition, the need for translation was reviewed.


Here are the advocacy opportunities we heard about… 

NOV 4 ELECTION, AND VOTE YES ON PROP 1 FOR SEATTLE TRANSIT
Speak out and call on community members to add bus service by voting YES for Seattle Transit! You should have already received your ballot — please call 206.296.VOTE to get a replacement ballot. Remember: every day until 
November 4th is election day because we vote by mail!  Encourage those around you to vote, vote early, and vote YES for Seattle Transit – Prop 1. 

SHOW SUPPORT FOR A SOUND TRANSIT LOW INCOME FARE
What’s better than one low income fare? Two that work together to keep our community members moving. We are thrilled to announce that Sound Transit is requesting YOUR input for their proposed low income fare program, which will be modeled after the low income Metro fare we worked so hard to win.

Click here to take Sound Transit’s low income fare proposal survey, and be sure to add YOUR comments about how this fare would help you, your colleagues, and the clients and guests you serve. The deadline for submission is a mere 10 days away (10/23) – don’t wait to share your support!

Here’s an opportunity to speak out and show your support in-person: Sound Transit Public Hearing - Thurs., Oct. 23 from Noon – 1 p.m. @ Union Station: 401 S. Jackson St., Seattle

SHOW UP FOR CITY OF SEATTLE AND KING COUNTY BUDGET HEARINGS
The Seattle City Council and the King County Council is in the process of meeting to set budget priorities and begin making adjustments to the Mayor’s and Executive’s budgets.  We need to REPRESENT at these public budget hearings. Invite residents, guests, clients, co-workers, and community members to stand alongside human services workers and advocates as we press our budget recommendations.

Not sure what’s at stake in the budget process? Check out our Budget Advocacy postcards to get on-point messaging! We encourage all those folks to fill out and deliver or send in the Coalition’s City and County Budget Advocacy Postcards (in the ‘What’s Hot’ box on the homepage).

Seattle City Council Budget Committee Hearing
Thursday, October 23 at 5:30 p.m.

King County Council Budget Committee Hearings
Thursday, October 23, at 6:30 p.m. (Kent)
Wednesday, October 29, 6:30 p.m. (Seattle)

More information is available in the Coalition’s earlier blog post.

 

Families with Children Committee: Back-to-school reports and the future of joint FWC-FHI meetings

Our Families with Children (FWC) Committee gathered in September to discuss the future of its new quarterly joint meeting with the Committee to End Homelessness’ Family Homelessness Initiative. They also reported back on the start of the new school year for the students who are homeless that they serve. Here are some brief notes from the discussion:

HOW DID START OF SCHOOL GO FOR MCKINNEY-VENTO STUDENTS?
Please be sure to e-mail rebecca[at]homelessinfo[dot]org
with your back-to-school experience(s).

  • Backlog of enrollment paperwork
    • In Seattle, had students who didn’t go the first 2 days of school because of this.
    • Others said the first two days of school had VERY fast turn-around re: paperwork, but slowed significantly after that.
  • Transportation
    • Reports of buses  being 1.5 hours late – A. Moon (Mary’s Place)
    • Reports of taxis being 2 hours late – A.Moon (Mary’s Place)
    • Case Manager said she went above and beyond to verify and confirm – multiple times – that the orders were correct. And still, these delays happened. She even had a taxi with incorrect orders and wouldn’t take the student to the correct school!
    • In West Seattle, it took one week to get a bus to pick up a student.
    • Safety concerns of younger students being assigned ORCA cards instead of a taxi or bus
    • No one reported ORCA card issues (e.g., then not being loaded)
    • Multiple people reported having concerns and questions around the 1-mile rule  (i.e., no transportation, must walk). Case Manager said that 2-mile rule for homeless families who live in Queen Anne is quite difficult. There is a much greater impact of this rule for families who are homeless
  • Proactive and flexible engagement from Liaison
    • Liaison w/ Lowel (school) came to provider to talk through McK-V and connect with families. SUPER HELPFUL
  • In class/Teacher issues
    • Parent said middle-school aged son was marked down in class because he didn’t have correct school supplies. The teacher didn’t know he was McK-V student. KS worked with Child Care Resources to get supplies, and to report to principal and work with teacher. School doesn’t seem to understand that they’re ‘on the hook’ to do better. And Jr. high and HS is very challenging because there are so many more teachers.
    • Parent shared that her other child is being pulled out of SpEd by the school. This doesn’t make sense since her child is visually impaired.
  • Agency Supports
    • Sacred Heart said things went really well. They met with families earlier than normal, and that was a big help.

CEH/FHI DISCUSSION -  future conversations, points of learning

  • Strategies
  • Shared results
  • Topics:
    • DIVERSION
    • SYSTEMS REALIGNMENT: changing of housing stock, realignment
    • DATA – there’s such a focus on quantitative, but where’s qualitative. And how do we ensure that happens? Idea for FWC to organize around this as combined we have huge amounts of rich experience w/I organizations and families served.
    • re: RRH: feels like there are high expectations, and there’s a reality of the affordability of housing. Not easy, not quick process. Landlords aren’t exactly on-tap.
    • LANDLORD ENGAGEMENT: Concerns about TANF families who have gotten housing in rental market. While no case manager wants to stop homeless families from becoming housed, we want to do everything to make sure that they aren’t “rapidly unhoused.”
    • ACCESSIBILITY OF UNITS
    • REFERRAL PROCESS: many involved in the Pilot said they have empty units, and are loosing money. Families are being referred that don’t actually qualify.
    • “BARRIER REMOVAL WITHIN SYSTEM”
    • RRH – after the pilot is over: what modifications do we suggest, and how can we work to follow up. Discussion about how and when evaluation is conducted.
    • EVALUATION: want to truly understand what this means, when it happens, what’s involved, who does it, etc.
    • OUTCOMES: “who’s the keeper of transparency in that system”
    • DEFINITION OF SUCCESS: what is the definition, who defines it, is it open to suggestion, and in what ways does it differ from our organizations’ definition of success?
  • Meeting structure: this is what the group wants to hear more about at each joint meeting, and especially the upcoming joint meeting. [ we spoke about the RRH pilot evaluation process as an example]
    • Who makes decisions
    • Who’s involved in the committees, subcommittees, participating agencies, etc.
    • Who is the audience of each of the FHI, CEH, FWC mtgs?
    • Who has influence? And to what degree?
    • Families who have voice – how does FHI reach out to them, and where can others input?
    • Clarity – generally speaking
    • Focused guiding questions are very helpful, but don’t need handouts early.
    • Comment: “Will what we say have an impact?”
    • Funders: taking a backseat would be helpful, and make sure that they are clear on focus of meeting.
    • Request for built-in structural parameters of what’s being facilitated, and who is facilitating.

In lieu of the regularly-scheduled November FWC meeting, please mark your calendars and plan to attend the November 6 community meeting on Family Coordinated Entry.

The consultants contracted to review our community’s coordinated entry for families – Katharine Gale and Kate Bristol (Focus Strategies) – will review their findings, present information on other  system models, and facilitate dialogue around key challenges. This is an open meeting for all, not just organizations who participated in the Pilot project. Your presense, comments, and feedback are important — join us!

Community Meeting on Family Coordinated Entry
Thursday, November 6, 2014 from 9 am – 12-noon
Tukwila Community Center, Banquet Room
12424 42nd Ave S., Tukwila, WA 98168
For questions and to RSVP, please contact michelle[dot]valdez[at]cehkc[dot]org

Amazing Voter Registration Wrap-up and on to Transportation Prop. 1 Phone Banks

Wow, what an amazing experience it was being able to jump into my internship with Voter Registration!  As of today our count for homeless and unstably housed new and updated registered voters is 176, and the numbers are still coming in from our dedicated member organizations!  So far we have surpassed our numbers from last year by over 60 voters and I want to give a shout-out to our hard working volunteers and our fantastic sites.  Getting to meet so many people who are doing great work in our community as well as community members who are speaking up by registering to vote was a great way for me to get a feel of what the Coalition is all about.

Members of Camp Unity were very thankful that we let people know that You Don’t Need A House To Vote. At the Urban Rest Stop I spoke to an individual who did not know his right to vote would be restored after he finished his time under Department of Corrections (DOC) supervision and was enthusiastic to spread the word. At Real Change many vendors were glad to update registrations and register for the first time while picking up their newspapers.  Over 84 people registered at various Compass Housing Alliance programs including the Hygiene Center, CSO, Pioneer Square Men’s Program, and Peter’s place.  We also worked with Community Lunch on Capitol Hill, Nickelsville, Tent City 3, Recovery Café, Aloha Inn, YouthCare and more during our registration drive!  On Monday, the registration deadline, one of our volunteers from DESC Connections let me know that many people she talked with about registering had already registered at Real Change or another site showing that we have reached many community members.  While the registration deadline for the November 4th election has come and gone, it is never too late to register to vote to be prepared for the future!

Up next:  Transportation Proposition 1 Phone Banks and Vote on November 4th! 

With updated voter registration status now YOU can take action and Say YES to Seattle Transit!  Together we can pass this proposition in Seattle that would Restore some routes, Add Busses to chronically overcrowded routes, and Increase Frequency of heavily traveled routes.  Further, money will be set aside by the city to make it easy for eligible residents to utilize Metro’s new Low Income Fare ($1.50) starting on March 1, 2015.

Phone Bank with the Coalition to Spread the Word!

  • We will be holding two phone banks and need volunteers to call the community to let them know about Proposition 1.  There are two Wednesdays to fill with volunteers.  Pizza will be provided for dinner and together we can Get Out The Vote for Seattle Buses!  Please let Hillary know if you can join on one or both dates ASAP at hillary@homelessinfo.org or by calling 206-204-8357.

Wednesday October 15th: 5:30-8pm, pizza included

  • Location: OneAmerica Office: 1225 S. Weller St. Suite 430 Seattle, WA 98144 (located in the international district by Rainier Ave S. and S Dearborn St, close to where I-5 and I-90 meet)

Wednesday October 22nd: 5:30-8pm, pizza included

  • OneAmerica Office: 1225 S. Weller St. Suite 430 Seattle, WA 98144 (same location)