Helping Homeless Students: McKinney Vento 101 Info & Resource Session for Homeless Service Providers

Thank you to everyone who attended our Helping Homeless Students: McKinney-Vento 101 Information and Resource Session on Thursday September 3. A huge thank you to Kayla Blau, Mehret Tekle-Awarun, Samie Iverson, Oliver Alexander-Adams, Karen Pillar, Sharonne Navas and Jessyca Murphy for sharing their knowledge and passion with us. We appreciate the lively conversation had in the chat box and out loud during the workshop.

You can review some of the tools and resources discussed at the information session below. If you have questions or wish to provide additional materials to this collection, please email your questions to Jason.

Recording of Helping Homeless Students Info & Resource Recording  Password: Students101!

Read about Education Rights for Homeless and Unstably Housed Students, which includes our updated 2020-2021 King County McKinney Vento Liaison list.


Building Changes

Click here to view Building Changes’ PowerPoint presentation.
  • Mehret Tekle-Awarun and Samie Iverson shared information about Schoolhouse Washington, a project of Building Changes. In partnership with the Raikes Foundation, they have created the Washington State Student and Youth Homelessness COVID-19 Response Fund to augment existing public dollars that will be used to support students, youth and young adults experiencing homelessness. Building Changes will distribute funds to help organizations, schools, and local tribes meet needs that may otherwise be difficult to fulfill or sustain without additional assistance. 
  • Student Needs Survey: To identify homeless students most immediate needs, Schoolhouse Washington also surveyed McKinney-Vento liaisons across the state who work directly with highly mobile students and their families. In return, they received responses from liaisons in 74 school districts across 32 counties who collectively serve nearly 17,000 students experiencing homelessness in Washington State. Click here to review the findings of their study.
  • The top five needs identified by survey respondents were: food, mobile hotspots/internet access, devices (e.g. laptops, tablets, computers, phones), hygiene supplies, and rental assistance. Narrative responses shed light on what school districts are doing to try to meet basic needs, increase educational access, and stay connected with students and their families. Some promising practices have emerged, such as the formation of new and creative community partnerships. However, just as illuminating are issues and student populations that did not show up in survey responses, such as equity, English language learners, students living with disabilities, and survivors of domestic violence.
  • Read the summary of their findings here.

TeamChild

  • Their mission is to uphold the rights of youth involved, or at risk of being involved, in the juvenile justice system to help them secure the education, healthcare, housing and other supports they need to achieve positive outcomes in their life. If you would like to request  assistance, please complete this referral form or call toll free (877) 295-2714
  • Karen Pillar, staff attorney with TeamChild helped us review legal rights afforded to homeless school age children, including questions related to attendance and tips for navigating the school district conflict resolution process. They have produced an Education in the Wake of COVID-19 Know Your Rights Manual for more information on this topic.

Equity In Education Coalition

  • The Equity in Education Coalition (EEC) is a statewide civil rights organization focused on revolutionizing education so that a child’s race and zip code aren’t the predicating factors in defining their success. They envision a future where the opportunity gap is eliminated in Washington State – a future where every child of color in Washington achieves success from birth through their careers. To achieve this vision, EEC continues to build a movement of power within communities of color to advocate for an education system that promotes equity. Click here to learn more about their work.
  • EEC is hosting a mask fundraiser to support their work to undo institutionalized racism in the education system, click here to learn more.
  • Sharrone Navas shared information about the Washington’s Address Confidentiality Program (ACP),  a records protection and mail forwarding service. Passed by legislature in 1991, ACP is used as part of an overall safety plan to prevent perpetrators from locating participants throughout public records such as driver licenses, voter registries and marriage records. Washington’s Address Confidentiality Program (ACP) has helped protect survivors of crime for more than 25 years. The program is available to Washington residents who are targets of stalking, domestic violence, trafficking or sexual assault. In 2011, the ACP expanded to include criminal justice employees who have been threatened or harassed because of their work. Currently, the ACP serves more than 4,500 Washingtonians. Washington’s ACP was the first program of its kind in the nation. Today some 35 other states have established similar programs.

Path with Art

  • A Seattle based nonprofit dedicated to healing transformation through art and art therapy. Their mission is to connect with those carrying various form of trauma and harness the power of creative engagement as a bridge to community and a path to stability. Check out some of their free remote offerings here.
  • Path with Art is interested in partnering with family service providers to bringing remote enrichment opportunities to families with children experiencing homelessness in King County. If your program is interested, please complete this survey or email Jessyca Murphy.  

Coalition on Homelessness Updates

  • Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer Program (P-EBT): A one-time food voucher available to families with children who qualify for free or reduced-price meals through the school they attend. Families with children eligible for free and reduced-price meals may be able to receive as much as $399 per child in this benefit. This benefit does not consider immigration status and is not subject to the Public Charge Rule. Application deadline Friday September 11, for more information please review these training materials.
  • Census 2020: The 2020 Census is underway, and under attack. The Federal Government is threatening to intentionally not include all residents in the final reported count, and the deadline for data collection has been arbitrarily shortened from October 31 to September 30. When in Doubt, Count. For those without a traditional address, the census will be conducting Service Based Enumeration to survey people at locations such as overnight shelter programs and meal sites from September 22 to September 24. If you work for a program that provides services to people experiencing homelessness, and you have not been contacted by the Census Bureau, we want to help. Please take two minutes to fill this survey so we can help ensure your residents and guests get counted.
  • Monthly Meeting Reminder: In addition to hosting workshops for service providers, The Coalition on Homelessness also hosts monthly membership meetings on the third Thursday of every month from 9am to 11am via Zoom. These meetings are a space to learn about topics relevant to staff working directly with clients, residents, tenants, and guests experiencing homelessness, discuss current homeless services and housing issues, speak up and take part in advocacy, and network with colleagues and allies from around King County. Our next meeting is on Thursday, September 17 at 9am, click here to register.

Website links for kids and learning during COVID-19 – updated 5/22/2020

Thanks to one of our Coalition members for compiling the start of this list! We’ll add more as we hear about other resources – if you have ideas to add, please email projectcool[at]homelessinfo.org

Free computer resources for kids

Cirque de Solielhttps://www.cirquedusoleil.com/cirqueconnect – watch a different hour long show on-line, see behind the scenes and more!

Google Arts & Culturehttps://artsandculture.google.com/partner?hl=en
Google is offering free virtual tours of more than 1,200 museums across the globe.

ABCmouse.comwww.abcmouse.com
ABCmouse is offering their lessons in different subjects like math, science and art for free thanks to UNICEF. All you have to do is go to ABCmouse.com/redeem and type in the code “AOFLUNICEF”

Readworks.orghttps://www.readworks.org/
If you’re looking to really zoom in on reading comprehension, Readworks is going to be a great fit for you, providing content from kindergarten all the way through 12th grade. Readworks is a nonprofit, donation-based service, and the suggested donation is $25, though you can access the content for free.

123 Homeschool4mehttps://www.123homeschool4me.com/home-school-free-printables/
Resources are organized by subject and grade. Helpful education activities to keep kids learning and printable worksheets when you need them to sit and get some work done.

Arcademics – https://www.arcademics.com/
Multiplayer educational games for KG-8, from free math games to language games. Combines the excitement of video games with educational content to produce a high rate of learning.

Bedtime Math – http://bedtimemath.org/bedtime-math-for-families/
Bedtime Math provides free apps, books and printable activity pages. The platform is targeted toward children age 2 through elementary school.

BeeLine Reader – http://www.beelinereader.com/education
Improves the reading ability of students of all ages and skill levels. Free access to the BeeLine Reader Browser Plugin for Chrome through September 2020. Email education@BeeLineReader.com for a free account!

BlocksCAD – https://www.blockscad3d.com/distance_learning
BlocksCAD builds math and computer science skills by using specialized 3-D CAD (computer-aided drafting) software. A block-based coding platform allows students to create and manipulate 3-D objects while using geometry and computational thinking skills.

BrainPOP – https://www.brainpop.com
BrainPOP invites students to discover, play and create, enriching and deepening their understanding of topics across the curriculum. Children are encouraged to make movies out of images, build maps and develop their block-based coding skills. BrianPOP Jr. targets children from 0 to 3 whereas BrainPOP focuses on K-12 grade children.

Club Oasis – http://social.oasismatters.com/
Club Oasis is a free online STEM club for children and parents. Join the DYI STEM labs, live classes, coding lessons and live pop-ups. Activities are targeted toward elementary schools students and older.

Coolmath4kids – https://www.coolmath4kids.com/
Kindergarten to sixth grade. Kids can work on addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and fractions through online math games, quizzes, manipulatives and more. For kids 13 and up, visit their sister site at coolmath.com.

Desmoshttps://teacher.desmos.com/
Desmos is a learning community that provides students with incredible online tools to help them visualize math problems and creating interactive tutorials where students can “do” and collaborate in real time. Turn math into a game and play it in a team with kids from all over the world.

Dictionary.com – https://www.dictionary.com/
Build your vocabulary daily and learn about trending words! Hop online to see the word of the day and test your knowledge by the end of the week. There are several ways to build your vocabulary on Dictionary.com; improve your language skills with word games, see what words are trending in the news, learn about the English language, and simply browse the dictionary by focusing on one letter at a time.

Discovery K-12 – http://discoveryk12.com/dk12/
Discovery K-12 is a great addition to kids’ pre-K to 12th-grade curriculum. Free lessons and activities are available in seven directives: language arts, reading, math, science, history/social studies, performing arts and physical education.

Dreamscape – https://www.squigglepark.com/dreamscape/
This free game allows kids to have fun while engaging them in reading activities and challenging their skills. Dreamscape understands that kids learn in several ways, one of which is through games which aim to foster the growth of early literacy skills. This includes print knowledge, phonological awareness, phonemic awareness, phonetics, high-frequency words and spelling. These games are for children in grades 2-8.

DuckDuckMoose – http://www.duckduckmoose.com/
If you’re looking for some apps for the tablet, we recommend DuckDuckMoose for the preschool to kindergarten set. Graphics and interface are engaging and easily accessible for children. From puzzles, maps, to fun music apps where you can learn notes and rhythm, kids gravitate enthusiastically to this sister site of Khan Academy.

Duolingo – https://www.duolingo.com/
This free app site is perfect for your bilingual child to work on a series of practice exercises. From Arabic to Portuguese, kids will not fall behind with these fun and educational lessons.

Everyday Earth – https://www.everyday-earth.com/
Have you ever wondered how water changes Earth’s landscape or how are rocks formed? Take a walk with an Oklahoma Park Ranger on a video mission and learn the answers to these and many other questions related to nature and wildlife.

Everyday Learning – https://www.pbslearningmedia.org/collection/everyday-learning/
A PBS Learning Media resource that is perfect for pre-K kids. Topics from math, science to art provide early childhood resources to strengthen kids’ interest and sense of discovery.

Khan Academy – https://www.khanacademy.org/
Khan Academy is a free resource for students, parents and teachers. From exercises, quizzes, tests and instructional videos, students can practice and master educational skills. This resource is available in 40 languages and offers instruction from kindergarten to early college math, grammar, science, history, AP courses, SAT prep and more.

Little Twisters Yoga & Emotional Wellness – https://littletwistersyoga.com/
For kids ages 2 and up this resource with tips on how to engage kids through yoga. Fun printable lessons like Space Shape Yoga and Kids Yoga Cards are free for all during the COVID-19 school closure and quarantine.

Mathcelebrity.com – Need help with your math homework? The next time you get stuck on a math problem and want to learn step by step how to solve it, use Math Celebrity. Plug the problem in and see how to solve it. Get the answer and see where you went wrong.

Math Scorehttp://www.mathscore.com/
KG – seventh grade. It contains all of the major components of a learning system, such as assessments, math topics, lessons and score tracking for parents and teachers who want to assess the child’s progress. With MathScore Freemium, you can use the platform for free and only choose to pay when a student is ready for the premium content.

Metkids – https://www.metmuseum.org/art/online-features/metkids/
Kids ages 5 and up. Give kids a dose of art and culture. Kids can learn about a particular period or collection and explore art via the “Time Machine,” starting as early as 8000-2000 BC to present time with fun facts and videos.

Minecraft Education Edition – https://education.minecraft.net/
Perfect for Minecraft fanatics, this Minecraft Education Edition focuses on coding, math, problem-solving all via the Minecraft way. Kids will love this education version while parents will love that it is free!

NaNoWriMo – https://www.nanowrimo.org/
This site is for the young writer who is itching to write a novel … in 30 days. Common Core-aligned lesson plans from prewriting to publishing help kids to develop and fine-tune their writing skills. For students who are up for using their imagination to create another world or simply tell their story. From lower elementary to high school.

PBS Kids – https://pbskids.org/
For toddlers up to pre-K students. Kids can also hop on their favorite shows such as Wild Kratts and Dinosaur Train, where games are designed to enrich their education.

ProjectGutenberg – https://www.gutenberg.org/
A free library of over 60,000 free eBooks that include a children’s literature category where kids can download or read online classics like “Little Women” and “Peter Pan.”

Scholastic – https://www.scholastic.com/home/
Students can visit the Scholastic website for a wealth of educational activities from grades pre-K and up.

Scholastic Learn at Home https://classroommagazines.scholastic.com/support/learnathome.html
They are offering their lessons for free. You can choose activities within from grade levels between PreK and 6+. These include e-books kids can read along with, and educational videos under their “Watch and learn Library.”

Sesame Street – https://www.sesamestreet.org/
With a mission to help kids meet critical early development needs. One of the best resources for the pre-K and kindergarten set, as well as kids with special needs. You’ll find video, games and art projects online.

Science Friday – https://www.sciencefriday.com/
For elementary to high school students with lessons that engage through stories and podcasts. Segments in categories like Physics & Chemistry, Earth Science, Brain and Biology, and more will provide kids with a new way of seeing science.

Storylineonline.net – https://www.storylineonline.net/
The SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s Story Online features cool videos were celebrities such as Sarah Silverman and Chris O’Dowd read books that entertain, providing you a bit of time to get some work done.

Wonderopolois.com – http://wonderopolis.org/
On this cool site, kids can learn about a 2,000-plus wonders of the world. Questions come from the site’s users and cover a wide range of topics such as Why Do Whales Breach? Kids are full of wonder, and this site has many of the answers.

https://www.pacificsciencecenter.org/events-programs/curiosity-at-home/ (this is interesting, has videos to watch)

http://samblog.seattleartmuseum.org/category/stay-home-with-sam,video,sams-collection,object-of-the-week,exhibtions,behind-the-scenes

https://www.seattletimes.com/life/at-home-with-kids-because-of-coronavirus-closures-here-are-23-fun-activities-using-stuff-you-already-have

https://www.seattleaquarium.org/live-cams

https://scratch.mit.edu

From Seattle Public Library:

Employment Assistance Programs: Information and Coalition Update from January 16 Zoom Call

Although The Coalition cancelled our January Membership Meeting in recognition of the extra strain severe weather conditions put on people experiencing homelessness and on service providers, and the real difficulties of winter travel in our large county, we did host a ZOOM call to update members on the 2020 Legislative Session priorities, click HERE to visit our State Legislative Advocacy page see many ways you can take action! We had a great panel of staff from Employment Services Programs who were going to present at the meeting, and we will be rescheduling these presenters for a future Coalition meeting. In the meantime, we wanted to share programmatic and contact information for these employment and job readiness training programs so that your programs and clients can access these important resources. Please contact the programs below directly if you or your clients have any questions about their services.

Department of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR)

  • The Department of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) serves people with disabilities between the ages of 16 to 80, and helps with gaining, maintaining and advancing in employment.
  • Eligible clients must have a permanent disability (intellectual, mental and/or physical in nature) and barriers to employment. In order to refer, client must make contact themselves for intake unless they need assistance to call, and in that case, a case manager can set up the appointment if they let the front desk staff know the customer cannot make the initial contact.
  • To request an intake, call 253-372-5900, or reach out to your local Work Source office for a referral. Please contact Allesandria Goard for more in-depth information on the services and nuances of the DVR program.

Pioneer Human Services  

  • Roadmap to Success is a job-readiness program for formerly justice involved individuals who are seeking full time employment
  • To be eligible for the Roadmap to Success program, clients must have a criminal background and they must want to go to work and be able to do so. Roadmap to Success is a 3-week class where students go through cognitive behavioral training, targeted resume and cover letter creation, job development and vocational assessments, hard and soft skills of interviewing, and support in connecting to employment.
  • You can submit your application here. For more information contact Rudy or reach out to pioneertraining@p-h-s.com  

Multi-Service Center

  • Career Ready is a 10-week aerospace manufacturing training for adults 18 and older who are receiving SNAP food benefits. This ensures tuition paid in full through the BFET program
  • Anyone living in the South King County area, who is low income and seeking a new industry to enter is encouraged to apply.
  • Those interested should contact Julie Sanchez, 206-549-6236 or email at Julies@mschelps.org   

Foundational Community Supports Supported Employment

  • Foundational Community Supports (FCS) is a program offering benefits for supportive housing and supported employment for Medicaid-eligible beneficiaries with complex needs. Amerigroup Washington, Inc. will work with housing and employment providers to help clients find and maintain jobs; acquire stable, independent housing; and gain the necessary skills to be successful.
  • The Supported Employment program provides one-to-one person centered supports to find and maintain paid employment. The FCS SE program can help in looking for the right job, getting ready for the interview, and improve job success by teaching helpful routines and working with their employer to ensure they get the aids and supports they need to be successful
  • To see if you client is eligible for services through Foundational Community Supports, you can submit a FCS Supported Employment Assessment Form (English). Spanish language form here.
  • All referrals should be submitted directly through Amerigroup. To apply, contact Amerigroup at FCSTPA@Amerigroup.com, call 1-844-451-2828 (TTY 711) or fax 1-844-470-8859. Amerigroup can be reached Monday-Friday from 8:00 AM-5:00 PM at the phone number provided.
  • For more information about Supported Employment services please email Krystal Baumann or call 360-522-2363 

WELD Works

  • WELD Works serves as a transitional labor program to connect people with employment opportunities in construction, clean-up, and general labor services.
  • Serving King and Snohomish Counties, the program’s model facilitates transitions from temporary to permanent employment as a part of successful reentry. WELD Works is a division of Weld Seattle, whose mission is to equip system impacted individuals with housing, employment and resources conducive to recovery and successful reintegration. To apply:
  • Those interested in applying are encouraged to fill out this referral form, or contact Jay Pershing at (206) 972-8033 or email works@weldseattle.org

TRAC Associates Career Development Program  

  • TRAC Associates provides comprehensive vocational assistance services to job seekers regardless of employment background.
  • Their team of employment navigators and mental health councilors have locations across King County to connect applicants to a variety of job skills training programs and have relationships with employers across a variety of industries.
  • For more information contact Carrie Lewis at 206-466-7432

Introducing Maggie Malone, the Coalition’s Summer Intern

Hi all,

My name is Maggie Malone, current summer intern at the Coalition on Homelessness, primarily working with Project Cool. I am extremely excited to be a part of the team and hope I can use the knowledge I gain through this experience to better support and advocate for people who are homeless in King County.

I am currently entering my Sophomore year at Gonzaga University, where I intend to earn a bachelors degree in Human Physiology. I like music, travelling, hanging out with friends, running, and playing with my dog. I am originally from Seattle and it is very important to me that I take care of my home.

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I first heard of the Coalition through a family friend who volunteers for Project Cool each year with his coworkers. Project Cool especially sparked my interest because I saw it as a hands-on opportunity to give homeless students the preparedness and confidence to be able to get an education, which I wanted to be a part of. There is so much more to Project Cool than filling up backpacks. The form of advocacy that Project Cool exhibits, allows education to flourish and expands the horizon of support systems. I wanted to join the Coalition because it provides the chance to support a vulnerable population and enlighten others on how they can participate.

This summer, I will be coordinating Project Cool donation drop-off/pick-up sites, managing volunteer events, and providing general support for the Coalition’s database, website, social media, and fundraisers.

 

If you would like to get involved with Project Cool, here is what you can do:

  • Register to volunteer. Backpack filling days are July 14-21.
  • Host a school supply drive or fundraiser. Email us at projectcool@homelessinfo.org for tips and suggestions, or take a look at our 2017 Wish List
  • Donate to Project Cool securely online.
  • Tell your friends!

 

Move-In Cost Assistance for Homeless individuals and families through CCS Hunthausen Fund

Our friends at Catholic Community Services want to make sure that case managers across our region know about this funding opportunity! Click here for a flyer and read on for details.

Catholic Community Services has funding available for King County, Snohomish County, and Pierce County residents for move-in cost assistance through The Hunthausen Fund. This funding is referral-based; Case Managers will complete the application with potential recipients and send it to us for review. If the individual meets all of the outlined requirements and the application is complete, payment will be made directly to the landlord for First Month/Last Month/Deposit (as funding permits). This source is specifically for individuals and families moving from homelessness into public or private permanent housing. Unfortunately, we cannot assist with move-in for transitional housing at this time.

If you’d like to get more information, please review the Program Overview or contact Victoria Anderson (425) 679-0340 or James Tolbert (253) 850-2505 with any additional questions you may have. Please also feel free to tell members of other agencies, as this funding is available to all service providers’ clients, so long as the individual meets the program requirements. Thank you, and we look forward to working with you to get your clients housed!

Recap: Youth and Young Adults 11/10/15 meeting: Seattle Public Library Programs and Partnership Opportunties

Big thanks to Shelley Mastalerz and Summer Hayes from the Seattle Central Library’s Children’s and Teen Services for joining us at our YYAC meeting last Tuesday, November 10! At the meeting, Shelley and Summer shared with us some of the current events/opportunities that the Seattle Public Library (SPL) hosts, and some opportunities for developing community partnerships.

Every Thursday afternoon, from 3pm-5pm, the Central Library hosts a youth drop-in, put on by a partnership between the Library and New Horizons Ministries. This time was created to fill a gap in time where drop-in hours were not available at New Horizons. SPL is seeking to expand programs such as this, and we enjoyed discussing what this growth could look like. Some of the ideas from the group included advertising the resource by visiting current drop-in centers and passing on the word, creating an easily accessible resource center as part of the Teen Center, diversifying available activities, and offering incentives for youth to visit the Teen Center during Thursday drop-in times.
Shelley and Summer hope to form more community partnerships and work with youth and young adult service providers, so please reach out to them with ideas, questions, or to work towards beginning a partnership with them. Contact the Seattle Public Library’s Children’s and Teen Services with teencenter[at]spl[dot]org.

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Thanks again, Shelley and Summer!


Member updates from the meeting:

Trevor with Friends of Youth: Drop-in hours at Friends in Youth are changing from the previous time of 11am-2pm to a later time of 2pm-5pm.

Matthew with United Way: United Way will be housing a youth Community Resource Exchange on January 28, 2016. Programming and resources for this exchange are being developed. If you have ideas, questions or suggestions, please reach out to Matthew at mridgeway[at]uwkc[dot]org.

Coalition updates from the meeting:

2016 will be a  year of case manager trainings:

  • If you’re interested in participating in a small workgroup or committee for planning these 3-4 trainings, be on the lookout for applications coming out in the next couple of months.

One Night Count is kicking into gear:

  • Learn about the different ways to get involved on our website.
  • Area Leads are in the process of contacting past team captains to confirm their participation for 2016 ONC.

Take ACTION!:

  • On Tuesday, the City of Seattle Councilmembers voted unanimously to add $2.265 million to the City’s budget as a one-time allocation to address the crisis of homelessness. Thank you for your support and hard work in these efforts!
  • Please join us in THANKING all City Councilmembers via e-mail, with SPECIAL THANKS to Nick Licata for shepherding this proposal through the budget process.

Legislative season is coming up:

  • Join us at our December 17 General Membership meeting from 9-11am for our 2016 legislative preview.

 

Julia’s reflection on the 2015 Homeless and Formerly Homeless Youth Advocacy Summit

Six weeks into my internship with the Coalition on Homelessness, and my experiences have been above and beyond any of my expectations a month ago. Two weeks ago, I was excited to be a part of the 10th Annual Homeless and Formerly Homeless Youth Advocacy Summit (October 5-6, 2015). While doing advocacy work in Minnesota, I learned that I would constantly learn and grow by witnessing folks advocate around issues that impact their lives, and my time at the Youth Advocacy Summit proved to be no exception to this rule!

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Having just supported the Coalition’s 2015 Voter Registration drive, one of the highlights of the Summit for me was witnessing young people choosing to participate in advocacy by exercising their right to vote. Over the course of the Summit, I was particularly excited to watch people think in a different, new way about voting. On the first day of the Summit, one participant was pretty vocal in their choice to not register to vote, feeling that their vote wasn’t enough to make change. Through conversations with other Summit participants, discussions about our elected officials in city and county government, and time to reflect, this participant changed their mind and decided to register! They are ready to have their voice heard in the upcoming election, and will do so through their vote as well as their conversations with Councilmembers during and beyond the Youth Advocacy Summit.

Participants at the Youth Advocacy Summit took on no small task! I was impressed by these advocates’ commitment over two very full days (three days for Peer Leaders!) of discussing some of the hard work that needs to be done in this community. Advocates worked on and presented one of four issues throughout the Summit:

1 – Need for an increase in the numbers of available permanent and affordable housing units
2 – Issues specifically impacting People of Color and LGBTQ youth
3 – Need for increased access to low-barrier, supportive resources
4 – Street safety and public space use.

22286526835_09d42f0467_oAdvocates met with King County Executive Dow Constantine; King County Councilmembers Larry Gossett, Dave Upthegrove, Kathy Lambert, Joe McDermott, and Rod Dembowski; Seattle Mayor Ed Murray; Seattle City Councilmembers Kshama Sawant, Nick Licata, Tim Burgess, and Mike O’Brien; and senior staff from the Seattle Human Services Department to discuss their topics.

On the second day of the Summit, I was able to sit in on the meeting between the advocacy group focusing on issues impacting People of Color and LGBTQ youth and Councilmember Kshama 22124339060_7c780765bc_zSawant. Councilmember Sawant was clearly invested in the conversation, and engaged with participants through asking questions and sharing her observations. Our meeting with Councilmember Sawant was incredibly driving; at the end of our meeting she stated that the work being done that day in the office was the groundwork to making change. She asked participants to continue to speak up, and made it clear that she supports their efforts to work towards a community where all are safe and treated equitably. Councilmember Sawant reminded myself and the people that I was with that change may not happen quickly, but that it is made possible through the long efforts of folks like those meeting with her in that moment.

After the Youth Advocacy Summit, I went to my first City Council budget hearing. As a newcomer to the city, I find myself constantly learning from the locals who have experienced firsthand the impact of the City of Seattle’s budget. Several advocates from the Youth Advocacy Summit were present to speak up, as well as representatives from all over the city who care about creating a budget that adequately responds to the state of emergency in this city. Seeing folks testify for a budget that actually responds to the state of emergency, instead of taking the usual stance of “business as usual”, has helped me to understand the impact that this budget will have on the city. More than anything, these testimonies serve as a reminder to me that people need to continue to speak up! The next, and final, public budget hearing will take place TONIGHT, October 20th, at 5:30 PM (sign-in begins at 5:00!), and we need you to show up to speak up for Human Services and housing and homelessness issues. Join us, wear red to declare the state of emergency, and be ready to tell City Council that “we are in a state of emergency; we must have an equal response”.

Event Announcement: The New York Experience with Rent Regulations (10/15)

Posted with permission from the Tenants Union of Washington State and Timothy Collins

The New York Experience with Rent Regulations
Timothy L. Collins – former Exec. Director, New York City Rent Guidelines Board

timothyOctober 15, 2015 – 7:30 pm
Tenants Union of Washington State, 5425 B Rainier Ave, Seattle, WA 98118

The Tenants Union of Washington State has invited Timothy L. Collins to talk about how rent regulations have worked in New York City.

Mr. Collins was Executive Director and Counsel of the New York City Rent Guidelines Board for seven years, managing a research and administrative staff for a board that sets rents for one million housing units in New York City. He has an unmatched grasp of the on-the-ground realities – economic, political, social and legal – of New York City and state rental housing and efforts to keep it affordable.

Mr. Collins also served as Assistant Attorney General of New York State in the Real Estate Finance Bureau, and as Assistant Counsel in the New York City Office of Rent and Housing Maintenance. He is currently a partner in the law firm of Collins, Dobkin and Miller LLP in New York City, and teaches constitutional history at Pace University there.

Mr. Collins will address both the controversies around rent regulation and the question of home rule for cities on housing issues.

For more details, see Mr. Collins paper: “Rent Regulation in New York: Myths and Facts” – http://www.seattle.gov/council/licata/attachments/Rent-Regulation-in-New-York-Myths-and-Facts.pdf

For more information: Tenants Union of Washington State, 206-722-6848, tenantsunion.org. Peter Costantini, jpetercostantini@comcast.net, 206-290-0219.

Homeless and Formerly Homeless Youth Advocacy Summit — Oct 5-6, 2015

A message brought to you by our Youth and Young Adults Committee Co-Chairs, Michael and Emily:

Friends! Mark your calendars as the 10th Annual Youth Advocacy Summit – brought to you by the Coalition’s Youth and Young Adults Committee –  will be taking place on October 5 and 6, 2015! 

2015 Youth Advocacy Summit FlyerJoin us at the next YYA Committee meeting to help solidify the planning of the Summit this Tuesday, September 8 from 10AM-11AM at the Capitol Hill Library Branch (425 Harvard Ave E., Seattle, 98102). We will have color Summit flyers available for you to bring back to your agencies! Please be sure to send a representative from your agency to attend. 

Agenda for the YYA Committee Meeting

  • Agency/Program Updates
  • Peer Leaders & Peer Leader Training
    • Thursday, October 11AM-4PM at HEYO Youth Space (1161 11th Ave in Capitol Hill)
    • Role of Peer Leaders
    • Agency Recruitment
  • Youth Participant Recruitment & Transportation
    • ​Who is doing recruitment from each agency
    • What agencies are sending staff?
    • What agencies can help arrange transportation (eg: car pools, bus tickets, etc.)
    • Other recruitment strategies?
  • Food and Other In-Kind Donations
    • ​What business relationships do we already have that we can utilize?
    • What resources do our agencies already have that can be donated?
    • Who can spend some time sending out some letters to secure donations?
  • Other Roles & Responsibilities
    • ​Day of staff / volunteer support

Start spreading the word about the Summit . . . 
Please help in spreading the word by forwarding this email along to interested youth and young adults and community stakeholders and by posting flyers in your respective youth serving agencies! Adult-identified staff members from youth servicing agencies are welcome to join in supporting the event as well—if you are interested in participating, please reach out!

  • Who: All former or current homeless or unstably housed youth and young adults (ages 13-26) are invited to attend.
  • What: SKCCH Youth Advocacy Summit, a two day advocacy summit providing opportunities for young people to have their voice be heard by city and County elected officials about issues  most important to them!
  • When: Monday, October 5 and Tuesday, October 6 from 830AM-3PM
  • Where: Seattle City Hall
  • Stipends are available for all participants who attend both days of the Youth Summit!
  • To register: email or call Michael Barnes at 206.957.1665, michaelb[at]lifelong[dot]org

More about the Youth Advocacy Summit . . . 
The two day Youth Summit is an opportunity for homeless and at-risk youth and young adults to talk about issues that are most important to them, and to learn and practice advocacy skills. Youth participants learn about how Seattle and King County governments set policies and budgets, identify issues that they care about that are affected by city and County funding priorities, and meet with elected officials to bring youth voice to bear on their decision making.

Recap: General Meeting and Street Drugs 101 Case Manager Training – June 18,2015

Taking Action at the General Meeting
TAKING ACTION at the General Meeting — making calls to our lawmakers!

What a meeting!  Among the friendly faces were representatives from SHARE, YWCA, Plymouth Housing Group, Housing Development Consortium, Child Care Resources, Compass Housing Alliance, Housing Justice Project, Hopelink, REACH/Evergreen Treatment Services, North Helpline, Catholic Community Services, Recovery Cafe, Washington Low Income Housing Alliance, Jewish Family Services, Aridell Mitchell Home (Goodwill Development Association), Washington Family Counseling Service, ROOTS, YouthCare, El Centro de la Raza, Multi-Service Center, Year Up, and 2-1-1.

Following the General Meeting, representatives from even more organizations and community members joined us for our Street Drugs 101 + Naloxone + Related Laws training.

Both were informative meetings – Here’s a brief recap . . . 
[Psssst! Don’t miss out in the future — add our General Meeting dates to your calendar.]


June 18, 2015 General Membership Meeting Report-back

Smoking Ban update – On Thursday, May 28, the Board of Park Commissioners voted unanimously (8-0) to pass a smoking ban in Seattle Parks. This ban will take effect 30 days after the vote, likely beginning in July. While this is still a disappointing outcome, it’s important to remember the impact of our collective action. By speaking up with many community members and organizations, we were able to influence the removal of the $27 citation, ensure a “Right to Dispute” be made available, and see to it that there is oversight of enforcement. An emphasis of education is also a feature of this policy. Read the Seattle Parks and Recreation’s release about the new smoking ban. 

Now, we all have continued work to do to ensure that what is “in writing” is put into action, and that whatever plays out is brought to light. This means we need you, your colleagues, your friends and family, and, certainly, the people you serve who are (likely) most impacted by this policy to keep us informed about how the implementation and enactment of this policy plays out! Remember: the relationships we’ve formed with folks at Seattle Parks is part of the reason our advocacy is effective. When you speak up, people listen! Keep us informed by calling 206.204.8350 or by emailing us at speakup@homelessinfo.org. 

Coalition Updates —
The voter registration deadline for the August 4th primary is Monday, July 6! 
Help people you work with register to vote and make sure that your/their registration is current (download our flyer below). While it may not be a presidential election year, this year’s elections are very important because half of the King County Council and all nine of the Seattle City Council are up for reelection! These are the people who most directly affect our daily lives in Seattle and King County and since Seattle is re-districting, it’s a big year and important for everyone who is eligible to vote. Use our Homeless Voters’ Information guide to guide the process – the information about registering applicable, though the dates are for the last election. Visit our blog for more details and tips.

Download: FLYER about Registering to Vote in time for the Primary Election (print 2-sided on the long edge, then cut in half)

Project Cool for Back-to-School is well underway!

  • Volunteer Days will be Monday, July 13 – Sunday, July 19 with additional shifts on Monday and Tuesday, July 20 & 21 for backpack pickup and inventory of remaining supplies. Sign-up today through homelessinfo.org!
  • Interested in hosting a back-to-school supply drive? Contact hillary@homelessinfo.org!
  • Share the love and spread the word about Project Cool! The Pastor Darla DeFrance at the Church of Hope, where the Project Cool magic happens, posted information to Columbia City groups and a number of people signed up to volunteer!  Do you have an e-list or group that would love to hear about Project Cool? Feel free to loop them into the Project Cool magic!

Best Starts for Kids — We support this proposal as it will help ensure that children are healthy, safe, housed, and ready to learn. Click here to learn more about Best Starts for Kids (factsheet). King County Councilmembers need to vote yes to put the levy, as is, on the November Ballot. They need to hear from you NOW! TAKE ACTION: KC Alliance for Human Services call to action: http://kingcountyalliance.com/mobilize-the-time-is-right-now/

Legislative Special Session #2: The Good/Bad/Ugly/Take — Folks, there is a real possibility of a state government shutdown. Why? Because there’s an important hold out — for a fairer budget that prioritizes housing and basic needs. Here are some call-outs:

  • At least $80 million for HTF, $100 million for affordable housing
  • HB 2263 will allow local communities to raise the funds necessary to help create more affordable homes and maintain valuable mental health services.
  • Restore cuts to families receiving TANF benefits. I urge you to make sure that the final budget restores at least 9% of the 15% cut from TANF grants, and fully funds State Food Assistance.
  • Support our 2-1-1/ WA Telephone Assistance Program / Community Voicemail systems. Please make sure $1M in funding for 2-1-1 is included in the final budget.

Just as we did at the meeting, we encourage you to TAKE ACTION and contact your lawmakers, the Governor, and Sen. Andy Hill to share your support. Use (and spread!) this TAKE ACTION FLYER to send this important message to the folks who impact these last days of the 2nd Special Session the most. (To print: print two to one page by using “printer properties”.)


 

June 18, 2015 Street Drugs 101 + Naloxone + Related Laws Training

Presenter Kris Nyrop teaches a packed room about trends in Street Drugs
Presenter Kris Nyrop teaches us about trends in Street Drugs

Presenters Kris Nyrop (Defenders Association) and Mark Cooke (ACLU) led us through some pretty murky and at times complicated territory. Here are some highlights:

  • The United States leads the world in opiate use. We may just be 5% of the world’s population, but we responsible for over 90% of all opiate consumption.
  • Trends (over time) in drug use are very cyclic, and we’re currently in the midst of an amazingly high period of opiate overdose.
  • There’s no such thing as one-size-fits-all treatment. Drugs don’t effect everyone in the same way, though there are behavioral trends for certain types of drugs.
  • Naloxone (Narcan) will stop an opioid overdose in its tracks for 30-90 minutes, which gives enough time to keep someone breathing and to be transported to the ER. Naloxone is NOT addictive – it only serves one purpose: to stop overdose. It’s literally saving people’s lives and allowing them the option to work towards recovery. To get information, training, policy implementation materials, etc, about Naloxone. visit our locally-based friends and experts at StopOverdose.org. Are you a University District local? Contact Joe Tinsley at the Needle Exchange (joe.tinsley@kingcounty.gov; 206-477-8275)
  • Good Samaritan Law and Naloxone Bill — A person acting in good faith may receive a Naloxone prescription, possess, and administer Naloxone. Anyone who seeks medical assistance for themselves or on someone’s behalf cannot then be arrested for being under the influence of or having small amounts of illegal substances on their person. However, they can be arrested if they have outstanding warrants, or if they have what appears to be (or is) a commercial operation of producing or selling drugs (for example: lots of plastic baggies, scales, substances). There is grey area because neither the Good Samaritan Law or the Naloxone law have yet to come up in a court case; boundaries have not (yet) been tested.

Missed the meeting? Here’s a copy of Kris’s Street Drugs 101 presentation for you to download and share.

An important part of the training was the group discussion of how organizations have integrated – partially or fully – Naloxone into their work place. The range of experience was great, and still many staff said their organizations had yet to tackle Naloxone use/training, or had much to improve upon. For example, one organization said staff were trained but few knew where the Naloxone kit was actually kept.
Questions to bring back to your organization include:

  1. Do we have a Naloxone Policy? If not, let’s set that up!
  2. Are staff regularly trained? If not, let’s set that up!
  3. Can staff possess Naloxone, even if it’s their own personal prescription?
  4. Do all staff, interns, volunteers, program participants know who has Naloxone training? Have we communicated this clearly in other, visible ways (e.g., signs)?
  5. Have we trained all staff, interns, volunteers, program participants on Naloxone use?
  6. Does everyone know where the Naloxone is located? Is there always a person in the room who has access to it throughout hours of operation?
  7. Are the people who have access to Naloxone the people that program participants go to in case of an emergency?
  8. Have we made it clear that Naloxone is accessible at our site? How can we create an environment that says, “You can come to us for help! We’ve got your back.”