September 17, 2020 Membership Meeting

Recording of Coalition’s September 17 Membership Meeting.

We are grateful to each presenter for sharing their time and passion with us at our September 17 Membership meeting, and to all who shared questions and insight. Thank you to all those listed below for providing content for our meeting:

Below is a summary of some of the topics that we will discussed at our Thursday, September 17 Membership Meeting. This post will be updated as additional meeting materials are collected.

Register now for our next Membership Meeting on Thursday, October 15 starting at 9am.

Washington Dental Access Campaign

Statewide Poverty Action Network (SPAN) has launched its Washington Dental Access Campaign to bring dental therapy to communities in need. Dental therapists are primary oral health care providers that deliver routine preventive and restorative care to those who need it most. Dental therapists are critical to expanding access to dental care where it is most out of reach, providing timely, quality care to rural, low-income communities and communities of color, and to patients who have coverage through Apple Health or are uninsured. Click here to learn more

Dental therapists were recently authorized to work in select tribal communities. Community dental health advocates are pushing to extend this authorization statewide to bring much needed dental care to communities in need. Click here to support the campaign, and use this organizational sign on form to add your organization to the list of supporters. And click here to view a media toolkit you can use to get the word out to your community.

Community Nutrition Update 

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has signed a waiver allowing for the extension of summer meal programs into the remainder of 2020. This means that schools and community-based organizations that sponsor summer meal programs may continue to do what they stated last spring: feed any child (age 0-18) for free, regardless of what school they attend, or whether they are enrolled in school at all. Meal programs do not have to verify a child’s name, school of origin or household income. USDA had already extended waivers that allow schools to provide multiple meals at one time and allow adults to pick up meals without their children present. Nutrition advocates applaud this decision and are pushing for the USDA to extend this rule change through the end of the 2020-21 school year. Click here to add your organization to a sign-on letter in support of this, and use this call script to tell your representative to prioritize child nutrition in the next COVID-19 relief package.

 BUT – None of these changes are a full substitute for enrolling school age children into meals programs.  Because schools are now able to offer free meals to all kids using the Summer Meals waivers, it will be a challenge for families to remember they need to do this. Make sure the families you serve and work with complete a 2020-21 school meal application with their local school district. Click here to find enrollment information for your district.

Financial Empowerment Series Preview

Following our July 30 Financial Empowerment Workshop, the Coalition on Homelessness and Hopelink are offering a series of monthly mini-trainings to further explore the Your Money, Your Goals (YMYG) toolkit. We plan to take a closer look at each topic, with an eye towards creating space to share experiences using the Toolkit with those you serve. We will start this series by introducing the YMYG Toolkit and focus on how to discuss finances with clients. Register here for the first session on Wednesday, September 30 from 10:30 to 11:30am.

Upcoming Training Dates:

  • September 30, 2020: How to Discuss  Finances
  • October 28, 2020: Setting Goals
  • December 2, 2020: Saving
  • January 27, 2021: Tracking income & benefits

 Voting Rights in a Pandemic

The November election is two months away, a good time to remind people that you do not need a house to vote! We will be joined by Recovery Cafe to hear about their experience offering voter registration during this time, and hear from Civil Survival about efforts to enact voting right restoration legislation in Washington. Check out our remote voter registration materials here, then join us on Thursday to learn more. 

Civil Survival and the Washington Voting Rights Restoration Coalition are looking to collect stories and quotes from those who have been disenfranchised (deprived of the right to vote) due to felony convictions in an effort to ensure all voices are heard in the advocacy process. Currently, there are thousands of people in Washington state who are living and working in our communities but are unable to vote and participate in our democracy because of a felony conviction, even though they are no longer incarcerated. For more information, click here to fill out their survey or contact Roxana Gomez at rgomez@aclu-wa.org

Civil Survival also previewed a five-part webinar series on vacating your conviction record to celebrate National Expungement Week. Webinars run September 21 through September 25, click here to register.

Community Resources

Young Adult Eviction Prevention: The Y Social Impact Center is offering up to three months of rent assistance for young adults ages 18-24 who live in King County. Click here for more information, or email renthelp@seattleymca.org for more information. Start your application here

Child Nutrition and Back to School: You can review our back to school support information here, including a list of all King County McKinney-Vento Liaisons for the 2020-21 school year. A recording of our Helping Homeless Students info session, along with a copy of all materials discussed, have been uploaded to our website which can be viewed here.

Virtual Arts Programming: Path with Art is interested in bringing remote enrichment opportunities to homeless service programs in King County. Please complete this interest form for more information.

Transportation Advocacy

The Coalition on Homelessness is partnering with Transportation Choices Coalition and other mobility justice champions to host an Interactive Storytelling Workshop. Proposed cuts to transit service loom large as the COVID recession continues. We must keep transit rider stories front and center to maintain support for transit service to maintain this critical community lifeline. We hope you will join us Wednesday, September 30 at 9am, click here to register.

As part of our commitment to transit equity, we are joining with our community partners to call on Sound Transit to decriminalize their fare enforcement procedures. Failure to properly pay fare on Sound Transit services can result in Court-issued fines, debt collection and criminal charges. These policies trap marginalized communities in cycles of poverty and lead to unnecessary stress and harm, as well as costs to taxpayers. Fare non-payment should never be an entry to the criminal-legal system or lead to interactions with law enforcement. Sound Transit’s board will be considering some proposed reforms to the agency’s fare enforcement program, including adding an extra warning and lowering the amount of the fine. While these are positive steps, the proposals don’t go nearly far enough. Please take a moment to email the Sound Transit leadership and board using this action link, urging them to divorce fare enforcement entirely from policing and the court system.

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. Both of these actions have been temporarily blocked by the courts, making it  more important than ever to help those you work with complete the Census as soon as possible.

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, email Micaella Verro with United Way King County to get connected with Census operations staff. And check out these tips for helping the people you service complete the census form.

 The Census can be completed one of two ways:

  • Online: https://2020census.gov
  • Households would have had a Census ID mailed to them, but if someone does not have one because they don’t have a residential location or they no longer have the code, they can say that they don’t have a Census ID and still fill out the census
  • There will be a check box for “I do not have a street address” and then a question asking if someone was experiencing homelessness on April 1, 2020. After that people can provide a description of where they were staying, or a city.
  • Phone: 844-330-2020 – language support available in other languages – help someone find their language number to call by going to 2020census.gov and clicking How to Respond, or go to https://2020census.gov/en/ways-to-respond/responding-by-phone.html

HUD Emergency Shelter Rule

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is proposing modifications to the 2016 Equal Access Rule that would allow discrimination against transgender and gender non-conforming people seeking access to shelter through HUD-funded services. The proposed change would give local shelter providers the ability to deny services arbitrarily based on physical appearance, rather than how clients self-report their identity. This will have dire consequences for members of the LGBTQ+ community, especially trans and gender non-conforming people experiencing homelessness. We support the efforts of the Housing Saves Lives Coalition to push back against this proposed change. Click here to send a unique, personalized comment to HUD by Tuesday September 22.

Voter Registration & Voting during a Pandemic: August 4 Primary Election Edition

Recording of Voter Registration mini-training at June 16, 2020 Membership Meeting

Help people who you work with register and vote in the August 4 primary, and prepare for the November 3, 2020 General Election! This blog post is supplemental to the Coalition’s Guide to voting for people who are homeless and unstably housed.

The Coalition has been helping people who are experiencing homelessness register to vote and vote for over 11 years. We want to make sure that folks know that their voices matter and are important, and that You Don’t Need a House to Vote! This year our August Primary Election on Tuesday, August 4 includes voting on Federal Congressional Representatives, State Governor, Lieutenant Governor and other leadership positions, and State Senators and Representatives. The top two from each of those races will be on the November General Election ballot, along with, of course, the Presidential Election. 

The Coalition does voter registration and education work because:

  • We want to end homelessness and to do that we need to build political power. Voting is fundamental to political power. You will help with this.
  • We want to make sure everyone’s voice is heard, want to help people who don’t have a home know that they can vote.  
  • We need to spread the word about Voting Rights Restoration for people with felony convictions.

Due to COVID-19, this summer we are unable to send our volunteers out to help register voters (typically we sent trained volunteers to day and hygiene centers and meal programs), so we want to make sure that service providers have the tools you need to support people you work with in registering to vote, updating their voter registration, and voting. 

As a reminder, it is completely okay and legal for 501c3 nonprofits to help people register to vote, and provide education about the mechanics of how voting works. It is even okay to walk someone through their ballot, as long as you are helping them understand what the ballot is asking them to do, and not influencing how they vote in any way. 501c3 nonprofits are not allowed to tell someone how to vote on political (i.e. candidate) races, and if you are helping someone register or vote, you should never tell them who you are voting for. Nonprofits can endorse ballot measures/issues. 

View a recording of Hillary presenting this information at our July 16, 2020 membership meeting below (slides here) and see important information and materials here.

Email vote@homelessinfo.org for this poster

Materials to use while engaging voters:

  • Coalition’s Guide to voting for people who are homeless and unstably housed: Online version, PDF version
    • More information about these eligibility criteria and Voting Rights for people with felony convictions.
    • Addresses – how to fill out a form if someone doesn’t have a traditional residential address
    • See tips in this PowerPoint from our July 16, 2020 meeting as well!
  • Posters – email vote@homelessinfo.org for a personalized poster!
  • ACLU Trifold with information about Voting Rights for people with felony convictions: Download here

How to register & deadlines for voter registration for the Tuesday, August 4 Primary Election

Voting in the August 4 Primary Election: How to return a ballot

Ballots were mailed out on July 15! If someone hasn’t received their ballot by Tuesday, July 21, call King County Elections: (206) 296-8683.
Voter Pamphlet information: Non-partisan voter guides sent by County to each residence, some providers. If you need some, call Elections, or view online: https://kingcounty.gov/depts/elections/how-to-vote/voters-pamphlet.aspx

  • Use a Ballot Drop Box: Turn ballot in by 8 p.m. on election day to a drop box near you. Locations: (www.tinyurl.com/KCBallotDropBoxes)
  • Mail your ballot: no stamp needed! Put your ballot in any mailbox. Make sure that it will be postmarked by 5 p.m. on Election Day.
  • Vote Center: Go to a vote center for assistance voting in-person
  • For questions related to voting, call King County Elections: (206) 296-8683 or visit www.kingcounty.gov/vote

Vote Centers for August 4, 2020 Primary Election

Vote centers are available to register new voters, update current voter records, obtain a voter registration card and to provide assistance to voters who need help completing their ballot. Trained staff and specialized equipment are available to
help voters with disabilities cast a private, independent ballot.
Link to learn more about vote centers: https://bit.ly/kcvotecenters

COVID-19 and Vote Centers: Those who do come to a Vote Center in person will be required to wear a face covering that covers their nose and mouth. Vote Centers will have curbside assistance and assistance for people who don’t have cars. If you have questions about what to expect when you arrive at a vote center, call King County Elections: (206) 296-8683.

Renton – King County Elections HQ

  • Address: 919 SW Grady Way, Renton, WA 98057
  • Hours:
    • Weekdays, July 15 – 24, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
    • Weekdays, July 27 – August 3, 8:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
    • Saturday, August 1, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
    • Election Day, August 4, 8:30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Seattle – CenturyLink Field

  • Address: 800 Occidental Ave S, Seattle, WA 98134
  • Hours:
    • Saturday, August 1, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
    • Monday, August 3, 8:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
    • Election Day, August 4, 8:30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Recap: General Meeting on the Heroin and Prescription Opiate Task Force Recommendations – October 20th, 2016

The Coalition’s October general meeting occurred on Thursday, October 20th. In attendance were folks from the Transit Riders Union, Washington State Department of Health, King County Public Health Department Health Care for the Homeless, the Low Income Housing Institute, First Place, City of Seattle, Plymouth Housing Group, REACH, King County Metro, Crisis Clinic, The Salvation Army, Jewish Family Services, Seattle Public Library, Child Care Resources, the Housing Development Consortium, Seattle Department of Transportation, El Centro de la Raza, St. James Cathedral, and the Church of Harm Reduction.  Thanks to everyone who attended! 

Here is a brief recap of the meeting:


I: Voting Updates and Resources:

II: Heroin and Prescription Opiate Task Force Recommendations:
[Link to the full report on the Heroin and Prescription Opiate Addiction Task Force recommendations.] 

We were joined by Patricia Sully of the Public Defender AssociationVocal-WA and Chloe Gale of REACH, for a discussion of the Heroin and Prescription Opiate Task Force recommendations. The recommendations by the task force fall into three categories: Primary Prevention, Treatment Expansion & Enhancement, and User Health & Overdose Prevention. Patricia and Chloe focused primarily on the User Health & Overdose Prevention recommendations and the Treatment Expansion recommendations.

The two recommendations in the Health and Overdose Prevention section were to expand the distribution of naloxone and to establish at least two Community Health Engagement Locations/Supervised Consumption Sites. Naloxone is a drug that blocks the effects of opiates, thereby reversing opiate overdose. Click here for more information about naloxone and here for information on how to recognise an overdose. Supervised consumption sites are public health facilities that offer a safe, hygienic place where people can use their own drugs under medical supervision. These sites reduce the spread of HIV and hepatitis-C by providing sterile equipment and safe disposal for used needles, prevent deaths caused by overdose, decrease public drug use and drug-equipment litter, and provide access to health and social services. The task force specifically recommended consumption sites as opposed to injection sites because broader guidelines allow drug users to move away from injection to safer methods of drug consumption. For more information on supervised consumption sites visit the Yes to SCS facebook page. Click here for information on the effects of supervised consumption sites in other cities

The Treatment Expansion and Enhancement recommendations are to increase access to buprenorphine and remove barriers to treatment. Buprenorphine is a medication that can be prescribed to treat opioid addiction, unlike similar medications each dosage does not have to be administered by a medical professional which makes it more accessible. Click here for more information on buprenorphine. Recommendations for reducing barriers to treatment included developing on demand treatment for all types of substance use disorder treatment services and removing certain restrictions that opioid treatment programs have. 

III: Coalition Updates:

  • Budget Process: We are asking that the City of Seattle City Council fully fund human services and  prioritize harm reduction and housing first. Here are some sample messages to email to all 9 Seattle City Councilmembers today
    • Establish an $11M fund to offset the cost of implementing Seattle’s minimum wage without cutting services
    • Restore State of Emergency funding for CCS’ Lazarus Day Center, serving homeless women and men over 50
    • Restore State of Emergency funding for skilled psychiatric outreach to people with mental illness who are homeless through DESC’s HOST program
    • Bring People Inside NOW: Implement the city’s Emergency Preparedness plan, and create 1000 more homes for people who are homeless or extremely low income
  • We thank Coalition members like Stephanie Endres, who are writing open letters and otherwise engaging in community dialogue about homelessness. Find her open letter to White Center folks about the proposed shelter here.
  • Take action: show up to council meetings; email and call your Seattle City Council and King County Council members about increasing human services and stopping sweeps; talk to your friends and neighbors; dispel misinformation about homeless people, sweeps, and what is happening politically around these issues! It is nearing the one year anniversary of the declaration of the State of Emergency (November 2nd), and there are 28 community centers in King County that are empty overnight. We need to hold the city accountable to use all available resources to bring people inside!

IV: Transit Updates:

Save the Date:

Important Voting Dates: 

  • Wednesday, October 26: Ballots received by 10/26: If you or a guest/client/participant has not received their voting ballot, call King County Elections: 206-296-VOTE (8683) Visit blog.homelesinfo.org for signs to post & more information.
  • Monday, October 31: In-person voter registration deadline for NEW Washington State Voters (never registered before) – more information here.
  • Tuesday, November 8: Election Day – Ballots must be in ballot drop-box by 8pm, or postmarked by 5pm on November 8!

Upcoming Events:

  • Saturday, October 29 11am – 12:30pm: Create Change – Using Art to Address Homelessness for Youth & Families – Seattle Public Library Event: Central Library, 1000 4th Ave. Facebook event here.
  • Tuesday, November 1, 5:00 to 8:30 pm: Día de los Muertos Exhibit Opening Event at El Centro De La Raza. More information here.
  • Thursday, November 17, 9:00 to 11:00 AM: General Membership Meeting at E. Cherry YWCA, 2820 E. Cherry St.

Voting Tips: November 8, 2016 General Election: How to turn in your Ballot & make sure your vote is counted

The Coalition on Homelessness needs YOUR help to make sure that everyone in our community knows how to vote in the November 8th, 2016 General Election.  This year Coalition volunteers and Member Organizations helped register voters at the rate of 1/day – that’s 365 homeless and unstably housed people (123 in June, 242 in the Fall) that are some of those who will be receiving ballots for the General Election! We want to make sure that each person who we registered, and anyone else you work with, know how, when, and where to turn in ballots, as well as what to do if they haven’t received their ballot. PLUS, we want to make sure that everyone votes YES on Seattle Prop. 1 for Mass Transit Now! !

Please share this information and call King County Elections (206) 296-VOTE (8683) if you have any voting related questions.


IMPORTANT ELECTIONS DATES:

  • Tuesday, October 25: Ballots are mailed to registered voters 20 days prior to the election (on Wednesday, October 19).  If you have not received your ballot by Tuesday, October 25, call King County Elections (206) 296-8683. SPREAD THE WORD – put up a sign in your building (write in ballot drop box – there are lots of new ones – closest to you) to alert folks to call King County Elections if they haven’t received their ballot, and to let them know where to drop off ballots near your location. Print these flyers to share information with people you work with!
  • Monday, October 31: In-person voter registration deadline for people not currently registered in WA State.  Your new registration must be received in-person at either the Renton office:  919 SW Grady Way, Renton, WA 98057-2906, or Seattle office: 500 4th Avenue, Room 440, Seattle, WA 98104.
  • Tuesday, November 8:  Election Day! Ballots must be dropped at ballot drop box (by 8pm) or postmarked by November 8, 2016 (if mailing, pay close attention to mailbox pick-up time.

Materials to post & share with people you work with:

Need to read more about your candidates and issues? 

  • King County Elections Voter Guide: You can use the online guide, or paper guide that was sent out. If you or the people you work with need a paper guide, call Elections,  (206) 296-8683, to request one.

HOW TO TURN IN YOUR BALLOT – including new BALLOT DROP BOXES: 

Ballots can either be mailed in (with first-class stamp, postmarked by Tuesday, November 8), or dropped off at a Ballot Drop Box by 8 p.m on Tuesday, November 8. Drop boxes are open 24 hours/day.

There are 43 ballot drop box locations around King County, many are new, help spread the word! Please Click here for a comprehensive map and list of ballot drop boxes around King County.  That page on the elections website will give you a map with markers you can click on for each drop box, below the map is a list of all the locations.

ACCESSIBLE VOTING LOCATIONS: 

If you need special equipment to vote, or you have not received a replacement ballot by election day, you may request a provisional ballot in person at one of these locations. Visit King County Elections for more information and hours.

Seattle Union Station
401 S. Jackson
Seattle, WA 98104

Bellevue City Hall
450 110th Ave NE
Bellevue, WA 98004

Renton – King County Elections
919 SW Grady Way
Renton, WA 98057

How to Vote YES for Homes – Seattle Prop. 1 – Turn in your ballot by Tuesday, August 2 & important info to share!

yes for homesVote YES on Prop. 1: YES for Homes!  It’s the last item on your ballot, but the most important!

The Housing Levy is the single most important source of funding for affordable housing in Seattle. Your YES vote renews the levy for another 7 years. See www.yesforhomes.com for more information. (the campaign needs your help and you can sign up online to volunteer!)

The Coalition on Homelessness needs YOUR help to make sure that everyone in our community knows how to vote in the August 2, 2016 Primary Election.  In June Coalition volunteers helped 123 homeless and unstably housed people register to vote, and we want to make sure that each of them, and anyone else you work with, know how, when, and where to turn in ballots, as well as what to do if they haven’t received their ballot. PLUS, we want to make sure that everyone votes YES on Seattle Prop. 1 to renew the Housing Levy!

Please share this information and call King County Elections (206) 296-VOTE (8683) if you have any voting related questions.


IMPORTANT ELECTIONS DATES:

  • Tuesday, July 19 Ballots are mailed to registered voters 20 days prior to the election.  If you have not received your ballot by Tuesday, July 19, call King County Elections (206) 296-8683. SPREAD THE WORD – put up a sign in your building (write in ballot drop box closest to you) to alert folks to call King County Elections if they haven’t received their ballot, and to let them know where to drop off ballots near your location.
  • Monday, July 25 In-person voter registration deadline for people not currently registered in WA State.  Your new registration must be received in-person at either the Renton office:  919 SW Grady Way, Renton, WA 98057-2906, or Seattle office: 500 4th Avenue, Room 440, Seattle, WA 98104.
  • Tuesday, August 2  Election Day! Ballots must be dropped at ballot drop box (by 8pm) or postmarked by August 2, 2016.

Need to read more about your candidates and issues? 


HOW TO TURN IN YOUR BALLOT: 

Ballots can either be mailed in (with first-class stamp, postmarked by Tuesday, August 2), or dropped off at a Ballot Drop Box by 8 p.m on Tuesday, August 2. Drop boxes are open 24 hours/day.

Click here for a map and list of ballot drop boxes around King County. 

Here are four drop box locations in Seattle:

Downtown: King County Administration Building
500 4th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98104

Ballard Branch Library
Corner of NW 57th Street & 22nd Ave  NW, Seattle, WA 98107

University of Washington Campus
1400 NE Campus Pkwy, Seattle, WA 98105

South Seattle: New Holly
Learners Building, 7058 32nd Avenue S. Seattle, WA 98118

 

ACCESSIBLE VOTING LOCATIONS: 

If you need special equipment to vote, or you have not received a replacement ballot by election day, you may request a provisional ballot in person at one of these locations. Visit King County Elections for more information and hours.

Seattle Union Station
401 S. Jackson
Seattle, WA 98104

Bellevue City Hall
450 110th Ave NE
Bellevue, WA 98004

Renton – King County Elections
919 SW Grady Way
Renton, WA 98057