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.

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.

Case Manager Training Series: Financial Empowerment: Additional Tools for Homeless Service Providers

Hopelink invites you to join their next installment in this series. You do not need to have attended prior sessions to fully participate in this training. If you would like to review our prior trainings, see the recordings below.

The next installment in the series is titled Understanding Credit Reports and Scores, coming up on Wednesday, May 26 from 11am to Noon. Click here to register.

 


Financial Empowerment Series: Dealing with Debt

April 28, 2021

Presented by Hopelink.


Financial Empowerment Series: Getting Through the Month

February 26, 2021

Click Here to View Presentation Materials

Event Summary: The most recent workshop in our Financial Empowerment Training Series explored using cashflow budgeting to ensure the people you serve have the funds that they need at the time they need it. Static budgeting can leave households without needed income when bills come due. Thank you to the housing case management staff at Hopelink for helping us work through common scenario questions. If you plan to review the above recorded training materials, we encourage you to first examine this scenario question.

Below are links to all the materials referenced in the workshop. We encourage you to refer to these as you watch the video and pause to explore each tool at your own pace. You can also read through all presentation materials here. If you have questions or wish to explore this content in more detail, please email your questions to Emily.


Financial Empowerment Series: Tracking Income and Benefits

January 27, 2021

Click here to view presentation materials

Video timestamps found in YouTube video description.

Event Summary: The latest in our case manager training series explored how to help clients track multiple sources of income, such as earned income and public assistance programs. This training focused on how to help clients earn extra income while protecting their eligibility status for various state and federal assistance programs. We touched on how to track income and public benefits with an eye toward understanding garnishments and deductions, payment options, and how to increase net earnings.

Public Benefits Legal Assistance: Special thank you to Kate Means and Daniel Parker with Benefits Law Center for explaining how to help clients apply for SSI / SSDI and maintain their eligibility while seeking additional income. Benefits Law Center provides free and low-cost legal assistance to community members needing assistance with SSI / SSDI related issues. Check out their collection of self-help materials, and if you would like to refer someone you are working with call 206-686-7252 or submit your clients information using this online form.

Basic Needs Advocacy: Public assistance programs exist because working class coalitions asked and fought for them, making public benefit advocacy a key part of helping clients navigate these topics. Thank you to Lianna Kressin with Statewide Poverty Action Network for highlighting efforts to strengthen state assistance programs this legislative session. Check out the following resources to stay informed and get involved in their work:

Workshop Materials: Below are links to all the materials referenced in the workshop. We encourage you to refer to these as you watch the video and pause to explore each tool at your own pace. You can also read through all presentation materials here. If you have questions or wish to explore this content in more detail, please email your questions to Jason.


Financial Empowerment Series: Saving

December 2, 2020

Part three of our training series explored savings plans and how to navigate public benefit eligibility and tax filing while saving for future goals. Thank you to special guest Hannah Rosenberger with Solid Ground Public Benefits Assistance Program for explaining asset limits and how to save while maintaining eligibility for cash and food assistance programs. If you or someone you work needs legal guidance related to a public benefits issue, they can reach out to benefitslegalhelp@solid-ground.org or call 206-694-6742 for an intake.

Click here to review asset limits in detail.

Below are links to all the materials referenced in the workshop. We encourage you to refer to these as you watch the video and pause to explore each tool at your own pace. If you have questions or wish to explore this content in more detail, please email your questions to Jason.


Financial Empowerment Series: Setting Goals

October 28, 2020

Video timestamps found in YouTube video description.

We hosted the second installment in our Financial Empowerment Training Series on Wednesday, October 28. Part two explored tools to help your clients set goals, breaking down their financial objectives into achievable tasks. A huge thank you to Emily Goodright, Joy Horbochuk, Anna Austing and Jacinta Matthews from Hopelink for reviewing these tools with us.

Below are links to all the materials referenced in the workshop. We encourage you to refer to these as you watch the video and pause to explore each tool at your own pace. If you have questions or wish to explore this content in more detail, please email your questions to Jason.

Annual Subsidized Pass Pilot: Sound Transit and King County Metro are launching a pilot program to provide ORCA cards to low income King County residents. The Annual Subsidized Pass functions like an ORCA LIFT card that can be offered free of charge. This pass will be available to residents of King, Pierce and Snohomish County whose income is at or below 80 percent of the Federal Poverty Limit and who qualify for specific state and federal public benefit programs. This pilot will be administered by Catholic Community Services, Seattle / King County Public Health Department and the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS). Click here for more information. 

For additional information on stimulus checks, check out this training video. The CFPB is also offering virtual drop-in office hours so you can ask an expert your questions, every Wednesday at 11:30 until November 18. Click here to attend, or dial in using +1 571-348-5774, Conference ID: 503 140 753# 


Financial Empowerment Series: How to Discuss Finances

September 30, 2020

Video timestamps found in YouTube video description.

We hosted the first installment in our Financial Empowerment Training Series on Wednesday, September 30. Presented in partnership with Hopelink, this one-hour workshop provided an introduction to the Your Money / Your Goals toolkit and how to apply its principles to homeless service work. A huge thank you to Emily Goodright, Joy Horbochuk and Anna Austing from Hopelink for reviewing the toolkit and sharing insights on how to have client-centered, culturally appropriate conversations about finances with those you serve.

Below are links to all the tools referenced in the workshop. We encourage you to refer to these as you watch the video and pause to explore each tool at your own pace. If you have questions or wish to explore this content in more detail, please email your questions to Jason.

Join us on Wednesday October 28 at 11am for Part Two in this Series: Setting Goals.

  • October 28, 2020: Setting Goals
  • No training in November due to holidays
  • December 2, 2020: Saving
  • January 27, 2021: Tracking income& benefits

Financial Empowerment Workshop

July 30, 2020

Video timestamps found in YouTube video description.
Click Here to Review the PowerPoint Slides Used in the Above Video

We hosted the latest in our Case Manager Training Series titled Financial Empowerment: Tools for Homeless Service Providers. Presented in partnership with Hopelink, this two-hour workshop gave an overview of the Your Money / Your Goals toolkit and how to apply its principles to homeless service work. A huge thank you to Donna O’Connor, Emily Goodright, and Joy Horbochuk from Hopelink for reviewing the toolkit and sharing their insights on how they have been using these tools in their case management work.

Below is an outline of the training with links to all the tools referenced in the workshop. We encourage you to refer to this outline as you watch the video and pause the video to explore each tool at your own pace. If you have questions or wish to explore this content in more detail, please email your questions to Jason.

Opening Activity

Module 3 : Tracking income & benefits

Module 4 and 5: Paying Bills and Getting Through the Month

Module 7: Understanding Credit Reports and Scores

Additional Tools and Community Resources

Pandemic EBT Benefits – Updated August 11 2020

Recorded on July 1, 2020 at the South King County Forum on Homelessness

Click here for a copy of the PowerPoint used in the above presentation

8/11/2020 Update: Thanks to advocacy efforts across the state, the USDA has approved DSHS to extend the application deadline to Friday, September 11, 2020. Approved EBT cards must be sent no later than September 30, encourage those you work with to apply today.

The Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer Program (P-EBT) is a one-time award 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. This means that P-EBT is one of the few benefits available to undocumented communities excluded from much of the COVID relief funds so far. Click here to review the program in more detail.

With schools closed for the summer and deadlines fast approaching, we are concerned that struggling families may miss out on this crucial support.

To Apply:

ONLINE: Households enrolled in free or reduced-price meals apply for P-EBT through the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS). Eligible household can apply online at www.washingtonconnection.org. Click here for Step-by-Step Instructions on applying online.

OVER THE PHONE: 1-877-501-2233. Due to state budget cuts, DSHS will be taking furlough days every Monday through the end of July. Families can still apply online, however those requiring phone assistance will have to reach out Tuesday through Friday between 8am and 5pm.

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.”