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: The Coalition helped 365 homeless voters register this year, one for every day! Thanks for helping at your member organization. 83% of eligible voters are registered in the state of Washington. Lets get them all to vote!  Take action: put out voters guides and lists of the drop box locations in your organization. Click here for the map of the locations of the 43 ballot drop boxes in King County. Get more information by reading our voting tips. 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 Association/ Vocal-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 …

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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 …

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Sound Transit Proposition 1: Mass Transit Now!

The November 8th election is rapidly approaching and we at the Coalition are excited about one measure that you’ll find at the end of your ballot. Sound Transit (A Regional Transit Authority) Proposition No. 1 will be the very last thing on the ballot and we encourage you to vote yes!  In the past the Coalition has worked on other transit issues, including the ORCA LIFT fare and the Move Seattle transit measure. We care about affordable transit because it allows low-income individuals to access opportunities that they otherwise wouldn’t, it helps people survive and increases their ability to thrive in our community.  Here are reasons why the Coalition is excited about Proposition 1: Proposition 1 invests more than $20 million in affordable housing, and requires 80% of surplus land to be prioritized for building affordable housing. Mass transit built as part of this proposition will serve more than 36,000 current units of subsidized housing.  As more affordable housing is built along the line, more people will be served by transit. It will increase access to jobs and education for low-income, working and middle class families by providing an affordable transportation option with shorter commute times. It will provide reliable public transportation for seniors and people with disabilities which will allow for more independence. Mass transit will reduce air and carbon pollution, which disproportionately impacts people of color. Voting yes on Sound Transit Proposition 1 will increase equity in our community by increasing opportunities for low-income and middle class individuals. This is the most cost effective way to expand transit and help people get where they need to go! For more information on Proposition 1 visit masstransitnow.com and for updates on the campaign find them on facebook. If you’re passionate about this issue and would like to volunteer with the Mass Transit …

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Powerful Comments at City Council

On Friday October 14th the Human Services & Public Health Committee of the Seattle City Council met to discuss Council Bill 118794, an Ordinance to Protect Public Health and Safety and Reduce Harms Experienced by Unsheltered Residents of our City. There was public comment at the end of the meeting which included powerful statements and stories from Coalition members and concerned citizens. Below are clips of a few of these comments. Julie, a mother from Magnolia had heard misinformation about the ordinance from her neighbors. Upon researching the ordinance she’s in favor of it. She asks that we remember that some of the unsheltered are families with small children, stating that:  “Some of my children’s classmates are living in encampments. My heart burns with shame when I think about how we have failed them. And it angers me when I hear parents from our school talking about organizing a protest at the local park for fear that their property values will fall. What message are we sending to those children, to their courageous parents who are doing everything they can to get their children to school on time every day.” Cecelia Linsley, a parent from South Seattle spoke about choosing to raise her children, Chiara and Thea, to be people who pay attention and help those around them, saying that “It is a privilege to raise children in Seattle if you have the resources. It would be really easy to carry on with our lives ignoring the fact that not everyone around us…is privileged, but that’s not how I want to raise my children….We’re going to keep using our public parks and other public spaces even if people are camping there. We are going to keep noticing and talking to the people around us – even when they don’t look or live …

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

Vote 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! …

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Volunteer Days are over for 2016, but you can help make back-to-school cool throughout the year!

These are Katherine’s reflections on Project Cool 2016: Last Wednesday, a volunteer placed the final Project Cool backpack into a case manager’s van and I began to reflect on this year’s Project Cool Volunteer Days. As we transition to the next phase of Project Cool, I am able to appreciate Project’s Cool full year cycle and the breadth of people and communities the program touches. We have enjoyed each Project Cool volunteer day, and I feel lucky to have organized, packed and inventoried supplies alongside such fantastic volunteers! As we look forward to the next few months and connecting to community members through supply drives (want to host one where you work or play? Contact Hillary – hillary[at]homelessinfo[dot]org), we know that 1,417 colorful backpacks will enter the first days of school swung over the shoulders of students ranging from Pre-K to 12th grade. Having only joined the Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness a few weeks ago, I entered my first volunteer day with enthusiasm, excitement, and a bit of nervous anticipation of the amount of work to be accomplished in just a week. I could not wait to see the weeks of donation and volunteer coordination I had supported, as well as the year-long effort Hillary and Julia contributed to Project Cool, come to bloom! My expectations were surpassed and my qualms eased by the awesome volunteers that arrived with enthusiasm for each shift. I feel hopeful for the future of the children that Project Cool serves after discussing many volunteers’ commitment to ending homelessness. Over the past week I learned more fully how raising a child can require mobilization from an entire community. Participants demonstrated how volunteering quickly builds community amongst initial strangers. Participants bonded over their passion for service to form productive, fun work teams. For many of …

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Recap: Families with Children Meeting – KidsPlus Training and Coordinated Entry for All – June 22, 2016

Big thanks to all who were able to join us for last month’s Families with Children committee meeting. As always, it was great to see a room full of familiar and new faces! We were joined by Mary Dunbar from Kids Plus (Public Health – Seattle & King County), who offered a training on working with guests to address their mental health needs. Danielle Winslow (All Home) provided timely Coordinated Entry for All updates with the group. Highlights and resources from these two folks are below: A list of mental health services available for children can be found here. The YMCA also operates the Children’s Crisis Outreach Response System (CCORS), which offers urgent crisis outreach as well as short-term stabilization resources to children and youth in King County, as well as their families. King County Mental Health’s wraparound services offer additional supports to children to help stabilize them in the community. More information and application processes for this program can be found on the King County website. Adults and folks of all ages can access mental health services at the locations listed on this document. The Crisis Clinic is an excellent resource for folks to call if in need of immediate crisis help, and they also provide information about suicide warning signs and crisis intervention strategies. King County Crisis and Commitment Services are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to provide initial outreach services to folks not already accessing outpatient care in King County as well as evaluation of people with mental disorders for possible involuntary detention in psychiatric facilities according to the mental illness law in the State of Washington. Throughout King County and the state of Washington, low-cost and free clinics are available for folks to access mental and physical healthcare needs. Mary suggests looking into Consejo, Cornerstone, and Project Access Northwest …

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King County 2016 Men’s Winter Shelters for 150 Beds – Extended Until Further Notice

King County Winter Response Shelters 2016 Men’s Winter Shelters for 150 Beds – Extended Until Further Notice Every year we advocate for more shelter and expanded shelter hours. Your advocacy in the fall helped open the 420 4th ave shelter (Zombie Building) for 50 beds, now spread the word that these 150 beds are open until further notice! See details below, PRINT & POST THIS PDF, and contact Janice Hougen with any questions. King County Men’s Winter Shelter  – 500 4th Avenue Open Every Until Further Notice Location:  King County Administration Building – 500 4th Avenue Downtown Seattle (Between Jefferson and James) Operator:  The Salvation Army Capacity:  100 men Hours:  7:00 PM to 6:00 AM Access:  Line up for the shelter in front of the loading dock garage door at the corner of 4th and Jefferson. King County Men’s Winter Shelter  – 420 4th Avenue (Pets Welcomed) Open Every Night Until Further Notice Location:        420 4th Avenue, Seattle (Between Jefferson and James) Operator:       The Salvation Army Capacity:        50 Men Hours:            7:00 PM to 6:00 AM Access:           Line up for the shelter in front of the loading dock garage door at the corner of 4th and Jefferson. Contact: Please contact Janice Hougen with King County Community Services Division at 206-263-9089 or janice.hougen@kingcounty.gov for further information. PDF Version of Flyer

Transit Riders Union Human Services Bus Ticket Campaign

The Transit Riders Union (TRU) is organizing to ensure that everyone in our community can access transit options, especially with the recent expansion of the Light Rail and subsequent changes to some bus service. As a reminder, the ORCA LIFT low-income fare is now available for anyone in King, Snohomish, or Pierce county who makes less than 200% of the federal poverty limit ($23,760 for a household of 1, $40,320 for a household of 3). Visit www.orcalift.com for more information! The following information was shared at our April 21 General Membership meeting, and prepared as a guest blog post by Katie Wilson, General Secretary of TRU. PDF version here. Human Services Bus Ticket Campaign progress report & call to action April 25, 2016 Progress! The problem: Toward the end of last year TRU started realizing that the expansion of Link Light Rail and the Metro bus service restructure would raise barriers for people who use bus tickets, since the tickets and paper transfers are not accepted as proof of payment on light rail. The pressure: After a letter and meetings with councilmembers produced inconclusive results, we started a petition and announced a public action for April 16th. The KC Exec’s office quickly got in touch to tell us they were working on a solution. The solution: This “combo-ticket” will be available starting mid-June, at a cost $11 for a booklet of 10. (It is priced at 20% of the value of the bus tickets, with no extra cost for the light rail pass.) It will also be possible to swap out tickets already purchased. Until then, King County Metro has said that if organizations purchase Sound Transit Link day passes at $1 each, they will throw in twice as many bus tickets for free (Contact: Brandon Banks, brandon.banks@kingcounty.gov, 206-477-6664.) More in the works… Raising the cap: Since we’ve heard from …

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