Project Cool 2015 is in full swing! Learn about easy ways to get involved, and mark your calendar for Volunteer Days.

This is an exciting time of year: flowers are blooming, days are longer, and Project Cool for Back-to-School is in full swing!!! I have been waiting for Project Cool since I joined the Coalition back in September and am so excited it is finally here.  The work to make sure that students start off the school year with a new backpack and school supplies, just like their peers, is very important and further enhanced by the Understanding Homeless Students’ Educational Rights guide that each student receives. I know that Project Cool would not be possible without the support, work, and some sweat while stuffing backpacks of our awesome Coalition supporters and volunteers and I’m looking forward to working with you this year. Ready to get involved? see how below! Ready… Set… Go! Here are 5 ways you can get involved: Supply Drives. Now is a great time to start your own supply drive, and encourage others to do the same. You can use this Project Cool Supply Drive Flyer (with Wish List). Contact me if you’d like a tailored flyer. We hope you have fun with them, too — there are so many ways to be creative and think outside the box. For example, Northwest Honkers Baseball is set up to ask their game day patrons to donate school supplies in lieu of a gate fee during summer games.  RSVP to let me know if you can host a supply drive in the Spring or Fall.  Dental Donations. We need your help to reach out to Dentists for floss, toothbrush, and toothpaste donations. Do you have an upcoming dentist appointment, or is there a nearby dentist office in your community? Use our Dentist Letter to ask your personal or local dentist to donate supplies to Project Cool. Encourage your work, community group, bank, or faith organization …

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Announcement: Dental Home Day on Wed, May 20, 2015

The following is an announcement from Wendy Cone Dore, Outreach and Marketing Manager with the University of Washington Center for Pediatric Dentistry.    The University of Washington Center for Pediatric Dentistry, in partnership with the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and Sunstar, is hosting a very special event, “Dental Home Day” on Wednesday, May 20, 2015. Appointments are required, but there will be a limited number of walk-up slots available on the day of service. On this day, all children are invited to come for a day of free dental services. We hope you will help us spread the word with the children and families you serve. We have room that day for 150 children to receive services, and registration will be first come-first served. Services available that day include exams, fluoride application, teeth cleaning, sealants, fillings, crowns…..the full range of dental services for children 6 mos. through age 18 (and through age 20 if the child has special needs.) In addition, any services needed for the child will be covered for a full year after Dental Home Day. For this day, we will have a variety of fun activities for the children, their siblings and friends, as well as the dental services — ‘characters’, a storytime, games, oral health education and more. The Mariner Moose will be joining us! The Center for Pediatric Dentistry is located at Magnuson Park — with free, easy parking and on a bus line. If a child is enrolled in Apple Health/Medicaid, we will also be able to help arrange transportation if needed and interpretation in 120 languages. Please help us fill the chairs by encouraging the families your serve to bring their children for this day of service. REGISTRATION/APPOINTMENTS OPEN MARCH 23 AND WILL BE FILLED ON A FIRST-COME/FIRST SERVED BASIS. TO MAKE APPOINTMENTS, PLEASE CALL: …

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Coalition Support helps the Homeless Student Stability Act stay Alive!

Katara Jordan of Columbia Legal Services shared the following message with supporters of the Homeless Student Stability Act (HB 1682), which is alive and well (currently scheduled for a public hearing in the Senate Committee on Early Learning & K-12 Education at 8am, Thursday, March 19).  She especially wanted to thank Coalition members for their great support, calls, and postcard signing which was critical to keeping this bill alive and moving.   Keep calling in and letting your legislators know that our state needs better support for students experiencing homelessness and this is possible with the Homeless Student Stability Act! Visit our bill tracker for most up to date info. Friends, Friday, February 27 was critical in the fight to increase state support for homeless students. That morning, it appeared that the Homeless Student Stability Act would not receive a hearing in either the House or Senate budget committees. The 27th was the last day for bills to pass out of state fiscal committees. And generally bills must receive a public hearing before they are allowed to do so. Your effort calling your Representatives helped us secure a public hearing in Appropriations on the Homeless Student Stability Act —a necessary step to increase state support for homeless students. You were genuinely instrumental in securing a hearing for this bill! THANK YOU!   We have even more exciting to news to share! On March 6, the House overwhelmingly passed HB 1682 (the Homeless Student Stability Act) in a vote of 82-16! Representatives Fey, Stambaugh, and Magendanz all gave great speeches on the importance of supporting homeless students and their families! This bill would provide increased in-school support for homeless students as well as create new housing partnerships between school districts and community organizations. With this bill, we could not just shelter …

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Reflections on a rousing 2015 Housing & Homelessness Advocacy Day!

On February 17, 2015, 650 of our closest friends and allies from all across the state of Washington gathered in Olympia at Housing and Homelessness Advocacy Day to speak up for affordable housing and an end to homelessness. Driven by an enthusiastic and cheerful bus driver, we headed to Olympia at 7:15 a.m. with 30 Coalition members and friends –  service providers, clients, residents, guests, and others. For some, it was their first time to Olympia and an introduction to advocacy in action. Others were veterans of HHAD. Everyone on the Advocacy Express bus was rearin’ and ready to make a difference, and that they did! The Coalition’s Advocacy Express bus rolled up right on time to the morning activities, and found inspiration from the first of many speakers that day. Housing Alliance staff, State legislators, and superstar Real Change vendor Pam Russell all spoke how POWERFUL we housing advocates are when we speak up and act together. It’s because of our collective action and advocacy that the Document Recording Fee bill came back from the dead last session, remember! Our rally at the Capitol steps was a sight to be seen (and heard!). We were inspired by the voices around us. People who have experienced homelessness personally, service providers, representatives from advocacy organizations, students, community members, and people from all walks of life from all over the state were represented as we chanted from the steps through the buildings of the Capitol: “When they say ‘cutback’ we say fightback!” “Get up, get down, there’s a housing crisis in this town.” We were a sea of 650 people wearing red scarves, red shirts, red hats, and many people wore our One Night Count ‘3772’ and Student Homelessness ‘32,494’ buttons. Even as folks dispersed into their legislative district groups, we were unified and unmistakable throughout the halls of the Capitol. Each button and …

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No Shelter: Counting the Homeless in Seattle by Mary Anne Mercer

We are all in the Huffington Post, thanks to a superb essay by Mary Anne Mercer. She writes about homelessness and inequality, and how tragedy becomes normalized. To every One Night Count Team Captain and volunteer who makes guests welcome, and keeps our community’s count safe, respectful, and accurate ~ thank you.  No Shelter: Counting the Homeless in Seattle (originally published 02/04/2015) It was three AM. I was walking down a street in one of Seattle’s toniest neighborhoods with my 25-year-old daughter and another young woman. We were part of Seattle/King County’s One Night Count of the homeless, a massive effort to document the number of “unsheltered” persons on a random winter night, after the shelters had closed their doors. It was my first time, but fortunately my companions were veterans of working with homeless populations. We spent the next two hours covering specified streets and alleys, peering behind trash cans and into parked cars, doorways and little park-like spaces. The effort, a project of the Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness, was carried out by nearly 1100 volunteers who spent a few early morning hours documenting the men, women and children who had no indoor shelter. It was a clear, cool January night. We strolled past glittering display windows for the many new condominiums and apartment buildings in the area — brightly lit, elegant showrooms with upscale décor and expensive furniture, plush sofas and carpets. As we moved past a low wall lined with manicured shrubbery, I glanced at a long mound covered by black plastic, nestled under the greenery. The three of us stopped, and suddenly I heard the faint sounds of a popular song. I jumped, and looked over at my daughter, who nodded knowingly. Yes, there was someone under that makeshift shelter, and they were doing what many young …

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Severe Weather Shelter in King County

Updated Severe Weather Shelter locations around King County can be found below. Please note that other Winter Shelters are also opened nightly and Severe Weather Shelters (listed below) are usually open when the weather is below freezing.  Please visit the Crisis Clinic Resource Talk Shelter page to see the most updated list of Winter Shelters around the county as well as information about Severe Weather Shelters. This post will be frequently updated with the most recent information. If you know of new or updated information please contact hillary[at]homelessinfo[dot]org. _________________________________________________________________________ SEVERE WEATHER SHELTERS – Updated 1/5/2014 Please share information about severe weather shelters with your clients and the community.  Check back for frequent updates about openings. Information can also be found here.  SEATTLE: Severe Weather Shelter – Print This Flyer Location: Seattle Center Rainier Room: 305 Harrison Street, Seattle, 98109 (next to Key Arena) Date & Time: Closed The emergency shelter serves men and women over the age of 18 and is operated by Salvation Army Staff. The Rainier Room at the Seattle Center is located at 305 Harrison Street just to the north of Key Arena.  This shelter is open access.  Referral forms are NOT required. AUBURN: Veteran’s Memorial Park  Location: William C. Warren Building: 405 E St NE, Auburn, 98002  Date & Time: Closed Phone: (253) 876 – 1925 Les Gove Overnight Shelter  Location: Les Gove Multipurpose Building: 1024 Deals Way, Auburn, 98002 (between Auburn Senior Activity Center and Auburn Library) Date & Time: Closed Phone: (253) 876 – 1925 KENT: Kent Lutheran Church Location: 336 2nd Ave S, Kent, 98032  Date & Time: Closed Phone: (253) 856 – 5070 FEDERAL WAY: New Hope Christian Fellowship Location: 31411 6th Ave S, Federal Way, 98003  Date & Time: Closed Phone: (253) 269 – 6585                                                RENTON: Cold Weather Shelter Location: …

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