Public Benefits are Key! ABD & HEN Program Training

Public Benefits are Key! Campaign In partnership with Solid Ground’s Benefits Legal Assistance and REACH, we are pleased to invite you to the Public Benefits Are Key! campaign. This campaign combines training, technical assistance, and advocacy in concerted effort to ensure public benefits remain accessible to people who need them. A three part training series offered year round will cover a multitude of public benefit programs including Aged, Blind, and Disabled (ABD), Housing & Essential Needs (HEN), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Work First, and Medicare Savings Program (MSP). The training will cover topics such as eligibility, income and resource limits, the disability evaluation process, and best practices for helping clients apply for these benefits. The training includes a 30 minute “Ask a Lawyer” segment where a Public Benefits attorney will be available to answer specific questions. Participants can also email questions in advance to (please put Ask a Lawyer in the subject line). Through our partnerships with Solid Ground’s BLA team, REACH, and case managers, we can recognize gaps in the programs and systems that create barriers for people and identify advocacy opportunities that help to strengthen those systems that are intended to help people get out of extreme poverty and homelessness. Video Recording and Slides Slide deck from May 24th, 2022’s training on ABD & HEN May 24th, 2022 Training on ABD & HEN programs Upcoming Public Benefits are Key! Trainings These trainings are geared towards case managers working with people experiencing homelessness – both new case managers as well as experienced providers who have questions and would like additional support in navigating public benefits.  Training will go in-depth about strategies you can use to assist people who are experiencing homelessness successfully navigate the application process, and how to troubleshoot issues for people who already have public benefits. You will learn  what you can do …

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May 19th Annual Membership Meeting

Big Thanks to our Special Guests! Our May Annual Membership meeting was filled with peace, inspiration, gratitude, and opportunity!   Shayla Collins, a lead facilitator with the UW Center for Child & Family Well-Being, briefly introduced us to her approach to mindfulness. She led us through a breathing exercised and talked about how to utilize mindfulness in real life. Anthony Blankenship from ACLU-WA and Kelly Olson from Civil Survival Project joined us to share their perspectives on the importance of voting. Both Anthony and Kelly are leaders in the Voting Rights Restoration Coalition, which works to restore full voting rights for anyone impacted by the criminal-legal system. Free Training Opportunities- Visit our Training and Professional Development page to register for all our upcoming trainings! In collaboration with Solid Ground’s Benefits Legal Assistance program and REACH, Public Benefits are Key! ​​​​​​is a three part training series that will focus on five major public benefits. These trainings will build on the Coalition’s Public Benefits 101 training to incorporate technical assistance to problem solve with an expert on navigating the process of applying for public benefits. Using mindfulness to build resilience and compassion for yourself (and others). Registration for these trainings will open during the Annual Membership meeting. We are grateful to host two trainings on mindfulness with Shayla Collins. Save the dates for Mindfulness in Real Life- Tuesday, June 28th from 3-4:30pm & Tuesday, July 26th from 3-4:30pm!   2022 is a mid-term election year and we want to ensure people know their voting rights and are registered to vote in the August 2nd Primary election! In partnership with the Urban League, we will be hosting a Voter Rights and Registration training for service providers on Tuesday July 12th from 3-4:30pm.  This training is for homeless service and housing providers, and case managers interested in helping people experiencing homeless or …

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April 21st General Membership Meeting & Legislative Debrief

Key Issues from the 2022 Washington Legislative Session Thank you to our legislative champions on homelessness and housing for joining our April General Membership meeting and sharing insights into all their hard work this past session. Representative Nicole Macri (LD43) shared with us some details around the workforce budget proviso that includes 55 million for worker relief and stabilization in the homeless service sector. 20,000 WA State workers will be helped with these stipends. The Department of Commerce will contract with providers to provide the stipends, in the amount of $2000 per worker, if programs receive public dollars. The proviso also includes an element of retention, where if a someone is employed at the same place for six month, they would be eligible for a second stipend. The state will also study the issue of workforce stability to see what role it can play to ensure appropriate compensation for workers. We’ll be providing regular updates about how people can access these stipends at our meetings, and opportunities to help shape the study that will be conducted. You can read the proviso language about the workforce stipends are on page116 of this budget document. A huge thank you to Representative Strom Peterson (LD21) for being the primary sponsor of HB 2075, the DSHS Access bill, he shared great insight into all the work that many of us put into making this bill pass both the House and Senate with overwhelming bi-partisan support. He also spoke about the disappointing news that HB 2075 was vetoed by the Governor a few weeks ago. Read the Coalition’s full response here. Representative Frank Chopp (LD43) discussed Apple Health & Homes, HB1866, which received strong bipartisan support. Five significant goals of the act include: Treating chronic homelessness as a medical condition Investing in preventative services and …

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March 17th General Membership Meeting & 2 Years of Living and Working Through a Pandemic

WA State Legislative Highlights & Appreciation! A big THANK YOU to Representative Strom Peterson (LD21), primary sponsor of HB 2075, and all the Coalition members and allies who worked to help ensure DSHS offices will remain open and accessible to all including in future states of emergency! E2SHB 2075, a bill that will set minimum service standards for DSHS passed! The final state capital budgets include great investments for housing & homeless services, support for frontline workers, and for people living on extremely low incomes, including:$45 million for rental assistance, $45 million for services to help transition people experiencing unsheltered homelessness into affordable housing, $55 million in stipends for frontline homeless service workers,$15 million for homeless youth facilities, $2 million for pre-eviction legal aid, and a permanent increase in the Aged, Blind, and Disabled Cash Assistance program from $197 a month to $417 a month!   Marking 2 Years of Living & Working Through a Pandemic KC Jobs & Housing Program We were joined by Nancy Yamamoto & Sasha Gourevitch and learned about new employment and housing opportunities through the King County Jobs & Housing program: good-paying jobs that can help folks get paid work experience, training, help with housing, and a foot in the door for regular employment. Check out their FAQ. Voting Rights & Restoration Coalition April 7, 2022 marks one year since Washington restored the freedom to vote to more than 20,000 Washingtonians with past convictions! In a time when some states are trying to silence the voices of its citizens, it is more important than ever to appreciate this historic win. We invite you to join Free the Vote! Celebrating Voting Rights Restoration in WA on April 7th @ 6 pm PT. This will be a joyful time for directly-impacted voters to share stories, educate the community about the new …

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February 17th General Membership Meeting

Legislative Highlights HB 2075 Thanks to all of you who called or emailed your lawmakers, signed in PRO, or testified on behalf of House Bill (HB) 2075!!! HB 2075 started House of Representatives, and passed out of committee with a 97-1 vote. It then moved to the Senate, where is was heard by the Human Services committee on 2/18. This bill helps to ensure access to DSHS Community Service Offices (CSO) by requiring them to reopen fully and address the long waits for the call center. DSHS provides access to life saving safety-net programs and individuals and families need to be able to walk into a DSHS office and get through on the statewide call center. CSO’s closed on March 12, 2020 and reopened with limited capacity in November 2021. We have seen increases in need for benefits, and the strain on statewide call center has resulted in wait times of anywhere from an hour to an 8 hour wait, an increase in dropped calls. The bill has gone through some amendments, but still requires that offices reopen. Take Action Tuesdays – Commit to taking action EVERY WEEK and to helping others do the same Take Action Tuesday at 2pm: Join us every Tuesday at 2pm to hear highlights on the legislative session, ask questions about the legislative process, participate in quick and easy collective action. Get Involved in the Legislative Process:  Link to find out who represents you in Olympia! your district to Maggie Put 1-800-562-6000 State Legislative Hotline in your phone  Everyone: sign up for Action Alerts  Providers, advocates, folx with personal experience:  sign up for Homeless Service & Housing Network Twitter @Homeless2Housed  Member Updates & Announcements Thanks to Peer Kent for providing us with an overview of their program. Services include peer coaching, peer …

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January 20th, 2022 General Membership Meeting

We’re hiring! The Coalition is looking for a full-time Office Manager to join our small and dynamic team! Priority deadline for applications is February 9th, 2022.   The Office Manager is a core position, helping to keep our internal operations running smoothly The successful candidate will be a self-starter who is good at setting up and maintaining systems, and who also thrives in working as part of a team in fast-paced, fluid work environment, and has excellent judgment with the ability to effectively solve problems and work both independently and collaboratively HB 2075 for DSHS Access In case you haven’t heard, state legislative bill HB 2075, advocates for the critically important issue of having DSHS offices open and accessible to everyone living on low-incomes and especially for our community members that are living unhoused. DSHS provides access to life saving safety-net programs and individuals and families need to be able to walk into a DSHS office and get through on the statewide call center. Take action and tell your legislators that access to DSHS is important and to support this bill. Public Health’s Health Care for the Homeless Network Seattle King County Public Health’s Health Care for the Homeless Network provided a review of COVID safety strategies. Watch the video to see the full presentation. COVID 101 Refresher Slides Youth & Miranda Rights Team Child presented on a new law that states law enforcement must provide access to an attorney for consultation before the juvenile waives any constitutional rights if a law enforcement officer wants to question, detain or search them.  Call the Youth Access to Counsel (YAC) Line, 877-578-2333, and this number with your clients and colleagues. Check out the YAC one pager for tips on how to use the statewide 24/7 phone line. Take Action Tuesdays: Join Us for Take Action Tuesdays! These sessions are designed to provide you with quick and easy ways to …

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December 16th, 2021 General Membership & 2022 Legislative Preview Meeting

Thank you for joining us for December General Membership & 2022 Legislative Preview Meeting! If you didn’t get the chance to join us, please review the recording and hear about all the important legislative priorities our community will be paying close attention to. Thanks and Farewell After 20 years, Eileen Denham, long-time City of Seattle HSD staffer, and Kate Speltz, long-time staff at King County DCHS, are stepping down as the skilled and steadfast managers our Continuum of Care’s application to HUD. The federal McKinney funding brings tens of millions of federal dollars for homeless housing each year.  This is a major effort, with different questions every year, strict character limits, complex scores to maximize, and some hard decisions to make. Our community rates high on our federal “McKinney” application every year – some years high enough to be awarded millions in “bonus” projects, funding that has made it possible to add hundreds more of units of supportive housing over time. We appreciate the hard, unsung work these two have led, the ways they’ve listened to and kept community partners informed, and the resources they have secured to house and help people all over King County. Eileen and Kate, we tip our hats to you! Representative Nicole Macri State Representative from the 43rd District Nicole Macri joined us to share some of the key legislation she’s working on this session like tenant protections, an advisory panel for Permanent Supportive Housing, and Apple Health and Home. She encouraged us to use our voices and left us with this poignant statement about advocacy. “Don’t ever think that you’re pestering us. We don’t hear about these issues as much as you think that we do.” Representative Nicole Macri As always, the Coalition has deep appreciation for the dedication, support and hard work Representative …

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DSHS Community Organization Sign-on Letter

DSHS offices have been closed since March 2020 due to the pandemic. DSHS has communicated its intent to not fully reopen Community Service Offices across the state. A group of direct service providers and advocates (Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness, REACH, Solid Ground, Catholic Community Services, and others) have been meeting with DSHS since June 2020 to advocate for DSHS offices to re-open to serve anyone in need of in-person services. Our direct advocacy with DSHS has not been successful. Community-based providers have seen how offices being closed have led to unhoused clients and clients with disabilities losing benefits and/or not being able to apply for benefits. We are writing this letter to bring this issue to the attention of the Governor’s Office, the Secretary of DSHS, Assistant Attorney General for DSHS, and the Office of Equity. If your organization would like to sign on click here.

EIP/Stimulus checks: How you can help before November 15th!

On Monday, November 8th, we held a training in partnership with REACH to offer assistance and information about how to support folks who still need to claim their EIPs (stimulus payments). The deadline to apply for stimulus checks #1 & #2 is November 15th, 2021. Included here is the recording of the training (with closed captioning), the slides, and our flyer that can be shared widely.

November 18th, 2021 Membership Meeting

Thank you to all who attended our November Membership meeting. We look forward to seeing you and sharing space at our December 16th Membership meeting which includes our 2022 Legislative Preview! This meeting will be two hours from 9am-11am The Coalition on Homelessness is hiring! This is the CORE position of OFFICE MANAGER at the Coalition. Thanks for getting this out to your networks. A full position description, salary range, and how to apply are on our website and here: Help us find a person who likes to set up systems and keep them in good working order, who relishes solving problems, and who sees the beauty in being the behind-the-scenes backbone of our small & mighty team and our broad & diverse community.*Priority application deadline: December 8, 2021.* COVID Vaccine Updates COVID-19 Vaccine Booster doses: Pfizer, Moderna, and the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines offer great protection against severe disease, hospitalization, and death. However, studies have shown that over time protection against mild and moderate disease can decrease. Booster doses are recommended for anyone 18 years of age and older who are at least 2 months past their single dose of Johnson & Johnson and for some groups of people who received either Moderna or Pfizer and are at least 6 months past their second dose. Learn more at Seattle King County Public Health. Check out the Seattle King County Public Health Blog: Public Health Insider for tips on COVID and the holiday season. Read past blog posts for lots of great information on COVID and how to stay safe. Advocacy Priorities Inflation Adjustment: If you live or work in Seattle: City of Seattle budget will be finalized on Monday, 11/22. We have a foundational ask which is the 2.8% inflation adjustment. Email your Councilmembers today to say …

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