Our Families with Children (FWC) Committee gathered in September to discuss the future of its new quarterly joint meeting with the Committee to End Homelessness’ Family Homelessness Initiative. They also reported back on the start of the new school year for the students who are homeless that they serve. Here are some brief notes from the discussion:
HOW DID START OF SCHOOL GO FOR MCKINNEY-VENTO STUDENTS?
Please be sure to e-mail rebecca[at]homelessinfo[dot]org
with your back-to-school experience(s).
- Backlog of enrollment paperwork
- In Seattle, had students who didn’t go the first 2 days of school because of this.
- Others said the first two days of school had VERY fast turn-around re: paperwork, but slowed significantly after that.
- Reports of buses being 1.5 hours late – A. Moon (Mary’s Place)
- Reports of taxis being 2 hours late – A.Moon (Mary’s Place)
- Case Manager said she went above and beyond to verify and confirm – multiple times – that the orders were correct. And still, these delays happened. She even had a taxi with incorrect orders and wouldn’t take the student to the correct school!
- In West Seattle, it took one week to get a bus to pick up a student.
- Safety concerns of younger students being assigned ORCA cards instead of a taxi or bus
- No one reported ORCA card issues (e.g., then not being loaded)
- Multiple people reported having concerns and questions around the 1-mile rule (i.e., no transportation, must walk). Case Manager said that 2-mile rule for homeless families who live in Queen Anne is quite difficult. There is a much greater impact of this rule for families who are homeless
- Proactive and flexible engagement from Liaison
- Liaison w/ Lowel (school) came to provider to talk through McK-V and connect with families. SUPER HELPFUL
- In class/Teacher issues
- Parent said middle-school aged son was marked down in class because he didn’t have correct school supplies. The teacher didn’t know he was McK-V student. KS worked with Child Care Resources to get supplies, and to report to principal and work with teacher. School doesn’t seem to understand that they’re ‘on the hook’ to do better. And Jr. high and HS is very challenging because there are so many more teachers.
- Parent shared that her other child is being pulled out of SpEd by the school. This doesn’t make sense since her child is visually impaired.
- Agency Supports
- Sacred Heart said things went really well. They met with families earlier than normal, and that was a big help.
CEH/FHI DISCUSSION – future conversations, points of learning
- Shared results
- SYSTEMS REALIGNMENT: changing of housing stock, realignment
- DATA – there’s such a focus on quantitative, but where’s qualitative. And how do we ensure that happens? Idea for FWC to organize around this as combined we have huge amounts of rich experience w/I organizations and families served.
- re: RRH: feels like there are high expectations, and there’s a reality of the affordability of housing. Not easy, not quick process. Landlords aren’t exactly on-tap.
- LANDLORD ENGAGEMENT: Concerns about TANF families who have gotten housing in rental market. While no case manager wants to stop homeless families from becoming housed, we want to do everything to make sure that they aren’t “rapidly unhoused.”
- ACCESSIBILITY OF UNITS
- REFERRAL PROCESS: many involved in the Pilot said they have empty units, and are loosing money. Families are being referred that don’t actually qualify.
- “BARRIER REMOVAL WITHIN SYSTEM”
- RRH – after the pilot is over: what modifications do we suggest, and how can we work to follow up. Discussion about how and when evaluation is conducted.
- EVALUATION: want to truly understand what this means, when it happens, what’s involved, who does it, etc.
- OUTCOMES: “who’s the keeper of transparency in that system”
- DEFINITION OF SUCCESS: what is the definition, who defines it, is it open to suggestion, and in what ways does it differ from our organizations’ definition of success?
- Meeting structure: this is what the group wants to hear more about at each joint meeting, and especially the upcoming joint meeting. [ we spoke about the RRH pilot evaluation process as an example]
- Who makes decisions
- Who’s involved in the committees, subcommittees, participating agencies, etc.
- Who is the audience of each of the FHI, CEH, FWC mtgs?
- Who has influence? And to what degree?
- Families who have voice – how does FHI reach out to them, and where can others input?
- Clarity – generally speaking
- Focused guiding questions are very helpful, but don’t need handouts early.
- Comment: “Will what we say have an impact?”
- Funders: taking a backseat would be helpful, and make sure that they are clear on focus of meeting.
- Request for built-in structural parameters of what’s being facilitated, and who is facilitating.
In lieu of the regularly-scheduled November FWC meeting, please mark your calendars and plan to attend the November 6 community meeting on Family Coordinated Entry.
The consultants contracted to review our community’s coordinated entry for families – Katharine Gale and Kate Bristol (Focus Strategies) – will review their findings, present information on other system models, and facilitate dialogue around key challenges. This is an open meeting for all, not just organizations who participated in the Pilot project. Your presense, comments, and feedback are important — join us!
Community Meeting on Family Coordinated Entry
Thursday, November 6, 2014 from 9 am – 12-noon
Tukwila Community Center, Banquet Room
12424 42nd Ave S., Tukwila, WA 98168
For questions and to RSVP, please contact michelle[dot]valdez[at]cehkc[dot]org