- 9am Welcome
- 9:10 Jody Rauch, HCHN Provider Engagement Events
- 9:20 Member Updates
- 9:30 Pandemic EBT 2.0 with Megan Veith of Building Changes
- 9:40 Coalition Legislative Advocacy Update
- 10:00 Vaccine Phase Announcement for Homeless Service Providers, Tara Bostock, WA Department of Health
- 10:10 Special Guest Patty Hayes, Director of Public Health Seattle – King County
- 10:20 Coalition Staff Updates
Thank you for attending our March Membership Meeting. A special thank you to Tara Bostock with the Department of Health and Patty Hayes with Public Health Seattle – King County for helping us celebrate the news that staff and clients in congregate shelter programs have been prioritized for the COVID-19 vaccine. Shelter staff are eligible now, with people experiencing homelessness eligible starting March 31. If you are a congregate shelter provider seeking a vaccine appointment:
- Go to the Washington Phase Finder.
- Answer Yes for “Are you considered a critical worker according to the Washington Critical Infrastructure Worker List”
- Then check “I work in the fire department, law enforcement, or as a social worker responding to a public health emergency”. DO NOT check “I work or volunteer in an enclosed space to provide services to and/or with people experiencing homelessness.”
- Once determined eligible, click here to find a vaccine clinic in your area.
FOR PROVIDERS IN THE SEATTLE AREA: All vaccine eligible members of the public – including congregate shelter staff– can sign up now for the City’s vaccination appointment notification list. Once eligible members of the public sign up for the City’s notification list, they will receive an email notification when vaccination appointments become available at any of the City’s there fixed sites in Rainier Beach, West Seattle, and the Lumen Field Event Center. The notification list is available here, and residents can also contact the Customer Service Bureau at 206-684-2489 from Monday through Saturday, between 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. for assistance completing this form. In-language assistance is available over the phone.
Healthcare for the Homeless Network Provider Engagement Events
Coalition members at the Healthcare for the Homeless Network have put together a series of provider engagement sessions for front line service staff to discuss the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, emphasizing the needs of BIPOC service providers. The purpose of these engagement sessions is to gather feedback and discuss materials and resource needs, and to give direct service staff the opportunity to communicate what resources are needed and how public health can package them for ease of use at your site(s) or with your clients. Anyone working directly with people experiencing homelessness in encouraged to join.
- Vaccine Materials Development – Housing & Service Site Focus. Tuesday, March 16 from 3pm to 4pm AND Thursday, March 18 from 1pm to 2pm. Provider engagement session on materials and resource needs. An opportunity for folks to tell us what resources you think would be most helpful and how we should package them for ease of use at your site(s) or with your clients. Click here to join the meeting.
- Moderna, Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine Discussion with Frontline Homeless Service Providers. Wednesday, March 17 from 9:30am to 10:30am. Public Health and Health Care for the Homeless want to have a focused discussion and information sharing meeting specific to frontline providers across the homeless service site spectrum on both the Moderna and the J/J vaccine. We are hoping to learn what questions you may have, thoughts about the use of these vaccines in homeless service sites, and what questions or concerns you’re hearing from your colleagues and clients. Click here to join meeting.
- Operational Tactics for Vaccine Delivery at Homeless Housing Sites. Tuesday, March 23rd from 3:30pm to 5pm AND Thursday, March 25 from 2pm to 3:30pm. This meeting will be specifically to engage homeless housing providers including PSH, Transitional housing, tiny house villages, and tent cities to identify areas of focus and issues unique to housing service providers in the delivery of COVID-19 vaccine at their sites. Please forward this invite to your colleagues. There will be a separate meeting on Thursday 3/25 from 2pm- 3:30pm for providers in shelters, day centers, meal programs, service only sites. Please do not hesitate to join either meeting regardless of your service site if it works better for your schedule. There will be other venues for outreach providers to provide feedback as well. Click here to join the meeting.
State Legislative Advocacy
We are roughly halfway through the State Legislative Session, a critical time to contact your lawmakers. We have put together a variety of advocacy resources, including a copy of our legislative agenda to help you and your community Speak Up for Housing Justice.
We welcomed the Coalition’s newest member, our contract lobbyist Melanie Smith. Melanie provided great insight into what we can expect during the last five weeks of the state legislative session—budget advocacy and a final push for policies relating to housing justice, anti-racism, and COVID-19 response.
Alison Eisinger discussed some proposed budget provisos for a taskforce on missing and murdered Indigenous women and peoples (MMIW), as well as one for frontline staff to address traumatic events. We also took action a suite of eviction prevention, rental assistance, and shelter-related bills using the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance’s latest action alert. We hope you’ll also sign on to this letter as an organization or as individuals urging Governor Inslee to extend the eviction moratorium.
It’s not too late to speak up! We need all hands on deck to ensure good laws and budgets pass this legislative session. Register for our Speak Up Pop Ups here. Our state legislative priorities and legislative advocacy guide can be found on our State Legislative Advocacy page.
Pandemic EBT Benefits 2.0
Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT for short) is a benefits program to help students and families in low-income households buy food when schools are closed or on a hybrid schedule during the pandemic. Unlike last year, eligible families do not need to apply for this benefit, eligibility is determined based on enrollment in free or reduced price school meal programs. P-EBT cards will be sent to eligible students’ addresses on file with their school. You can read a quick summary of the benefit here, for a more detailed FAQ click here.
This program is a supplement to on-site school meals, participating will not affect eligibility for other school nutrition programs such as grab and go meals or school based good delivery programs. This program is also not subject to the public charge rule, meaning that mixed immigration households should claim this benefit without fear that it will impact their immigration status.
Starting next Monday, March 22, eligible families will receive a notice in the mail stating their eligibility and instructing them to look out for a loaded P-EBT card mailed to the same address in the coming weeks. Due to the rushed nature of the rollout, we are concerned that unstably housed families may not receive this mailing at their correct address. To ensure that the families you serve receive these benefits, we encourage you and your case management staff to do the following:
- Contact the school that your client is enrolled in and ask what primary address they have on file. This is the address their P-EBT card will be sent to. If you need help identifying a point of contact in your client’s school district, refer to this list.
- If the address the school provides does not match the actual primary address for your client, ask your client if the prior address is accessible to them. If yes, encourage them to contact whoever lives at the prior residence. If no, tell your client that they will need to report their card as lost or stolen to not lose out on assistance.
- If you are unable to resolve the issue at the school district level, contact child nutrition services at 360-725-6200 for further assistance.
- If the current mailing address is incorrect but usable, call 1-833-518-0282 to report a change of address. If current address is not usable and your client needs to report their card as lost or stolen, call 1-888-328-9271 to cancel the card and request a new one. This information is current as of 03.18.21 and may have been modified since. See DSHS website for updates.
Eligible families should receive notice in the mail by April 1. If the family you are working with does not receive a notice by then, follow the instructions above.
Coalition Member Updates
ROOTS Young Adult Shelter Grand RE-Opening: After months of community engagement and relocating to a temporary location, ROOTS Young Adult Shelter has moved into its new permanent home in the University District. Located at 4541 19th Ave NE in what used to be student housing, ROOTS will begin offering 50 shelter beds to youth 18-24 starting on March 15. Day center services will resume later in the spring, those needing shelter should call 206-632-1635 between 8:00pm and 8:30pm or arrive in-person during this window for intake. For more information click here.
Sound Generations GRAT Program: The Geriatric Regional Assessment Team (GRAT) is an outreach program through Sound Generations that aims to help at risk seniors age 55 and older struggling with conative or behavioral health challenges, or those isolated due to lack of a support network. This program aims to provide age in place supports to prevent crisis situations before they happen. GRAT consists of a team of clinical social workers who can offer wrap around supports for seniors. This program cannot service people experiencing homelessness or those living in skill nursing facilities but does wish to connect with seniors at risk of homelessness and facing food insecurity. Click here for additional details, to connect this service to your program contact Amber McDowell-Reese at 206-450-9394 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Coalition Staff Updates
Membership Drive 2021: The Coalition on Homelessness is a membership-driven organization. We rely on the support and engagement from roughly 60 direct service and housing advocacy organizations to make our work in the community possible. We suspended our 2020 membership drive due to COVID-19 and asked our community partners to consider adding Coalition dues into their 2021 budget. An enormous thank you to the 23 organizations who have paid or pledged their 2021 membership. If you believe your organization needs to be added to the list, please reach out to Jason Austin, Membership Organizer or Aline Listjfeld-Carton, Operations Director.
Annual Subsidized Pass Provider Survey: In the fall of 2020, King County Metro launched its Annual Subsidized Pass program to provide free ORCA Lift cards to low-income riders earning at or below 80% FPL. Current eligibility is tied to enrollment in six state and federal cash assistance programs, click here for details. King County Metro hopes to expand this program in 2022 and wants to hear from those accessing the program who should be prioritized in this expansion. If you have used the pass or have helped others apply for this benefit please fill out this survey by March 31. Metro is also planning to conduct a handful of follow up interviews to dig deeper into the information shared via the survey. If you are interested in participating in a follow up interview, please indicate so on the survey.
2021 Economic Impact Payment: Click here to view resources to help the people you serve claim their 2021 Economic Impact Payment or Stimulus Check. The tools in this article can also be used to help someone claim their 2021 Economic Impact Payment. If you or someone you work with has yet to claim any of their stimulus checks they can do so by filing a 2020 tax return. For tax filing assistance in your community click here.
In King County, in-person tax filing assistance is being offered at the Federal Way Multi-Service Center (1200 336th St, Federal Way WA 98003) on a first come, first serve basis Monday through Friday from 5pm to 9pm. Starting on March 22, tax filing assistance will also be offered at the Goodwill Training and Employment Center (700 Dearborn Pl S) every Friday from 8am to 5pm. Additional in-person locations TBD.
King County Provider Wage and Benefits Survey: Funded by the King County Veterans, Seniors and Human Service Levy, this survey is meant to capture an accurate snapshot of wages, benefits and working conditions of nonprofit and direct service staff in King County. This survey comes in two parts: Part one is collecting detailed information on wages and benefits and should be filled out by someone at your agency familiar with compensation and benefits such as an Executive Director, Human Resources staff or a Finance Manager. This survey is live and due by May 2, click here to learn more.
The second survey is for all direct service staff and offers the ability to provide feedback on non-wage and salary workplace conditions. This is a crucial opportunity for our community to use our collective voice to speak to what is and is not working well within our profession. That survey will be available starting April 6, stay tuned for further details.