Membership Meeting – February 15th, 2024

Welcome Back, Members!

Amidst a short state legislative session, our February is jam-packed with advocacy and program updates that help us all to be better advocates – check out our agenda and pass it on!

In our February 15th meeting, we shared:

  • Helpful tips and tricks from our friends at the Department of Licensing on how people experiencing homelessness and other barriers can more easily obtain state IDs. Tips include:
    • How to ask for assistance at a DOL office
    • How to provider alternate paperwork for proof of identity
    • How to access a one-time FREE Identicard
    • How to obtain an ID without going to a DOL office
  • Legislative Advocacy – a brief overview of which bills are on hold ’til next year, which bills still have a chance, show you how to make your voice heard, PLUS a recap of Housing and Homelessness Advocacy Day
  • A Space for Provider Networking – this is a space we hope to hold more regularly moving forward. We heard from providers at Catholic Community Services, Recovery Cafe, YMCA, and more!

Check out our full meeting recording on our YouTube page.

ID Card Access for those facing Housing Barriers

Many of us know that a big barrier to accessing housing, public benefits, and many community resources is lacking a state ID card or driver’s license. Due to the transient nature of many people’s lives when they are unhoused, it can be especially easy to lose track of documents that are essential to prove someone’s identity, necessary to obtain an ID card.

Lori Carnino from the WA Department of Licensing joined us to share a few helpful tips and tricks that can make it easier for unhoused community members to obtain an ID.

A few recommendations for service providers and their clients include:

  • Ask for a ‘supervisor review’ at a DOL office if you think you may be denied an ID due to lack of supporting documents
  • Bring as many documents as possible that can prove your identity – see a full list at this link.
  • If you are unhoused, you can request a Reduced Fee Identicard Voucher from DSHS – see the slides above for service organizations who can waive the reduced fee
  • You can visit DOL2GO, a mobile DOL office that visits locations like libraries and resource fairs – see the calendar at the DOL website

To hear directly from Lori, check out our YouTube video.

An Announcement from Leo Flor

Since 2018, we have been lucky to work with Leo Flor as Director of King County Department of Community and Health Services. DCHS hosts a number of essential programs, including King county veterans Program, Best Starts for Kids, and Health through Housing, which have all benefitted under Leo’s leadership due to his sense of urgency for serving those experiencing homelessness, particularly during the COIDI-19 Pandemic.

Hear directly from Leo and members of our community in our YouTube video.

Legislative Advocacy from Mockingbird Society and the Coalition

On January 30th, 2024, 25 of our most fearless homeless and housing service providers, program staff, and advocates took off from Pioneer Square and Burien to participate in the first in-person Housing and Homelessness Advocacy Day since 2020! Check out our slideshow below for a peek into our advocacy in action!

While Advocacy Days in Olympia are over with for this short legislative session, there are still plenty of ways to advocate for affordable housing, human services, and public benefits. We are deeply grateful for our members and community advocates who have emailed their legislators – 175 people in 22 legislative districts to date!

Karyn Pierre-Louis from Mockingbird Society joined us to speak on SB 5800, a bill that would make it easier for youth experiencing housing instability to access IDs – a hot topic!

Hear directly from Karyn in our YouTube video.

Hali Willis, our own Community Policy Manager, shared that key bills are still ‘alive’, including HB 2114, which would limit rent increases at 7% per year, and HB 2474, which would make it harder for WA municipalities to block shelters and permanent supportive housing sites.

Hear directly from Hali in our YouTube video.

What bills are still alive? What bills have died? Keep up with the latest legislative developments on our frequently-updated blog.

As the legislative session winds down, it is just as important to share your voice with your lawmakers – that’s why we recommend everyone who can attend Virtual and In Person Lawmaker Town Halls to do so. This is an opportunity to thank you lawmakers for their allyship, ask them for their commitment to specific bills, and urge action before it is too late! See a full list of Town Hall meetings on the WLIHA website.

A reminder that we can make advocacy easy for you! Questions on what to say? Want a pep talk? Email Hali.