Welcome back, members!
As we hold out first General Membership Meeting since July, we hope our providers have enjoyed the last few weeks of summer and get geared up for exciting client and provider developments in September and beyond.
Below is a recap of our September General Membership Meeting, as well as some timely membership announcements.
Seattle Parks Funding
Raised by Executive Director Alison Eisinger, the Coalition is following closely Seattle’s Metropolitan Parks District proposal (aka the Parks Levy), which will double funding for Seattle parks. The Coalition values the role of parks for all community members and supports increased funding to maintain these spaces, however we are concerned by the proposed increase of Park Rangers that could lead to increased policing in parks, which will uniquely affect our neighbors experiencing homelessness who spend time in parks. We want to ensure that these vital shared public spaces are accessible to and welcoming of all community members, especially those who are most vulnerable. And we want to ensure that our tax dollars are used to provide basic amenities and improve all people’s park experiences with increased access to water fountains, garbage collection, and accessible bathrooms year-round.
We anticipate the Seattle City Council to vote on this measure shortly and will share updates on how to voice your opinion soon!
KCRHA’s 5-Year Plan
Alexis Mercedes-Rinck from the King County Regional Homelessness Authority presented the agency’s 5-Year Plan!
Highlights include the definition of high-level systems goals and more specific objectives, including reducing racial disproportionalities for those experiencing unsheltered homelessness and consolidating homelessness response systems. Additionally, service providers and other community stakeholders have the opportunity to provide feedback on the 5-Year Plan via involvement in a workgroup. To get involved, complete this form.
You can review the full 5-Year Plan below:
Homeless Service Provider Stipend
Melodie Garcia from BDS Consulting had exciting news for our service providers! As championed by WA Rep. Nicole Macri, homeless service providers will be eligible for up to two $2,000 stipends for providers working for eligible associations. Providers cam apply starting on September 29th at homelessworkerstipend.com.
Providers are eligible for up to two total stipends. Once a provider receives their first stipend, providers must stay employed at the same association for six months to be eligible for the second stipend.
For full eligibility, providers must be employed by an eligible organization. A full list will be available on the website soon. Providers may be employed by a nonprofit provider or contracted with a WA city, county, or state contractor. Eligible associations include permanent supported housing operations staff. Providers are encouraged to apply for themselves, however it may be possible for associations to apply on a provider’s behalf.
Additionally, a provider must work in Washington, earn an income less than 80% of their home county’s area median income, and earn income from their work – sadly, unpaid volunteers are not eligible for this stipend.
Essential Work, Essential Worker Campaign
Homeless service provider stipends are just one component of our Essential Work, Essential Worker campaign. The Coalition is hard at work to advocate for cost-of-living increases for service providers. If you want to address pay increases, worker benefits, and stay informed about the stipends, sign up for our Homeless Services and Housing Network email list and opt in to our Essential Work, Essential Workers campaign.
Best Starts for Kids Childcare Subsidy
We are excited to announce that there is a new Best Starts for Kids Child Care Subsidy! This represents about $20 million each year for the next six years to expand equitable access to child care for families in our community.
Families who are interested in the subsidy can fill out a five-minute eligibility form (see below) to see if they may qualify for help paying for child care.
If families need assistance filling out this form, they can access it at any time by texting or calling (206) 208-6865 or emailing email@example.com. Interpretive services are available over the phone, if needed.
Families will be contacted by the end of September if they have been selected to complete the full application.
Please note that submitting an eligibility form will NOT guarantee child care funding for the family. The eligibility forms are not first come, first served, so families have time to get their forms in.
Eligibility Form Links
Change to the Public Charge Rule
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a final rule on the “public charge” regulation on September 8, adding critical protections to immigrant families’ access to social safety net programs, including housing and food benefits. This rule change makes it clear that many health and safety net programs are not considered in a public charge determination used to deny temporary admission into the U.S. or deny requests to change one’s status to lawful permanent resident (i.e., green card holder).
Designating an immigrant American as a ‘public charge’ bases deservingness of citizenship or permanent residency on public output, a determination with is both ableist and racist. In response to the 2019 policy revision, the ACLU predicted substantial harm to immigrants, particularly those with disabilities. This has been seen in significant disenrollment from vital programs such as SNAP, WIC, and Medicaid.
This most recent policy revision, decided in September 2022, no longer considers accessing non-cash benefits as grounds for inadmissibility. This means that our immigrant neighbors can more freely access vital benefits such as Medicaid, SNAP benefits, and housing subsidies such as public housing enrollment, Housing Choice Vouchers, and Project-Based Rental Assistance (PBRA).
You can read more about this decision at this link.
Homeless Advocacy Committee Meeting
There will be a Homeless Advocacy Committee meeting on September 22nd, 7-8:30pm St. James Cathedral (910 Columbia St, Seattle, WA 98104). Panelists include Peter Lynn (KCRHA), Kevin Glackin-Coley (Facing Homelessness), Pauline Smetka (St. Vincent de Paul Society); and, Sharon Lee (LIHI). Anna Patrick (Seattle Times) will moderate. For more information, contact St. James Cathedral at 206.622.3559.
Seattle Indian Health Board
The grand opening will introduce Seattle Indian Health Board’s new clinic to the public and give praise to our community partners and elected leaders who have shown support toward the health of urban Native peoples.
We are pleased to announce that Seattle City Council President Debora Juarez (Blackfeet) will join us, who has been instrumental in helping Seattle Indian Health Board find a new clinic location in North Seattle.
This will be the second clinic the organization will open in just 6 weeks, following the opening of our Pioneer Square clinic on August 18.
We hope you can join us.
When: Friday, September 23, 2022
Time: 1:00–3:00pm PST
In-person: 12736 33rd Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98125
Helping Students Using McKinney-Vento Training
The McKinney-Vento Education of Homeless Children and Youth Assistance Act is a federal law that ensures immediate enrollment and educational stability for children experiencing homelessness. McKinney-Vento provides federal funding to states for the purpose of supporting district programs that serve unhoused students.
Please join us on September 22nd, 2-4pm via Zoom to learn how you can utilize McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act to help the students you serve.
This training is geared towards case managers working with students experiencing homelessness – both new case managers as well as experienced providers who have questions and would like additional support in navigating McKinney-Vento resources & funding.
Register at this link!
Public Benefits Are Key! Training – ABD/HEN
Please join us on Thursday, September 29th via Zoom, for a repeat of our ABD/HEN training as part of our Public Benefits are Key! series. This first session will be an in-depth training about the Aged, Blind, and Disabled (ABD) and Housing & Essential Needs (HEN) programs. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org (please put Ask a Lawyer in the subject line).
This training is 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 ABD and HEN benefits.
This 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 ABD or HEN benefits. You will learn what you can do as a case manager to help your client with this process, and when to contact an attorney. This will be a practical, hands-on training. Participants will come away with tangible action steps and additional resources to ensure that people who are experiencing homelessness are not at a disadvantage when applying or qualifying for ABD and HEN
Register at this link!
October General Membership Meeting
Join us on Thursday, October 20th, 9-10:30am for our monthly Coalition Membership Meeting.
Register at this link!