January 2017 General Membership Meeting: Accountable WA, Legislative Advocacy

Thanks to those who joined us on Thursday, January 17 for our first General membership meeting of 2017! We had an action packed agenda complete with a call in to Olympia to start off our 2017 legislative advocacy. We were joined by community members from Catholic Community Services & Catholic Housing Services, Crisis Clinic, Friends of Youth, Housing Development Consortium, Jewish Family Services, Low Income Housing Institute, Plymouth Housing Group, REACH, Real Change, Recovery Cafe, All Home, Youth Care, and more! We heard a great presentation, called in to Olympia about legislative priorities, and signed famous Coalition Advocacy Postcards. Please read on for a summary of our meeting & important actions YOU can take before our next General Membership Meeting on Thursday, February 16th. Accountable WA, Kelli Smith, WA Budget & Policy Center As we know, Washington State had one of the most inequitable tax structures in the country, we do not have an income tax and therefore rely on sales tax and property tax to fund vital programs our communities need and to raise revenue. This structure causes people with lower incomes to pay disproportionately more of their income to taxes than people in the highest income bracket. The WA Budget and Policy Center, working with many organizations, has developed a package of legislation that would fix some of our tax problems, and make it so that people who are earning the least are not contributing the most in taxes (currently people who are in the lowest 20% income group contribute 16.8% of their income as WA state and local taxes, compared to those in the top 1% who contribute just 2.4% of their income to WA state and local taxes). There are two main goals of Accountable WA, we encourage you to learn more at the links below and click …

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Recap: General Meeting on the Heroin and Prescription Opiate Task Force Recommendations – October 20th, 2016

The Coalition’s October general meeting occurred on Thursday, October 20th. In attendance were folks from the Transit Riders Union, Washington State Department of Health, King County Public Health Department Health Care for the Homeless, the Low Income Housing Institute, First Place, City of Seattle, Plymouth Housing Group, REACH, King County Metro, Crisis Clinic, The Salvation Army, Jewish Family Services, Seattle Public Library, Child Care Resources, the Housing Development Consortium, Seattle Department of Transportation, El Centro de la Raza, St. James Cathedral, and the Church of Harm Reduction.  Thanks to everyone who attended!  Here is a brief recap of the meeting: I: Voting Updates and Resources: The Coalition helped 365 homeless voters register this year, one for every day! Thanks for helping at your member organization. 83% of eligible voters are registered in the state of Washington. Lets get them all to vote!  Take action: put out voters guides and lists of the drop box locations in your organization. Click here for the map of the locations of the 43 ballot drop boxes in King County. Get more information by reading our voting tips. II: Heroin and Prescription Opiate Task Force Recommendations: [Link to the full report on the Heroin and Prescription Opiate Addiction Task Force recommendations.]  We were joined by Patricia Sully of the Public Defender Association/ Vocal-WA and Chloe Gale of REACH, for a discussion of the Heroin and Prescription Opiate Task Force recommendations. The recommendations by the task force fall into three categories: Primary Prevention, Treatment Expansion & Enhancement, and User Health & Overdose Prevention. Patricia and Chloe focused primarily on the User Health & Overdose Prevention recommendations and the Treatment Expansion recommendations. The two recommendations in the Health and Overdose Prevention section were to expand the distribution of naloxone and to establish at least two Community Health Engagement Locations/Supervised …

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Volunteer Days are over for 2016, but you can help make back-to-school cool throughout the year!

These are Katherine’s reflections on Project Cool 2016: Last Wednesday, a volunteer placed the final Project Cool backpack into a case manager’s van and I began to reflect on this year’s Project Cool Volunteer Days. As we transition to the next phase of Project Cool, I am able to appreciate Project’s Cool full year cycle and the breadth of people and communities the program touches. We have enjoyed each Project Cool volunteer day, and I feel lucky to have organized, packed and inventoried supplies alongside such fantastic volunteers! As we look forward to the next few months and connecting to community members through supply drives (want to host one where you work or play? Contact Hillary – hillary[at]homelessinfo[dot]org), we know that 1,417 colorful backpacks will enter the first days of school swung over the shoulders of students ranging from Pre-K to 12th grade. Having only joined the Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness a few weeks ago, I entered my first volunteer day with enthusiasm, excitement, and a bit of nervous anticipation of the amount of work to be accomplished in just a week. I could not wait to see the weeks of donation and volunteer coordination I had supported, as well as the year-long effort Hillary and Julia contributed to Project Cool, come to bloom! My expectations were surpassed and my qualms eased by the awesome volunteers that arrived with enthusiasm for each shift. I feel hopeful for the future of the children that Project Cool serves after discussing many volunteers’ commitment to ending homelessness. Over the past week I learned more fully how raising a child can require mobilization from an entire community. Participants demonstrated how volunteering quickly builds community amongst initial strangers. Participants bonded over their passion for service to form productive, fun work teams. For many of …

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Recap: Families with Children Meeting – KidsPlus Training and Coordinated Entry for All – June 22, 2016

Big thanks to all who were able to join us for last month’s Families with Children committee meeting. As always, it was great to see a room full of familiar and new faces! We were joined by Mary Dunbar from Kids Plus (Public Health – Seattle & King County), who offered a training on working with guests to address their mental health needs. Danielle Winslow (All Home) provided timely Coordinated Entry for All updates with the group. Highlights and resources from these two folks are below: A list of mental health services available for children can be found here. The YMCA also operates the Children’s Crisis Outreach Response System (CCORS), which offers urgent crisis outreach as well as short-term stabilization resources to children and youth in King County, as well as their families. King County Mental Health’s wraparound services offer additional supports to children to help stabilize them in the community. More information and application processes for this program can be found on the King County website. Adults and folks of all ages can access mental health services at the locations listed on this document. The Crisis Clinic is an excellent resource for folks to call if in need of immediate crisis help, and they also provide information about suicide warning signs and crisis intervention strategies. King County Crisis and Commitment Services are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to provide initial outreach services to folks not already accessing outpatient care in King County as well as evaluation of people with mental disorders for possible involuntary detention in psychiatric facilities according to the mental illness law in the State of Washington. Throughout King County and the state of Washington, low-cost and free clinics are available for folks to access mental and physical healthcare needs. Mary suggests looking into Consejo, Cornerstone, and Project Access Northwest …

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King County 2016 Men’s Winter Shelters for 150 Beds – Extended Until Further Notice

King County Winter Response Shelters 2016 Men’s Winter Shelters for 150 Beds – Extended Until Further Notice Every year we advocate for more shelter and expanded shelter hours. Your advocacy in the fall helped open the 420 4th ave shelter (Zombie Building) for 50 beds, now spread the word that these 150 beds are open until further notice! See details below, PRINT & POST THIS PDF, and contact Janice Hougen with any questions. King County Men’s Winter Shelter  – 500 4th Avenue Open Every Until Further Notice Location:  King County Administration Building – 500 4th Avenue Downtown Seattle (Between Jefferson and James) Operator:  The Salvation Army Capacity:  100 men Hours:  7:00 PM to 6:00 AM Access:  Line up for the shelter in front of the loading dock garage door at the corner of 4th and Jefferson. King County Men’s Winter Shelter  – 420 4th Avenue (Pets Welcomed) Open Every Night Until Further Notice Location:        420 4th Avenue, Seattle (Between Jefferson and James) Operator:       The Salvation Army Capacity:        50 Men Hours:            7:00 PM to 6:00 AM Access:           Line up for the shelter in front of the loading dock garage door at the corner of 4th and Jefferson. Contact: Please contact Janice Hougen with King County Community Services Division at 206-263-9089 or janice.hougen@kingcounty.gov for further information. PDF Version of Flyer

Recap: Single Adults Advocacy Committee 11/12/15 meeting: Employment Opportunities with the Diversity Initiative

At our last Single Adults Advocacy Committee meeting, we were joined by Sarah Rothman, Diversity Business Partner with the Northwest Center at Amazon. The Northwest Center seeks to create a pathway to employment by breaking down barriers, and Sarah works to connect people with disabilities to quality employment through the diversity initiative. Everyone who is referred to the Northwest Center will be offered an interview with Sarah to determine a best fit for them and the potential employer. After interviews, Sarah provides next-step actions for the candidate, including interview and agency feedback. Employment opportunities through the Northwest Center often involve customer service experience, and include cashier, mailroom, food service, and reception positions, among others. More information on open positions can be found on the Northwest Center’s website. The Northwest Center and Sarah welcome referrals from service providers. Please reach out to Sarah if you would like more information regarding the initiative programs or to refer a client! You can reach Sarah at srothman[at]amazon[dot]com. Thanks again, Sarah! Member updates from the meeting: Hayden Bass, Outreach Program Manager with the Seattle Public Library: the Seattle Public Library is seeking to connect their programs with existing community organizations. Email Hayden at hayden[dot]bass[at]spl[dot]org to learn about the Library’s current outreach or to seek expansion with your organization. Coalition updates from the meeting: 2016 will be a  year of case manager trainings: If you’re interested in participating in a small workgroup or committee for planning these 3-4 trainings, be on the lookout for applications coming out in the next couple of months. One Night Count is kicking into gear: Learn about the different ways to get involved on our website. Area Leads are in the process of contacting past team captains to confirm their participation for 2016 ONC. Take ACTION!: On Tuesday, the City of Seattle Councilmembers voted unanimously to add $2.265 million to the City’s …

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Recap: Youth and Young Adults 11/10/15 meeting: Seattle Public Library Programs and Partnership Opportunties

Big thanks to Shelley Mastalerz and Summer Hayes from the Seattle Central Library’s Children’s and Teen Services for joining us at our YYAC meeting last Tuesday, November 10! At the meeting, Shelley and Summer shared with us some of the current events/opportunities that the Seattle Public Library (SPL) hosts, and some opportunities for developing community partnerships. Every Thursday afternoon, from 3pm-5pm, the Central Library hosts a youth drop-in, put on by a partnership between the Library and New Horizons Ministries. This time was created to fill a gap in time where drop-in hours were not available at New Horizons. SPL is seeking to expand programs such as this, and we enjoyed discussing what this growth could look like. Some of the ideas from the group included advertising the resource by visiting current drop-in centers and passing on the word, creating an easily accessible resource center as part of the Teen Center, diversifying available activities, and offering incentives for youth to visit the Teen Center during Thursday drop-in times. Shelley and Summer hope to form more community partnerships and work with youth and young adult service providers, so please reach out to them with ideas, questions, or to work towards beginning a partnership with them. Contact the Seattle Public Library’s Children’s and Teen Services with teencenter[at]spl[dot]org. Thanks again, Shelley and Summer! Member updates from the meeting: Trevor with Friends of Youth: Drop-in hours at Friends in Youth are changing from the previous time of 11am-2pm to a later time of 2pm-5pm. Matthew with United Way: United Way will be housing a youth Community Resource Exchange on January 28, 2016. Programming and resources for this exchange are being developed. If you have ideas, questions or suggestions, please reach out to Matthew at mridgeway[at]uwkc[dot]org. Coalition updates from the meeting: 2016 will be a  year of case manager trainings: If you’re …

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