Homeless and Formerly Homeless Youth Advocacy Summit — Oct 5-6, 2015

A message brought to you by our Youth and Young Adults Committee Co-Chairs, Michael and Emily: Friends! Mark your calendars as the 10th Annual Youth Advocacy Summit – brought to you by the Coalition’s Youth and Young Adults Committee –  will be taking place on October 5 and 6, 2015!  Join us at the next YYA Committee meeting to help solidify the planning of the Summit this Tuesday, September 8 from 10AM-11AM at the Capitol Hill Library Branch (425 Harvard Ave E., Seattle, 98102). We will have color Summit flyers available for you to bring back to your agencies! Please be sure to send a representative from your agency to attend.  Agenda for the YYA Committee Meeting Agency/Program Updates Peer Leaders & Peer Leader Training Thursday, October 11AM-4PM at HEYO Youth Space (1161 11th Ave in Capitol Hill) Role of Peer Leaders Agency Recruitment Youth Participant Recruitment & Transportation ​Who is doing recruitment from each agency What agencies are sending staff? What agencies can help arrange transportation (eg: car pools, bus tickets, etc.) Other recruitment strategies? Food and Other In-Kind Donations ​What business relationships do we already have that we can utilize? What resources do our agencies already have that can be donated? Who can spend some time sending out some letters to secure donations? Other Roles & Responsibilities ​Day of staff / volunteer support Start spreading the word about the Summit . . .  Please help in spreading the word by forwarding this email along to interested youth and young adults and community stakeholders and by posting flyers in your respective youth serving agencies! Adult-identified staff members from youth servicing agencies are welcome to join in supporting the event as well—if you are interested in participating, please reach out! Who: All former or current homeless or unstably housed youth and young adults (ages 13-26) are …

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If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it: Seattle’s proposed smoking ban in public parks is misguided.

I love parks. I intensely dislike cigarette smoke and litter.  I spent more than ten years working at the Public Health Department of Seattle & King County. Why would I not be delighted to see Seattle consider a universal ban on smoking in public parks?

Simply because the longer I work for the Coalition on Homelessness, the more allergic I become to public policies that create problems rather than resolve them.  The proposed ban on smoking in public parks in Seattle may not be intended to create another tool for law enforcement and parks department staff to use in urging people who are considered undesirable out of public spaces, but that will surely be the impact.

This ban is in line with a growing (and concerning) theme of public space use. Camping in a public park or under a bridge or roadway is illegal. Sleeping on a Metro bus is against the Code of Conduct. And yet, thousands of people resort to both of these life-sustaining activities every night in our community, and across Washington and the United States.

As Anatole France famously wrote, “The law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets and steal loaves of bread.”

These nuns (below) would likely not be threatened with a fine or trespassed from the park. Spokespersons for the Seattle Parks and the Seattle Police have said that they do not intend to put significant resources into enforcing the proposed ban — and acknowledge that they have “relied on verbal requests and volunteer compliance” to enforce the current 25′ rule.

Maybe they could pass this ban and it would just be another rule that barely changes the way in which most people use our public parks.

But these kinds of laws can and are often used to target people who are homeless or poor. Current rules require a reasonable 25′ between a smoker and another person enjoying the park. That seems to work fine. The Parks Commission wants community feedback:

Smoking nuns.
Smoking nuns.

The Board of Park Commissioners will host a special public hearing on Thursday, April 16, to take comments on a proposed parks-wide smoking ban.  The Board of Park Commissioners public hearing will be held at 6:30 p.m. in the Kenneth R. Bounds Board Room at Seattle Parks and Recreation Headquarters, 100 Dexter Ave. N.

So, what can you do?

  • Answer the Seattle Parks Survey: Yes or no, as a person who spends time in Seattle’s parks, do you support a complete ban on smoking in parks?
  • Submit your written comments about the proposed universal ban in public parks before May 7 to Rachel.acosta@seattle.gov. Written comments carry equal weight to oral comments.  You can also mail comments to: Seattle Parks & Recreation, Attn: Rachael Acosta, 100 Dexter AV N Seattle, WA 98109
  • Sign Real Change’s petition to Mayor Ed Murray, Seattle City Councilmember Jean Godden, Board of Parks Commissioner Rachel Acosta, and Acting Parks Superintendent Christopher Williams
  • We’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Please drop us a note (speakup {at} homelessinfo.org) or share an observation on our Facebook page.

The following are some of the letters/statements submitted to the Board of Park Commissioners urging them to reject the proposed smoking ban:

  • ACLU letter to Board of Park Commissioners
  • Seattle Human Rights Commission letter to Board of Park Commissioners
  • Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness letter to Board of Park Commissioners
  • IAC Statement on Seattle Parks Proposed Smoking Ban:  The IAC is concerned about the potential disproportionate impact of the proposed ban of smoking in Seattle Parks on people experiencing homelessness. The cumulative effect of smoking bans indoors and in public spaces leaves people experiencing homelessness with no place to legally smoke.

Plus, some more information:

In Support of Organized Tent Camp Ordinance by City of Seattle

The following comments, written by Alison Eisinger, Director of the Coalition on Homelessness, were shared at the Seattle City Council Meeting on Monday, March 30, 2015 in support of CB 118310, an Ordinance to permit transitional tent camps for homeless individuals as an interim use on City-owned or private property.  Hillary Coleman, Social Justice Intern at the Coalition, read Alison’s remarks as Alison was out of town at a conference.  We are glad to say that the ordinance passed unanimously!  We also supported an amendment by Councilmember Sawant to review permitting camps in residential zones which passed as well!  Thank you City Council, let’s keep working together to provide more shelter and housing options for our community.  View testimony from many Coalition friends here.  Hillary reads Alison’s remarks at 45:40.  Thank you for taking up Mayor Murray’s version of CM Licata’s original proposal to create more opportunities for organized tent camps in Seattle. The Coalition strongly supports passage of this proposed legislation. We also support the amendments that would address the fact that homelessness is not confined to specific neighborhoods, cities, or communities, and the solutions to homelessness — both interim and permanent — must not be restricted geographically either. People who are without basic shelter in our community are currently living in all kinds of neighborhoods. When 1100 volunteers counted 3.772 people outside during this year’s One Night Count, they counted people in Queen Anne, Ballard, SoDo, Lake City Way, Georgetown, and Ravenna.  They also counted people in Renton, in Kent, Kirkland, ,Kenmore, Vashon Island, Bellevue, Redmond, and Des Moines. In considering making additional city-owned property available for organized tent camps, the council should not seek to limit which neighborhoods they can occur in. Our city policy should reflect our values: people who are homeless should be living in residential neighborhoods- …

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Severe Weather Shelter in King County

Updated Severe Weather Shelter locations around King County can be found below. Please note that other Winter Shelters are also opened nightly and Severe Weather Shelters (listed below) are usually open when the weather is below freezing.  Please visit the Crisis Clinic Resource Talk Shelter page to see the most updated list of Winter Shelters around the county as well as information about Severe Weather Shelters. This post will be frequently updated with the most recent information. If you know of new or updated information please contact hillary[at]homelessinfo[dot]org. _________________________________________________________________________ SEVERE WEATHER SHELTERS – Updated 1/5/2014 Please share information about severe weather shelters with your clients and the community.  Check back for frequent updates about openings. Information can also be found here.  SEATTLE: Severe Weather Shelter – Print This Flyer Location: Seattle Center Rainier Room: 305 Harrison Street, Seattle, 98109 (next to Key Arena) Date & Time: Closed The emergency shelter serves men and women over the age of 18 and is operated by Salvation Army Staff. The Rainier Room at the Seattle Center is located at 305 Harrison Street just to the north of Key Arena.  This shelter is open access.  Referral forms are NOT required. AUBURN: Veteran’s Memorial Park  Location: William C. Warren Building: 405 E St NE, Auburn, 98002  Date & Time: Closed Phone: (253) 876 – 1925 Les Gove Overnight Shelter  Location: Les Gove Multipurpose Building: 1024 Deals Way, Auburn, 98002 (between Auburn Senior Activity Center and Auburn Library) Date & Time: Closed Phone: (253) 876 – 1925 KENT: Kent Lutheran Church Location: 336 2nd Ave S, Kent, 98032  Date & Time: Closed Phone: (253) 856 – 5070 FEDERAL WAY: New Hope Christian Fellowship Location: 31411 6th Ave S, Federal Way, 98003  Date & Time: Closed Phone: (253) 269 – 6585                                                RENTON: Cold Weather Shelter Location: …

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Severe Weather Shelters around King County UPDATED

Please share information about severe weather shelters with your clients and the community.  Check back for frequent updates about openings. Information can also be found here.  SEATTLE Severe Weather Shelter Location: Seattle Center Rainier Room: 305 Harrison Street (next to Key Arena)Map Date & Time: Wednesday 11/12 & Thursday 11/13: 8:30pm to 7:00am  Severe Weather Shelter Seattle Flyer Nov 12 & 13, 2014. In response to forecasted low temperatures, the City of Seattle is opening Severe Weather Shelter at the Seattle Center Rainier Room on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights, November 11th, 12th, & 13th.   The emergency shelter serves men and women over the age of 18 and is operated by Salvation Army Staff.  The hours of operation are 8:30pm to 7:00am.  The Rainier Room at the Seattle Center is located at 305 Harrison Street just to the north of Key Arena.  This shelter is open access.  Referral forms are NOT required. AUBURN: Overnight Shelter confirmed open Wed 11/12 & Thurs 11/13 Until power is restored, the following Warming Centers and Shelters will be in place: Overnight Severe Weather Shelter: Les Gove Multipurpose Building: 1024 Deals Way Map (between Auburn Senior Activity Center and Auburn Library)- 8 PM – 7 AM; Phone: (253) 876 – 1925 Warming Center: Auburn Senior Center: 808 9th Street SE – 8 AM to 9 PM Warming Center: Auburn City Hall: 25 W Main Street – 8 AM to 6 PM FEDERAL WAY: New Hope Christian Fellowship Location: 31411 6th Ave S, Federal Way, WA, 98003 MapPhone: (253) 269 – 6585                                                                                                   Date & Time: 4pm-8am, …

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Single Adults Advocacy Committee: Report back from 25 Cities Initiative + Coordinated Entry for Single Adults

The most recent Single Adults Advocacy Committee meeting on Thursday, October 9 was focused on our community’s involvement in the national 25 Cities Initiative, designed to reduce homelessness among veterans and people who are chronically homeless. With that included how ’25 Cities’ relates to coordinated entry for single adults, and how we can be good informants and advocates as these policies, programs, and budgets are developed. Kelli Larsen, Director of Strategic Initiatives at Plymouth and a Design Team member for the 25 Cities Initiative, led us in conversation.  Here’s a brief report of what was discussed… The 25 Cities Initiative is in the twenty-five cities where Veteran Homelessness is highest. Goal is to end homelessness, and, locally, we know that a single solution – just increase housing, or just coordinate the stock we have – is not enough. Within this goal is a focus on creating and implementing a single adults coordinated entry, much like has happened with families (Family Housing Connection) and youth (Youth Housing Connection). This is not an easy, straightforward or simple task: the single adults population is much, much larger and still very diverse. Officially, the four principles guiding this complex coordinated entry process are: (1) assess, (2) assist, (3), match, and (4) place. More loosely, leads on this project want to ensure that the system they create and implement is simple, meets real needs, and has true benefits (that eclipse any inherent negatives). An example of the complexity is that it is not possible to screen thousands of single adults who are homeless, and perform regular check-ins. Our community has learned (and is still learning a lot) from the successes, complications, and frustrations associated with YHC and FHC. Plus, we want to be sure to coordinate the coordination that already exists. SAAC explored important elements of a coordinated entry system for single adults, as …

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Families with Children Committee: Resources Share from the July 23 meeting

Our Families with Children (FWC) Committee held a Resource Share at their July 23 meeting. Why? Because committee members bring incredible skills, experience, and knowledge to the table each time they meet. Resource shares are a good way to problem-solve and brainstorm, as well as share new (or forgotten) information.  The Co-chairs asked that each member come to the meeting with something to share to enrich the discussion — specialized resources, handouts, contacts, websites or whatever has been helpful. Here’s what the group came up with this time around… Child Care Resources (CCR): CCR’s homeless subsidy program to cover all costs of any licensed child care provider, financial assistance program for suburban cities (including Bellevue, Renton, Kent) – these programs are designed to help families who are not eligible for DSHS services. Additionally, CCR’s information and referral line is helpful for staff and families. Call 1-800-446-1114 to speak with staff who can help families locate licensed childcare providers that meet their specific needs/criteria. They can also do a free search online (click the register button to begin a search if not already a user). City of Seattle Child Care program – this program does not currently have a waitlist; parents in school (and not working) are eligible; the program will pay for ESL classes; great long-term solution, but program only pays partial cost. Basic Food Employment and Training (BFET) – Families who receive Basic Food Assistance (SNAP) are eligible for this program. It also applies to folks who attend any community or technical college in Washington State, and partners with Farestart and Goodwill programs. Even if the program runs out of money at each quarter, parents can still get assistance with childcare. Families receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) are ineligible for this program. Public Health – Kids Plus – Kids plus is a program that meets the unique needs of families who are referred by connecting them to …

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Progress: Winter Shelters extended in Bellevue & Seattle!

Many good people and organizations have worked very hard to add or extend safe overnight shelter.  Special appreciation to the staff at the City of Seattle Human Services Department; the King County Community Services Division; the Bellevue Human Services Department; and providers and advocates at the YWCA, The Salvation Army, Congregations for the Homeless; The Sophia Way; and WHEEL. The King County-funded Winter Shelter (50 men) located at the King County Administration Building will be extended through June 30, 2014, with extended hours beginning on April 16th. The Winter Shelter located at the YWCA Angeline’s (40-45 women) will stay open every night in 2014. The shelter will now serve women nightly through the spring and summer. Winter shelters on the Eastside have been extended, through a combination of private contributions, support from the United Way and the Crisis Response of the Committee to End Homelessness, and help from the city of Bellevue. The WHEEL Women’s shelter, currently hosted at Plymouth Congregational Church in Seattle, has been invited to stay through April 18. WHEEL is working to secure funding to find a new location for spring, summer, and fall, and expects to keep shelter open nightly during this process. Please click here to send a thank you e-mail to King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray for extending winter shelter past the April close date, providing 40-45 women and 50 men each night with safe places to find rest. And – remember how we added funds for emergency shelter for families with children during the Seattle budget process last fall?  Following a fast RFP, the staff at Mary’s Place is preparing to shelter up to 80 people (25-30 families) at a new shelter ~ doors will be open by May 1, if not before.