The Coalition’s State Legislative Priorities

The State Legislative Session has begun! Check back here for an updated list of our top legislative priorities. Last updated 3/1/24 at 12:30 PM. Bills That are Still “Alive” Fund affordable housing & shelter (HB 2276, SB 6191, $70 million budget request to backfill the document recording fee shortfall) HB 2276 and SB 6191 would fund more affordable housing through the Housing Trust Fund by increasing taxes on the sale of real estate over approx. $3 million, and decreasing taxes on the sale of less valuable real estate. Because these bills are “necessary to implement the budget”, they are not subject to legislative cutoff dates. In addition, we need approx. $70 MILLION added to the budget to prevent cuts to homelessness shelter and services. This is due to a shortfall in Document Recording Fees collected in recent years. We can’t afford to lose any capacity in these vital services. Address high insurance costs for housing providers (HB 2329) – PASSED THE LEGISLATURE Organizations that provide housing for people with low or no income face astronomical costs to insure their buildings, and these costs are quickly going up each year. HB 2329 would commission a study to learn why costs are increasing so dramatically, and would make recommendations to the legislature to help fix the problem. The legislature often commissions studies as an early step towards fixing a problem, and this is a step in the right direction. Reinstate the child support pass-through (HB 1652) – PASSED THE LEGISLATURE This bill would ensure that low-income families get their whole child support payment. Currently, the State takes a chunk of child support payments before passing the payment on to low-income families receiving TANF benefits. Help people keep TANF benefits when they need them (HB 2007) Note: this bill has been amended multiple …

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November 18th, 2021 Membership Meeting

Thank you to all who attended our November Membership meeting. We look forward to seeing you and sharing space at our December 16th Membership meeting which includes our 2022 Legislative Preview! This meeting will be two hours from 9am-11am The Coalition on Homelessness is hiring! This is the CORE position of OFFICE MANAGER at the Coalition. Thanks for getting this out to your networks. A full position description, salary range, and how to apply are on our website and here: http://bit.ly/CoalitionJob2021 Help us find a person who likes to set up systems and keep them in good working order, who relishes solving problems, and who sees the beauty in being the behind-the-scenes backbone of our small & mighty team and our broad & diverse community.*Priority application deadline: December 8, 2021.* COVID Vaccine Updates COVID-19 Vaccine Booster doses: Pfizer, Moderna, and the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines offer great protection against severe disease, hospitalization, and death. However, studies have shown that over time protection against mild and moderate disease can decrease. Booster doses are recommended for anyone 18 years of age and older who are at least 2 months past their single dose of Johnson & Johnson and for some groups of people who received either Moderna or Pfizer and are at least 6 months past their second dose. Learn more at Seattle King County Public Health. Check out the Seattle King County Public Health Blog: Public Health Insider for tips on COVID and the holiday season. Read past blog posts for lots of great information on COVID and how to stay safe. Advocacy Priorities Inflation Adjustment: If you live or work in Seattle: City of Seattle budget will be finalized on Monday, 11/22. We have a foundational ask which is the 2.8% inflation adjustment. Email your Councilmembers today to say …

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Veterans, Seniors, and Human Services Levy Renewal and Expansion: Advocacy Needed!

For over a decade, the Veterans, Seniors, and Human Services Levy (formerly known as the Vets and Human Services Levy) has funded critical healthcare, supports, and housing for our neighbors who need them most, along with domestic violence, public health, and other services. Executive Constantine recently transmitted a strong proposal to King County Council, expanding the levy to be 12 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value. Now we need to urge King County Council members to BUILD ON and INCREASE that proposal, and place it on the November 7, 2017 ballot. People like YOU can help make this happen! Take Liz Werley-Prieto as an example. Liz is the Project Manager of shelter programs at DESC who spoke at the conference on June 1st. Liz eloquently addressed how the importance of funding the levy is born out through the interactions between service providers and those they serve. Read Liz’s testimony then take action using this link and information below!  Read Liz’s testimony here from May 31, 2017 at King County Council: My name is Liz and I work as the Project Manager of DESC’s shelter program, located right across the street. Since January first, the shelter program registered more than 800 homeless clients seeking shelter who had not interacted with DESC’s services before. Almost without exception, the primary need expressed by these individuals was a place to live, and as service providers we have had to set the expectation again and again that getting a home will almost certainly be a long and difficult process, or that it might not happen at all. Being homeless has an impact on the mental and physical health of a population already disproportionately affected by disabling conditions. For those of us working in social services, the urgency of having funding at or above the level proposed by Dow Constantine for …

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Move-In Cost Assistance for Homeless individuals and families through CCS Hunthausen Fund

Our friends at Catholic Community Services want to make sure that case managers across our region know about this funding opportunity! Click here for a flyer and read on for details. Catholic Community Services has funding available for King County, Snohomish County, and Pierce County residents for move-in cost assistance through The Hunthausen Fund. This funding is referral-based; Case Managers will complete the application with potential recipients and send it to us for review. If the individual meets all of the outlined requirements and the application is complete, payment will be made directly to the landlord for First Month/Last Month/Deposit (as funding permits). This source is specifically for individuals and families moving from homelessness into public or private permanent housing. Unfortunately, we cannot assist with move-in for transitional housing at this time. If you’d like to get more information, please review the Program Overview or contact Victoria Anderson (425) 679-0340 or James Tolbert (253) 850-2505 with any additional questions you may have. Please also feel free to tell members of other agencies, as this funding is available to all service providers’ clients, so long as the individual meets the program requirements. Thank you, and we look forward to working with you to get your clients housed!

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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Powerful Comments at City Council

On Friday October 14th the Human Services & Public Health Committee of the Seattle City Council met to discuss Council Bill 118794, an Ordinance to Protect Public Health and Safety and Reduce Harms Experienced by Unsheltered Residents of our City. There was public comment at the end of the meeting which included powerful statements and stories from Coalition members and concerned citizens. Below are clips of a few of these comments. Julie, a mother from Magnolia had heard misinformation about the ordinance from her neighbors. Upon researching the ordinance she’s in favor of it. She asks that we remember that some of the unsheltered are families with small children, stating that:  “Some of my children’s classmates are living in encampments. My heart burns with shame when I think about how we have failed them. And it angers me when I hear parents from our school talking about organizing a protest at the local park for fear that their property values will fall. What message are we sending to those children, to their courageous parents who are doing everything they can to get their children to school on time every day.” Cecelia Linsley, a parent from South Seattle spoke about choosing to raise her children, Chiara and Thea, to be people who pay attention and help those around them, saying that “It is a privilege to raise children in Seattle if you have the resources. It would be really easy to carry on with our lives ignoring the fact that not everyone around us…is privileged, but that’s not how I want to raise my children….We’re going to keep using our public parks and other public spaces even if people are camping there. We are going to keep noticing and talking to the people around us – even when they don’t look or live …

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Accessing Coordinated Entry for All at King County 2-1-1

At last week’s Coalition on Homelessness General Membership Meeting, Coalition members were joined by Danielle Winslow from All Home who discussed with us the Coordinated Entry for All (CEA) program, which is run by King County. The goal of CEA is to connect individuals experiencing homelessness to housing in the most efficient way. It does this by using a standardized assessment tool to matches the right level of services and housing resources to the individuals seeking these resources. To learn more about the basics of the program and where Regional Access Points are located, visit www.kingcounty.gov/cea. To schedule an appointment for a CEA assessment, people need to call King County 2-1-1 to set up an appointment for an assessment. 2-1-1 is currently experiencing high volumes of calls and appointments are filling fast. Alex Williams with King County 2-1-1 sent us some tips, information, and realistic expectations that people should have when calling 2-1-1 to access CEA. CEA Access and Information at King County 2-1-1 as of September, 2016  General Information on 2-1-1 King County 2-1-1 is open to receive calls Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm. CEA assessment appointments are made on Wednesday mornings. Dialing 2-1-1 on a cell phone will connect you to the 2-1-1 that serves the area where your phone is based. You can also call King County 2-1-1 directly by dialing (206) 461-3200 or toll-free at (800) 621-4636. If your cell phone connects you to another 2-1-1 contact center in Washington state, they can transfer your call to King County 2-1-1 if you are calling during our hours of operation. Specialists at King County 2-1-1 can assist callers in English and Spanish. To use an interpreter for other languages, push ‘5’ when prompted after calling 2-1-1. This option will connect you to a Specialist who speaks …

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