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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Youth & Young Adults Committee 12/9 recap: Survival Sex Workshop

Last Tuesday about 50 community members gathered at the Coalition’s Youth & Young Adults Committee (YYAC) monthly meeting to share in a powerful workshop about Survival Sex facilitated Queer Youth Community Organizing Interns TJ Petrik and Jackie Sandberg from PSKS.  (These two participated in the YYAC’s Youth Advocacy Summit this year, and it was great to reconnect!) As a topic that is very prevalent in the lives of many in our community, but not discussed as much as it should be, it was good to share this conversation with service providers, case workers, advocates, and more so everybody could get tips for how to share important information with those they work with. Some highlighted tips for service providers: Find full list of tips from TJ and Jackie here Survival Sex can loosely be defined as “needs-based sexual activity” and is often traded for assurance of safety, a place to stay, money, protection, and drugs among other reasons. Needs based sexual activities are very complex and personal, and are especially prevalent among homeless youth and LGBTQ youth. Service providers can and should provide information and resources about sex work while being sensitive to those they are serving. Many people may not be open about sharing so it is important to make sure everyone knows that resources are available by using space in your facility to educate people via fliers, events, and non-derogatory language. It was suggested by many in the room that one approach for intake workers and service providers to share information would be by asking: “Would you or anyone you know like information about resources for those involved in survival sex.”  Asking questions such as this allow space for individuals to access resources without having to disclose personal information. When working with a young person who’s engaged in needs-based sex work, it’s important to discuss risk reduction. …

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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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Single Adults Advocacy Committee: Long-term Shelter Stayers

The most recent Single Adults Advocacy Committee meeting on Thursday, May 8 was focused on long-term shelter stayers and how Case Managers can best assist those who seem to be stuck in shelters to get into housing. Here’s a link to the CEH Progress Report: LTSS. And here’s an brief infographic that summarizes St. Martin de Porres’ efforts: For more information, or if you have any questions, please contact the Single Adults Advocacy Committee Co-chairs, Katie Bilek (CCS) and Mercedes Elizalde (LIHI), at saac@homelessinfo.org. 

The Power of Effective Advocacy – Winter Shelter Extended through June 15 for 215 people

Something unprecedented and special happened in our community this spring.  Winter shelters, which usually close on March 31, were extended, first through April 15, and then all the way through June 15th.  While we are all basking in the sunshine at the moment, it’s worth remembering how unpredictable our northwest weather is.  In the last few weeks we have had cold rain, wind, and temperatures near freezing.  The weekend before shelters were scheduled to close on April 15, a hail storm in Seattle highlighted the urgent need for year-round shelter in our city. Winter shelter was extended at three locations in Seattle: King County Administration Building (100 men), Seattle City Hall (75 men & women), and at the YWCA’s Angeline’s Center (40 women).  There are many people and organizations who collaborated to accomplish this broadening of shelter. Thanks to strong collaboration, persistence, leadership and effective advocacy, 215 men and women will not be left to fend for themselves through rain, hail, cold and darkness. Instead, they will be inside: safe, dry and warm. Today we hand delivered thank you cards signed by Coalition members to the leadership in Seattle and King County who helped make winter shelter a reality in our community: Seattle City Council; King County Council; Executive Constantine; Mayor McGinn; Director of King County Community & Human Services Department, Ms. Jackie MacLean; Director of Seattle Human Services Department, Ms. Dannette Smith.  Please also send your own note of thanks to any and all people listed above – without their leadership, we would not have been able to extend winter shelter.