Coordinators: Facilitator: Vince; Notes: Alan
Attendees: Barbara, Cheryl, Bud Neal, Brenda, Sarge, Andrea, Alan
Agenda & Business:
- INTRODUCTIONS: For the benefit of new people, we had short introductions. Each member gave a brief statement about how and why they are involved in Test City Tacoma.
- Vince talked about the next steps necessary to implement our first tent city. We discussed the homeless problem and addressed the money situation with Barbara. Reference was made to The News Tribune article on homelessness in Tacoma. Cheryl discussed the lack of accountability in some missions. Neal gave some background about the MLK shelter’s experiences during the 1990s.
- Barbara asked about Nativity House, and there was some discussion about this.
- Sarge talked about how long-term homelessness can lead to difficulty in trusting those expressing a desire to help. He says the experience of homelessness can be quite psychologically damaging and lead to feelings of disconnection. Sarge also mentioned that homelessness can exacerbate feelings of paranoia. He said authorities sometimes seize and discard homeless people’s material belongings, such as clothing, tents, and carts, as they clear out encampments and move out the residents.
- Vince talked about the process of discussing our project with churches. We need to find at least 4 churches who are willing to host a site before we open our first one. He says having a live on-the-ground example of a successful camp helps in smoothing the way for oher churches to sponsor tent cities.
- Sarge described the chaotic situation in some buildings he knows about that are used to house the homeless. Vince feels that there has to be some way of holding such operators of these buildings accountable for maintaining unsuitable conditions and accepting unsuitable residents. We discussed some arrangements for mediating some of these problems.
- Sarge asked questions about how Tent City Tacoma will handle residents with acute mental illness episodes that make them incapable of being in a community.
Adjournment: We adjourned at 5:45 PM and will meet at 4 PM on May 18, 2015 at the same place.
Respectfully submitted: Alan OldStudent