COORDINATORS: Facilitator: TBA, Stacker: TBA, Note Taker, Alan.
ATTENDEES: Alan O, Colin D (visitor), Vince H, Erica G, Theresa PD, Trina S, Inez B.
INTRODUCTIONS: Attendees briefly introduced themselves.
AGENDA APPROVAL AND MINUTES ADOPTION
- Shall we adopt the proposed agenda? Approved as amended.
- Shall we approve the minutes of 02/02/2016? Approved
- Report on Catholic Worker (CW).
Alan reported that Megan and Melissa were unable to attend this meeting. At the previous meeting, Megan had said she would put up a Google Form to get members’ feedback on the direction we wanted to take in getting the City of Tacoma to own the problem of homelessness. We want the City to commit the resources needed to set up a tent city.Owing to work obligations, Megan was unable to work on the Google form, and a few days before the meeting, she said both she and Melissa would be unable to attend today’s meeting.
- Report on Destiny Vill meeting of Feb 16, 2016
Vince attended the Destiny Vill meeting of Feb 16, 2016. He said they seemed to him to be able to work together and were working on various plans. Vince asked about our offer of mediation, but they said they thought this would be too expensive.Trina, Alan, and Colin said that pro-bono or very low cost mediation would be possible. Colin said he knew of resources. Colin, Trina, and Vince have all had experience in mediation.The consensus of our group was that mediation was desirable, and we should not give up on the attempt to have mediation. Trina will call Paul W of Destiny Vill to discuss this further with him.
- Colin D’s discussion on the City of Tacoma’s efforts to deal with homelessness:
Colin is the Homeless Services Manager for the City of Tacoma. He described some of the City of Tacoma’s efforts to address homelessness. These include involvement in such projects as Housing First and going out to the streets to help homeless.Colin described the different types of people who are homeless. Most homeless would want to transition from homelessness. However, there are always a few who would rather live outdoors. He said mental health issues and substance abuse rates among homeless are high, especially in certain areas. Of course, many homeless do not abuse substances, and many have jobs.Colin said that the City currently does not want to provide a site or give logistical resources to a city-sponsored tent city. In discussion about Colin’s presentation, some attendees speculated that powerful interests would oppose the City sponsoring a site or providing resources to a tent city.
- Campaign to get City of Tacoma to provide a site and resources for a tent city
Alan said that Colin’s heart is in the right place, but he has to answer to the City of Tacoma officials and many powerful influences. Alan reiterated that the City currently does not want to provide physical and logistic resources to enable a tent city. However, that could change if we mount an effective campaign. The meeting attendees discussed how that might be implemented.We could consider a petition request to the Mayor, City Council, and City Manager. After we had obtained a significant number of signatures on such a petition request, we could present it at a City Council Citizens’ Forum meeting. If we get 1000 signatures, we could have a rally and march of our supporters to the City Council Citizen Forum and have people testify in support.Theresa and several other attendees commented that we should go to as many City Council Citizens’ forums as possible and keep bringing up this issue. Theresa said that we should try to have several speakers at these forums, and these speakers should coordinate, so they don’t all say the same thing.Theresa also suggested the importance of getting other groups involved in such a petition request drive.Alan mentioned that there are many public events during Spring and Summer, and we could go to them with our petition requests. Some of those events are Ethnic Fest, the Pride event, farmers’ markets, May Day, Thousand Man Family March & Festival, etc. Alan mentioned that 15 Now Tacoma had used such tactics in its campaign with some success. Attendees also discussed the possibility of rallies, getting endorsers, camp-ins, etc. We also briefly discussed the possibility of a camp-in at some visible location later in the campaign.If the Mayor, City Council, and City Manager were not responsive to such a campaign, we could consider a voter initiative requiring the city to set up a tent city.
- Homeless deaths in Tacoma:
We also could research deaths of homeless in Tacoma to help publicize the urgent nature and tragic dimension of this problem.
- Fund raising:
We briefly reviewed the previous efforts to get 501c(3) status prior to Destiny Vill leaving us. Theresa suggested looking for someone with 501c(3) status to act as a fiscal agent for us to collect funds. We may have to give a small percentage of funds raised for administrative costs, but this would not amount to much.
- Other Outreach:
- As mentioned, Trina will contact Paul to discuss the two groups working together. She will also ask him to consider mediation and will emphasize to him that we can probably get pro-bono mediation services.
- Vince will talk to Linda.
- Colin suggested that our group regularly send representatives to the TPCCEH (Tacoma Pierce County Coalition to End Homelessness) meetings.
- Theresa suggested that we could use the scheduling utility at doodle.com to plan meetings that are not held at a regular time. This utility facilitates coordinating free time of various people for scheduling meetings.
NEXT MEETING PLANS
- Stacker (Timekeeper>: TBA
- Note taker: Alan
- TIME AND PLACE
- Date: 02/29/2016
- Time: 5:00 to 6:30 PM
- Place: First United Methodist Church (FUMC) at 621 Tacoma Ave S, Room 207. Enter at the Tower Entrance at the far left of the building.
ADJOURNMENT: 5:03 PM
Respectfully submitted: Alan OldStudent