TCT Minutes for July 20, 2015

July 20, 2015

Present: Neal, Bud, Cheryl, Alan, Sam R, Robert, Marvin, Ashley, Cindy.

Quijote Village Visit: Cheryl discussed the visit to Quijote Village (QV) that several members of our development team made. QV has good community relations, and we can learn from their experiences. They are willing to provide advice.

Seattle Visitors and Discussion: We had several visitors from Seattle who have had experience with Share/Wheel tent cities, as well as with other places. They gave us a lot of information, were very articulate and generous. They offered to come up again if we needed them to do so.

Marvin discussed the finances involved in running a tent city. He talked about fundraising. We should not just ask for funds in general. We can ask for support of specific items, such as payment of a use fee, payment of ports-potties, etc.

Ashley discussed the importance of making positive contacts with the media and getting them on our side. We said one of the local columnists, Matt Driscoll, seemed sympathetic to the idea of a tent city and had written several articles about it. He also attended one of the TCT meetings. As we get more off-the-ground, we expect he will take us more and more seriously.

The Seattle visitors agreed that the most urgent problem to solve is waste disposal. We need adequate toilet and dumpster facilities and to make sure they are being used appropriately. Other important needs are transportation. We can ask supporters to contribute bus passes and a camp car for more urgent situations. The EC (executive committee) members have very short terms, maybe a couple of weeks. They may not hold this office more than 30 out of 60 days.

On Aug 3, we will have a meeting with one of Senator Patti Murray’s aides, Ms Carol Pfeiffer. Our Seattle visitors advise asking for “assistance” for specific items instead of money. Marvin emphasized the importance of this. He also emphasized not asking FEMA for funds. Instead, we ask for “assistance” for specific items.

Sam says the most important thing for TCT is to find a site for the first camp. Some possible church hosts are hesitant to be the first unless there is a second, because they don’t want to tell us that a camp has to move at the end of 90 days if there is no new site already lined up.

Sam and the other Seattle visitors suggest we tell the church 2 things:

  • It would be the law, not the church, telling us to move.
  • If, after we’re set up and the church develops “buyers’ regret,” or if there are problems we can’t address at that site, we are prepared to move within 24 hours if asked, even if we have no other site lined up.

Respectfully submitted: Alan OldStudent

TCT Minutes for July 6, 2015

July 6, 2015

PRESENT: Neal, Bud, Alan, Cheryl, Vince

OUTREACH: Neal, Bud, Cheryl, and Lisa went to Olympia camp. They learned some ideas of how to make a tent city more “bureaucracy” friendly. We need to connect with political allies. Bud will send out a letter to Matt Driscoll, a political columnist with the TNT. Alan will ask Matt to talk with Bud, Neal, and others on Development team.

RANDALL TOWNSEND APARTMENTS: Troy Christianson responded to our calls by leaving a voice message. Vince says will try to set up an appointment with him.

TEMPLATE FOR BUSINESS PLAN: Bud and Cheryl have been working on a business plan. Cheryl has much experience with making business plans, something the rest of the Development Team lack. But Bud has been doing some study on the matter, and he and Cheryl came up with a template. Various members of the Development Team have taken on responsibility for writing segments of it. After hearing Bud and Cheryl talk about it, all of us understand how important having a business plan is for the success of our project.

NEXT MEETING: Vince will be out of town during the next meeting time, which is July 20, 2015. So Vince will not be able to arrange for us to have our usual meeting place. We decided to meet at the downtown Tully’s located in the old Bostich Hotel at 764 Broadway.

Respectfully submitted: Alan OldStudent

TCT Minutes for June 1, 2015

June 1, 2015

ATTENDANCE: Alan, Bud, Cheryl, Neal, Vince


  1. Meeting with Lakewood mayor
  2. Building support via telling a story, distributing PowerPoint presentation, and designing a video
  3. Checking financial accountability of agencies serving the homeless.
  4. Letter to MDC
  5. Answering the “magnet” question.
  6. Visiting tent cities and obtaining documentation for videos.
  7. Creating a business plan for fundraising purposes.
  8. Contacting churches and getting commitments
  9. Contacting pastors.
  10. Plans for next several meetings.

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TCT Minutes for May 4, 2015

May 4, 2015


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

TCT Minutes for April 20, 2015

April 20, 2015


Coordinators: Facilitator: Vince; Notes: Alan
Bud, Cindy Carter, Cheryl, Vince, Alan, Brenda Bacon, Neal. Tom Tufte, Matt D, Sarge. (We also had a guest, Matt Driscoll, who is a political columnist and commentator at the Tacoma News Tribune. Matt has a special interest in social justice issues).


WELCOME AND INTRODUCTIONS: We welcomed new attendees and briefly introduced ourselves.

NEAL’S PRESENTATION: Neal gave a PowerPoint presentation of the history and goals of the Tent City Tacoma project. He and others answered questions afterwards. This presentation is designed to help educate community members about Tent City Tacoma and how it can have a positive impact on the community, as well as help the homeless.

GENERAL DISCUSSION OF OUR GOALS AND PURPOSE: Vince had invited a number of clergy to attend from around Puget Sound, some of whom have had experience hosting tent cities. Only a few came. Vince and others described a bit of our history, how we came to be. Our next step in implementation will be to line up at least 3 potential host sites. For legal and permitting reasons, those potential host sites must be churches. The camps must rotate out of each site every 90 days to be in compliance with the city use permit.

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TCT Minutes for April 6, 2015

April 6, 2015

Present: Alan, Vince, Cheryl, Bud, Neal.

Business: We discussed Neal’s pastor’s concerns about “syncretism.” There are some religious organizations who might feel that participating with a variety of different groups might not be good for their doctrinal integrity. However, most religious institutions would not be hesitant to work with other religious institutions on Tent City Tacoma because of fears of “syncretism.”

We discussed the tentative plans for 2 weeks. Our core developers will be contacting people for this event tomorrow. Neal will try to contact Freezing Nights. Alan will invite Matt Driscoll, a political columnist he knows, to come to next Sunday’s meeting. We will try to have some kind of condensed story for the meeting. We will also try to have some balance in the way the meeting is run. Vince will act as facilitator. We may have some light refreshments at the door. Below is the proposed agenda:


  1. Welcome
    1. Introductions (Brief)
  2. Neal’s presentation
  3. Purpose for meeting.
    1. Main purpose: Gain as much support as possible
      1. Host Sites.
      2. Money, other resources.
  4. Seattle guests talk.
  5. Questions time.

Respectfully submitted: Alan OldStudent

TCT Minutes for March 16, 2015

March 16, 2015

Present: Vince, Bud, Neal, Cheryl (a little late).

Business: Neal reported on a chance meeting with Colin DeForest while on his way to our meeting. From him he got quite an update on the Freezing Nights project in Puyallup. We need to interact with that project, to share what we are trying to do, what we know, etc.

Discussion shifted to “Housing First” programs, such as that now under way at the Bay Watch Apartments across 7th from the church. Here too we need to build ties and learn more. Vince will try to contact MDC (manages the Bay Watch) to see if someone can meet with us to tell us how it was developed and how it is running (perhaps at April 6 meeting).

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TCT Minutes for March 2, 2015

March 2, 2015

PRESENT: Alan, Bud, Vince, Neal, Cheryl

BUSINESS: Cheryl reported on a list of church contacts she developed some years ago for a food drive. She still has that list.

Vince mentioned that while TCT had been working with the city to develop a use permitting process, city officials sent us a list of churches located within city limits that could qualify for hosting a tent city.

Some time ago, Vince sent out letters to the pastors on the city list. We did get a few responses, but we didn’t follow up those responses very well. So Vince sent out a second letter. This resulted in a meeting in January, 2015, and among the attendees were some clergy from outside of Tacoma who had had positive experiences hosting tent cities. Vince has contacts with Methodist church clergy whose parishes have hosted tent cities and would be willing to discuss their experiences with Tacoma clergy.

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TCT Minutes for February 16, 2015

February 16, 2015

PRESENT: Alan, Dennis, Patty, Neal, Vince, Alan


  1. Cindy and Cheryl were not here. Alan called Cheryl. Cheryl said she and Cindy had made progress making contact. They said they would send material to Alan, who would forward it to the other members of the Development Team.
  2. Neal reported on discussions he had had with the new pastor at his church. This Lutheran church just installed a new pastor after having conducted a 3-year search for a suitable candidate. This pastor is a younger person. Neal feels this pastor may well be receptive to our project if we present it in a positive manner, emphasizing that this is a constructive effort to help homeless become self sufficient. The parish is the Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Lakewood, and the new clergy person is Pastor Paul E Zeigler. Neal hopes to be able to take him to Seattle tent city camps to see how they work.

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TCT Minutes, Feb 2, 2015

February 2, 2015

Attending: Cheryl Grunenfelder, Patty Johnson, Lisa, Neal, Alan, Vince, Cindy.
Coordination: Vince (Facilitator), Alan (Notes)

Items Discussed:

  1. Overview.
  2. Vince’s report.
  3. Followup on last public meeting.
  4. What’s next.

Meeting Discussion: We gave a brief overview of our project for the benefit of the 3 new people. Topics discussed were the history of TCT (Tent City Tacoma), its origins in OT (Occupy Tacoma), and our month-long efforts in getting the city to draft an appropriate code.

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