HomesNOW! Not Later is a group of volunteers working together to provide homes and shelter for the homeless in Bellingham and Whatcom County. Click here to check out our Events.
A Call to Action
HomesNOW! has a plan that is very simple. The plan is just to go from Point A to Point B. Build tiny homes and start putting people in them right away.
What we need is to raise money for the first 2 homes. We need about $5000, not much when you consider that this is going to take two people off the streets and reduce the number of homeless in Whatcom County.
IF YOU WANT TO BECOME A REALITY, THIS IS YOUR CHANCE TO HELP.
We are a 501c3 so your donations are tax deductible.
FYI...From Scott Jones firstname.lastname@example.org Resolution re: Housing Re: Whatcom Democrats Meeting May 24th – 7:00 p.m. 2633 S Harbor Loop Dr. Squalicum Yacht Club (not boathouse)
"On May 24th, the Whatcom Democrats will vote on a resolution regarding housing. Please read my thoughts on this subject below. They were enlightening for me, and I hope they are for you too.
A few things to do after reading this: 1) Forward to friends and neighbors, 2) Email me with your thoughts or questions, 3) Make a plan to go to the meeting on the 24th.
Titled “Resolution on Improving Bellingham Housing Choice, Availability, and Affordability”, the argument presented to be voted on is Affordable Housing for those who Cannot Afford any Housing (AHCAH), a recognized crisis in Bellingham and Whatcom County. The problem is that the issue overwhelmingly discussed in the resolution is ‘housing equality’. An important issue indeed, but one with far different solutions than AHCAH.
o Housing affordability for many in our community is an immediate crisis and must be forefront in our minds and actions.
o Housing equality is a multi-tiered issue with origins from the past, is national, and will not be solved soon nor with local housing policy.
For our community, and for the Whatcom Democrats, the Resolution must stay focused on Affordable Housing. Except in the original defining statements, the published resolution does not.
The Resolution states, WHEREAS, 1) everyone should be able to live in a safe, healthy, and affordable home; 2) children deserve a chance to succeed in school and in life, which begins with their families being able to afford a decent place to live; 3) working people, seniors, youth, and persons with disabilities should be able to afford housing and still have enough money for groceries, health care, and transportation; 4) housing is considered affordable when a household pays no more than 30% of its total income for housing costs, which helps ensure that enough income is left over for food, transportation, medical care, and other basic necessities. 5) [this is equity] people who live and work in Bellingham are having difficulty purchasing a home because median home prices are well above what median incomes can afford; 6) people who live and work in Bellingham are having difficulty finding affordable housing to rent.
In total, out of 18 relevant Where As statements (the problem), 10 are regarding Housing Equity. Only 8 in total are in regards to Affordability and of those eight, 5 are in the first 6 statements. The authors do not either know their mistake, or are misguiding the party’s members.
In total, out of 10 relevant Be It Resolved statements (the solution), 6 are regarding Housing Equity. Only 4 are in regards to Affordability for AHCAH, and nationally proven solutions are missing.
Neither the problem, nor the solution, presented is the one promised nor is the crisis at hand.
For this resolution to be understood by our community, and as a stance that is to be fought for by the Whatcom Democrats, I believe the issue must be distinct and cohesive. This resolution is not and thus should be voted down by members of the Whatcom Democrats. As a resolution, future Democratic policy makers, will be tied to this document.
Please attend the meeting on May 24th. Active members can vote. If your membership has lapsed within 6 months, you can vote. If you are not a member, please sign up so that you can help craft this message, and attend this meeting to speak or show your disapproval of this resolution.
Whatcom Democrats Meeting
May 24th – 7:00 p.m.
2633 S Harbor Loop Dr.
Squalicum Yacht Club (not boathouse)
Scott Jones email@example.com 130 S Forest St. – Bellingham
On top of not being relevant to the titled topic, the statistics in the resolution are chosen or curved for the benefit of the author’s argument, and are either misguided or wrong.
o Resolution states: “Bellingham’s rental vacancy rate is 1.8% (COB), well below the national rate of 9% (Census Bureau);”
§ What’s happening?
§ A US Department of Housing and Urban Development quotes in August 2017 a total 680 units under construction, with a total of 1475 needed.
§ An article in the Bellingham Herald January 22nd of 2018, just 6 months later states a total of 1817 units currently being built, in the North end of Bellingham alone.
§ Result: Needed housing quantity is being built at an increasing rate.
o Resolution states: “Renters’ median household income for 2015 was $28,000 (Census Bureau);”
o Almost 45% of these numbers were annual salaries less than minimum wage. Meaning students, part time workers such as parents, etc.
o 27% were over $50,000, with the above 45% drawing down the average.
o The same link in 2016, one year later, shows a renter’s median household income at 30,125 a 7.3% increase, far above the national average, yet sadly still low, unless you take into consideration the first two sub bullet points above.
o Resolution States: “WHEREAS, college students are not a significant factor driving steep rent and home price increases.”
o While the City’s Housing Market Analysis states “The need to house students plays a significant part in the City's housing needs. Funding for new student housing has not been allocated, and if enrollment increases, the need to accommodate the additional students will impact the housing supply in Bellingham.”
o There are more than 20,000 students in Bellingham, With only 4,036 beds in 2011.
o As well, adding the Multi Family Infill Tool Kit to single family zoned neighborhoods will not affect these stats of equality and housing costs.
o Resolution States: “WHEREAS, this pattern inevitably results in de facto neighborhood segregation by income and wealth, which is intertwined with race and ethnicity, which is in turn segregating our schools.
o De facto? No. This takes many cultural and socio-economic issues and combines them into one problem/one solution. Our community must understand this issue to be more complex than this. It is not respectful to those who experience it to look at it in any other way.
o Resolution States: “WHEREAS, poverty is unevenly distributed across the city, as reflected by percentage of free/reduced meals.”
o We believe that poverty, unevenly distributed in the community, creates huge lifelong challenges.
o This fact and thus justification for housing zone changes because of it, over step the boundaries of this resolution.
o This also includes the argument of “Fair Housing”, an important subject but one that vastly oversteps the bounds or the abilities of this resolution as it confuses the issue at hand and the solutions for that issue.
o Resolution States: “In keeping with HUD’s goal to provide affordable housing that is accessible to job opportunities and the City’s strategic commitment to equity and social justice, the City should promote affordable housing options within all neighborhoods. “
o To combine HUD’s goal and the City’s strategic commitment does not prove the need to promote affordable housing options within all neighborhoods, IF those housing options will damage the quality of life of the current residents.
o Resolution states: “This would help disburse [sic] low-income and minority populations proportionately throughout the City, and help avoid problems that can come with high concentrations of poverty” (COB p. 50).”
o This within this Resolution proves that the authors did not take into consideration the already diverse type of housing in most neighborhoods. The neighborhoods that do not have this diversity will not have further diversity of housing after the city acts due to ‘Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions that the city cannot supersede.
o Resolution states: WHEREAS, providing a variety of housing options for all ages and incomes within the city: Helps families reduce transportation expenses; Increases freedom and independence of non-drivers, including children; Reduces greenhouse gas emissions from motorized transportation; Reduces fatal crashes & serious injuries by reducing miles driven; Reduces taxpayer dollars spent on infrastructure going to less populated areas; Preserves farmland (Whatcom County lost 32,196 acres (22%) of farmland between 2002 and 2012 (USDA Census of Agriculture);
o Every single one of these points must have been taken from a large(r) population/geographic location. From a far reaching NW corner of Bellingham to downtown central, google maps shows a 15 minute bike ride. This is another ‘de facto’ list that does not have relevance in Bellingham.
o Resolution states: WHEREAS, plans for urban villages require developers with deep pockets to pay related costs for larger structures, such as: excavation, elevators, fire exits, parking minimums, and buy-outs of existing businesses.
o Fear mongering is easy. There is huge activity within Bellingham building and permitting apartments. Currently thousands of units with more on the way as we get further away from a recession even the City is just now getting out from under. These developers don’t have problems with this list. There is another issue and its not in the scope of this resolution.
o The resolution begins with the prospect of a solution for housing affordability and choice. Statistics and chosen facts were then used to move the argument towards a new subject of income segregation and social inequality. Both issues are important, but their solutions are as separate as night and day. Affordable Housing is and will be solved with a quantity of new housing, and city policies and levies. Social and economic inequality is a much more difficult and complex issue that should not be attempted simply through housing zoning." ...
Love this, you all are killing it! Thank you Jim, Doug, Amy, Markis, JC and the rest of the awesome HomesNOW gang!!! Raising 2 kids, my schedule has not been my own these days. Have been with you in spirit!
We got a letter from the mayor of Bellingham, Kelli Linville today. She's concerned that HomesNOW was planning to drain shower water from the shower truck directly into the creek/streams near Maritime Heritage Park for our homeless summit on May 20th.
Rest assured though everybody, we already thought this through. We don't plan on dumping the dirty water directly into the streams. We will have grey water tanks under the truck. It will be completely self-contained. We plan on draining the grey water at an RV waste disposal location. Just found it funny that this was a concern.
If you have the time please call or email Kelli and let her know what you think about this. ...
At first I thought it was “rude” also, but it’s a legitimate and reasonable question many of us have thought about. Kudos to be a step ahead!!
2 weeks ago · 7
I just read the letter. It is a pretty straight forward letter just my opinion. They just want what most people want and that is no dumping in the river. But i knew Jim and his crew were posting pics of the water closet and they are'nt dumb. Just keep 'em happy Jim, if only for the sake of others bro ! Thanx HomesNow. Not Later.
2 weeks ago · 5
From what I read, the letter doesn't assume that HomesNow will be dumping grey water into the creek, it just notes that there are regulations to be followed and that Parks needs to be involved. And, I think it's absolutely amazing that y'all are doing this - thank you!
How obnoxious. I hope she wrote a similar letter to every other person in town with an RV with a shower in it.
2 weeks ago · 6
What the Fuck...
The mayor is to prissy to just call up and ask?
Plus.. just thinking your morons who want to ruin your own progress.
2 weeks ago · 1
Wow, this is like me walking to her bathroom and reminding her to flush her toilet after she takes a dump. Sorry -- but it is. If she really CARED about what was going on, she would have prefaced the letter with a congratulatory applause for the design and the service to the community! and then continued by "asking" (emphasis on asking) what Homes NOW's intentions were for the grey water rather than ASSUMING that we are clueless idiots. Dumbfounded by our city as always....
I wish she was as proactive regarding protecting Whatcom Reservoir. And wouldn’t it be cool if instead of sending a nasty gram she simply came down and checked it out once it was set up. And offered some
appreciation for the initiative taken to help people have access to basic human needs...
What exactly is kelli doing to better the homeless? Nothing you all are trying to fix the problem while she sits and does nothing
2 weeks ago · 1
Since I’m quite sure someone (or more) in the Mayor’s office is monitoring HN, I don’t need to email or call directly.
Specifically about this email, of course the “concerns” should be addressed by ANYONE who potentially would or could dump grey water into the wrong place including Lighthouse Mission (with their soon to be delivered shower vehicle) and people who violate city ordinances and wash their vehicles in their driveways (among other places).
As has been pointed out by others, given the past communications (or lack) “history” between the Mayor (and staff) and HN, a simple phone call would have been respectful and more efficient.
I’ll take Jim’s word that the previous (original) “contract” was signed and delivered to the city.
Lastly, given the number of summits which have been held at Maritime Heritage and elsewhere have there been ANY complaints from anyone about not following the location rules, not properly cleaning up, any other issue?
If not, case closed.
2 weeks ago · 1
Seem like she just wants you to sign the agreement .
2 weeks ago
HomesNow. Not Later.We got a reply from the mayor today, we have our permit as well for our Summit on May 20th at Maritime Heritage Park.
Wow! I loved that comment of yours, Jim! How empowering! Love that you could tell City Council Members you don't need their land. But loved too that you moved forward in calling on them for an ordinance. What amazing things you are accomplishing!!!
...is May 15. Time for all you creative types to write those stories (300 words or less), poetry, cartoons, take photos.
Preference is for those who are homeless/unhoused to express their day-to-day reality, needs/wants, suggestions/recommendations. If you know people who don’t have ready access to the digital world, please spread the word.
Submissions, questions, concerns, send to firstname.lastname@example.org ...
I want to thank our community for all of the support our residents, non-profits, and businesses have provided over the years for our efforts around homelessness. After nearly three years of searching for an easy-access shelter location, however, I have come to the realization that locating 200-bed shelter in the city center will not be feasible.
It has proven difficult to find partners, to find a site that meets our criteria, and to overcome the opposition around this controversial land use. I still believe that a shelter is necessary, but no one agency can do this alone, and we have been unable to find a location that all involved agencies can agree on.
While I am disheartened by this development, the existing temporary low-barrier shelter operated by the Lighthouse Mission Ministries in Old Town will stay open for the next three years, and we are still committed to serving this population and to finding solutions to homelessness. We will continue to support our other efforts, such as 22 North, which is currently under construction to add 40 units to serve homeless youth and adults, as well as Northwest Youth Services' PAD program, DVSAS, Sun Community, the YWCA, the Opportunity Council, the Homeless Outreach Team, Lydia Place, and so many other great programs. We may also consider expansions of these programs, and we will continue to partner with the faith-based community, the Lighthouse Mission Ministries, the Fountain Community Church and the Family Promise program in their efforts to provide temporary emergency shelter services.
I look forward to the May 7 Bellingham City Council meeting where I will be discussing this with the council more fully. I will also recommend putting the Bellingham Home Levy on the ballot this fall, because our work is far from over and the levy will allow us to continue our success in funding low-income and homeless housing projects and services. We have many needs and we will be pursuing creative solutions with any and all community partners who are willing to address this critical community issue.
Thank you for standing with me during this ongoing community crisis, and I look forward to further discussion with council on May 7.
San Francisco Mayor Mark Farrell's renewed crackdown on tent camps is getting a mixed reaction from the four leading candidates for mayor in the June election, with most opting to dance around the question of whether they agree or disagree with the mayor's moves. Board of Supervisors President Londo...
Inaugural Edition Welcome to the HomesNOW! Not Later newsletter. We are excited to provide this as another avenue to distribute information to and about the Whatcom County homeless community. This will be a work in progress as we hear from you, our readers, about what you need in the way of news
Hello Jim Peterson here, President of HomesNOW Not Later. I would like to talk about where we are at with HomesNOW currently. We have made some progress on some things and very little on others. We started this adventure in June of 2017 and have learned so in the last year. Some of it good a
Hey y'all, Help me out with this piece of the video project where we're condensing, comparing, and contrasting the information about the budgeting and costs for homelessness in Bellingham, Whatcom County, and projects in other states and counties. The idea is that we want to show what resources Bellingham and Whatcom County have and compare and contrast that with what the resources are of other cities and counties that have successfully implemented Housing First models. Then we will show, step by step, how Bellingham and Whatcom County indeed has what it takes to make Housing First a reality for all of us here.
Post in the comments here the most helpful memes, snapshots, infographs, charts, links, etc. that have been most detailed, helpful, and educational to you.
There have been so many articles and posts in general on here that it's a lot of post history to comb through.
HomesNow. Not Later.Land land land. We have so many great ideas and plans that it makes me crazy that the only thing holding us up is land. I feel like I am watching the old Seinfeld episode when Elaine was trying to get the lady in the next stall to give her some toilet paper and the person said "I don't have a square to spare". How many square miles is our county but not a square to spare.
This man is getting enough income to live decently in Arkansas or Kansas. $950/mo is no princely sum and would still require food banks and so forth but hanging around in SoCal with a guaranteed (but insufficient for the area) income is insane. If your goal is to not be homeless - heading to somewhere like Hollywood or Manhattan on a low fixed income is self-defeating.
*update* protesters moved to king county adult jail at 5th and James. Join us there now to demand their release! Bring your signs!*
Seattle Police Department just arrested nine peaceful praying protesters outside of King County’s new children’s jail. #NoNewYouthJail #PeoplesMoratorium
Call and demand their immediate release!
Police Chief Best’s Office: 206-684-5577
Mariko Lockhart, Director of Office for Civil Rights: 206-233-7822
HomesNow! has structure funding, but no place to build
WHATCOM — The county nonprofit HomesNow!, with the goal of using tiny homes to shelter community members, has been active since 2017 and gaining momentum. Over $6,317 has been donated on a GoFundMe webpage. But when it came time to create a tiny-home community, one housing people in 10-by-10-feet structures that cost about $3,500 per unit, helping those living outdoors proved to be more challenging than anticipated. “Everything we do is a fight. Why do we have to fight to help the homeless?” co-founder Jim Peterson said. “I’m not saying tiny homes will solve homelessness,” he added. “We’re saying [do this] until this community ... gets the willpower to think out of the box.” At the County Council meeting of Tuesday, April 10, Peterson spoke on the problem of locating land for their project, and he pleaded with council members to help. “We are trying to raise money to buy land … but even if we buy land tomorrow we still couldn’t use it until the zoning net is set up for us,” he told the County Council. “We are frustrated with the process, but not discouraged.” The County Council voted 7-0 to work with the organization during a prior county meeting. Peterson has made several visits to council chambers in Bellingham, detailing the land dilemma. County property prices have been on a steep rise, and little is left that is affordable and properly zoned to build tiny homes on. “Land is 20 times more expensive than all of the materials and labor and construction to build (tiny homes),” said HomesNow! co-founder Doug Gustafson. For now, the pair’s interest has shifted toward using the county property at LaBounty and Sunset roads in Ferndale for their pilot program. The plot of land — the site formerly slated for a potential new county jail that was voted down — is big enough to place six tiny homes. “Wouldn’t it be ironic that, instead of jailing people there, we would actually house people?” Peterson said. They presented their case for building tiny homes and the need for donated land to Ferndale City Council members earlier this year, and received initial feedback about making the plan a reality. But then numerous phone and email communication attempts with the city went unresponded to, they say. In a phone call Monday, Jori Burnett, Ferndale community development director, said there is little opportunity to use the land for the nonprofit’s plan. The property is not zoned for residential uses, Burnett said, and in order for this to be considered, county Comprehensive Plan amendments would need to be proposed and modifications made to both city zoning and the county plan. “It would need to be demonstrated that there would be a need for this sort of development in this particular location opposed to a residential development in other parts of Ferndale,” Burnett said. The City of Ferndale, in charge of zoning for the proposed site, must balance both a commitment to affordable housing and maintaining sufficient land for other uses, he said. “There are wide areas for residential use and few areas for industrial uses,” Burnett said. “And this is one of those areas in close proximity to railway and other industries. At first glance there’s more opportunity [here] for industrial uses.” Other locations may be more conducive for not only residential development but the overall residential experience, including proximity to shopping and other resources, Burnett said. But Peterson and Gustafson argue that they can make most land sites function, and that getting housing for those without is an urgent task. “At this point whatever you throw at us, we can make it work,” Gustafson said. “We’ll set up our own little taxi system if we have to.” A partnership of HomesNow! with Lummi Stepping Stones on the Lummi Reservation has already proved successful. Two tiny homes built and retrofitted by HomesNow! have sheltered Lummi residents since summer 2017. Peterson and Gustafson believe even a tent shelter can have a positive effect on a person experiencing homelessness — they share various stories of success. Peterson himself has experienced what going without a roof is like. He spent 17 years of his life without a place of his own. “I’m not pointing fingers, but hearing housed people say it takes time — well, you go home to your nice comfortable bed at night,” Peterson said. “When you’re laying out there and it’s raining, you don’t got no time.” With the needed funds to start the project already in the bank, and a contractor who has agreed to build the homes free of labor charge, the grassroots volunteer group continues its search an avenue for helping those who need it most. “The homeless don’t have five years to wait. They need it now,” Peterson said ...
" the building was sold on April 4 to CWD Investments LLC of Seattle. On that same day, tenants said they found notices on their doors to leave by the end of the month because the building is undergoing a major renovation."
TACOMA, Wash. -- Dozens of people at a Tacoma apartment complex are scrambling to find somewhere to live after their building was sold, and they were given notice to leaveThey didn’t did give us enough time to save money to get out, said tenant William Pet
This is similar to the issue at my last place..a bunch of people were moved in with year leases even though tge mngmnt knew and had told others a year earlier they would be kicking everyone out for rennovations ..suddenly there were 20 day notices on everyones door..it got way worse from there...ugh
1 month ago
This is what is known as a renoviction, and should be illegal.
At the same time federal funding for public non-profit housing development is weak. This has all added up to what we see in the country today with the lack of affordable housing. When housing isn't available or affordable, people fall through the cracks, and this leads to increased homelessness.
To successfully solve this problem today requires us to first look back at the history of public housing in the US to see how we got to this point and present some examples of housing models which might be achievable under current legal and systemic constraints.
Everett is hosting a FREE clinic for dental, vision, diabetes, etc. and NO PROOF OF ID, INSURANCE, OR IMMIGRATION STATUS IS NECESSARY!!
Please forward to anyone you know who may be in need of free medical services ASAP, as the clinic will only be open April 20 & 22.
This is incredibly important so please get the word out.
In Unity & Solidarity,
Shelly [Ranger Kat]
Cascadia Volunteer Advocacy
Dear County Council: All the rules can be bypassed by Jack Louws signing a State of Emergency. Land use, building codes, residence requirement. All of them. I did also find out that the parking behind the Courthouse (the sunken down one) is owned by the county. I have a few other options of private properties that are already being used by those without homes to lease the land to the county and then us. All 3 are on the outskirts of the city (on Marine Drive is some property and on NW is a bank owned property and a non-functioning business with a large fenced in backyard). Maybe those can be locations? Please share with anyone on the council interested. I will also write. ...
From the 16th of April 2018, it will officially be a crime for a poor/homeless person to ask for help or money from people they see on the street.
Should it really be a crime to have no money? no home?? These people just need a hand up, a bit of compassion and understanding and some help ffs!
I anticipated grading the city council members on their efforts to help the homeless living on the streets. I was all set to name them and have Roxanne admonish me for directing comment to individual members but because we have made some promise I did not proceed. We shall see our new 3 portapotties and 3 dumpsters around town open 24/7 with places to park vehicles being lived in and based on that I will decide where to use my energy. On Tiny Homes land? On safe camping sites? On getting laundry vouchers? Getting a good place to send mail? Getting bus passes again for those without homes? So much to do. ...
Good Call. I just got back from the American Nurses Association conference on Innovations Quality and Safety. By going to the ANA Conference I am charged to move. Innovation and Creativity is Fun. An Open Mind and Heart and Will REJECTS the voice of Judgement, Cynicism and Fear. So we can Think, So we can Feel, So we can Move. “”Say Yes And”” to them it is everything in innovative thinking . “ Don’t ever say “Yes But””. What has happened is progress and innovation and real solutions. Staying positive with a smile never tolerating naysayers to what is right and safe will win. YOur Activism is amazing and most awesome. Homes Now Rocks
2 months ago
You can do one load of laundry at Maple Alley in. Also rainbow center gives out one load voucher for laundry mat on northwest where the old Albertson used to be. Maybe can talk to them about the laundry situation? Just a suggestion
HomesNow. Not Later.Unfortunately the dinners that are served outside of the Mission are not possible for those sleeping at the Mission. You have to be there to sign up for the night or you lose a place to sleep.
Something serious needs to be done for the homeless!
2 months ago · 2
trash services? cool how about using more discretion on arrests..or actually using real de escalation methods not handcuffs and tazerz and years of intimidation..sorry but its not enough yet..a little verty late and yes these things can happen over night ..quit treating us like we are stupid..it takes less than 24 hours to implement emergency plans..wake up
2 months ago · 1
The 100% "renewable energy" they keep talking about it is a total scam. It tricks you into thinking its good for the enviroment, but it's a scheme that actually keeps big polluting corporations in business, while our small businesses have to shut down because they can't afford to reduce their carbon footprint while these big vampire corps can buy their way out. The biggest polluters can set up a wind farm, have african farmers or prisoners plant trees to generate credits to buy their way out. There's a whole market created for it. Don't be duped! Look more into "carbon offsets" and "renewable energy credits".
2 months ago · 1
Please check the 1:30:00 mark for Linville's promises to the homeless on parking , and camps .