HomesNOW! Not Later is an all-volunteer, privately funded group of people working to provide shelter for the homeless in Bellingham and Whatcom County. Our mission is to address basic human needs of homeless individuals and help them in the process of getting back on their feet. Click here to check out our Events.
A Call to Action
Jim Peterson, formerly homeless for
17 years, had a dream since 1993 to
start solving homelessness, one
person at a time. Jim never gave up on that dream,
Jim Peterson and Doug Gustafson
started HomesNOW! to finally
implement that dream.
The HomesNOW! Plan is simple,
Housing First, then help homeless individuals with finding support services such as mental counselling, job training, and drug/alcohol treatment as needed.
Residents response: Being Part of a Community, and being in a Safe Place, were the two largest reasons they gave for choosing to live at Winter Haven. That was followed with having access to bathroom, kitchen, shower.
HomesNOW! Not Later is an all-volunteer, privately funded group of people working to provide shelter for the homeless in Bellingham and Whatcom County. Our mission is to address basic human needs of homeless individuals and help them in the process of getting back on their feet. Click here to check....
Also - please continue to do videos like this. It helps put a face to our homeless population and hopefully will decrease the stigma and help naysayers understand that the residents are HUMAN and deserve all of the opportunity as the next person.
3 days ago · 3
Wisc <3 I'm glad to see you safe. First step out of homelessness in my opinion is having a roof over your head of some sort. Basic security. I wish you all of the best!
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Bellingham Voices - 501- Winter Haven Deb first talks with Richard Sepler, City of Bellingham Planning and Community Development Director, about homelessness in our community. Then they talk about Winter Haven, a new cold weather camp at City Hall.
Deb's second guest is Jim Peterson, president of HomesNOW! Not Later, the organization building and managing Winter Haven at City Hall. Jim talks about his experiences being homeless, and his life-long dream to house the homeless.
I shared with several friends, with Whatcom Real News, Whatcom Gardeners, Art & Culture News Stories, Birchwood Neighborhood, and asked if the Columbia and Sunnyland Neighborhood Associations would share the video.
Community Food Co-opFacebook live tip: The person with the phone needs to up front by the speakers. Can’t zoom in on audio.
1 month ago
I had to leave the meeting before the volunteer sign-ups went around. I cannot seem to find where to sign up online. Anyone have an easy tip, especially on signing up to volunteer with winter haven shifts and also possibly intakes... thanks!
Please donate gently used or new warm coats and hoodies, and new socks. All items will be donated to HomesNow. Not Later. Collection boxes in all three Co-op locations through January 1. #coops4kindness
I am really sorry but I am not able to attend to the City Council meeting tonight. I am counting on you all to speak about how amazing Winterhaven will be for the residents, community and agencies that work with them. ...
All regularly scheduled classes will be canceled on Thursday, Nov. 22 for Thanksgiving.
We will have a benefit class for HomesNow. Not Later. on Thursday, Nov. 22 with Ingela.
9 - 10:30 AM
Suggested donation of $20 cash or check written to HomesNow. Not Later.
Classes will resume as normal on Friday, Nov. 23.
*except for Friday 8 AM Iyengar Flow which will resume Nov. 30.*
I have made a very difficult decision and that is to step down from all my lead responsibilities at HomesNOW for the foreseeable future. I will still be trying to keep my car filled with clothes/gear/essentials for those on the streets and will help on projects as my time allows. Instead I will be focusing on my family and some medical stuff coming up over the next few months.
Please send all questions about the Summit to Jim Peterson as he will be looking for someone to take on the coordination of the Summits starting immediately.
It has been an absolute pleasure to serve the community with you all for the past 15 months (except I missed September 2018). I would like to say we have made a huge amount of progress but we have not. I do think that with the work you all have done, we have saved some lives, helped some people get healthy and gotten some people housing. But we still have no real government support except words at this point.
I will definitely continue to go to city and county council meetings to remind them of their responsibilities to all the citizens of Whatcom County, not just those that have 4 walls and a roof.
I will also continue to shine light on the institutions that portray themselves as caring but in fact treat our houseless, mentally ill and addicted population like shit. That is you St Joseph Hospital, the local governmental agencies and businesses that are too selfish to see beyond the dollar signs.
And BTW we can thank the city for spending our tax dollars lining the side streets with huge boulders and putting up more no parking and 2 hour parking signs so people who are homeless cannot park or camp safely. I am not going to stop shedding light on the inhumane practices our city spends money on to fuck up people who are already struggling. ...
Thanks You for being: Mental Health Ombudsman, Summit Organizer Extraordinaire, Mobile Supply Wagon, Advocate/ Liaison. What else have I missed??!! No doubt you can use some time for yourself. I look forward to working with you in the future. Onward.
3 months ago · 2
Thank you so much for your unwavering advocacy for the homeless. I hope that you and your family will be able to surmont any obstacles the future holds for you. You have inspired me to do what little I can do to help others with your fierce advocacy for the homeless. Thank you, again.
I didn't know you but I've been following. As a fellow human working to help people with mental illness - thank you for your advocacy! You're one fierce force. I wish you all the best.
3 months ago · 2
I still dont feel right in the inner area where they drew blood
3 months ago
Im pretty sure the hospital used a used needle in me or something because i had serious bruising and days of shaky weakness in that arm that wasnt having problems before and now im having really bad circulation problems too but in my legs feet arms hands etc
We Wanted to thank all the volunteers who made it to the last Summit on Sunday the 20th. We had a lot of volunteers show up and it really made the difference. Thank you Amy Glasser for helping with managing the donated goods/supplies for donation, and thank you for driving forward with signing up volunteers. Thank you to all the volunteers who helped to distribute the clothing and supplies as well. Thank you Markis Dee and JC Mansfield for organizing and helping with the shower truck. Thank you JC Mansfield for getting our volunteer list and contacting new volunteers.
We wanted to thank all the volunteers who have worked with HomesNOW, new volunteers and those who have been with us from the start. We have multiple passionate volunteers and we appreciate their support. But also keep in mind if you are a volunteer that HomesNOW is a legal and official non-profit, but we do not operate the same as other non-profits. We are made up of 100% volunteers. None of us get paid. Sometimes it's easy to fall into a pattern where volunteering feels like a job with no pay. We don't want anybody to feel that way, and that's why we have as much as possible had the policy of decentralization, so that the load of doing everything is distributed between more people, so if one person can't volunteer, there's more than enough to share the load. We want volunteering to be fun and interesting. If you'd like to volunteer with HomesNOW, we have an application on our website. Also if you don't want to fill out our volunteer form, just show up at any of our events, also a link on the website.
Thank you to all the volunteers who have helped so far, we wouldn't be as far as we are now without you but please never feel obligated to help HomesNOW if there's a scheduling conflict or if you just want to take a break for a while. It's ok, nobody is indispensible, even Jim and myself. The leadership of HomesNOW wants to operate the organization in a decentralized fashion in which people pick up the work that they want to do, but not have to feel obligated to do it if they don't feel like it. If you think you can do something and you want to contribute, just do it, you don't need permission or hand-holding from us, use your best judgement call. But if there's something that we need to change or adapt to, then we'll do so. Jim and I have a vision of HomesNOW providing housing to those who need it most. That is the primary goal. All the other stuff such as the summits, the shower truck, the sleepout and everything else are secondary goals. The reason why these secondary goals have been done first rather than second is because we have not been able to secure land to build tiny homes, and we don't just want to sit on our hands. By accomplishing these secondary goals and remaining consistent, we show that we are serious and that we can handle larger goals in a professional manner in order to quickly and efficiently help homeless individuals. This isn't about Jim, this isn't about me, this is about helping those who need it most.
Some announcements about the office:
HomesNOW was considering closing our office on DuPont Street in order to save some money on monthly expenses. This is because we are committed to keeping our admin costs for this non-profit at 5% of total operations and we want all the money to go to helping homeless individuals directly, none of us get paid, and we are all volunteers. Office Space counts as admin costs however. But luckily we were able to keep the office open, thanks to Charlie Storrs for helping with paying rent for our office space. Also it seems that the office is moving to a new location on the waterfront. We'll have more details on that soon. We move to the new office December 1st.
Updates on Unity Village and the proposed Tiny Home community:
HomesNOW has a number of other projects that we are working on. The first is Unity Village. Unity Village is our proposed site at Northwest Avenue where we were planning to build about 20 tiny homes to help those who have some income (such as veterans benefits, Social Security, SSI, or low-income) but who are homeless.
The main barrier at this point to Unity Village is that in order to get a power pole to the location, it would cost around $50,000 to pay Puget Sound Energy to put up the pole. That pretty much blows the project out of budget for us for this particular location. We are ready to go with Unity Village as soon as we are able to secure the funds for that. If you know anybody that has $50,000 laying around, please let us know.
We have not stopped looking for a site though, we are just going to be seeking alternative sites which might be more within our price range (minus a very generous donor coming out of the woodwork). Most of the documentation that we've written for Unity Village is easily transferrable to another site (minus the schematics/blueprints of the site layout itself).
If you or anybody else you know of is willing to help us buy or use private land, we can also do it that way as well and would get us around having to work through the government. We'll keep you posted on any new details when we find a new site.
Updates on our Winterhaven proposal:
HomesNOW has also crafted a proposal for the city of Bellingham called Winterhaven. This would be a temporary tent encampment to help homeless individuals get through the winter, it would be in operation just through the winter if it goes through. Winterhaven would be drug and alcohol-free. There would be a fence and check-in/check-out station for those leaving or entering the camp (in accordance with the city and county ordinances around temporary encampments).
Friday, October 12th, Jim and I met with the Planning Director (Rick Sepler) and the chief of police, David Doll to discuss the prospects for setting up Winterhaven on city land. In the absence of a site offered to us, we decided to propose a specific location.
The site we proposed to the city was the parking lot of the baseball fields by civic field, in the Puget neighborhood (about a block up the street from where I live), this was the proposed site because those baseball fields are not used in the winter, there's a lot of parking and there are full bathrooms on site (minus the showers, but we have that covered with the shower truck).
The city told us that we could apply for a site, but that we shouldn't propose any specific sites, that they would look for a site, but that we shouldn't submit a specific site. We turned in the non-specific site application shortly after the meeting. Jim and I are meeting with the city again this Friday to discuss the proposal and to hear what the city has to offer in terms of barriers or progress.
HomesNOW has a handbook of policies for any temporary tiny home encampment or tent encampment. The handbook and all the proposed plans are available on our website for those who might have questions or concerns. Thank You Danielle Amari-Benz for helping to draft and update our documents for our Handbook, for Unity Village, and for WinterHaven. They are extremely professional, easy to read, and continue to get better and better.
Updates on the Sleepout happening December 1st:
Another thing we are working on is that there is going to be a sleepout at Maritime Heritage Park starting December 1st in order to raise awareness about homeless crisis in Bellilngham and Whatcom County that is not being addressed with enough urgency.
The sleepout will be drug and alcohol-free. We will have some basic fencing and a check-in/check-out station in order to better keep track of who comes and goes. In 2017 our sleepout lasted 18 days on the lawn of city hall, and we learned a lot. This time, the sleepout will be at Maritime Heritage Park..
Last year we had an outpouring of community support and it helped to raise awareness around the homelessness crisis in Bellingham and Whatcom County. We hope that this year we will have an even greater impact on raising awareness. This is about the community being able to meet homeless individuals and learn about their various challenges, and work toward solutions to help.
Last year we were even able to help house people indirectly by simply communicating, networking, listening and getting them in touch with what they needed. Amy Glasser helped provide case management, and helped people get to the hospital who needed it. We were able to get a young woman back in touch with her parents, we were able to help a few others find their own housing as well.
Many people don't realize that around 40% of the homeless population has a job or some form of income. With rents as sky high as they are and rising steeply, it's no wonder why we're seeing more and more people falling through the cracks, becoming homeless or living in their car or tents. This is a phenomenon happening all around the country.
We are meeting this saturday to discuss our plans for the sleepout. We will have more updates on the sleepout as new information comes in, after this weekend. Once again thank you everybody for all your support and generous donations of time, energy and money. Everything helps a little bit, and it all adds up. We'll keep you posted. ...
Wow! You guys have been busy! And lots of good news. Couple of questions: When will you/we be at the new office and need address to mail a donation from a friend? [It's NOT $50,000] but it is appreciated. How does food work at the sleepout?
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HomesNow. Not Later.Gal needs clothing small/medium size (everything). I have socks and sleeping bag. Office closes at 5pm for the weekend. Amy is gone for the week. Susan has not responded to my pm yet (storage) and I will be out of town for the weekend. Joshua Bowman is the contact volunteer and I am awaiting response... I have contacted Carmen (storage truck) for a coat, and we may have t-shirts on the Shower Truck. Markis will be in town later this evening to retrieve. I have contacted Vickie to see who may be the best volunteer to help with this effort while Amy is absent. Any suggestions would be great! I will be here until 5pm...
HomesNow. Not Later.Thank you EVERYONE who showed up yesterday! We appreciate ALL of you! For those who were attending as Summit guests who missed their chance to share their story about being homeless with our local visiting journalist "Lexi" (who is writing about homelessness in the Klipsun), you can reach her by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org <3 We really want to shine 💥some light on the TRUTH about homelessness in Whatcom County! So thank you for all who have the courage to speak out!
Join us for our October Homeless Event. This month we feature the Sikh Langar Feast, ShowersNOW shower truck, Clothing and Gear closet, the Vet Care (for dogs and cats only) and socialize. Fingers crossed for sun. Check out the event on Facebook at www.facebook.com/events/268838323838702/
To keep HomesNOW running we need more VolunteersNOW, not later. We could use 30-40 committed people to work on our projects (Summit, Shower Truck, Unity Village, Administration, social media, and more. Here is an example of what I need to keep the summit running smoothly. So far a few have done most of the work. We need some more helpers. Training to help with the ShowersNOW truck will take place at noon the same day as the summit ( October 21st Sunday) at Maritime Heritage Park. These photos are what the few do every month for the food/clothes/gear part of every summit. PM me if you want to help. I will be hosting a brief meeting for all new and old volunteers to pick what they would like to help with and get some direction, if desired. ...
Sunday morning! Broadcasting from high atop the 420th floor of KZAX Studios join us another edition of "Bloch Off!" with Stacy Bloch and Amanda Mac! This weeks guest: Jim Peterson of HomesNow. Not Later. We'll discuss their progress with the county and Camp Unity. Plus a new Whatcom World Wide Weed Report. Good stuff with a little weed on it! Tomorrow. Sunday.. 9 AM. KZAXLP-FM 94.9 Make.shift Radio and streaming live at makeshiftproject.com/kzax-949-radio/. Or listen anytime at blochoff.com!
Tonight! Broadcasting from high atop the 420th floor of KZAX Studios join us another edition of "Bloch Off!" with Stacy Bloch and Amanda Mac! This weeks guest: Jim Peterson of HomesNow. Not Later.. We'll discuss their progress with the county and Camp Unity. Plus a new Whatcom World Wide Weed Report. Good stuff with a little weed on it! Tonight. Thursday. 7 PM. KZAXLP-FM 94.9 Make.shift Radio and streaming live at makeshiftproject.com/kzax-949-radio/. Or listen anytime at blochoff.com!
I had a list at the Summit Sunday for people to write what they needed that we didn't have. If you can donate any of the following, let me know Amy UPDATE:. 8/23/18 3 tents: Only need 2 3 sleeping bags: Only need 2 5 backpacks:. Only need 1 Jeans size 34/34 Jeans size 32/32: received Women's closed toe shoes size 7 Women's work or sturdy boots size 9 1/2 Heavy blanket (not too bulky or wool).
Thanks do much as usual. Due to all your generous donations, this is all we missed. ...
Personally I think we should approach the Pastor of Ferndale Alliance and place the Homes Now project in the lot that use to be the Pastor's residence and the in the field that is for sports activities.
HomesNow Friends, just smile and nod, and say "what a great idea, you're totally right!" and do what you were planning on doing from the beginning. Your group has gotten farther on this issue in our county than anyone has in decades, perhaps longer than that. You know what you're doing. Now comes the tidal wave of naysayers and critics. Please don't let yourselves (and your time), and your awesome vision to get picked to pieces by time robbers, bureaucrats and vampirism. You got this! All the best to you. 🙂 I believe in you, for whatever that is worth. 🙂 <3
We are always looking for sleeping bags, tents, tarps and backpacks.
The winter is approaching and we need to have items available especially if the city doesn't have designated camping spots. There are some people who do steal and damage other people's property which is another reason to demand the city identfy locations. Seattle City Hall is allowing people who are homeless to sleep inside as long as they leave before the offices open. ...
We need your help! We need to raise funds to meet our monthly expenses (supplies for Summits, office space, storage, insurance) and cover start-up costs for Unity Village once it is approved. Please consider donating, even just $1. If we all chip in, we can raise enough money.
We are looking for volunteers who are interested in soliciting donations from businesses. An experienced volunteer Justin Ledesma will train you on how to do this.
We are looking for someone who is willing to make a 1-month committment of at least 4-5 hours per week (total of 20 hours/month). You would have access to the Homes NOW office and any supplies/postage needed for the task.
HomesNow. Not Later.Juli Gabi and Jessica Reid I will put you in touch with Justin Ledesma he is the one going to led a training so we can do this right. We have another volunteer Susan Fine that is helping also so with 3 people we should be able to blanket all the businesses . thank you all for your interest
6 months ago · 1
Jim Peterson.. I have been speaking to Hathor Woods about helping with this. I will help too leading up to and through the crowd funding campaign.
I would like to help for August but there is one week I'll be at Yellowstone with my family. If you can overlook that then I'd like to give a hand with this.
6 months ago · 1
please friend Justin Ledesma and you all can work out a time for the training
6 months ago
Thanks hopefully I can blanket several business in one day
6 months ago
I'm interested I have several business in mind, do you have business cards or flyers to help promote this and what type of products are you looking for, and sorry one more question are businesses able to use you as a tax write off?
I am so happy to say that we have clothes and toiletries covered for this summit and probably the one in August also. We can always use tents, light blankets, sleeping bags and big backpacks but have everything else for this round. Thanks to Value Village, Salvation Army, Goodwill, and tons of private donors. You all rock ...
Thanks so much Green's Corner. It takes a village. ...
Through our #CansforaCause program, we just donated proceeds from 36lbs of recycled cans to HomesNow. Not Later. 💚💚💚 Giving back is an important way we #KeepItGreene!
#drinkbeerdogood #supportlocal #endhomelessness #redusereuserecycle #giveback