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.
Decent housing for everyone includes freedom and independent living, while homeless shelters only keep people alive, as they continue to be homeless from season-to-season until their premature deaths. (Decent housing for America’s homeless is also more cost-effective than million-dollar shelters all over the place.)
We tried to upload this to Facebook directly but errored out multiple times.
Whatcom County Council called an emergency council meeting to discuss opening up the Garden room at 322 N Commercial St, Bellingham, WA 98225. The decision to open up the building was approved. Since it was an emergency meeting, there was not a video record, but only audio. Enjoy.
Listening to this discourse I do hope it's recognized and focused on, that many homeless people have social interactive challenges around respecting other people's property, so public prejudice is against them when considering whether to rent available spaces to them. If the local social agencies would offer classes/workshops REQUIRING anyone wanting to be considered for tenancy, to acquaint themselves with expectations for ALL/ANY renters as to comply with local acceptable behaviors~I SPEAK FROM SAD EXPERIENCE, WHICH IS WHY I HESITATE TO CONSIDER SOME PEOPLE AS PROSPECTIVE TENANTS ON/IN MY PROPERTY!
Good news, albeit a bit late in my view. The City of Bellingham administration has decided to open an emergency cold weather shelter.
The mayor's office is still working out the details and getting volunteers. I will be taking a shift starting at 4 am. The shelter will be in the old Learning Center" building at Maritime Heritage Park.
As we heard at last night's city council meeting, people are upset at the apparent lack of a response by the City. I share that frustration myself, but I have also been aware of the many conversations and actions that have been going on behind the scene for several days. The wheels have been turning, slowly.
I know some will say that it is too little, too late. I won't argue.
Starting last week, when the cold weather first hit, people such as myself were worried that there might not be enough space in existing shelters for people experiencing homelessness. Several city council members and a couple of county council members made visits to the Drop In Center to see for ourselves. What I saw was re-assuring, but I was still concerned. I said that we needed to think about a back-up plan. I talked to the mayor and Port officials about some ideas.
But the Lighthouse Mission and Fountain Community Church expanded their capacity, made more room for people. The City was told that there was enough bed space. And so over the weekend, nothing materialized from the City since the was no sense of urgency. I felt that was a mistake. It worried me greatly. As we heard again last night, not everyone feels welcome or safe at the Mission's shelter. Whatever we think of the Mission, I hope we can all agree that another shelter option would be a good thing.
Which is why I am glad that the City has stepped up at last. I also hope the County will do so as well.
We are in a desperate situation. We need to raise about $3,000 to pay for 6 more days of motel rooms. We don't have enough funds to keep Winter Haven residents in motels after Thursday, but it is not safe for them to return to Winter Haven.
The freezing weather is going to continue for at least another week. During freezing weather, the porta potties can't get serviced and they are almost full. We have no running water at the moment.
Dear mayor tell the truth There are so many empty commercial buildings the city of Bellingham owns I do not understand why they just don't convert 1 into emergency center.
there's one on Redwood Avenue that sitting empty for years just sitting there with lawn mowers in it right now Turn the power on fix it up a little bit and call it good..
The old south campus st. Joe’s/ former st. Luke’s hospital. It is sitting there empty. How about making it a homeless shelter. Men on one floor, women on another, families in another, mama’s and their children. It’s a real shame to see it just sitting empty when their are so many in dire straits.
It sounds like from your earlier post the Mayor is planning another shelter immediately. This will be a huge relief for the WinterHaven folks, right? Won’t it take the pressure off of fundraising for hotels for you?
The city of Bellingham and the Lighthouse Mission Ministries put out statements to the public that there were available beds at the mission and the drop in center. But when we went to the drop in center, they were full to capacity and there were no beds. Here is the video of that: www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhNHZRiBU1k
Multiple members of the community spoke up for the city to do more to help the homeless situation in Bellingham.
Amy Glasser, you are so passionate. It's very true, not everyone is religious, and the mission and agape are religious based, as are a number of women and children shelters. It didn't make me uncomfortable, because my religion follows theirs, but I can imagine how trapped a person, such as Sarah Elisabeth Bede, would feel at a shelter like that. "PRETEND to be okay, or be homeless. Put up with it or be homeless. Try to avoid talking about it, or be homeless"... Let me tell you, it honestly sounds like being in an abusive relationship.
Imagine if the few folks from the mission who spoke tonight would have said they are sorry to those of us they can't help or turned away, and then asked the council to help us. Instead we got arrogance, tone policing, and accusations of brain washing! And once again, nothing, from the city.
1 month ago · 8
Next time you end up with a van full of people to shelter, take them to Amy Glassers house. Since she's the only person doing anything to help. I'm sure she'd love to have a houseful of tweekers rethinking their life choices to hang out with!
I agree with guy with dreads. The community pays high taxes, and for what? They specifically made a new tax to help the homeless, and people DIED this month! It's not the communities responsibility. I appreciate the business owner who said he'd donate financially, and volunteer. But it is NOT the communitys responsibility to make sure services are in place for those who can't afford or keep a home. The city needs to make adjustments, and they needed to be made in the spring.
1 month ago · 2
I'm overwhelmed!! 😥 Getting the wallet out 4 HomesNow. Not Later. Because I've heard too much Bull💩. And you know What, 💲 talks...bull💩walks.
1 month ago · 1
I agree with Lynnette this needs to prepared in advanced better by city, county.
1 month ago · 2
1 month ago · 1
Good job Sue Mingy!! Rachel!! The young trans woman!! Everyone. Does this make Homes Now Tiny Houses all the more wise?
1 month ago
You should invite the bums from Seattle up here so you can claim a bigger crises and extort more money from the city.
Do we know how much money has been raised by the homes now group? And how much money has been paid out for hotel rooms? I’m wondering if that money might’ve been spent better renting out a larger space rather than hotel rooms. I’m worried about donor fatigue. It seems if they rent out a larger space for the money they’ve received could’ve had a roof instead of a camp, and they wouldn’t of needed the city to do anything.
It sounds like there is a problem finding enough volunteers and case management. Not to mention the problems with the typical rumor mill that happens.
I keep telling all of you to arm your selves with the facts about the grand solar minimum and planet x system..instead of talking about weather as if it's just some strange anomaly caused by human activity and just suddenly happened mysteriously..if u want to get ahead of this purposeful genocide then USE FACTS..THEY KNOW WHATS HAPPENNING WITH POLE SHIFT CONFRONT THEM WITH THE REAL DATA AND SEE HOW FAST SHIT FLIPS..or continue on with your libtarded reactionary bullshit pleading with the powers that be that simply dont give 2 fucks about your demonstrations..I NOTICE STILL YOU ALL HAVE ENOUGH TIME AND RESOURCES..TO BITCH WHINE..PAY YOUR PHONE AND NET BILLS..GROW UR OWN DOPE AND FILL YOUR LIVES AND HOMES WITH STUFF AND THINGS WHILE SAYING YOU CARE FOR THE HOMELESS..BUT WHEN IT COMES DOWN TO IT U ALL RUN HOME AND NONE OF YOU TAKES ANYONE HOME WITH YOU NOR DO YOU EVER ARM YOURSELVES WITH FACTS..AND WHEN REAL ACTIVISTS CONFRONT YOU WITH YOUR BLINDSPOTS YOU BLOCK IGNORE AND DISCREDIT THEM AS CRAZY ALL THE WHILE KISSING POLITICAL ASS AND PREACHING PEACE..GENOCIDE THROUGH OMISSION AND PRETTY PEACE WORDS IS STILL VIOLENCE AGAINST THE POOR..sick!!
Oh hey, since you can't spend any money with us tonight (staff party) you might consider donating that beer money burning a hole in your pocket to a local organization that helps keep our neighbors experiencing homelessness warm. HomesNow. Not Later. is in desperate need of help from the community.
Update: We're going to go ahead and up the ante on this one, for every dollar donated we'll match it. Let's take care of our neighbors, friends.
Saturday Morning Live - KGMI - Doug Gustafson - HomesNOW Host Kris Halterman discusses the needs and plans for the “Homes Now,” nonprofit organization with Douglas Gustafson II. What is their mission statement; their goals; their needs to bring the dream of secure shelter for the homeless in Bellingham and Whatcom County.
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....
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!
2 months ago
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.
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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.
3 months 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.
5 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.
5 months ago · 2
I still dont feel right in the inner area where they drew blood
5 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