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.
1 month 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.
1 month ago · 2
I still dont feel right in the inner area where they drew blood
1 month 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
4 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.
4 months ago · 1
please friend Justin Ledesma and you all can work out a time for the training
4 months ago
Thanks hopefully I can blanket several business in one day
4 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
Camp Unity Proposal - Addressing Common Community Concerns - 07-23-2018 We wanted to go over a few things we hear again and again as concerns for a potential temporary encampment that the community has stated on multiple occasions. This is relevant because tomorrow HomesNOW is going to make a proposal to Whatcom County for our Camp Unity project. We wanted to make sure we had the most basic bases covered.
I am looking at our stock of clothes for the Homeless Summit on July 29th and we are sorely lacking in the following clothes. Please consider thinning out your closet a bit and see if you have any (all CAPS are really really needed now):
* SHORTS!: for men and women, all sizes up to XXXL * TENTS: For 4 people and more: sizes up to 10x10 * Jeans: Sizes 30, 32 * Boxer undies for men: all sizes * Womens underwear: All sizes except for 8s. * Socks always * Razors * Blankets
This next list is needed and we would love all sizes of everything summer . We are not able to store items for cold weather yet so please hold on to them until the fall.
Sleeping bags Backpacks Tarps Blankets All sizes up to XXXL Jeans Short sleeve shirts for women Sleeveless shirts for women Undershirts for men T-shirts for men Summer dresses and skirts
Thanks so very much. You can either PM me to arrange drop off or pick up or bring items to the Summit on Sunday the 29th at around 12:30 (Maritime Heritage Park, 500 W. Holly St). Please have clothes washed as most people attending do not have access to affordable laundry services. Again THANKS Did I thank you all yet? Thank so much. Amy ...
The good news is that we have continued to make traction with the county. The interim ordinance has been modified to allow 1 year for tiny homes (rather than 180 days) with extensions, and 180 days for tents (rather than 90 days previously).
HomesNOW is also looking at 2 or 3 pieces of land that could potentially work for a first site for the pilot project. In my last update I showed pictures of a site that looked really good on Northwest Avenue (just outside the city limits of Bellingham). But since it's about a mile or 2 from the soccer fields, I guess the soccer moms are up in arms and totally against it. But another site at Marine Drive Park was proposed. We'll keep working at it.
On another subject, we had a former volunteer Amy Couglin who helped us with the garden of food that we grew outside our office on Dupont Street (helped to grow the plants). She did a good job on that. She also volunteered at our homeless summits. However we ran into a dispute with her over a few things.
The first issue was that when Jim was wanting to get the Shower Truck painted, he wanted it painted soon, like within a week or 2. Amy C. suggested that she had somebody who could paint it, but it would take a month or 2. Jim didn't want to wait and went with his first choice. Amy then left the organization and stopped volunteering for a few weeks because she was upset about this. When she came back a few weeks later we welcomed her with open arms. Later another dispute popped up in which Amy said that she would no longer work with us unless we got rid of one of our other volunteers (JC). We told Amy that we're not getting rid of any of our volunteers. So she left again and now she's been showing up at every county council meeting, telling the council members that she's deeply concerned about how HomesNOW is run and that she questions whether our organization is following the law.
Here are some of her statements from the last council meeting.
1. Safety measures in place
4. Conflict resolution and crisis de-escalation
In terms of safety measures we don't have security or police or anything like that. It hasn't been necessary because every event has been safe and welcoming. There was one summit where one homeless person started yelling loudly because their sleeping bag was stolen, and Amy was the one who happened to be there. She was not able to de-escalate the situation and so she brought me over to the person to try and calm them down. The homeless man's sleeping bag was stolen, so I de-escalated the situation by getting him a sleeping bag. Amy asked how I de-escalated the situation thought at that point she needed de-escalation training. I said "I don't think de-escalation training is necessary, but just try to think of something you can do that would make the situation better or make it turn out happy and that will de-escalate it".
2. Code of conduct
We do have a code of conduct for any potential temporary encampment. It's also on our website under About > Code of Conduct/Camp rules.
5. Accountability and transparency regarding insurance and financials
We are accountable and transparent with our insurance and financials. For insurance, you can find a copy of the insurance policy attached to our truck (which wasn't easy to get by the way, nobody wanted to insure us, but we finally found one). It is on our website under About > Shower Truck. Also before people get into the shower, we make them sign a waiver to avoid getting sued if somebody slips in the shower.
As for our accounting. On our website under About > Financials, you can see a distribution of funds (by year, and we've only been around 1 year), and you can download our bank statements as well and comb through them if you like. We have nothing to hide.
6. Harassment, bullying, and inappropriate sexualized comments
This refers to a comment that JC made to Amy where Jim asked JC to reach out to Amy and JC said "hey girl!", but Amy did not identify as a girl and was offended. Then the situation escalated from there in both directions. We said we weren't going to get rid of one of our volunteers, and so Amy left. Now the other volunteer JC has left as well because the situation is stressful for her and taking a toll on her health.
7. Strict adherence to any applicable laws and ordinances
We have followed every law as well as working with local government officials to craft and change laws that make sense. It is an ongoing process that never stops and feels way too slow to us, but we're still working at it. If somebody wants to say that we're violating some kind of law, they should be specific about which laws we're violating so that we can address it quickly and efficiently.
If you see any laws that we're violating, please let us know because we're not aware of any.
8. Also Jim is resigning as the President of HomesNOW effective August 31st 2018. He wants to focus only on the housing part and not any of the other parts of managing a non-profit.
So suffice it to say it's been a crappy week for me, but we'll get through it. We just have to step back and plan our next strategy to be successful. Thank you to all our supporters, this isn't about any one volunteer. I can understand why it would stress people out. This is about helping those in need who need our help in our community.
People often forget that the United States has a class-based caste system. So if you are wealthy, people fawn all over you and call you successful, but if you're homeless or poor, it's seen as a character flaw or a moral failing....Which leads to prejudice and pre-judgement of people before even getting to know them. This is what leads to stereotypes and many people being against helping homeless people simply on the basis that they are homeless. There are many other countries where homelessness is not as big of a problem as it is here. Basically it comes down to whether you value people or not and whether you're trying to make money on them or not. ...
Oh, excuse me. It was 11 million, but nobody was complaining.
4 months ago
I want you all to know that Pearl Jam just brought in a million dollars to the Seattle Homeless Project. Washington State laws on proper treatment aren't revolved around any particular group, and they already stand enforcible. Thank-you for a fine update. Helping others isn't about control freaks pushing others around: it is about careing and helping. The trouble makers need to lighten up. And the homeless are the ones saying, thank-you. Any one needing a job is grateful to shower before applying.
4 months ago
Here is an idea: why don’t you have an actual sit-down, chin-wag, with ALL parties, together and separately, to facilitate real resolution, rather than just posting false information and blocking persons directly involved in your disputes from being allowed to respond personally, not filtered through what YOU want to put out there. Volunteering is an incredible resource for grass-roots organizations. Disagreements, power struggles, alliances, and interpersonal bumps are bound to take place; it is human nature. It is how these issues are resolved that makes or breaks an organization. I am certain all parties are real assets to your organization. Actually talk to each other. Might find it helps.
HomesNOW Progress Report - 07-09-2018 1. We found a potential site where we're asking for a lease from the county. It's at 5238 Northwest Drive, Bellingham, WA 98226. Here is a map of the site....and pictures. HomesNOW plans to build tiny homes as well as tents. This is a transitional model, designed to move people out of homelessness. This site is just outside the city limits of Bellingham, so it falls outside the city's ordinance around Temporary tent encampments. Their ordinance also does not address tiny homes.
2. The County has been working with us productively in developing the ordinance to allow for tiny homes and temporary tent encampments. Since we were part of the process of crafting this, we of course did not get everything we want, but we found a decent compromise to where it wont prevent the goal from being achieved. Jim and I are speaking to the county tomorrow to discuss the proposal. I want to give a big shoutout to Tyler Byrd, Barbara Brenner, Satpal Sidhu for actively working with HomesNOW. Thanks to represenatives who are working with us, we were able to get amendments added to the ordinance, such as having more than 1 extension on the location, and longer extensions for Tiny Homes (90 days for tents, vs 1 year for Tiny Homes). Also in the original language of the ordinance, it had a hard cap on only one extension for either, and it's looking like it will get modified to allow for more than one extension (as many extensions as necessary until it's determined to not be a positive situation). We are not worried about that though.
Tyler Byrd has regularly met with us on short notice to discuss how to make it happen, we appreciate that immensely. We also want to thank Council Membner Barbara Brenner for coming out to see the work we've done so far on Lummi Nation and for being such an enthusiastic supporter of what we're doing. We also want to give a big shoutout as well to Satpal Sidhu, he was instrumental in making the connection between HomesNOW and the Sikh Temple who has generously provided meals at our monthly homeless summits. The next summit is at Maritime Heritage Park, on July 29th, on Sunday, at 1PM. We encourage you to be there and meet your neighbors who happen to be homeless.
3. In order to show the County that we've thought out how to manage a tiny home community or tent encampment, we had to come up with a set of rules. This packet had to be crafted within the limitations of State Law and standardized to other organizations which have done this before. Such as TC-5 in Seattle. In the description of the video we will have a link to the entire packet for review. Any feedback, positive or critical, is always welcome.
Also the shower Truck that HomesNOW has built in less th an a month has been a smashing success so far. We have provided over 50 showers since the truck has been in operation. I want to give a big shoutout to all the volunteers who helped build the shower truck, and those who volunteer on the days where showers happen to clean the showers after each shower and handle the paperwork for people who sign up for showers. Without you this wouldn't be working right now. Thank you so much!
We will let everyone know when we know more about the progress of our first proposed site for building tiny homes on unused county land. Thank You for your support!
I went to the Drop-in-Center to give a person a backpack and was approached by a woman who had been in the hospital and left her belongings at the Mission for safe keeping. When she returned her belongings were donated to Good Will. Then I was watching as a couple guys were disassembling an 8x8 canopy that was covering about 3 feet of sidewalk and the rest was over the fence mounted on the side of the embankment next to the DIC. I asked what happened since it wasn't affecting traffic but was keeping them out of the direct sun. They said the staff person said they had to take it down because some of it was on Mission property (the embankment).
I am asked why am I so critical of the Mission. This is why. These are not isolated stories as I have heard from others about their belongings getting thrown away. I had even donated large campaign signs last year so the sitting area to the left of the door could have some wind blocking structure. I was tied up quite nicely and had a cover to keep people out of the rain and the Mission staff took it down, cut them up and threw them away. They didn't even try and contact me, which was easy since the sign was my website.
Please ask the director why these instances keep happening when their mission is to help.
P.S. A man I have seen for at least 6 months picking up trash for the Mission as a volunteer job (I think volunteers get special privilages like being able to store belongings) but I hadn't seen him in a few weeks and finally did in front of a store downtown with his shoppng cart beautifully packed. I was told that the Mission said he could no longer keep his belongings inside which meant leaving them outside to be stolen. He was asked to leave because he couldn't keep his lifes belongings safe. He is now totally on the streets and is a disabled older veteran (pretty sure about the veteran part). ...
It is clear your goal is to help the homeless, and the Mission's goal is also to help the homeless, but using methods that are different than yours. I, too, wonder why all the negative comments? I applaud the hard work you have done and the assistance you have provided the homeless in our community. I've heard some great stories. (Your shower truck is an amazing feat!) I've also heard and seen great stories from the Mission. Are there not enough people with needs in our community that we have to fight over who gets to provide the care? I'm not trying to pick a fight; just wondering why the continual attacks, and instead, focusing upon helping and encouraging one another.
I have had several requests for the following: Tents for couples (and their belongings and often a pet) Shorts sizes 30, 32, 34 and 36. Disposable razors Men's sneakers size 12 Thanks and please share with people who may have items to donate. Tents needed ASAP ...
In my travels, I have been asked for the following a number of times. Please donate or ask friends and neighbors to donate: 1. Tents for couples (some with a pet) and belongings so medium size (I currently have 4 requests). 1. Shorts sizes 30, 32, 34 and 36. 2. Men's sneakers size 12 3. Disposable razors 4. Mens underwear (all sizes) PM me with donations and certainly please ask if you work some place that may want to donate. We give credit and promote businesses that care about everyone in the community. ...
"You do what you can to survive." Linda and Larry Drain got married in 1981, but when Linda's eligibility under Medicaid was threatened, they were forced to either separate or lose her benefits. Now they live 40 minutes away from each other in low-income housing.
HomesNow. Not Later.This happens for many things including requiring assisted living or nursing home care if the couple has any savings so the healthy spouse doesn't spend every penny they have on care leaving the other spouse broke for their future. Health care is a human right
If anyone wants to help do donation collections; this is the list of what we could use for the next monthly Summit (end of July). I have thought of a few ways to collect donations that may be easier or more fun Unifor some interested: * Pick a size and find a few people around that size and see if you can get a few items in that size (ie: shorts, shirts, pants, etc). * Ask a store that gets a lot of foot traffic to put a donation bin in their establishment and ask for 1 or 2 items specifically (ie: T-shirts and shorts). I can get you signs for a bin. * Collect anything you can that is on the list. * Have a clothing or supply drive at your place of work
Items needed (by order of what is needed most)
Sleeping bags Backpacks Tents Unisex Jeans: Sizes 28, 29, 30, 32 and 34 (waist size) Womens Jeans: Sizes 7 and up Summer socks: Both sexes. Ankle high and regular Womens Shorts: All sizes Mens Shorts: All sizes T-shirts: All sizes unisex including xxl and xxxl (Charla, ) Womens Leggins: All sizes Sun Hats: Ballcaps or floppy hats Mens Sleeveless shirts: All sizes Womens Sleeveless shirts: All sizes New Underwear and socks: Both sexes all sizes (for those taking showers in our new Mobile Shower Truck) Unisex Jeans: Sizes 36-46 (waist size) Summer dresses: All sizes Summer skirts: All sizes Wide Tooth Combs
If you can help, please PM me (Amy Glasser) and if you can't, thanks for your support in all the other ways you help. As I get volunteers I will post their first name next to the item so you know if something already is being gotten. More than 1 person can do each item. THANKS again. ...
1. Unlike the City of Bellingham's ordinance, this ordinance took out the provision requiring a "Sight Obscuring" fence, the requirement for a fence is still in there, but doesn't have to be sight obscuring.
2. When it comes to collecting information of residents and those who visit and encampment, instead of having to call the police and report all the names, the police can request the list of names to do checks for Warrants or Sex offender registry.
3. When it comes to the provision about somebody needing to be on staff 24 hours a day for the encampment, it's been changed so that there needs to be a phone contact 24 hours a day. Meaning that somebody is always ON CALL, but not necessarily ON DUTY if not necessary.
4. The current version of the ordinance allows for a 90 day temporary encampment, with a hard cap on ONE 90 day extension. HomesNOW requested that instead of one extension, they could have the ability to perpetually extend. We have reassurances that this will make it into the final ordinance. They want to have separate language for specifically adding tiny homes to the ordinance and make that area able to be perpetually extended, while leaving it for 90 days on tents. We'll see what happens and if this pans out when the interim ordinance is passed (the next vote to make this ordinance more permanent).
Every homeless person is different, don't lump them all into one category. Treat them as individuals, speak to them, clear out your misconceptions.
6 months ago · 5
Having lived in tents and coming from a tradition that not so many generations ago was mainly nomadic - I totally understand, from a health perspective, why you wouldn't want a =tent= encampment to be permanent year-round. Varmints (rats, etc) will settle in. Certain diseases can infect the soil. (Tiny homes are different)
So here is an idea: have a dry season tent camp and a wet season tent camp. Get the language in the bill changed to "months" not days. Six months for each camp. If tent people know that "Summer Camp" runs May 1 -Oct 31 at one location and "Winter Camp" runs Nov 1 - April 30 at another location... it would put some certainty in their lives. It would allow for a thorough clean up of a campsite during the off season. It would be healthier for the land the camp is on.
Just a thought.
HomesNow. Not Later.Sorry. Fuck the Mayor. The Mission does not have a Shower Van. That is us, HomesNOW that built a shower truck in less than 6 weeks. Not the Mission.
6 months ago · 1
HomesNow. Not Later.Damn. The Mayor is just not listening. She says there would still be as many calls to police if the homeless we're not all in 1 place. She is just wrong. Small programs are the only way to go.
It was great seeing the happy faces of the people who where fed , clothed and were able to take showers.
Thank you for the creation of homes now and the shower truck that helps Bellinghams most margenelized groups of people .