111 Commitments Made to Address Homelessness!

Tacoma’s Oasis of Hope Center was the place to be on Thursday evening, March 21, as 75 people of faith and goodwill gathered for our most recent Community Quarterly Meeting (CQM) to address homelessness.

As we started those in attendance grounded themselves by reviewing the CQM’s new mission/vision statements to remind us of why we were gathered:

Mission: To love and serve the needs of neighbors experiencing homelessness
Vision:  Communities of faith and social goodwill are educated and actively applying their essential abilities to help address and prevent homelessness in Pierce County, through engagement with social service agencies and other innovative programs.

Once our intentions were set attendees were ready to learn from several scheduled speakers that came to help us all achieve the goals for the coming year that we set together.

The Community Quarterly Meeting’s goals for 2019 include:

  1. To mobilize 50 communities of faith and social goodwill to actively engage in activities to address homelessness.
  2. To increase awareness and the capacity to impact homelessness by communities of faith and social goodwill.
  3. To increase temporary sheltering and/or permanent affordable housing options within the communities of faith and social goodwill.
  4. To amplify the moral voice of communities of faith and social goodwill within the broader communities, including the City and County Councils around issues pertaining to homelessness.

To equip us with the information needed to reach these objectives, several gracious and gifted speakers presented during the March CQM.

  • Tammy Stewart and Delmar Algee, Program Managers for the Coordinated Entry System (CES), shared a sneak peek into some exciting upcoming changes to the CES, Pierce County’s Homeless Response System.
  • Jake Nau, Manager of Tacoma’s Beacon Youth and Young Adult Shelter, provided an overview of the services offered at our local youth shelter.  He also shared some tangible ways for people of faith to get involved in supporting the shelter, which are included in the full presentation downloadable below.
  • Shannon Beck, Social Justice Coordinator for Our Redeemer’s Lutheran Church in Seattle, presented about their “Road to Housing” program, which is a safe parking program they started in 2011 for those living in their cars.
  • Tiegan Tidball, Faith Community Navigator for the City of Tacoma, reminded everyone of the support and possible financial assistance available through the City of Tacoma to assist congregations launch shelters or projects that address homelessness.
  • Tommy and Stephanie Shinn shared an inspiring testimony of a wonderful gift of a new home they provided for a family experiencing homelessness.

For further details about these presentations, please download the presentation slides here.

Following these information-filled talks, the CQM attendees did not waste any time. They made 111 solid commitments on the spot to address homelessness in our community!

  • 18 people circulated or will circulate flyers, bulletin inserts about upcoming CQMs.
  • 14 people volunteered or will volunteer at a local shelter or day center
  • 20 people donated or will donate items to a local shelter or day center
  • 3 people will receive diversion training to help divert households from entering the homeless system.
  • 2 people are interested in volunteering with Catholic Community Services Family Housing Network day center.
  • 1 person is interested in providing safe parking
  • 6 people promoted or will promote Landlord Liaison project.
  • 7 people developed or will develop an affordable housing option.
  • 4 people participated or will participate in The Moral Voice Advocacy Workgroup
  • 3 people will explore the establishment of a tent city.
  • 11 people will contact elected leaders regarding homelessness.
  • 22 people will invite someone new to an upcoming CQM.

We were blown away by the number of commitments made during the meeting. What a blessing to have so many people driven to love and serve the needs of our neighbors experiencing homelessness! We are truly “purveyors of hope” for many who are in tremendous need.

It is not too late!  You can still add your own commitment to address homelessness by filling out the CQM-Participation Survey https://associatedministries.org/cqmsurvey/.   Remember, every single commitment counts.

The March CQM was a demonstration of what is in store for our community in 2019.  We look forward to seeing what unfolds as we work together to address homelessness in Pierce County.

Associated Ministries convenes these meetings in partnership with other homeless and housing service providers working in Pierce County, with the goal of creating an energizing space to gather regularly to learn about, discuss and take action on the crisis of homelessness in our community. 

The next Community Quarterly Meeting will be held on June 20th from 5-7pm, located at the Oasis of Hope Center, 1937 South G Street.  Please pre-register for the June 20th CQM (FREE!) at http://weblink.donorperfect.com/CQM (this helps us prepare seating and snacks…and it speeds up the check-in process).

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