Tag: homelessness

10 things you can do during summer heat waves to save a homeless person’s life

It’s getting hot out there.  For many of us it’s easy to find a cool place, whether work or home, that has air conditioning. Or go to a restaurant, drive in an air conditioned car, go to the mall, etc. People experiencing homelessness do not have those luxuries. In fact, their very survival is at stake.

People who are homeless can be particularly vulnerable to heat waves because they cannot easily stay cool or stay hydrated. Some living on the streets might have medical or substance issues that prevent them from thinking clearly and are in need of extra assistance.  Add this to heat and dehydration and you have a lethal combination. Moreover, heat waves are often not perceived as being as dangerous as cold weather.

People living on the street or in their car can take advantage of cooler air in public buildings such as Pierce County libraries, Tacoma Libraries and other public places, however going in to cool off at a local restaurant, coffee shop or movie theater, costs money they don’t have.

Here are ten things you can purchase and carry with you to hand out to people living on the street or in their car during the heat wave:

  • Frozen bottled water. Try to freeze (not just chill) bottled water before handing it out. The ice will melt slowly for drinking, but can also be used for general cooling. Freezing the bottles will provide a cold source that people can hold to their heads or necks or between their wrists.  “Enhanced” water that has electrolytes added to it is especially beneficial to help replace needs nutrients.
  • Water bottles. Consider handing out reusable, durable water bottles that can be refilled from public water sources.
  • Sunglasses. To be effective, Prevent Blindness America says glasses should block 99 to 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays.
  • Hats. Baseball hats, straw hats, anything-with-a-brim hats. This keeps the sun off the face and out of the eyes.
  • Umbrellas. They will help keep the sun from directly beating down on a person on the street. 
  • Bandanas. Dipped in water and draped around the neck or head, these can bring down temperatures significantly. When dipped in cold water, the cooling bandana will provide long-term relief and can be reused again and again.
  • Sunscreen. Great idea, but don’t give away that bottle you barely used last year. Sunscreen’s protective ingredients expire after 12 months. Don’t be cheap. Buy new bottles. The average adult needs about a shot glass worth of sunscreen per day in the sun to stay totally protected.
  • Zinc oxide ointment. This will keep lips and noses from burning and is much easier to carry and apply than sunscreen.
  • Bus passes. People in need can ride an air conditioned bus to help stay cool.
  • Fast food cards. Where people in need can go in and purchase a meal and sit for a time in a cool place.  If they do not purchase food, some establishments will ask them to leave. By enabling them to make a purchase you are helping not only feed them, but keep them cool too.   

As the temperatures begin to climb throughout Pierce County, the Department of Emergency Management reminds everyone to stay out of the heat as much as possible, stay hydrated, and check on elderly relatives and neighbors when temperatures soar.  They also recommend checking on those with chronic health concerns as they might be more susceptible to heat related illnesses. 

Those with low or fixed incomes are also at risk. Many of them are forced to choose between eating or turning on their air conditioner. Food often wins out and in extreme heat a fan is simply not enough to keep someone cool.

Do not leave children or pets in cars unattended – temperatures can quickly become deadly.  Take advantage of cooler air in public buildings such as Pierce County libraries, Tacoma Libraries, local malls, movie theaters, and other large stores.  People seeking relief from the heat by swimming in rivers risk cold shock and possibly drowning. 

 Exercise extreme caution and make sure to take care of one another.

June Quarterly Community Meeting

What a great Community Quarterly Meeting we had last week!  Thanks again to Rev. Eric Jackson for hosting us!
 
Special thanks also goes to Tiegan Tidball from the City of Tacoma, Mike Yoder, Executive Director for Associated Ministries and Mark Merrill, Executive Director for Shared Housing Services for presenting.  Everyone did a great job!
 
Here are links to the materials we reviewed at the meeting:
 
City of Tacoma Temporary Aid and Sheltering
 
Slides for June Meeting
 
To keep everyone encouraged and energized, I would like to share a few results from the breakout sessions.  We had three breakout groups this quarter: Catholic Community Services’ Family Housing Network (FHN), Shared Housing Services, and the City of Tacoma, which explored ways the faith community could get involved to support the Emergency Declaration.
 
 
Catholic Community Services’ Family  
Housing Network Workgroup
The Family Housing Network Workgroup agreed to make some homeless kits filled with useful items for families experiencing homelessness. There was also emphasis on getting the word out in the community about this awesome program, so the workgroup is planning to have Alan Brown, the Director of Family Housing Network, present during scheduled community meetings.
 
 
 
Shared Housing Services Workgroup

The Shared Housing Workgroup took a similar path. They too wanted to get the word out about this great opportunity for the faith community. This workgroup plans to do more outreach in neighborhoods, congregations, neighborhood councils as well as some community gatherings.

 

City of Tacoma Workgroup

The City of Tacoma Workgroup came up with some pretty creative ideas about how the faith community can get directly involved to support the Emergency Declaration on Homelessness, including safe parking, permanent housing solutions such as rehabbing derelict houses or purchasing tiny houses, and exploring policy changes such as screening practices for rental applications.

 
The goal of the Community Quarterly meeting is to create an energizing space in Pierce County for people of faith and goodwill to share knowledge and act on strategies to end homelessness. 
Please plan to join us for future gatherings.  Upcoming Community Quarterly Meetings:
  • Thursday, Sept. 21st from 4-6 at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, 7410 South 12th Street, Tacoma, WA 98465.
  • Tuesday, Dec. 5th from 4-6pm at Bethlehem Baptist Church, 4818 East Portland Ave, Tacoma, WA 98404. 
 

Innovative Event to Address & Illustrate Homelessness (Save the Date!)

Associated Ministries will host a brand new event this fall entitled “AMAZING QUEST to Understand Homelessness.” This unique family-friendly event invites the community to take part in an exciting scavenger hunt-style challenge with the goal of better understanding the realities faced by those who are homeless in our community. It will be a bit like The Amazing Race television show, with activity stations and learning opportunities located at various landmarks throughout Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood.

AM executive director Mike Yoder is excited about the event’s potential to move the needle on homelessness awareness in Tacoma and Pierce County. “There are so many misconceptions about homelessness,” says Yoder. “This event will address these misconceptions, illustrating the daily struggles of our homeless neighbors, while fundraising to inspire change and make a lasting impact.”

The Amazing Quest will take place on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017, beginning and ending at People’s Park in Tacoma. Teams of 2-8 people will visit various locations around the Hilltop and participate in challenges to win points. These challenge points will be combined with points earned during a fundraising period prior to the event, with prizes awarded to the winning team. Teams can consist of families and friends, church groups, office teams, and others.

Funds raised before and during the event will benefit Associated Ministries and its work to address homelessness and empower people to live stabilized lives off the streets. “Amazing Quest to Understand Homelessness is our way of not just telling Pierce County residents about the realities of homelessness,” says Yoder. “It’s our way of engaging them in an impactful and memorable way.”

Check the AM website in the coming weeks for more details and team registration information.

 

People of Faith Working Together to END Homelessness

Associated Ministries brings people of faith and goodwill together every quarter to learn about what homelessness looks like in Pierce County, as well as take tangible steps to end homelessness. 

Pamela Duncan, Manager of the Human Services Division for the City of Tacoma, will speak directly to the city’s Emergency Declaration on the homeless crisis.

Join us during our next Community Quarterly Meeting (CQM) on June 15th from 4 – 6pm, located at Bethlehem Baptist Church, 4818 East Portland Ave, Tacoma, WA 98404.

We have a great meeting planned!  A few topics that we will discuss are as follows:

  • The 2017 Point in Time Count
  • Successes from our last CQM meeting
  • Presentation from Mark Merrill, Executive Director of Shared Housing
  • Specific ways to impact homelessness

Join us and together we will take one small step at a time to end homelessness!  YOU can make a difference!

Download bulletin inserts here.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Chief Program Officer, Valorie Crout at valoriec@associatedministries.org or 253-426-1508. 

City of Tacoma-Declaration of State of Emergency – Homeless Encampments

City of Tacoma’s Explanation of Declaration of
State of Emergency Responding to
Homeless Encampments 

The City of Tacoma has called a meeting to explain and discuss the recent declaration of a state of emergency responding to homeless encampments.  Agenda is attached here.

Thursday, May 18
3:00 – 4:30 pm
Tacoma Municipal Bldg. North
733 Market St., Room 16
Tacoma 98402

Main meeting topics will include:
  Explanation of the Declaration
  The City’s Response to the Declaration
  Aligning the Response with Coordinated Entry & Pierce County
  Forming a Data Committee
  Next Steps

Faith-based organizations interested in participating or who have additional questions can respond directly to Tiegan Tidball with the City of Tacoma at 253-573-2320 or ttidball@cityoftacoma.org.

Your collaboration and support in this endeavor to support the homeless in our community is appreciated.    

Skating for Homes

On Friday, June 2, 2017, Associated Ministries will be welcoming groups of youth from different faith communities to our first-ever “Skating for Homes” skate-a-thon.  This free and fun event, will be from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm at Rollin’ 253 Skate and Community Center.

Through our partnership with Rollin’ 253 Skate & Community Center, and Help Us Move In, we are able to help educate youth about the issue of homelessness and help raise funds for youth who, along with their families, are experiencing homelessness.  Youth will have the opportunity to seek donations for either each lap they complete within one hour, or a flat donation.  All funds raised will be matched dollar for dollar by the generosity of Help Us Move In and will be used to directly assist clients with children who are in need of help with housing.

This is also a wonderful opportunity for youth leaders at our partner faith communities to help their youth understand the issue of homelessness and discuss ways they are drawn to help.  For more information or to request a housing specialist to speak to your group, please contact Wendy Morris, Community Engagement Coordinator at wendym@associatedministries.org or 253-383-3056 ext. 117.

Registration for “Skating for Homes” closes on Friday, May 26th so make sure to turn your request for tickets and receive pledge cards in to wendym@associatedministries.org before the deadline.  

Housing is the Foundation for Wholeness

Associated Ministries’ Community Quarterly Meeting

Learn How YOU Can Impact Homelessness

All people of faith and good will are invited to attend an interactive learning session on Thursday, March 16 from 4-6pm, at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, 7410 South 12th Street, Tacoma, WA 98465.

Attendees will learn about Associated Ministries’ programs and services, what homelessness looks like in Pierce County, and how people of faith can directly impact homelessness.

The crisis of homelessness in our community is real!

In 2016, 13,740 households contacted Pierce County’s Coordinated Entry System experiencing some level of housing instability. These are struggling families and vulnerable individuals who spent the previous night on the street, in a shelter, or in a place not meant for human habitation, as well as those fleeing from domestic violence.

YOU can make a difference!  

Please plan to join us to continue our conversation about ways that people of faith can impact homelessness!

For more information or to RSVP, please contact Valorie Crout, Associated Ministries’ Chief Program Officer via email or 253-383-3056 ext. 108.

How Can People of Faith in Pierce County Assist the Homeless?

What can members of our community do to address the growing challenge of homelessness? People of faith and goodwill are invited to attend an interactive learning session regarding homelessness in Pierce County. Participants will come away with a better understanding of this crisis and will be briefed on the assistance programs that are available, as well as the work that remains to be done.

The crisis is real: during the past 11 months, Associated Ministries interacted with 7,212 households that were experiencing some level of housing instability in Pierce County. These are struggling families and vulnerable individuals who spent the previous night on the street, in a shelter, in a place not meant for human habitation, as well as those fleeing from domestic violence.

Rev. Dr. Eric Jackson of Bethlehem Baptist Church, a member of Associated Ministries’ Board of Directors, will host the gatherings; he invites all people of faith and goodwill to attend to learn more about how to assist those experiencing homelessness in Pierce County.

For more information or to RSVP, please contact AM Communications at communications@associatedministries.org.

How Can People of Faith in Pierce County Assist the Homeless?

What can members of our community do to address the growing challenge of homelessness? People of faith and goodwill are invited to attend an interactive learning session regarding homelessness in Pierce County. Participants will come away with a better understanding of this crisis and will be briefed on the assistance programs that are available, as well as the work that remains to be done.

The crisis is real: during the past 11 months, Associated Ministries interacted with 7,212 households that were experiencing some level of housing instability in Pierce County. These are struggling families and vulnerable individuals who spent the previous night on the street, in a shelter, in a place not meant for human habitation, as well as those fleeing from domestic violence.

Rev. Martin Yabroff of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, a member of Associated Ministries’ Board of Directors, will host the gatherings; he invites all people of faith and goodwill to attend to learn more about how to assist those experiencing homelessness in Pierce County.

For more information or to RSVP, please contact AM Communications at communications@associatedministries.org.

How People of Faith & Goodwill Can Address Homelessness

The crisis is real: during the past 11 months, Associated Ministries interacted with 7,212 households that were experiencing some level of housing instability in Pierce County. These are struggling families and vulnerable individuals who spent the previous night on the street, in a shelter, in a place not meant for human habitation, as well as those fleeing from domestic violence.

So what does this number mean? It represents those who have reached out to the Coordinated Entry System (CES), Pierce County’s Homeless Crisis Response System for help, and were determined to be genuinely homeless. The CES is a partnership of Associated Ministries, Catholic Community Services, Greater Lakes Mental Healthcare and Comprehensive Life Resources and is funded by Pierce County Community Connections.

What can people of faith and goodwill in our community do to address the growing challenge of homelessness? To begin, attend one of two interactive learning sessions regarding homelessness in Pierce County on Jan. 19 or 24. Participants will come away with a better understanding of this crisis and will be briefed on the assistance programs that are available, as well as the work that remains to be done.

We are grateful to Rev. Martin Yabroff of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church and Rev. Dr. Eric Jackson of Bethlehem Baptist Church, both members of Associated Ministries’ Board of Directors, who will host the gatherings. “I hope that as many congregations as possible will be represented to learn about the Homeless Crisis Response System,” said Rev. Yabroff.

Rev. Jackson added, “Often those who need assistance the most don’t know how to tap into the necessary resources. This is the same case with congregations and various faith institutions who seek to support those without a place to call ‘home.’ I personally invite you to attend these meetings and learn about the Homeless Crisis Response System, who should be referred and how to navigate the system. Most importantly, we’ll be better equipped to respond to our community’s homelessness crisis.” 

Two opportunities have been scheduled share an overview of homelessness in Pierce County and how the Coordinated Entry System is being designed to address it:

  • St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, hosted by Rev. Martin Yabroff at 7410 South 12th Street, Tacoma, WA 98465 on Thurs., Jan. 19th at 1-3pm.
  • Bethlehem Baptist Church, hosted by Rev. Dr. Eric Jackson at 4818 East Portland Ave, Tacoma, WA 98404 on Tues., Jan. 24th at 6-8pm.

For more information or to RSVP, please contact us at communications@associatedministries.org.

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