Tag: homelessness

In Our Backyard: Community Art Project About Homelessness in Tacoma

In Our Backyard is a series of traveling community events that brings people together for a conversation about homelessness, its causes, challenges, and possible approaches. The project runs July 25 to August 16, with 5 chances to take part in this timely conversation. Each event features a participatory performance created and performed by individuals experiencing homelessness in Tacoma, as well as a video art installation presenting conversations between housed and homeless residents, filmed in each other’s backyards. 

In Our Backyard is funded by the City of Tacoma’s Neighborhood and Community Services Department, in partnership with the Office of Arts and Cultural Vitality. Contact Roni Chelben (ronialexandra@gmail.com) if you have any questions.

Are You Ready to Go on an “Amazing Quest”?

Join us this October for the Amazing Quest to Understand Homelessness. Associated Ministries has designed this energizing new event to take participants on a compelling journey illustrating the challenges our neighbors experiencing homelessness face. Teams complete engaging activities related to homelessness at multiple learning stations inside the McGavick Conference Center in Lakewood; each encounter is designed to open your eyes, engage your mind, and touch your heart. At the end of the Quest there is music, food and fun for everyone!

To participate, form a team of four or more people by gathering your family and friends, workplace co-workers, fellow students from school, or adult or youth groups from your congregation to come together for this eye-opening and bonding experience. Register your team online here.

The team with the most points at the end of the Quest wins a great prize! How do you earn points? By successfully completing the learning activities at the Quest event, combined with bonus points you can earn for raising funds in advance (an online fundraising page is created for each registrant) and by collecting and bringing donated items to the Quest (such as blankets, socks, sleeping bags and tarps).

AM Executive Director Mike Yoder says, “I believe Amazing Quest can move the needle on awareness about the crisis of homelessness in Pierce County. There are so many misconceptions about homelessness; this event addresses these misconceptions in an accessible and family-friendly way. We have two goals: to illustrate the struggles of our neighbors who are experiencing homelessness, and to raise money and resources to inspire change and make a lasting impact.”

DON’T MISS the 2nd annual Amazing Quest to Understand Homelessness on Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018 at McGavick Conference Center at Clover Park Technical College (4500 Steilacoom Blvd Lakewood, WA 98499); the course is open for you to take your 1-2 hour journey any time between noon and 4:00 pm.  More information is available online at https://associatedministries.org/amazing-quest-2018/.

Join us this fall to go on an eye-opening Quest you’ll never forget! Sign up today!

Volunteer Opportunities
It takes dozens of volunteers to run the Amazing Quest, and many serving opportunities available. Please click here to volunteer.

Benefit Dinner and Concert – Taking a Stand Against Addiction!

As so many communities the Orting Valley has been plagued by the Opioid crisis and we have experienced a number of fatal overdoses deaths. As I have met with and talked with many long-time residents of Orting they have told me that our Valley has long been a place of acute substance abuse because of its remote locale, and limited transportation options.  One Vet told me: “when I came back from Vietnam I noticed the problem we had already then!”

In the Spring of 2017, our area was hit by yet another series of fatal overdoses. There was an outpouring of concern, and a demand for action to provide support and hope for folks wrestling with addiction. Our City received lots of Press as folks looked to Orting to see how we would respond. Emotions ran high as anger, mourning, frustration, and a sense of hopelessness filled our City Council Chambers.  

But it does not have to be that way and a team of committed folks serious about bringing Recovery Cafe into the City was formed. We have been working tirelessly to create a place of healing and refuge for folks wrestling with addiction.

We know you are busy as a leader, but this is a simple way you can show your support to our community and Stand on the Side of Recovery!   

PLEASE JOIN US and SUPPORT Recovery Cafe Orting Valley at our BBQ DInner and Concert, July 15 starting at 5:30 @ 1919 W Pioneer, Puyallup. The concert is by Crosby Lane – Dove Award Artists, see here to get a glimpse click here: Crosby Lane:

  • Individual Tickets purchased here:   https://bpt.me/3438325
  • Table for 8 costs $200.00
  • Faith Sponsor:  (8 seats plus public thanks and acknowledgment): $500
  • Hope Sponsor: (8 seats plus Press Release of your leadership) $1000.00

Recovery Café is a proven regime of care that provides a safe caring environment where folks who truly want to break the lifestyle of addiction can find the support they need.  Fully 90% of those who enter the doors and live into this program of support have found long-term recovery!

Please join us and learn about Recovery Cafe and how it will save lives!

In the Midst of Challenges, We Remain Encouraged!

We are so grateful for your partnership with Associated Ministries this past year. During 2017 we experienced momentum on many fronts:

  • Our Community Quarterly Meetings convened ever-larger crowds throughout the year; in total 187 people from 44 faith communities came together at four gatherings to be educated about homelessness and discuss potential projects and solutions.
  • In November we hosted the largest group yet at our annual “Lead the Way Home” breakfast, and attendees responded with record generosity.
  • During October we encouraged Pierce County faith communities to take part in the first “Standing United with Compassion” observance, which kicked off at a moving and memorable “interfaith Shabbat” service hosted by Temple Beth El.
  • In September we staged an innovative new community event called “Amazing Quest to Understand Homelessness” in Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood.
  • In March we were overwhelmed by the response to our first-ever Interfaith Women’s Conference as some 400 women gathered for a day of learning, inspiration and fellowship.

These are a few tangible examples of the growing commitment we sense throughout Pierce County to come together to address our communities’ most critical needs.

When it comes to one of those needs – homelessness – we all know we’re facing a crisis. But behind the scenes many of us are working hard to make fundamental shifts in our homeless response system. We must not grow weary in doing good, not when we are making progress towards our preferred future, one in which homelessness is a rare, brief, and one-time experience for those caught up in its terrible consequences.

Truth be told, there have been many challenges to navigate during 2017, including some discouraging – and even terrifying – situations playing out across our nation and world. And yet at AM we remain optimistic as we see people in our community coming together with new-found solidarity and resolve to make a difference. In trying times it is essential to know that we are here for each another.

No matter what happens in the year ahead, Associated Ministries will continue to press forward as we have for 48 years, bringing together people of faith and good will to create a more humane, compassionate and just community. To do that, WE NEED YOU; and more than ever our community needs you. Thank you for showing up and for reaching out!

Michael Yoder, Executive Director

People of Faith Working to END Homelessness – Community Quarterly Meeting

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. 

Join us during our next Community Quarterly Meeting (CQM):
September 21st from 4 – 6pm
Hosted by St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church
7410 S. 12th St., Tacoma, WA 98465

Attendees will be informed and educated about homelessness in Pierce County, gain understanding of effective interventions, and discuss potential projects and solutions. 

Speakers will include:

Gerrit Nyland: Homeless Programs Data Administrator for Catholic Community Services.  Gerrit will present a clear and compelling understanding of what homelessness looks like in Pierce County.

Tiegan Tidball Bradbury: Systems Analyst for the City of Tacoma.  Tiegan will provide an update on where the City is at regarding its emergency declaration on homelessness.

Noah Baskett: Sr. Director of Community Engagement for the Rescue Mission, Tacoma.  Noah will discuss potential projects in which people of faith and goodwill can take part. 

This is a CALL TO ACTION for those representing a specific faith community (as a pastor or appointed representative) along with anyone else interested in helping to end homelessness. Please plan to attend!

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. 

Meet our amazing Rapid Rehousing team

Our Rapid Rehousing team–Team Leader Ivette and amazing team members Mary, Kelsey, and Will–explain in this video a little of their approach to helping people with housing services. In 2016, they helped 375 households go from homelessness back into affordable housing rapidly and permanently. 

“We accept individuals and families who are referred by Coordinated Entry. We also assist with some move in costs and very short-term rental assistance. Using the Housing First model we address homelessness and then provide resources to meet other needs clients have.”

“In our program, we meet the clients where they are in life. This program is all about what the clients want and need. They are in charge of their destinies and know their situation better than we do. Families receive referrals to employment services, mental health services, and resources to gain tools for self-sufficiency. Empowering clients to take control of their lives is the key to our Rapid Rehousing Program.”

Landlord collaboration is vital to the success of the Rapid Rehousing Program. Read more about the incredible landlords the team has worked with and honored through regular Community Pillar Awards.

Family Fun and Education in One

Can you build a shelter out of a pallet, a tarp, some rope and other things you might find by the side of the road within 5 minutes? How many hygiene kits can your team put together before time runs out?  These are just two of the fun activities that teams and individuals will take part in at the AMAZING QUEST to Understand Homelessness.

This first time event, on Saturday, October 7th, will bring together people from throughout the community to compete with one another and work together to learn about homelessness, and some of the issues that people experiencing homelessness go through on a daily basis.  Teams with the most points will receive prizes and there will be a special prize for the team with the most spirit!  Points can be earned by completing the activities, locating individuals along the route who are handing out surprise points, and identifying special points of interest along the route. 

You can also earn points by donating needed items and obtaining donations through friends, family and coworkers by having them sponsor you or your team.

  • New or gently used: Outside sleeping bag, tarp, wool blanket
  • New: Emergency blanket, socks

If you are looking for an easy team-bonding activity for your group, whether business, faith communities, service group, school, etc., this is a wonderful opportunity to spend a few hours together, working as a team and benefiting those that are the most vulnerable among us.

Registration is easy: just to https://www.associatedministries.org/amazing-quest to sign up.  For more information about the event, feel free to contact Wendy Morris at wendym@associatedministries.org or 253-426-1501.

 

You can “Lead the Way Home” for homeless families

Join us at the Lead the Way Home Breakfast for a morning of inspiration and learn about our vision to end family homelessness in our community.

Reserve your FREE tickets by October 27th

AM Executive Director Mike Yoder, along with former Director David Alger and other special guests, will share stories of faith, courage, and transformation.

Discover how you can help families step out of poverty and homelessness and move into a life that offers hope.

November 2, 2017

7:30am – 8:30am

Foss Waterway Seaport 705 Dock Street, Tacoma, WA

(free parking available in the adjacent lot)

The Lead the Way Home Breakfast is a fundraising event; while the breakfast is free you will be asked to make a generous donation to this worthy cause. Proceeds benefit Associated Ministries and its programs that serve homeless families and individuals.

 

 

 

Inviting Faith Communities Who Want to Join the Call to Action

  • Create a team to fill some homeless kits with useful items for families experiencing homelessness.  Kits will be given to Catholic Community Services’ Family Housing Network.
  • Give bus passes and socks to Shared Housing Services, a program that serves youth and young adults, ages 16 – 24, who are experiencing homelessness.  These bus passes are essential, so youth can make it to and from important appointments.

These are just two of the many ways that people attending our Community Quarterly Meetings (CQ) have pledged to help support local agencies working with those experiencing homelessness. And we need your help as we take action on the crisis of homelessness in our community. 

We hope you will join us at our next CQ Meeting on Thursday, September 21st, from 4:00 – 6:00 pm at St. Andrews Episcopal Church, 7410 South 12th Street, Tacoma, WA 98465. The goal of these meetings are to gather people of faith and goodwill to create an energizing space in Pierce County to share knowledge, and act on strategies to end homelessness.

Attendees will be informed and educated about homelessness in Pierce County, gain understanding of effective interventions, and discuss potential projects and solutions through presentations and discussions. 

The lineup of speakers for our next CQ meeting includes:

Gerrit Nyland: Homeless Programs Data Administrator for Catholic Community Services.  Gerrit will present a clear and compelling understanding of what homelessness looks like in Pierce County.

Tiegan Tidball Bradbury: Systems Analyst for the City of Tacoma.  Tiegan will provide an update on where the City is at regarding its emergency declaration on homelessness.

Noah Baskett: Sr. Director of Community Engagement for the Rescue Mission, Tacoma.  Noah will discuss potential projects in which people of faith and goodwill can take part. 

This is a CALL TO ACTION for those representing a specific faith community (as a pastor or appointed representative) along with anyone else interested in helping to end homelessness. Multiple attendees from your faith community or organization are welcome to attend; we will have three different breakout groups, and you may want to have a person attending each one.

If you have any questions, please contact Valorie Crout at valoriec@associatedministries.org or 253-426-1508. 

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.

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