You're Invited To: Nickelsville's 3rd Birthday Parte 9/24/11 & City Council Unveiling of Ways to Deal with Seattle's Unsheltered!

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Scott Morrow

Sep 12, 2011, 8:22:12 PM9/12/11
to Nickelsville Announcements
Nickelsville Birthday Party
Saturday 9/24/11 from 3 to 5 PM!

3 Years and a couple of days (plus 16 moves in between) will find
Nickelsville celebrating our 3rd Birthday Back where it all began -
the First and Last Site at 7116 West Marginal Way SW. We know there
will be a Pig for Roasting and that the hours are 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM,
but a lot of the other details are still being hashed out.

Please mark your calendars now AND help us spread the word to other
old friends through your own church bulletin, email list, face book
page, or daily wanderings and visitations. More to Come.


The City Council's Housing and Human Services Committee will be
hearing a report on this new study this Wednesday - 9/14/11 - at 2:00
pm in the City Council Chambers. At the beginning of the meeting the
public has a chance to comment. We'll be there commenting and hope
you will too.

Here's some background on this Homelessness Services Study:

Last Spring (before we Nickelodeons took matters into our own hands
and returned to our present location) this study was agreed upon by
the City Council to figure out what to do with us and other sheltered
people in Seattle. It was called Resolution #31292.

Last Friday we found out that the RESOLUTION #31292 STUDY IS OUT.
And there's a problem: Studies are supposed to help policy makers
figure out what to do. Guess What: The more Policy Makers Study this
Study, the more confused they will get! City Hall calls the study
'Alternatives FOR Homeless Services.' We think the title
'Alternatives AVOIDING Homeless Services' would be more fitting.
Here's some examples from the six approaches they consider:

FIRST APPROACH: Remember abandoned Fire Station 39? The one
Nickelsville successfully lived in for half a year, and that SHARE/
WHEEL offered to operate 'as is' when we moved out? It's still
abandoned and homeless people are still sleeping, and too often dying,
outside in Lake City.

Oddly, there is no mention of King County's largest Shelter Network
Organization (SHARE/WHEEL) being willing to use it 'as is.' Instead,
only the idea of leasing Firestation #39 to the Union Gospel Mission
for 3 years after spending at least $800,000 fixing it up is

SECOND APPROACH: "Increase Support of Faith-Based Communities to Work
on Ending Homelessness" The study notes much of this work has been
turned over to 'The King County Committee to End Homelessness' to
shape. But this group has admitted that they don't make expansion of
shelter a priority. Their actions are making the provision of
shelter harder in King County. Putting them in charge of shelter
initiatives is as bad as assigning a fox to guard the chicken coop.

Another whopper in this Section is called "authorizing transitional
encampments on properties owned or occupied by religious
organizations." The fact is, Federal Law authorized this long ago,
and the Washington State Legislature followed that lead last year with
HB 1956. A clear headed analysis of the City's proposed Encampment
Ordinance shows it doesn't seek to authorize encampments, it seeks to
limit encampments.

THIRD APPROACH: Fix up old abandoned motels along Aurora for
transitional housing. Sort of like SHARE and CHS did with the Aloha
Inn 20 YEARS AGO (the money is available to do it again right now.)

FOURTH APPROACH: Next the report looks at additional funding for rent
assistance or vouchers. The study notices that keeping people in
housing or getting them back into housing quickly are fast ways to
solve homelessness.

Who out there thinks government - at the city, county, state, or
federal level - is going to come up with more than a drop in the
bucket of the money needed for the third and fourth approach to really

FIFTH APPROACH: This is the big one for Nickelsville. Oddly, the
Study highlights the cost of Mayor McGinn's now defunct plan for Sunny
Jim, even though such estimates aren't provided for fixing up run-down
motels, paying for all the 'wrap around services' envisioned by HSD,
or costing out the additional HMIS Computer Tracking that Human
Services Bureacrats want to pile into shelters in Seattle.

The study says Nickelsville is made up of homeless individuals (in
fact it has many couples and families.) While Nickelsville's
existence is acknowledged, the timeline for Nickelsville is called the
'same as for the Mayor's proposed encampment program' aka the non
existent Sunny Jim.

Nickelsville is analyzed through the work and recommendations of last
falls Mayors Homeless Encampment Panel. This was a prestigious group
who recommended a permanent site for Nickelsville, and it is fitting
that there recommendations be analyzed.

Mysteriously, 2 of the key recommendations of the Mayors Encampment
Panel - opening more city buildings at night for shelter and not
arresting homeless sleepers on public land when there is no shelter
for them to go to - are not mentioned or analyzed in either the body
of the report or in the graphic analysis.

The section on encampments concludes with a dire sounding warning that
"an encampment should never be considered a long-term solution to
homelessness." Why not the some dire warning for HMIS computer

THE SIXTH APPROACH: For avoidance of reality nothing beats the sixth
approach: "Modifying the City's existing shelter service contracts to
incorporate best practices."

Three pages are spent talking about the merits of requiring shelter
operators to enter client information into HMIS, developing
"coordinated assessment, referral and entry program for single
adults", establishing 'performance based contracts' for shelter, and
other matters having nothing to do with a safe place to sleep at
night. Not surprisingly, the study doesn't touch the 'Financial
Implications' of these bureacratic dreams. Instead, the financial
implications are "To Be Determined."

Maybe cost doesn't matter because the study says all that stuff is
'consistent with the Plan to End Homelessness."

Actually, its not. The original 10 Year Plan to End Homeless in King
County - before the bureacrats mid term adjustments - says "Interim
survival mechanisms - services focused on keeping people alive - ...
are neccessary until such time that affordable permanent housing is
available to all."

City Halls "Alternatives for Homeless Services Response to Resolution
#31292" repeatedly ignores and diminish services that focus on keeping
people alive. The bias of the Alternatives for Homeless Services is
to keep the bureacratic apparatus that studies, reports and maintains
professional careers in homelessness alive.

Read the reports yourself. Go to the Agenda Section for the Seattle
City Council Committees, and look for the September 14th Agenda for
Housing and Human Services. These reports will be mentioned, and when
they are you can look at them.

There are good people on the Seattle City Council. Nickelsville
knows, because some of them have visited us. We know this isn't the
time to chew their heads off. What the City Council needs is people
talking common sense to them - poor people are citizens too,
government should make sure everyone has at least food shelter and
clothing, and right now thousands of Seattle Citizens don't.

Give the City Council a friendly reminder of that, and that it's
important to you that all Seattle Citizens are dealt with respectfully
and justly.

We hope to see you Wednesday at 2:00 PM!
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