Northwest UU Justice Network

Interfaith Task Force on Homelessness - Update

The NEXT ITFH Monthly Meeting will be September 13. August is usually a quiet month, so enjoy yourself and help others as you can.

Our monthly meetings are held from noon-1:30p every SECOND Wednesday, at University Congregational United Church of Christ, 4515 16th Ave. NE., Seattle, in the first floor chapel. PARKING is free is Lots A (across from church entrance on 16th) and C (on corner of 45th & 15th, otherwise pay lot). Note your parking space and sign in with license plate # and space # outside church office door. Coffee, tea, juice, snacks, BYO lunch.

We continue this work: As a percent of the unsheltered count in 2016, vehicles represented 35%. In 2017, it is 42%.  These Count Us In numbers reveal the need for PROGRESS TOWARD VEHICLE RESIDENCY WORK GROUPS:

Regional meetings are designated as: EAST KING, SOUTH KING, NORTH KING, AND SEATTLE. With summer near, this will be deliberate and slow, of necessity. Further, since we will be working parallel to the ongoing work of the All Home Strategic Plan, some of the work product will eventually be brought to its Coordinating Board (to include re-writing its current Vehicle Resident policy).



  • South County meeting laying out starting points for engaging Public Safety
  • Met with Seattle Executive branch (Director of Homelessness, Director of Facilities and Administrative Services, 2 Human Services Dept. (1 Manager, 1 staff), with Seattle VR work group members Jean Darsie and myself
  • Met with Seattle Council staff by Jean and me about follow-up to the Vehicle Living Recommendations
  • Determination that some of the electronic data desired by us is already being collected by Seattle Parking Enforcement (now to negotiate utilization!)
  • East King Outreach workers to be scheduled for August meeting

PLEASE respond “yay” or “nay” for a Regional Vehicle Residency Work Group by emailing Rev. Bill Kirlin-Hackett, Director, The Interfaith Task Force on Homelessness, and designate the Region in which you’ll volunteer. If you have additional names, please reach out to such folks and put them in touch with Rev. Bill Kirlin-Hackett.


East King Tent Encampment hosting, support, and ordinances

  • A gathering of East King faith community members, the ITFH, tent encampment hosts, Tent City 4 residents, and SHARE staff committed to a dual agenda to,
  • 1) in the immediate term, find a site before winter at a faith community for Tent City 4, which has been camped off I-90, and
  • 2) to address East King tent encampment ordinances, specifically Bellevue, which is now within the second extension of a Consent Decree. This Decree only allows one congregation to host once every 18 months.

Send us a message with your commitment to help with these efforts. Write us at ITFH here to: Subscribe to All Home Newsletter )

City of Seattle Fair Chance Housing Ordinance

The Seattle City Council is considering legislation that would eliminate a significant barrier to housing and address a root cause of homelessness. The Fair Chance Housing Ordinance would prohibit landlords from denying a rental home to an applicant just because they have a criminal record.

“Nobody is more safe when people who have criminal backgrounds are unhoused,” said Councilmember Lisa Herbold, chair of the committee and a sponsor of the ordinance with Council President Bruce Harrell.

Currently in Washington, 85 people per month exit incarceration into homelessness. Nationally, more than half of people experiencing homelessness have a criminal record, often directly resulting from laws that criminalize homelessness, such as arrests for sleeping outside. Four out of five landlords have blanket policies that deny housing to applicants with a criminal record. This practice has significant and disproportionate impacts on communities of color, especially African American communities.

A final vote is scheduled for Monday.

It's Time to Change the Narrative on Homelessness

All Home Director Mark Putnam wrote a guest blog for the Seattle Foundation sharing how we can collectively address root causes and policy failures that lead to homelessness:

“Changing the way we think about homelessness, which is deeply embedded in our internal and cultural biases, is critical to our ability to meaningfully address the crisis we are faced with today. While we are housing more people through homeless services than ever, our efforts have failed to match the increasing need. Homelessness has reached emergency levels in Seattle/King County and it is no accident that we find ourselves in these current circumstances.

Criticism of people experiencing homelessness instead of homelessness itself and beliefs that government programs breed dependency and that some “choose homelessness” are not only factually incorrect, but are also incredibly damaging to efforts aimed at reducing homelessness. They misplace blame for the issue of homelessness to the individuals and families suffering from its damaging effects.

Homelessness is 100 percent preventable. No one should ever experience the trauma of homelessness. Shelter is a basic human need and should be treated like a basic human right. Personal “deficiencies” and character flaws are not root causes of homelessness. Homelessness is a reflection of our larger society, forcing us to bear witness to our collective failings.

Stagnant wages and increasing costs of living cause homelessness. Historic and current discriminatory housing policies cause homelessness. Racist systems that jail black men at 10 times the rate of their white counterparts cause homelessness. Antiquated resettlement requirements for immigrants and refugees cause homelessness. Criminalization of substance-use disorder causes homelessness. Insufficient mental health services and basic healthcare causes homelessness. Rising rents and decreased funding for affordable housing causes homelessness.


While these factors are vast and daunting, we know what works to end the immediate crisis and what it will take to truly make homelessness rare, brief and one-time in King County. Funding entities such as All Home, King County, the City of Seattle and United Way of King County have worked in partnership with direct service providers to increase efficiencies in the homeless response system to better serve individuals and families. These efforts have resulted in a 50 percent increase in households exiting homelessness when compared to 2013 data, fewer days waiting to be connected to permanent housing and fewer returns to homelessness. Driving results with the best available data and cultivating a culture of accountability and continuous improvement will all continue to increase our capacity to serve the most vulnerable residents of our community.

Unfortunately, changes made to our homeless system will not fully address the growing gap between housing costs and what people can afford. Federal, state and local governments need to prioritize substantial and sustainable funding to holistically address homelessness. Following the path of local giants like Amazon, Starbucks and Vulcan, businesses need to expand their engagement in solutions to homelessness, leveraging and complementing local efforts. Philanthropies, including United Way, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Raikes Foundation, Seattle Foundation, Schultz Family Foundation and more, have invested significantly in addressing homelessness. Faith communities and individuals have also stepped up to contribute time, expertise and resources, including buildings and land for shelter and housing. We all can and need to play a role in addressing homelessness to make King County a place where all people can have a place to call home. Get in touch with us with your ideas for taking action.”

Legal Assistance for Households Experiencing Homelessness Survey

What legal assistance needs do households experiencing homelessness have around housing debt or evictions? If you have experience negotiating or trying to mitigate housing debt or evictions, we need your insights! Please complete this short survey. For questions contact

Office of Homeless Youth 2017 Report: Research and Recommendations on Host Home Programs

During the 2016 regular legislative session, the Washington Legislature unanimously passed Substitute House Bill 2440, which exempted host home programs that serve youth from licensing requirements, including for foster care. While different host home program models exist, the 2016 legislation focused on host home programs in Washington that match young people under age 18 who are experiencing homelessness, housing instability, or family crisis, with a community member who is willing to provide housing and other support to the young person.

A recently released report includes an overview of the existing host home programs in Washington that serve homeless youth; provides recommendations for the Legislature, host home programs, and the Office of Homeless Youth; and identifies areas for future study.

United Way of King County 2017 Day of Caring

United Way of King County’s Day of Caring is on September 15, and they are actively looking for organizations who are willing to host a project for a team of volunteers.

Click here to learn how to learn how to register. You can also check out UWKC’s Day of Caring Non Profit Resource Guide, which has links to FAQ’s, project ideas, helpful tips and more. If you have any questions, please contact us at

Basic Immigration Law Training

The City of Seattle Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs, King County Office of Equity and Social Justice, OneAmerica’s Washington New Americans Program, and the State of Washington’s Office of Refugee and Immigrant Assistance are pleased to announce the open application process for the 2017 40-hour Basic Immigration Law Training to be held in Seattle this fall. The intensive five-day training is designed for staff working at Washington state-based nonprofit agencies that serve immigrants. At the end of the training, you will have the basic knowledge to be eligible for partial accreditation from the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and to represent clients before US Citizenship and Immigration Services.

When: Monday, October 30 to Friday, November 3 (5 full days), 8:30am-5:00pm each day

Where: SEIU 775, 215 Columbia St, Seattle, WA 98104

Who can apply: Preference will be given to applicants who meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Staff of currently DOJ-recognized organizations or organizations with existing plans to seek DOJ recognition.
  • Long-term volunteers may be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • Applicants who work in geographic areas not well-served by existing immigration providers.
  • Applicants who serve underrepresented ethnic or language groups.
  • Applicants who are not already individually DOJ-accredited.

Applications must be received by Friday, August 18, 2017 at 8 pm. For more information or for an application form, please visit: or contact Rosana Donoso Barredo at

DOJ Office of Legal Access Programs Frequently Asked Questions


Back to School Extravaganza

Mary's Place

Now Accepting Applications for the All Home Consumer Advisory Council

In partnership with consumers and the Coordinating Board consumer representatives, All Home is resuming a membership based model for the All Home Consumer Advisory Council (CAC). This model will offer members the ability to learn and grow together, to more fully understand the intricacies of the Continuum of Care, and to work closer with the Coordinating Board to have more intentional and deliberate recommendations for policies and systems change. Focus groups, listening sessions and other ways to engage consumers will continue in addition to the CAC.

While applications will be accepted on an on-going basis, we will consider applications submitted by Friday, September 8th for the first round of CAC membership. The first membership based CAC meeting will be held on Wednesday, September 27th. For more information or to download the membership application visit the Consumer Advisory Council page on the All Home website or email questions to

All Home Capacity Building


All Home recently announced an LOI process to develop a pool of technical assistance providers from which homeless housing and service providers in King County can select. Due to some unexpected technical difficulties resulting from website updates during the solicitation period and ongoing reflection of our own racial equity practices, we would like to extend the solicitation period through August 31. Doing so will allow us to more actively advertise and solicit technical assistance providers from women, LGBTQ and minority-led firms/businesses. All Home will continue to move forward with the timeline in the original LOI (activating the pool in mid-August), but will also roll in new TA providers as LOIs are received.

LOI details and materials can be found on our website here:

We appreciate everyone who already submitted materials and look forward to working with you and others in the future. Please reach out to Triina Van at with any questions. Thank you again.

For Nonprofits Serving People Experiencing Homelessness (in King County): More information regarding technical assistance opportunities will be made available in the coming weeks. If you are interested in learning more about what resources may be available, please contact Triina Van. You can also complete our online survey that includes questions about training needs and technical assistance resources.


Please visit our Training and Technical Assistance webpage to find out more information and register for upcoming learning opportunities. If you have specific thoughts about our local training and TA efforts, please take a moment to complete this survey to help us develop and refine our future curriculum. We appreciate your input!

Training Spotlight: Housing First & Harm Reduction | Next date: August 14, 2017 9:00am – 3:30pm | Updated Location: Shoreline Conference Center, Ballinger Room (18560 1st Avenue NE, Shoreline) | Register Here!
This workshop explores principles of Housing First & Harm Reduction and how to incorporate them into your work, regardless of your program model.

Other upcoming sessions include:
Homeless Housing & Services in King County: The “System” Explained (September 7) Register Here!
Racial Equity and Homelessness (September 13) Register Here!

Each training session now has an active waitlist. Please do sign up even if we’ve reached capacity should a spot open up. If you need to cancel your registration, you can access that through

Job Opportunities

United Way of King County – AmeriCorps

Fuel Your Future Team
Housing Ready Crisis Resilient Team

Neighborhood House

Aging & Disability Resource Manager

Friends of Youth

Mental Health Specialist (Kirkland)
Director of Human Resources (Kirkland)
P/T Clinical Coordinator (North Bend)
Foster Parent Recruiter (Renton)
Youth Employment Specialist (Redmond)

Compass Housing Alliance

Program Manager at Hammond House Women’s Shelter
Building Specialist
Program Manager


To keep current on regional tent encampments and/or volunteer:


A safe and restful weekend to all, ….. be grateful for safety, recognize where it is missing, and remember those who are homeless, at risk, their families, and their well-being, and to all who serve with compassion and grace…...

The Rev. Bill Kirlin-Hackett, Director, The Interfaith Task Force on Homelessness

In residence at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, 3030 Bellevue Way NE, Bellevue WA 98004

425.442.5418 (under reconstruction)

ITFH on Facebook Kirhac blog for ITFH

Ring the bell that still can ring! Forget your perfect offering!

There is a crack, a crack in everything.

That’s how the light gets in.

Leonard Cohen RIP



Homelessness, T. (2017). Interfaith Task Force on Homelessness - Update. Retrieved from


To add a comment, please Log In.