Ordinance Addressing People Experiencing Homelessness for Pierce County Council

Update: By a majority of votes cast, SENCo approved signing on to this Ordinance. Thank you to everyone who took the time to vote!

Please see below for text of the ordinance written by SENCo Vice Chair Melissa Knott to Pierce County Council regarding people experiencing homelessness here in Pierce County. A vote for SENCo to sign-on to this ordinance is now being held.

As a reminder, you are eligible to take part in SENCo votes as any resident, renter, or owner of property, business, or nonprofit and their employees, who live or work within the SENCo Neighborhood Council Boundary.

Please visit https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2D52GK8 to register your vote by January 10 at 11:59pm.

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Sponsored by: Melissa Knott

Requested by: The collective communities of Pierce County

Ordinance No. 2021-?

Whereas, it is in the best interests of the entire Pierce County community to take bold steps to reduce chronic, episodic, transitional, and hidden homeless/houselessness in our county; and

Whereas, the measure of progress for The Tacoma, Lakewood, and Pierce County Continuum of Care Plan to end Homelessness created in 2012 was to end chronic homelessness by 2015, reduce all homelessness by 50% by 2016, and reduce family homelessness by 50% by 2021[1], has failed the community of Pierce County; and

Whereas, the County Council and the community has an impetus to create an emergency ordinance to preserve the health, safety, and peace of the public as understood from its mission statement[2]; and

Whereas, having a consistent safe place to stay drastically reduces ones chances of dying from the natural elements, chronic medical issues, and/or contracting and spreading Covid 19[3]; and

Whereas, the social and economic consequences of Covid 19 has rapidly displaced friends and families native to the United States, Washington, and Pierce County[4]; and

Whereas, the availability of stable housing, even temporary housing, statistically deters crime and protects the lives of everyone who lives within our community[5]; and

Whereas, the impact of living without a stable home disturbs the peace of our houseless community members in physical, intellectual, emotional, and social ways; and

Whereas, all of these imperatives can be addressed by assisting our community members who experience homelessness by providing temporary stable housing and the social services they need to effectively apply for the assistance they are entitled to, to meet their housing needs; and

Whereas, it is unacceptable to have no fully operational human resource department in the middle of a pandemic and economic depression to address these specific needs of our community[6]; and

Whereas, the lack of a structured plan to deal with systemic homelessness in Pierce County has allowed the current economic crisis to push families into homelessness which in turn disturbs the health, safety, and peace of our entire community;

Now Therefore,

BE IT ORDAINED by the Council of Pierce County

Section 1.  The Pierce County Council hereby authorizes the immediate reopening of the human services department and grants an additional 200,000 thousand dollars for additional temporary staff with the express purpose of registering individuals struggling in our community for the Federal Cares Act with an emphasis on our homeless residents, those without access to technology for the purpose of applying and those threatened of becoming homeless.

Section 2. The Pierce County Council hereby authorizes a sum of no less than 500,000 dollars of emergency funds to immediately produce hotel vouchers for Pierce County’s homeless communities.

Section 3. The Pierce County Council congruently will produce a plan through both the Community Development Committee and the Select Committee of Human Services to address systemic and emergency homelessness for the bieniem of 2021-2023 to be delivered no later than the first regular meeting in March.

Extra Community Info/Updates

See below for additional information from city liaisons below. Topics in bold.

Report & recommendations from Governor Inslee’s Task Force on Independent Investigations of Police

For more information, click here here for the summary, or here for the full document.

Tacoma Public Schools

January’s TPS January 2021 Updates Report

SENCo’s liaison Derek also provided the following answer to a question from the January meeting:

Question: When hybrid learning begins, what will the logistics/process be for checking that each student has submitted their online form via the Family App before coming to school?

Answer: It is the responsibility of each school’s COVID supervisor or their designee to monitor and check in students each day as students arrive. They will have a printout that tells them who has and hasn’t filled out a daily health survey. 

Those students whose parents have not completed a daily health survey will be kept in an isolation room. The COVID Supervisor or site administrator can contact the student’s parents to complete a health survey for a younger student. 

If a daily health survey cannot be completed, or if students show symptoms, they will be kept in the isolation room for monitoring until their parents can come to school to pick them up.

Tacoma Police Department

Weekly/Monthly/Yearly Crime Report for 2020

League of Women Voters

January Voter Newsletter

Recycling Beyond Curbside Project

What is the Recycling Beyond Curbside Project?

The Recycling Beyond Curbside Project is a project designed and intended to keep more recyclables out of the garbage. A lot of items can be recycled in the curbside recycling bins, however there are so many other products that can be recycled. This project assists with these that are often not recycled for various reasons including: people don’t know they can be recycled, they are not convenient, or they don’t have the time to search out the resources. This project is to help educate, find resources and help in making recycling these items more convenient.

Why was the Recycling Beyond Curbside Project started?

I made my first trip to the Tacoma Recycling Transfer Station and was shocked by all the products that could be recycled there which I had no idea about. The Recycle Flyer the city sends out only shows three items for drop off so I never looked into it more until this trip. I realized that if I was throwing all these things away because I didn’t know I could recycle them, I bet others were as well. If I was going to be making the trip to the Recycling Transfer Station to recycle my items, why not combine these with neighbors and save on gas and time instead of us all taking small boxes of items over or instead continuing to throw these items in the trash due to convenience.

What products are accepted through the Recycling Beyond Curbside Project?

The following get combined in 1 bin:

  1. Produce bags
  2. Plastic shipping envelopes, including blue & white Amazon bubble mailers
  3. Bread bags – NO other food bags
  4. Dry cleaning bags
  5. Case wrap – like around cases of water
  6. Product overwrap – like toilet paper, paper towels, etc
  7. Deflated air pillows
  8. Newspaper bags
  9. Bubble wrap
  10. Zip lock bags – MUST be clear of ALL food residue

The following get combined in 1 bin:

  1. Plastic clam shells (Plastics #1-7) – stack inside each other as best you can – MUST be clear of ALL food residue. Wash & dry these prior to recycling
  2. Plastic cups (Plastics #1-7) – Such as those from Starbucks
  3. Snap & screw on lids (Plastics #1-7)

Separate the following into their individual bins:

  1. Packing peanuts need to be in a tied plastic bag by themselves
  2. Shredded paper needs to be packed in a paper bag and secured closed so that it does not blow out or spill
  3. Batteries (Button & Household only) – Please separate rechargeable from non-rechargeable. All button batteries go with the rechargeable batteries
  4. Light bulbs (NO incandescent) – bring so they won’t break, will be combined into one box
  5. Styrofoam blocks, FDS & LPDE Foam Blocks – if large, broken down into two or three pieces, will be combined at the drop point with others. Remove any tape
  6. Empty aerosol containers – Please ensure they are empty
  7. Denim in any shape 
  8. Toothpaste tubes and caps, toothbrushes, toothpaste cartons, toothbrush outer packaging, and floss containers 
  9. ARM & HAMMER™ and OXICLEAN™ plastic pouches
  10. All brands of empty writing instruments, glue sticks, watercolor dispensers, paint sets, and flexible packaging

I can be reached at Recycling.Beyond.Curbside@gmail.com
Thanks! April Smith, Larchmont Neighborhood

Join us for SENCo General Meeting Monday 1/4 @ 7pm

Zoom Login Information

Join Meeting Online        Join Meeting by Phone: 1 253 215 8782

Meeting ID: 783 240 9538      Passcode: 236276

Our guest speakers this month:

Sound Transit’s Sagar Ramachandra with updates on the Tacoma Dome Link Extension

Nourish Southeast Tacoma Food Bank Manager Steven Curry to discuss the status of food bank operations

Have an idea for a future guest speaker? Let us know! Email senco253@gmail.com

Download a copy of the full agenda here.

VOTE: SENCo Letter to Pierce County Council Re: Ord. 2020-136

Please see above for proposed letter from SENCo to Pierce County Council regarding Ordinance 2020-136.

If you would like to vote on SENCo’s support of this letter, you are eligible as any resident, renter, or owner of property, business, or nonprofit and their employees, who live or work within the SENCo Neighborhood Council Boundary.

Please visit https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DRNLDFR to register your vote by December 11 at 11:59pm.

Join Us October 17th for a South End Bike Tour

When: Saturday, October 17th, 2020 from 1pm to 3pm

Who: South End residents, City Staff, elected officials, and YOU!

Where: Meet at Safeway on S 56th St & Park Ave 707 S 56th St, Tacoma, 98408

What: A bike tour through the beautiful South End viewing our neighborhood
from the ground level while visiting some key areas in need of improvements along the route.

Why: Why not? 😃 Also, it’s nice to see the Neighborhood with a focus on ways we can make it better, together!

💦 Rain or Shine! ☀️

Beware: This is an 8 mile bike ride with road crossings and varying road and weather conditions. Ride at your own risk.

Questions? Email the organizer, our very own District 5 Council Member Chris Beale at: chris.beale@cityoftacoma.org