Pilot Program Looks At Equity In Helping The Homeless
NWPB’s Lauren Gallup looks at a pilot program aimed at better helping homeless people in minority communities / Runtime – 2:13
Pierce County’s Continuum of Care recently completed a Department of Housing and Urban Development pilot project to improve racial equity in coordinated entry systems for those experiencing homelessness.
HUD recruited eight COCs across the country to participate in the pilot projects in 2020, says Mike Craw, faculty member at Evergreen State College, one of the team members for the project.
“The goal of that project was to identify one concrete improvement that COC, team of care, could make in its coordinated entry system to improve racial equity over the term of that, of that pilot project,” Craw said.
Craw says they decided to look at how the COC could improve cultural competence in the system of coordinated entry in the county.
There was already a partnership aiming to do this between Catholic Community Services and Tacoma Ministerial Alliance. Their goal was to better serve Black families in Tacoma, Craw says.
“Our equity demo project really focused on ‘let’s describe how that relationship worked, and evaluate it and see if we can expand it and extend it in ways that would improve coordinated entry for other marginalized and vulnerable populations across Pierce County and Tacoma in particular,’” Craw said.
Craw and Carolyn Weisz, professor of the University of Puget Sound, two of the many individuals who worked on the pilot, presented their findings to the COC last week.
Through interviews with clients going through the system, the team found there were frequent themes of confusion and complexity when navigating the system of coordinated entry.
Findings from the project included the importance of case workers in helping clients navigate coordinated entry systems. Also, there is a lack of affordable housing in the county.
Another finding was folks who identify as Black or African American experience both interpersonal and systemic racism when searching for housing and navigating services.
Weisz addressed this in her presentation to the COC.
“In terms of racial discrimination and trauma, that’s something people are bringing with them into the process,” Weisz said. “And cultural hubs, services and cultural competency seem important for addressing that reality.”
The report states that having a caseworker who shares the client’s identity may help build a trusting relationship with navigating systems.
Further findings and recommendations were listed in the report for folks working in the COC to take into consideration in their work.
The Tacoma City Council passed an ordinance to ban camping within 10 blocks of emergency shelters in the city.
Zev Cook, a staff organizer with Home in Tacoma For All, says they’ll be taking the city to court over the ordinance.
Continue Reading Home in Tacoma For All says they will fight Tacoma camping ban
Next week, Tacoma City Council is scheduled to vote on an ordinance that would ban public-camping within 10 blocks of homeless shelters.
Council member John Hines, who represents district one, introduced the ordinance. He said his goal is to make shelters, and the surrounding neighborhoods around them, safer.
Continue Reading Tacoma City Council to vote on encampment ban around homeless shelters
Local Health Care Provider Says Rate Of Homeless Patients Increased During Pandemic Continue Reading Local Health Care Provider Says Rate Of Homeless Patients Increased During Pandemic