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Morning Welcome Address
Tues, 8:30am - 9:00am

Toya Andreka Jean Thomas, Tenant Rights Advocate and Community Organizer 

Toya Andreka Jean Thomas is a Community Organizer who resides in Kent, WA. In 2016, Toya's family was one of the nearly 70 families at the Renton Woods Apartments who were given notice to vacate their homes simply because they were using "Section 8" Housing Choice Vouchers to help pay their rent. Toya worked to organize her neighbors to fight back against this discrimination, which resulted in the City of Renton passing an emergency ordinance banning landlords from discriminating against renters using vouchers to pay their rent. The advocacy of Renton Woods tenants raised the visibility of the impact of source of income discrimination in housing and helped build momentum for the passage of similar ordinances in other cities in South King County in 2017. Toya took her advocacy to the state capitol during the 2017 and 2018 legislative sessions and joined fellow tenant advocates from across the state to pass legislation to close this loophole in Washington's fair housing laws. Toya had a key role in the passage of Washington State's House Bill 2578 in March 2018, which enacted a strong, statewide source of income discrimination protection. Visit Toya's website here to learn more about her advocacy and tenant organizing work.

Presentation Slides

Breakout Sessions Track One
Tues, 9:20am - 10:50am

A1: Building Power Through Organizing in Your Community 
The Resident Action Project (RAP) is a statewide network people directly impacted by homelessness and housing instability. Join us to find out how to get involved and learn about our efforts to influence legislation, develop leadership, and our vision for local community organizing across the state this coming year.

Speakers:
Thanh Nguyen, Resident Action Project Leader
Thanh P. Nguyen has a concentrated background in the nonprofit and legal advocacy sectors. Her passion on issues of housing and homelessness stems from her personal experience with housing instability, she lived in low income and then section 8 housing. She participated in the Housing Alliance’s Emerging Advocates Program in 2016 and have since been actively involved in community housing and policy work groups. Thanh was an AmeriCorps VISTA Fellow at the King County Bar Association, working in their Housing Justice Project program to assist low income tenants on eviction issues. Currently, she is working at International Community Health Services in their development department.

Lisa Sawyer, Resident Action Project Leader
Lisa Sawyer is an experienced local and state-level homelessness advocate who works for safe and healthy affordable homes for everyone. Lisa has been homeless for six years, and she formerly received diversion housing assistance. She has been involved in homelessness advocacy for over five years, and she is a current member of the Resident Action Project steering committee and is a graduate of the 2014 Emerging Advocates Program. Lisa has been a Real Change newspaper vendor in Seattle for over five years and is part of Real Change’s advocacy department and has been a member of its homeless speakers’ bureau for nearly a year. She has experience testifying in City Hall, town meetings, and she testified at the state capitol in Olympia in support of House Bill 1570 (Macri) to expand funding for homelessness services during the 2018 legislative session. 

Lisa Striedinger, Resident Action Project Leader
Lisa Striedinger is a Licensed Ordained Minister, Recovery Coach and Certified Behavioral Health Peer Counselor. Lisa advocates for those without homes, educating local leaders and community members about the realities of homelessness, extending out the hand of hope, that change can happen. Because Lisa has personally experienced being without a home, her goal is to end homelessness, and bring more affordable housing and resources into her community. Lisa is currently pursuing a career in Chemical Dependency, specializing in Alcoholism, and Mental Health. She has a Certificate of completion in Botany Science, and 3 pre-apprenticeships in the Trades field. At 48, Lisa loves Jesus; music; and her family. She is a dedicated mother of 3 wonderful children; a loving grandmother to 3 beautiful grandbabies; and a faithful, loving wife to her husband, Steven Hubbard.

 

A2: Decolonizing Colonialism  
The destruction of colonization has caused the loss of Alaska Natives/American Indians’ sense of home and community. Forced colonization suppressed the culture of Alaska Natives/American Indians, which contributed to the loss of language, culture and connectivity to the land. The traumas we endured separated us as a nation and caused us to alienate away from our interconnectedness. Speakers will discuss our goal to reclaim our sense of home/community by decolonizing our approach while caring for our homeless population.

Speakers:
Derrick Belgarde, Deputy Director, Chief Seattle Club
Derrick Belgarde is an enrolled member of the Confederated Tribes of the Siletz Indians in Oregon and also Chippewa Cree from Montana. Derrick is currently the Deputy Director of the Chief Seattle Club, a day-center that serves urban Native Americans. Derrick is also a proud member of the Capitol Hill Housing Board, CEA advisory team, DESC Board, and the Affordable Housing Advisory Board (AHAB). He completed his undergraduate degree magna cum laude in 2013 in Public Affairs, and he went on to complete his Master’s in Public Administration in 2015, both at Seattle University. He is a proud father of three and is married to Lua Belgarde.

Nawiishtunmi Conner, Case Manager Director, Chief Seattle Club
Nawiishtunmi Conner is an enrolled member of the Yakama Nation and part of the Blackfeet tribe in Montana. Nawiishtunmi is the Case Manager Director at Chief Seattle Club. Nawiishtunmi has received her Associates of Arts in Psychology and is working toward her Bachelors of Science in Psychology. Nawiishtunmi has three children that she is actively raising and is married to Charles Conner.

A3: The Why and How of Low Barrier Housing  
Federal, state, and local homeless housing funders are increasingly recognizing the urgent need for low barrier housing. Hear from funders and providers on how fidelity to the Housing First model informs low barrier interventions, and most importantly, how to get people quickly out of homelessness and into housing.

Speakers:
Jill Esbeck, Co-Founder and Operations Director, SideWalk
Jill Esbeck, MSW is Co-founder and Operations Director for SideWalk, which is a volunteer driven homeless advocacy program providing Coordinated Entry and housing assistance through rapid rehousing for childless adults in Thurston County. Jill has over twenty-five years of experience in volunteer management and facilitation of a wide variety of training programs.  She has keen skill in system evaluations resulting in innovation and creative problem solving.   

Julie Montgomery, Washington Department of Commerce, Housing Assistance Unit
Julie Montgomery has worked with the Housing Assistance Unit at the Washington Department of Commerce for three and a half years. She manages federal and state homeless housing funds. She has experience in program evaluation, direct services, and advocacy.

Meg Martin, Director Of Homeless Services, Interfaith Works
Meg Martin is a social worker, peer counselor, and the Director of Homeless Services for Interfaith Works. Interfaith Works’ three flagship programs include: the overnight shelter, a 42-bed low-barrier shelter for highly vulnerable single adults, couples without dependent children, and their pets; the newly opened Community Care Center hygiene center and clinic in downtown Olympia; and the Navigation Team peer support case management program. Meg earned her MSW from UW Tacoma in 2013.

 

A4: You Can Do It! Supporting Domestic Violence Survivors in Housing and Homeless Programs 
If you work with homeless or unstably housed families, chances are you are working with survivors of domestic violence. Join this session to learn how you can play an important role in supporting and addressing the needs of families who experience domestic violence while keeping them safe and stable in your housing and homeless programs.

Presentation Slides

Speakers:
Linda Olsen, Housing Director, Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Linda Olson is the Housing Director with the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Linda has worked in the field of domestic violence for thirty years, serving in the roles of volunteer coordinator, shelter director, and executive director at two domestic violence agencies. She facilitated the opening of two domestic violence emergency shelters and developed a transitional housing program for survivors with drug/alcohol treatment needs.
She has graduate degrees in theology and social work.

Maria Williams, Services Director, LifeWire  
Maria Williams is the Services Director at LifeWire in Bellevue, WA. She has worked in the anti-violence movement for over ten years, and strives to specialize in advocacy practice and housing needs for marginalized populations who are facing violence, specifically chemically dependent women, immigrant families, and queer folks. Maria works to build cohesive staff teams based on a trauma informed advocacy approach, and she provides technical assistance to both domestic violence and housing programs across the country that are creating trauma informed programs.

 

A5: How to Assess and Ensure the Quality of Supportive Housing 
This session will provide a review of Supportive Housing services with a focus on quality standards that help measure its efficacy. It will also offer an overview of the necessary components that comprise quality supportive housing fidelity reviews. Attendees will develop basic tools for assessing the quality of supportive housing services in their community and gain an understanding of the mechanism of fidelity measures via the presentation of examples of quality certification tools and efforts from around the country.

Speakers:
Noah Fay, Senior Program Manager, CSH

Noah Fay is a Senior Program Manager on the National Consulting Team at CSH. He is a passionate advocate for Supportive Housing with thirteen years of experience working in the Supportive Housing field. Noah is currently involved in a variety of technical assistance, training, and consultation projects across the West Coast. These projects focus on the intersections between housing and healthcare, systems integration, and best supportive service delivery practices. Prior to his work at CSH, Noah worked in various roles at DESC, a large social service agency in Seattle. The majority of his work at DESC consisted of direct service and operational oversight of a large Supportive Housing portfolio. His past roles included Mental Health Outreach Worker, Project Manager of the nationally recognized Supportive Housing project 1811 Eastlake, and Senior Housing Program Manager. In addition to these roles, Noah has vast experience as a lead trainer for DESC’s Vulnerability Assessment Tool and has taken on prominent roles in several NIH funded research projects. Noah Fay holds a Masters of Public Administration from the University of Washington.

Whitney Joy Howard, ALTSA Supportive Housing Specialist, Department of Social and Health Services, Aging and Long Term Supports Administration
Whitney Joy Howard is a Supportive Housing Program Manager for DSHS’ Aging and Long-Term Support Administration (ALTSA). Prior to joining ALTSA, she worked at Pathways to Housing National as the Director of Training. In this capacity she provided technical assistance on the Housing First model, led fidelity reviews and assisted in research evaluations for communities across North America. Whitney Joy worked closely with the Los Angeles Veterans Affairs and contracted community partners to provide quality Housing First services. She also assisted communities across Canada systematically adopt DESC’s Vulnerability Assessment Tool (VAT) to effectively target and prioritize the most vulnerable members of a community. Earlier in her career she worked at DESC as a Housing Specialist and was closely involved with DESC’s internal coordinated housing placement as well as their Long Term Shelter Stayer Initiative. Whitney Joy holds a Master’s in Social Work with a concentration in social change. While pursuing her MSW, she was a street outreach worker for Pathways to Housing, DC and worked with Community Solution’s 100,000 Homes Campaign.

 

 

Breakout Sessions Track Two
Tues, 11:10am - 12:25am

A6: Real Talk and Data Walk
Evidence based decision-making taps into all types of data: context, experience, and research. Join us in exploring the drivers of homelessness in Washington, including statewide trends and our progress and challenges developing and implementing the most critical homeless system performance measures.

Speakers:
Emily Burgess, Homeless Housing Performance Analyst, Washington State Department of Commerce

Emily Burgess is the Homeless Housing Performance Analyst at the Washington State Department of Commerce. Emily joined Commerce in 2013 as part of the HMIS team. Prior to joining Commerce, Emily managed an emergency domestic violence shelter and service center for about ten years.

Tedd Kelleher, Managing Director, Department of Commerce, Housing Assistance Unit    
Tedd Kelleher has been with the Department of Commerce since 1994, and he is the Managing Director of the Housing Assistance Unit. Tedd manages the Homeless Housing and Assistance Act, including the implementation of the state’s Homeless Housing Strategic Plan.

 

A7: Part I: Leading with Racial Equity in the Response to Homelessness  
Homelessness is inextricably linked to racism. People of color experience homelessness at dramatically higher rates than their white counterparts, in ways that rates of poverty alone can’t explain. The homeless response system can either perpetuate racial disparities or disrupt them with intentional and targeted funding, policies and service delivery.

This session is part of a two-part session, and participants are encouraged to also attend Session A12: Part II: Practical Strategies to Advance Race Equity in Your Homeless System from 2:00pm - 3:00pm.

Speakers:
Zachary DeWolf, Program Manager, All Home
Zachary DeWolf is an enrolled member of the Chippewa Cree tribe of Rocky Boy, Montana. Zachary works as a Program Manager with All Home. Rooted in the moral belief that Racial Equity must be a part of our work to address homelessness, Zachary utilizes this perspective in his work in homelessness prevention, student homelessness, vehicle residency, and improving exits to permanent housing for Alaska Native/American Indians in Seattle/King County. Zachary is a member of the Coalition to End Urban Native Homelessness and was elected to serve as a Board Director for Seattle Public Schools in 2017. Zachary is married to his partner Derek DeWolf and they live in the Central District in Seattle with their dog Maya.

Emily Mirra, Senior Manager, Building Changes
Emily Mirra is a Senior Manager at Building Changes. She provides capacity building and technical assistance to public sector entities, service providers, and other partners in areas that support key strategies to addressing homelessness in Washington State. Prior to joining Building Changes, she worked as an adult educator in immigrant and refugee community-based organizations. Emily is a certified ESL instructor and received her BA from Vassar College.

Annie Pennucci, Director of Measurement, Learning, and Evaluation, Building Changes
Annie Pennucci, a data nerd, is the new Director of Measurement, Learning, and Evaluation at Building Changes. She has researched a wide variety of public policies including education, children’s services, employment, behavioral health, and now homelessness. She is passionate about using data to help understand and end homelessness and socioeconomic disparity.

 

A8: Implementing Diversion in Coordinated Entry 
Providers from Clark, Spokane, and Whatcom Counties will discuss how they have implemented diversion strategies in their local coordinated entry systems. Information on how strategies were adapted to meet community needs will be covered, including relative population density, family composition, and racial/ethnic demographics. Local results will be discussed.

Speakers:
Luanda Arai, Senior Manager, Building Changes

Luanda Arai is a Senior Manager of grantmaking and capacity building at Building Changes, where she partners with providers to test and learn from innovative strategies to address youth and family homelessness.

Leah Congdon, Housing Programs Coordinator, Opportunity Council
Leah Congdon has been working at Opportunity Council in Bellingham, WA for over six years, including three in her current role as Housing Program Coordinator. In addition to the Diversion project, Leah coordinates Opportunity Council’s family housing pool and coordinated entry referrals, eviction prevention, rapid re-housing, and short-term/transitional housing programs. Opportunity Council has a housing team of nineteen case managers and serves over 500 households with housing programs in Whatcom County annually.

Jackie Thomson, Assistant Director of Short-Term Housing, Catholic Charities Spokane
Jackie Thompson has her MSW and serves as the Assistant Director for Short-Term Housing for Catholic Charities in Spokane, WA where she has been for she last four years. She currently oversees Homeless Families Coordinated Assessment, Diversion, and family Rapid Re-Housing grants.

Sunny Wonder, SHOP Program Coordinator, Council for the Homeless
Sunny Wonder has worked with Council for the Homeless (CFTH) for the past year and a half and is currently a Diversion Program Coordinator. During her time working with CFTH, she has focused her efforts on integrating the Diversion approach into the county’s Coordinated Entry System. She facilitates Diversion trainings for staff and community partners, focusing on trauma informed care, strength based, and client centered principles using an equity lens. Sunny holds a Bachelor of Arts in Family Social Science from the University of Minnesota, and she will complete her Master of Social Work program at Portland State University in June.

 

A9: Harm Reduction: Blending Principles and Practice 
Housing First and Harm Reduction both have progressive guiding principles and creative person-first practices. This session will examine and review key related issues to help inform clinical approaches and skills. Effectively connecting to people around substance use is both respectful and imperative, especially in this era of epidemic use and overdose potential. During this interactive workshop we will explore myths, realities, direct and indirect Harm Reduction approaches when engaging people into housing.

Speakers:
Christina Clayton, Clinical Programs Entry Services Manager, DESC            

Christina Clayton has worked at DESC since 1999 in both direct services and program administration. She currently manages clinical programs including homeless outreach, intensive case management, assertive community treatment, crisis respite, SAMHSA grants, social work students, licensure supervision as well as providing training and consultation. She is an Affiliate Clinical Instructor at University of Washington School of Social Work.

Lisa Grillo, Clinical Supervisor, DESC

Ash Warren, Project Manager of the Crisis Diversion Interim Service Program, DESC     
Ash Warren is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Washington State and has provided direct services to individuals experiencing homelessness for the last twelve years. He has experience in nonprofit leadership development, program management, and social work supervision. In his current role as the Project Manager of the Crisis Diversion Interim Service Program within the Crisis Solutions Center at the Downtown Emergency Service Center, he oversees twenty-five multidisciplinary staff 24/7 providing crisis services to support co-occurring homeless adults. Ash is a lead trainer on topics including: Crisis Intervention (CPI), Equity and Social Justice, and working with *Trans identified staff and clients.             

 

A10: SOAR: Working with Community Partners for Access, Outreach, and Recovery 
SOAR is a national program designed to increase access to the disability income benefit programs administered by the federal Social Security Administration (SSA) for eligible adults who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness and have a serious mental illness, medical impairment, and/or a co-occurring substance use disorder. This session will discuss how service providers can work to expedite the SSA approval process for the people they are serving.

Presentation Slides - Uyen
Presentation Slides - Deanna

Speakers:    
Deanna Ballard, Social Services Instructional Designer, Washington State Department of Health and Human Services, Community Services Division      

Deanna Ballard received her Bachelor’s in Law in Justice from Central Washington University and currently works as a Social Services Instructional Designer for the Community Services Division of DSHS. Deanna started with the Department as a Social Worker in 2004 and continued working in this capacity for eleven years. During this time, she assisted people with disabilities and people who are incapacitated and are applying for cash assistance and medical coverage with eligibility and the SSI application process. From 2006-2009, she acted as a liaison for the House Bill 1290 program working closely with Department of Corrections and developing a partnership between the Snohomish County Jail, Snohomish County Human Services, and the Everett CSO so that previously incarcerated people could access benefits and an SSI application appointment with a seamless transition upon release from jail. She has recently stepped into the role of the Washington State Co-Lead for SOAR. Her work collaborating with SOAR and developing training for Social Workers within CSD energizes Deanna’s passion to ensure that people with disabilities receive the best and most timely service and assistance available to them.

Wanda Johns, HARPS Program Manager, Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery
Wanda Johns was born in Washington State and has lived near the Puget Sound all her life. Wanda earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration, focusing on Management with a minor in Economics, from St. Martin’s College in Lacey, Washington in 1998. Wanda has personally struggled with serious mental health conditions and homelessness for many years. Wanda began working as a part-time supported employee for the Mental Health Division in August of 2008. Since September 2015, Wanda has been working full-time as the Housing and Recovery through Peer Services (HARPS) Program Manager for the Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery. Wanda is also long-time member of the Division’s Office of Consumer Partnerships, and she is a Certified Peer Counselor. Wanda also is a State Lead for the SSDI/SSI Outreach Access and Recovery (SOAR) Program. Part of Wanda’s mission is to demonstrate that individuals can achieve housing stability and excel in employment despite disabling conditions with appropriate supports and accommodations. Wanda also works to dispel myths and stigma associated with behavioral health challenges.

Uyen Kashani, Professional Relations Specialist, Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, Disability Determination Services
Uyen Kashani has almost twenty-four years of state service, having started work for the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) at the end of her junior year of high school. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration from the University of Washington. Uyen joined the Professional Relations Team in 2009 with eight years of adjudication experience with the Division of Disability Determination Services (DDDS). Prior to coming to Professional Relations, Uyen had been involved in numerous work activities outside her adjudicator duties. She served as the DDDS coordinator for the Combined Fund Drive, she was the DDDS liaison for the Snohomish Homeless Project, and a training mentor for new DDDS adjudicators. In her current role, Uyen strives to fulfill DDDS’ Vision to promoting excellence and innovation in public service.

 

Lunch and Keynote Address
Tues, 12:25pm - 1:45pm

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson

Bob Ferguson is Washington State’s 18th Attorney General. As the state’s chief legal officer, Bob is committed to protecting the people of Washington against powerful interests that don’t play by the rules. He is a fourth-generation Washingtonian, a graduate of the University of Washington and New York University Law School. Bob and his wife, Colleen, are the proud parents of nine-year-old twins, Jack and Katie.

 

 

 

 

Breakout Sessions Track Three
Tues, 2:00pm - 3:30pm

A11: Lessons from the Frontiers of Data Storytelling
This interactive session will cover best practices for linking stories and data together to advance the goals of your organization and change the narrative around homelessness with policymakers, media, donors, community members, and more. We’ll demonstrate a range of tools, from data visualization and superinfographics, to storytelling apps and platforms, to applying a racial justice lens to your data.

Speakers:
Reiny Cohen, Communications Director, Washington Low Income Housing Alliance

As an advocacy communications professional, Reiny Cohen is responsible for all internal and external messaging and materials for the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance, a non-profit advocacy organization working with the state legislature to ensure that everyone in Washington has access to a safe, healthy, affordable home. Reiny came to the advocacy world by way of a career in radio with a bit of activism on the side. She spent 15 years in the Seattle radio market in a variety of on-air roles from morning show producer and sidekick, to news and traffic reporter, to hosting an afternoon show on the city’s NPR affiliate. Answering an internal call to use her communications skills for change, Reiny took a leap and tapped into her activist side to change careers: first graduating from a civic engagement and leadership program called Institute for a Democratic Future (IDF), to working on electoral and legislative campaigns, and finally landing at the Housing Alliance, where she specializes in media relations and analysis, messaging, and audience engagement. On the side, Reiny is heading into her fourth year as Program Director for IDF, mentoring future leaders to do policy and government work in their careers. She is a lifetime resident of the Pacific Northwest, and she currently lives in Seattle with her partner and their dog.

Christena Coutsoubos, Director of Strategic Communications and Development, Building Changes
Christena Coutsoubos is Director of Strategic Communications and Development at Building Changes, where she works closely with stakeholders, staff, and partners to engage passionate supporters in the vision of reducing youth and family homelessness. She excels in translating complex policy for a variety of audiences and in using data to strengthen the case for funding and policy change. Using her emphasis on storytelling, she has helped design small, focused, intimate and highly creative donor and decision-maker engagement events that lead to deeper connection and commitment. Christena has twenty years’ experience in volunteer engagement, development, communications, program leadership and management, and direct service in the nonprofit sector. She holds a BA in Sociology from Barnard College, Columbia University in New York City, and a Masters in Nonprofit Leadership from Seattle University.

Catherine Hinrichsen, Project Director, Seattle University Project on Family Homelessness
Catherine Hinrichsen is Project Director of the Seattle University Project on Family Homelessness, a communications and advocacy program funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that uses journalism, art, and storytelling to connect the community to meaningful action. Among Seattle University’s storytelling projects are collaborations with StoryCorps and The Moth that yielded nationally-aired radio stories about local homelessness. Catherine’s storytelling expertise includes fifteen years as a consultant specializing in helping organizations win awards for their communications programs. Her career spans corporate, agency and nonprofit work, and she has taught public relations courses at Seattle University, University of Washington and University of Nevada (Reno). She holds a BA in Journalism (public relations emphasis) and Speech Communication from the University of Nevada (Reno) and an MA in Communications from the University of Washington.

 

A12: Part II: Practical Strategies to Advance Race Equity in Your Homeless System  
We know there’s a problem; so what do we do about it? You are invited to a conversational-style, collaborative effort to ‘workshop’ ways you and your agency can move the needle in your sphere of influence. The goal: to eliminate racial disparities in your homeless response system. Is this possible? Absolutely! Recent events and data have led to a paradigm shift toward racial equity and anti-oppressive practices. This workshop offers ways you can move from idea to implementation.

This session is part of a two-part session, and participants are encouraged to also attend Session A7: Part I: Leading with Racial Equity in the Response to Homelessness from 11:10am - 12:25pm. 

Speakers
Kate Budd, Executive Director, Council for the Homeless
Kate Budd serves as the executive director of the Council for the Homeless, a local non-profit providing leadership, advocacy and solutions to prevent and end homelessness in Clark County. Kate serves as the co-chair of the statewide Washington Low Income Housing Alliance Homelessness Advisory Committee, a member of the Regional Health Improvement Plan (RHIP) Council and the Leadership Clark County Curriculum Committee. Kate has spent her entire career focusing on homelessness, housing and volunteer programs including, seven years as a homeless programs coordinator with Clark County Department of Community Services and five years providing direct service programming in various capacities to people who are homeless.  She is a proud AmeriCorps Alumni, holds a Master of Social Work from Eastern Washington University, and enjoys exploring new brunch spots on the weekend.

Dimitri Groce, Member Organizer, Washington Low Income Housing Alliance
Dimitri Groce is a Member Organizer for the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance. In this role, he helps promote advocacy with board members for organizations that increase access to affordable housing and provide services for people experiencing housing instability and homelessness. Dimitri is energized by how many different organizations he gets to work with to infuse advocacy at all levels, and the potential that board volunteers have to influence lawmakers. Dimitri comes to organizing through work in civic engagement, and grassroots work for economic and environmental justice.

Caroline Lopez, Senior Diversion Coordinator, Council for the Homeless
Caroline Lopez has worked for Council for the Homeless (CFTH) for the last five years and is currently a Senior Diversion Coordinator. She facilitates the Trauma Informed/Equity Workgroup meetings for CFTH staff. Caroline holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles and is currently enrolled in the Master of Social Work program at Portland State University within the Practice in Leadership with Communities and Organizations concentration. She is a council member of the Southwest Washington League of United Latin American Citizens and a member of the group, Women of Color Organizing for Racial Justice. Caroline has also been a Dharma meditation teacher since 2004. 

Sunny Wonder, SHOP Program Coordinator, Council for the Homeless
Sunny Wonder has worked with Council for the Homeless (CFTH) for the past year and a half and is currently a Diversion Program Coordinator. During her time working with CFTH, she has focused her efforts on integrating the Diversion approach into the county’s Coordinated Entry System. She facilitates Diversion trainings for staff and community partners, focusing on trauma informed care, strength based, and client centered principles using an equity lens. Sunny holds a Bachelor of Arts in Family Social Science from the University of Minnesota, and she will complete her Master of Social Work program at Portland State University in June.

 

A13: Providing Services to LGBTQIA Homeless Youth and Young Adults 
This interactive workshop will help providers assess their programs for areas of growth and success in working with youth and young adults in the LGBTQIA community. Participants will engage in learning best practices, LGBTQIA terminology, and identifying barriers within programs that interfere with providing services to LGBTQIA youth and young adults.

Speakers:
Erin Chapman-Smith, Director of Over-18 Housing Services, YouthCare

Erin Chapman-Smith has made a focus in her career on serving the most vulnerable youth in our communities. Her expertise is in helping homeless youth stabilize and rebuild. Erin has worked across all levels of Transitional Living Programs (TLP) include the only LGBTQ focused TLP in Washington State. She currently serves as the Director of Over-18 Housing Services at YouthCare.

Emma York-Jones, Director of Under-18 Housing and Shelter Services, YouthCare
Emma York-Jone's devotion to working with youth and young adults stemmed from serving in the Peace Corps in Tanzania. Upon her return, she began working at YouthCare applying many of the same skills. She now serves as the YouthCare's Director of Under-18 Housing and Shelter Services.

 

A14: Fair Housing Rights and Regulations  
This session will provide an overview of fair housing rights for residents and the responsibilities of shelter and low-income housing providers under the law. The session will focus on helping conference attendees understand how to address barriers to equitable access to housing for protected classes, including persons with disabilities, older persons, survivors of domestic violence, LGBTQ populations, and people with criminal records.

Speakers:
Joanne Watson, Fair Housing Investigator, Fair Housing Center of Washington        
Joanne Watson is the Fair Housing Investigator for Fair Housing Center of Washington, where she advocates and investigates claims of discrimination. Trained as a paralegal, prior to coming to Fair Housing Center of Washington, Joanne has worked as a landlord liaison with homeless veterans and as the Program Coordinator for the Tacoma/ Pierce County Volunteer Legal Services Program. Joanne has lived in the Gig Harbor area since 1979 and is the wife of a military veteran, mother of six mostly grown children and one bored house cat.

 

A15: Providing Supported Employment Services to Enhance Health Outcomes 
The principles between Supportive Housing and Housing First are parallel to the principles of the Individual Placement and Support supported employment services model. This session will provide practical tools to help individuals pursue employment and provide agencies tools and resources to implement supported employment services. Participants will learn how long-term unemployment impacts health along with new opportunities to expand supported employment through the state’s Medicaid Demonstration Transformation.

Speaker:
Melodie Pazolt, Supported Employment/Supported Housing Program Administrator, Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery Services

Ms. Melodie Pazolt has over twenty-five years experience in community rehabilitation with people with mental illness and people with developmental disabilities. She has operated fifteen independent grants and contracts, direct services to consumers of mental health services, and has managed the activities of a core mental health funded employment program. She formerly was the manager of the Columbia River Mental Health Services Clearview Employment Program. At Columbia River Mental Health, she supervised over thirty full time staff who operate mental health employment programs, welfare to work programs, mental health, developmental disability, vocational rehabilitation, Workforce Investment Act contract services, and multiple federal grants serving youth and adults with disabilities, as well as individuals who are homeless. Prior to her position at DSHS-DBHR, she worked for the Clark County Department of Community Services as the Consumer and Stakeholder Affairs Manager. Ms. Pazolt is currently the Supported Employment/Supported Housing Program Administrator for the Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery services. Ms. Pazolt brings an understanding of not only the issues that face individuals with psychiatric disorders, but an overall understanding of the various systems that may be involved in that person’s life.

 

Breakout Sessions Track Four
Tues, 3:50pm - 5:05pm

A16: Federal Housing and Homelessness Policy Update 
Federal housing and homelessness policy has shifted dramatically during President Trump’s first year in office. This session will include policy updates ranging from budget and benefit cuts, to housing finance reform, and fair housing. Participants will get a behind-the-scenes look at how the Republican-led House and Senate may try to enact their legislative priorities before the 2018 midterm elections and will learn how you can affect federal policy from right here at home.

Speaker:
Sarah Mickelson, Senior Director of Public Policy, National Low Income Housing Coalition

Sarah Mickelson serves as the Senior Director of Public Policy at the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC). Sarah previously worked with Enterprise Community Partners as a Senior Analyst. In this role, she focused on building Congressional support for federal affordable housing and community development appropriations, including funding for programs administered by HUD and USDA. Prior to Enterprise, Sarah served as Policy Counsel at Rapoza Associates, a government affairs and lobbying firm specializing in affordable housing and community development, where she focused largely on rural development. While working as a Legislative and Policy Analyst at the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, Sarah’s portfolio included expanding access to affordable mortgage and small business credit in low-income communities. Sarah graduated from the University of Connecticut, School of Law after receiving her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia. She has also been a member of the Virginia State Bar since 2009.

 

A17: It Takes a Village: Helping Refugees Find Homes in Washington State 
Washington ranks fourth in the nation for the number of refugees resettling in our communities. This session will review the refugee resettlement experience and share lessons learned by Washington’s Office of Refugee and Immigrant Assistance from the King County Refugee Housing Summit and the Refugee Housing Stabilization Pilot implemented in 2016. Information will be applicable to communities across the state.

Speakers:
Hamdi Abdulle, Executive Director, Somali Youth and Family Club

Hamdi Abdulle is the Executive Director and co-founder of Somali Youth and Family Club and a former Somali Teacher. She is passionate about equity and is working toward ending homelessness as well as real economic development for the refugee families through strengthening families and building authentic relationships. Mrs. Abdulle is passionate about increasing the awareness and civic education of parents and families in the refugee and immigrant community. She has participated in many conferences in King County around ending homelessness, advocating for refugee issues such as the disparity in our education and health systems, jobs, homelessness, and lack of culturally competent services. Mrs. Abdulle is fearlessly advocating for equitable economic development for the ethnic minority refugee communities of King County. Under her leadership, SYFC was nominated in 2014 for a Family Engagement Award for managing services to help over 500 refugee families in the South King County Road Map region. Hamdi is a member of the Race to the TOP (RTTT) Executive Committee for the Road Map region, a member of the Community Café Collaborative of Washington, a partner of Social Venture Partners (SVP) which supports her activism in the community, an Advisory Board member of the Seattle University School of Theology and Ministry Center for Religious Wisdom & World Affairs, a member of All Home of King County Coordinating Board, and Renton Mayors Task Force. Hamdi is nominated by Executive Dow Constantine to serve on the Standing Advisory Panel (SAP) to assist the Regional Affordable Housing Task Force in their work addressing affordable housing issues throughout King County. She is also a member of One Table Community Action Workgroups led by King County executive Dow Constantine Mayor Jenny Durkan of Seattle and Mayor Nancy Backus of Auburn to support ending the existing housing crisis in our region. Ms. Abdulle is a recipient of MLK medal of distinguished services award from King County council member and Chair Joe McDermott. Hamdi has a Teaching degree from Somalia and received her Bsc. degree from George Mason University Fairfax Virginia.

Mahnaz Eshetu, Executive Director, Refugee Women's Alliance
As Executive Director of ReWA, Mahnaz Eshetu currently oversees an organization that operates from 10 sites in King County, and is comprised of 130 staff members with the capability of speaking 37 different languages and dialects. Many of ReWA staff are refugees or immigrants. They work together to deliver bilingual and bicultural services to help clients gain English and job-related skills, find employment, maintain stability, and eventually thrive in their adoptive country. ReWA has a broad base of funding, including contributions of individual donors, federal and local governments, United Way, private foundations, and corporations.  
Prior to joining REWA as an executive director, Mahnaz has passionately supported the mission of ReWA for over six years, serving as the Board Chair. She is the Past Co–chair of University of Washington Business and Economic Development Center Advisory Board, Board member of Community Capital Development and Past Board member of Tacoma Affordable Housing Consortium.
Prior to joining ReWA, Mahnaz served as the Vice President–Real Estate Lending for KeyBank Community Development where she led community development lending including affordable housing in the state of Washington, using tax credit and other customized financing tools to help build stronger communities.
Mahnaz has over 20 years of experience in community development, economic development, and higher education field.  
Mahnaz holds an MBA with emphasis in economics and marketing, BA in Health Care Administration and a BA in Accounting.

Jennifer Malloy, Program Administrator, Washington Department of Social and Health Services, Office of Refugee and Immigrant Assistance
Jennifer Malloy began her work with refugees in Vietnam in 1992 where she taught English to those designated for U.S. and Canadian resettlement. She has worked with refugees and immigrants in Washington State since 1995 where her focus has been on refugee resettlement, English language instruction and program management. Prior to joining the Washington Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS), she worked for a variety of agencies serving refugees and immigrants including the International Rescue Committee, Catholic Community Services, the Tacoma Community House Training Project and Literacy Source. She currently serves as the Administrator for the DSHS Office of Refugee and Immigrant Assistance (ORIA).  ORIA has fourteen programs providing a variety of services and supports for refugees and immigrants, including employment, education, naturalization and case management.

Katie Stoppler, Orientation and Service Coordinator, World Relief
Katie Stoppler is a Health and Wellness Caseworker with World Relief Seattle (WRS). WRS welcomes and serves refugees from the time they land at SeaTac Airport to the time they reach citizenship with the vision to see every refugee welcomed by community, rooted in community, and empowered for community. Katie has worked with WRS for the last three years to provide ongoing, extended case management services to refugee communities in South King County. She works with families throughout their resettlement process to remove barriers to self-sufficiency, many of which stem from the need for stable housing.

 

A18: Improve Your Leadership, Increase Your Impact: Strategies for Developing Leaders in the Social Service Sector 
Social services face unique employee engagement challenges, including lower wages, lack of bonus or reward incentive programs, long hours doing emotional labor, secondary trauma and related burnout, high caseloads, and more. Given the difficult nature of our work, leadership becomes simultaneously more crucial and increasingly scarce. Learn why leadership is the top factor in employee engagement and how to leverage this knowledge to improve outcomes across the board, including strategies for developing leaders at every level from front-line supervisors to senior management.

Speaker:
Sarah Wolfer, HOST Project Manager, DESC                        

Sarah Wolfer graduated with her Masters in Social Work in 2012 from Barry University in Miami, FL. Sarah has held several leadership roles in the social work field totaling about four years in both Miami, FL and Seattle, WA. Sarah is currently the Project Manager of DESC's Homeless Outreach Stabilization and Transition (HOST) program, which works to serve the most vulnerable adults experiencing homelessness in Seattle and King County. In addition to working with clients, Sarah is passionate about leadership, staff development, team building, productivity, and finding new ways to engage employees in the social service sector.

 

A19: Expanding Your Workforce With Peer Support  
Peer Support is a unique workforce that is proven to have a positive impact on the long-term recovery of the people we serve. Learn if your organization could benefit by adding Peer Support housing services. This session will cover certified peer counseling training programs, continuing education opportunities, and organizational support for operationalizing this new workforce. Bring your questions about the possibilities for peer support!

Presentation Slides

Speakers:
Wanda Johns, HARPS Program Manager, Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery

Wanda Johns was born in Washington State and has lived near the Puget Sound all her life. Wanda earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration, focusing on Management with a minor in Economics, from St. Martin’s College in Lacey, Washington in 1998. Wanda has personally struggled with serious mental health conditions and homelessness for many years. Wanda began working as a part-time supported employee for the Mental Health Division in August of 2008. Since September 2015, Wanda has been working full-time as the Housing and Recovery through Peer Services (HARPS) Program Manager for the Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery. Wanda is also long-time member of the Division’s Office of Consumer Partnerships, and she is a Certified Peer Counselor. Wanda also is a State Lead for the SSDI/SSI Outreach Access and Recovery (SOAR) Program. Part of Wanda’s mission is to demonstrate that individuals can achieve housing stability and excel in employment despite disabling conditions with appropriate supports and accommodations. Wanda also works to dispel myths and stigma associated with behavioral health challenges.     

Pattie Marshall, Peer Support Program Manager, Department of Social and Health Services, Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery
Pattie Marshall is the Peer Support Program Manager for the Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery where she oversees the certified Peer trainings, continuing education, and is the Peer lead on the Peer Bridger project at WSH. Pattie has spent the past twenty years building her skills in the human services arenas, including earning her Bachelor degree in 2016. Pattie has led an active career in peer support, domestic violence advocacy, housing programs, and youth violence prevention work. She is an effective manager and promotes recovery and wellness in organizations to reduce stigma and increase strength based programs throughout Washington State. Pattie uses her lived experience, sense of humor, and passion for recovery to engage in conversations and effect change. She is a highly rated and exceptional facilitator on many peer support topics including: organizational development, ethics and boundaries, and trauma informed care.

        

A20: Medicaid Housing and Employment Services for People Who are Homeless 
Washington launched the Foundational Community Supports program in January 2018, which allows for supportive housing and supported employment services through Medicaid for targeted populations. This session will provide a program overview, including the types of services and who qualifies for them, how to get involved, as well as an update on other efforts and new resources related to the needs of people experiencing chronic homelessness and people exiting institutions or treatment facilities.

Speakers:
Jon Brumbach, Senior Health Policy Analyst, Washington State Healthcare Authority

Jon Brumbach is a Senior Health Policy Analyst with the Washington State Health Care Authority (HCA). Jon joined HCA in 2015 to work on the state’s Section 1115 Medicaid Transformation Demonstration and act as the agency lead for the Foundational Community Supports program, which creates two targeted Medicaid benefits for supportive housing and supported employment services. Jon has previously worked as an advocate and consultant for health care, child welfare, and youth homelessness policy. He received his Bachelor Degree from Washington State University and his Master of Public Administration from the University of Washington.

Torri Canda, Innovative Programs Integration Director, Amerigroup Washington
Torri Canda is the Innovative Program Integration Director at Amerigroup Washington. Ms. Canda is a licensed clinical social worker and has over 20 years of experience in behavioral health and managed care. Ms. Canda has experience in trauma informed care across behavioral health and domestic violence sectors, behavioral health integration, and helped lead the efforts for the statewide health home implementation. Ms. Canda currently oversees the Foundational Community Supports Program for Amerigroup’s Third Party Administrator contract, which is Initiative 3 of the 1115 Medicaid Transformation.

Melodie Pazolt, Supported Employment/Supportive Housing Program Administrator, Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery, Washington State Department of Social and Health Services
Ms. Melodie Pazolt has over twenty-five years experience in community rehabilitation with people with mental illness and people with developmental disabilities. She has operated fifteen independent grants and contracts, direct services to consumers of mental health services, and has managed the activities of a core mental health funded employment program. She formerly was the manager of the Columbia River Mental Health Services Clearview Employment Program. At Columbia River Mental Health, she supervised over thirty full time staff who operate mental health employment programs, welfare to work programs, mental health, developmental disability, vocational rehabilitation, Workforce Investment Act contract services, and multiple federal grants serving youth and adults with disabilities, as well as individuals who are homeless. Prior to her position at DSHS-DBHR, she worked for the Clark County Department of Community Services as the Consumer and Stakeholder Affairs Manager. Ms. Pazolt is currently the Supported Employment/Supported Housing Program Administrator for the Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery services. Ms. Pazolt brings an understanding of not only the issues that face individuals with psychiatric disorders, but an overall understanding of the various systems that may be involved in that person’s life.

Cary Retlin, Behavioral Health Housing Administrator, Washington State Department of Commerce
Cary Retlin is the Behavioral Health Housing Administrator at the Washington State Department of Commerce. He is committed to improving access to housing for people with behavioral health and substance use challenges – especially those who are homeless.
Previously, he worked at the Statewide Reentry Council and served as Interim Executive Director during a national leadership search. The Council is focused on increasing the success of people reentering the community after incarceration. Cary also staffed the Governor-appointed Affordable Housing Advisory Board, including coordinating the 2015 Affordable Housing Needs Study. He collaborated with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and DSHS to reduce unsheltered families through100 Day Challenges in six Washington Counties. Prior to working in government, Cary was a supported employment job developer and job coach for people with a variety of barriers to employment at Morningside in Southwest Washington. Cary currently serves on the KNKX Public Radio Community Advisory Board. He was a producer for Olympia’s first independent TED event, served as an Olympia Planning Commissioner, and as a United Way funding panelist. And, Cary is a total bird nerd. He wants to talk about that bird that you’ve been seeing. He has a BS in Environmental Science from the Audubon Expedition Institute and an MPA from the Evergreen State College.

 

Breakout Sessions Track Five
Wed, 9:00am - 10:30am

B1: Using Local Options to Meet Affordable Housing Needs 
Communities are increasingly utilizing local options to meet their affordable housing needs. Learn what it takes to pass a levy, sales tax, or other ballot measure to raise revenue for homes and services. We will hear from those who have led successful campaigns across the state about planning a campaign, what messages work, facing an opposition campaign, and more! This session will include a special exploration of building campaigns in rural communities.

Speakers:
Gayl Curtiss, Affordable Housing Advocate
Gayl Curtiss earned both her BA and MBA from Central Washington University. Before retirement, she was the General Manager for the largest marketing firm in the northwest. As a community activist for affordable housing in Ellensburg, she holds positions on the following boards, committees, and commissions: Ellensburg Planning Commission, Ellensburg Housing Committee, Housing and Homeless Committee of Kittitas County, Housing and Homeless Network of Kittitas County, and FISH (Friends in Service to Humanity; Kittitas County Food Bank). She was in charge of marketing and messaging for Ellensburg’s Proposition One – the first voter approved affordable housing program in Washington State funded by an increase in sales tax.

Mallory Hagel, Campaign Manager, Yes for Homes Coalition of San Juan County        
Mallory Hagel is the Campaign Manager for the Yes for Homes Coalition of San Juan County. After experiencing housing instability in her small island community, Mallory brought her ten years of organizing experience to the OPAL Community Land Trust energized to address the local housing problem head on. Mallory also sits on the San Juan County Housing Bank Commission, volunteers as an EMT at the local fire department, and runs an outdoor adventure program for people of size. In her copious amounts of free time she enjoys sailing other people's boats.

Amy Reynolds, Deputy Director, Share Vancouver.
Amy has worked for Share for the past 16 years, beginning as a swing shift case manager, moving to a program director, and now the deputy director.  She earned her Master’s in Social Work from Portland State University in 2005. She served on the board of the National Association of Social Work, Oregon Chapter for seven years and the Volunteer Lawyers Program for six years. She is the currently the chair of the Continuum of Care Steering Committee in Clark County, WA

Angela San Filippo, Long Range Planner, City of Ellensburg Community Development Department
Angela San Filippo earned her Bachelor of Science degree from University of Hawaii and Master in Community and Regional Planning from University of Oregon. She works as a Long Range Planner at the City of Ellensburg Community Development Department. She led the 2017 update to the City’s comprehensive plan and is currently working on revising the City’s land development code to address a variety of issues including incentives to create a wider variety of housing types, potential barriers to missing middle housing types, and critical areas regulations.

 

B2: It's Not About Grapes, Lettuce, Dairy, Cows, and Cheese—It's About People.  
Join us to learn about the people that labor in the fields, dairy farms, and feedlots, of Washington state. We will learn more about farm workers through storytelling, and their efforts to sustain their livelihoods with dignity and respect. We will also be including a housing lens, with a an anti-racist framework that will give us context to the unique layers of housing conditions that farm workers face.

Indira Trejo, Global Impact Coordinator, United Farm Workers
Indira was born in Riverside, CA and raised in a small town in Veracruz, Mexico. She worked for six years in the insurance industry, and later took time off from her career to complete her bachelor’s degree.
She joined the UFW after graduating with a Bachelor of the Arts in Politics, Philosophy and Economics and a minor in Human Rights from the University of Washington-Tacoma (UWT).
While at UWT, she founded the Latino Student Union (LSU) a student club, in which she helped to empower and organize students, bringing them together, engaging them in discussions, and putting forward innovative ideas about issues that impact Latinos in our communities including immigrant labor rights. She was awarded the 2013 UWT Outstanding Woman Award.
She is now part of the United Farm Workers (UFW) team. She is the Global Impact Coordinator, in which she leads the efforts for dairy workers justice nationally. She works engaging multi stakeholders driving the dairy industry towards increasing the integrity and transparency of their supply chain.
Her passion, competence and spirit bring new ideas to the UFW team, helping to improve the lives and working conditions of farms workers globally. Indira currently resides in Tacoma, WA, with her family.

 

B3: Medical Respite 101: A Place for People Who are Homeless to Recuperate 
Medical respite care provides safe recuperative care for: 1) individuals who are ill or injured, but who not ill enough to be in the hospital, or 2) people being discharged from the hospital, but who are not well enough to go back to the streets or a communal shelter (or an encampment). Learn how to start your own medical respite program, and about the national standards developed by the National Health Care for the Homeless Council.

Presentation Slides

Speakers:
Rhonda Hauff, Chief Operating Officer / Deputy CEO, Yakima Neighborhood Health Services

Rhonda Hauff is the Chief Operating Officer / Deputy CEO of Yakima Neighborhood Health Services (YNHS), and has been with YNHS since 1983.
YNHS operates nine primary care sites and one mobile medical clinic - one dedicated to homeless individuals, and one located within a Community Mental Health Center. YNHS also provides medical respite care, and permanent supportive housing, and operates the Coordinated Entry System and Homeless Resource Center in Yakima County.
Ms. Hauff is past chair of the Health Care for Homeless Committee and current chair of the Health Care in Public Housing Committee for the National Association of Community Health Centers, serves on several local partnerships to coordinate access and services for underserved populations. She also currently serves as Vice Chair of the Medical Respite Steering Committee for the National Health Care for the Homeless Council.
Ms. Hauff is a graduate of the George Washington University – Masters Certificate program in Community Health Center Management, Masters Work in Psychology / Social Work at Pacific Lutheran University (Washington State), and a Bachelors of Art in Community Health Education (Washington State).

Annette Rodriguez, Outreach, Housing, and Health Care for the Homeless Services Director, Yakima Neighborhood Health Services                                        
Annette Rodriguez is the Outreach, Housing, and Health Care for the Homeless Director for Yakima Neighborhood Health Services (YNHS), and has been with YNHS since 1991. In her current position, she oversees the Health Care for the Homeless Program, Transitional and Permanent Supportive Housing, Homeless Respite Care, four Washington Families Fund programs providing self-sufficiency support to moderate and high need formerly homeless families, a supportive housing program for Youth and Youth Adults, and Yakima’s only LGBTQ Youth Resource Service Center. At “The Depot”, Yakima County’s Homeless Resource Center, Annette and her staff also coordinate HEN, CHG, and ESG services with partners in the Homeless Network of Yakima County. The YNHS Outreach team provides services in local shelters, housing projects, and in coordination with other services. Her staff are certified Patient Navigators, or “In Person Assisters” to help clients enroll in Washington Apple Health at the same time as applying for other housing and benefits. Annette is particularly effective in her position because of her ability to see the “big picture” of Yakima’s resource community, and she knows how to maneuver the system to get services to clients efficiently – especially clients with many pressing needs.                        

 

B4: Landlord Engagement in Rural Areas 
Join this session to hear from a panel of rural jurisdictions operating successful Landlord Liaison Programs. Speakers will discuss strategies to engage landlords successfully in non-metro areas.

Speakers:
Jack Hansen, Landlord Liaison, Lower Columbia CAP

Jack Hansen is the Landlord Liaison for Lower Columbia CAP in Cowlitz County. Jack has a unique skill set of which combines his heart for others experiencing homelessness, and his sales experience working directly with business owners. Jack is also a chaplain and helps in many areas of need in the community, including his own Chapel service on Sundays.

Mike Parker, Director of the Whatcom Homeless Service Center, Opportunity Council
Mike Parker is the Director of the Whatcom Homeless Service Center at the Opportunity Council.  Prior to joining the Opportunity Council in 2015, Mike worked at Catholic Community Services and specialized in working with persons experiencing chronic homelessness. He received his Master’s in Social Work from the University of Washington in 2013 and has been working in various roles with homelessness since 2009.

Adrienne Solenberger, Landlord Liaison, Opportunity Council
Adrienne Solenberger, Landlord Liaison for the Opportunity Council, has been working with persons who experience chronic homelessness for over eight years. Beginning her career in 2001, working with at-risk youth and families has provided her with a repertoire of experience with behavior rehabilitation and integrative intensive case management to help build sustainable lives. In addition, Adrienne’s expertise in cultivating and preserving both private and corporate landlord relationships is directly reflected in clients’ ability to maintain safe and stable housing. She is recognized in Whatcom County as a housing expert in cultivating policy, programming, and low income housing development. 

 

  

 

B5: From Outreach to Housing: Creative and Effective Tools for Engagement 
Join us in a lively discussion about the basics of doing effective clinical outreach, engagement and housing first work in our communities. We will outline basic training concepts and skills, support staff learning new tools or deepening and sustaining their outreach work. We will discuss clinical skills, logistics, self-care, cultural factors, trauma-informed perspectives, and safety through a mix of presentation, interaction, activities, and reflection.

Speakers:
Howard Jefferson Bess II, Chemical Dependency Specialist, DESC                

Howard Jefferson Bess II has been with DESC for the last five years honing his skills in outreach, meaningful engagement, and intensive case management. He has experience with suicide prevention, substance use counseling, outreach to housing projects, motivational interviewing, DV survivor advocacy, life skills training, and care coordination. He currently works on DESC's Mobile Crisis Team.

Christina Clayton, Clinical Programs Entry Services Manager, DESC
Christina Clayton has worked at DESC since 1999 in both direct services and program administration. She currently manages clinical programs including homeless outreach, intensive case management, assertive community treatment, crisis respite, SAMHSA grants, social work students, licensure supervision as well as providing training and consultation. She is an Affiliate Clinical Instructor at University of Washington School of Social Work.

Samantha Oppenheimer, SHARP Project Manager, DESC
Samantha Oppenheimer is the current SHARP Project Manager at DESC. She has worked as a direct service provider and outreach worker for people experiencing homelessness since 2010. It was her time spent working at a drop-in center through the Public Allies of Delaware non-profit leadership apprenticeship program that inspired her to pursue a career in social work. She attended Columbia University and got her MSW in 2014. Since then, she's worked in both traditional office-based and non-traditional outreach programs to serve individuals living with co-occurring disorders. She is an advocate of anti-oppressive practices to further social change and deconstruct inequitable systems.

 

B6: A Dialogue With Marc Dones on Addressing Racism and Racial Inequity in Homelessness 
Join keynote speaker, Marc Dones, for a dialogue about racism and racial inequity in homelessness. 

Speaker:
Marc Dones, Associate, Equity Initiatives and Diversity, Center for Social Innovation
Marc Dones is a leader in equity-based systems transformation and co-leader of SPARC. Marc’s work has focused on transforming service delivery systems to better care for vulnerable populations. Previously, Marc worked at the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services designing and implementing program and policy responses for youth experiencing homelessness and LGBTQ communities facing health inequities. They were also the Director of Project Management for Child and Adolescent Services at the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health. They served on the Massachusetts Commission on LGBTQ Youth and co-chaired the Administration Committee. Marc is a graduate of New York University's Gallatin School with a concentration in Psychiatric Anthropology.

  

Breakout Sessions Track Six
Wed, 11:00am - 12:30pm

B7: Advocacy Works! Organizing for the 2019 State Legislative Session 
The most important time of year to meet with lawmakers to build political will to end homelessness is...now! Learn how advocates can lay groundwork during the legislative interim in their home communities so that affordable housing and homelessness policy solutions are prioritized in 2019. 2018 legislative outcomes and effective advocacy strategies will be discussed.

Presentation Slides

Speakers:
Kate Baber, Homelessness Policy and Advocacy Specialist, Washington Low Income Housing Alliance

Kate Baber is the Homelessness Policy and Advocacy Specialist with the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance. Kate joined the staff of the Housing Alliance in 2013 where she works to advance policy solutions to expand access to safe, healthy, and affordable homes. Kate has a decade of experience working in community organizing and legislative advocacy and has previously worked with the Statewide Poverty Action Network and Washington State Budget and Policy Center. She believes advocacy is an effective tool to create systemic change and advance social, racial, and economic justice. Kate holds a Master of Social Work Degree from the University of Washington.

Michele Thomas, Director of Policy and Advocacy, Washington Low Income Housing Alliance
Michele Thomas is the Director of Policy and Advocacy with the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance. She joined the staff of the Alliance in 2009 after working for eight years as community organizer with the Tenants Union of Washington State, where she helped tenants to organize for justice in their homes and to win new laws including the “Slumlord Accountability Act” in 2005. She believes deeply in the power of organized communities to make change and believes that homelessness will end when the public will demands it.

 

B8: Fair Chance Housing: Reducing Barriers to Housing for People with Criminal Records  
Join this session to learn about Seattle’s new Fair Chance Housing ordinance that prevents landlords from unfairly denying applicants housing based on criminal history. Learn about the nuts and bolts of the ordinance from panelists who organized a community effort to address the systemic barriers individuals living with criminal history face when trying to access housing. This legislation represents the power of community to organize and create their own solutions, and this model can be replicated in communities across Washington.

Speakers:
Alex Bergstrom, Legal Assistant, Columbia Legal Services

Alex Bergstrom is a Legal Assistant at Columbia Legal Services in Seattle. As a member of the Institutions Project group, he advocates on behalf of people who are currently or formerly incarcerated. Alex manages the Reentry Clinic, where community members with criminal records can come for help with barriers to reentry. He is also a member of the FARE Coalition, which advocates for equitable rental housing access for people with criminal records. Before this, he worked in mental health research at the University of Washington, after studying health policy at Columbia University.

Augustine J. Cita, Career Bridge Program Manager, The Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle
Augustine J. Cita is Program Manager of Career Bridge, which operates through the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle. He worked in the trades as a Master Journeyman installing Marble and Stone for over sixteen years, through Local #1 (BAC) in Washington. Augustine was promoted to a foreman position, and in 2003 became Senior Project Manager at a commercial flooring company in Seattle by netting large scale construction projects.
In 2006, things took a turn for the worse, and Augustine was sentenced to over seven years in prison. With strength, a resolute faith, and a determination, to turn things around, Augustine began to focus his attention on what he terms as “change, from the inside out.” In prison, he began working for Edmonds Community College helping inmates to acquire their GEDs, and teaching basic computer skills. He established what came to be known as the “Round Table Meetings” using group dynamics to help inmates with self-esteem enhancement. The Round Table Meetings morphed into what would later be called the “Ready 4 Release” class at Monroe Correctional Complex. It was the first of its kind in Washington's prison system where inmates could work to help other inmates without any outside sponsor or supervision. Augustine facilitated the Ready 4 Release class for three and a half years, and touched the lives of over 250 inmates.
In April, 2014, Augustine was hired by the Urban League as a Program Navigator/Case manager, and facilitator for the Career Bridge program. After successfully completing six Cohorts, including one at Monroe Correctional Complex, he was promoted to Program manager. Today, Augustine works as an independent contractor teaching reentry at Monroe Correctional Complex. By helping to make Career Bridge an accredited program, Augustine was hired as a faculty member at South Seattle College. Today, Augustine is a part-time student at South Seattle College working to obtain a degree in Accounting. He and his wife Zakiya Cita have also founded an organization called “A to Z” assisting men and women who face multiple barriers in their lives. When asked, why he walked away from the trades to do the work he does now, he responded “this is where I belong—it’s where I’ve always belonged…”

Sharon Jones, Fair Chance Housing Advocate
Sharon Jones is a long time Real Change newspaper vendor and advocate working to ensure all people have access to safe, healthy, and affordable homes. Sharon is an active member of the Fair Accessible Renting for Everyone (FARE) Coalition, which won a historic victory in 2017 by successfully advocating for the passage of the Fair Chance Housing Ordinance in Seattle. Sharon advocated to pass the Fair Chance Housing Ordinance because she believes people with criminal records should have access to housing and that everyone deserves a fair chance. Sharon is also advocating for the development of a comprehensive housing and resource center in King County to provide people experiencing homelessness with affordable housing and comprehensive services, including physical and behavioral health, wellness, and child care services.

Erika Pablo, Civil Rights Strategic Advisor, Seattle Office for Civil Rights
Erika Pablo is the Civil Rights Strategic Advisor for the Seattle Office for Civil Rights. In this position, she helped draft the Fair Chance Housing legislation, leads Fair Chancing Housing workshops, is Administrator for the Seattle’s LGBTQ Commission, and co-staffs the City’s Reentry Workgroup, which looks to address systemic barriers facing individuals living with criminal history. Erika is also focused on Anti-Displacement strategies through the City’s Equitable Development Initiative, and she is practicing how to do this work through accountable relationships with communities most impacted by structural racism.
Outside her work with the City of Seattle, she is the Program Coordinator and a board member for the Incarcerated Mother’s Advocacy Project, a coalition of anti-racists organizers, attorneys, and law students that seek to change the rights afforded to formerly incarcerated and incarcerated parents through legal education and information. Erika received her Juris Doctorate from Seattle University School of Law in 2014.

 

B9: Powerful Non-Profit Advocacy: Leveraging All Your Resources to Support Your Mission
Advocacy is a powerful lever for achieving your mission. It creates better public policy and secures the public funding you need to serve your community. But many nonprofits don’t realize their own power and ability to make change. This session will cover the ground rules for nonprofit advocacy and provide you with resources to help you get started or build your advocacy program. Program participants, staff, and board members all have an important role to play. We’ll cover ways to engage each of those groups with a particular focus on engaging board members—a powerful constituency for change.

Speakers:
Christena Coutsoubos, Director of Strategic Communications and Development, Building Changes
Christena Coutsoubos is Director of Strategic Communications and Development at Building Changes, where she works closely with stakeholders, staff, and partners to engage passionate supporters in the vision of reducing youth and family homelessness. She excels in translating complex policy for a variety of audiences and in using data to strengthen the case for funding and policy change. Using her emphasis on storytelling, she has helped design small, focused, intimate and highly creative donor and decision-maker engagement events that lead to deeper connection and commitment. Christena has twenty years’ experience in volunteer engagement, development, communications, program leadership and management, and direct service in the nonprofit sector. She holds a BA in Sociology from Barnard College, Columbia University in New York City, and a Masters in Nonprofit Leadership from Seattle University

Dimitri Groce, Member Organizer, Washington Low Income Housing Alliance
Dimitri Groce is a Member Organizer for the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance. In this role, he helps promote advocacy with board members for organizations that increase access to affordable housing and provide services for people experiencing housing instability and homelessness. Dimitri is energized by how many different organizations he gets to work with to infuse advocacy at all levels, and the potential that board volunteers have to influence lawmakers. Dimitri comes to organizing through work in civic engagement, and grassroots work for economic and environmental justice.

Rachael Myers, Executive Director, Washington Low Income Housing Alliance
Rachael Myers has served as Executive Director for the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance since 2008. Prior to joining the Housing Alliance, Rachael was Director of Organizing and Advocacy for Real Change, Seattle’s street newspaper. She has also worked as a lobbyist for health care, housing, and human services and has managed programs for homeless youth and young adults in Seattle’s University District. Depending on the moment, she’s either terrified or hopeful for the future. Fortunately both lead her to same conclusion - that working for justice is where she needs to be.

Joe Nguyen, Wellspring Associate Board Chair and Microsoft Learning Experiences, Senior Manager
Joe Nguyen is a lifelong resident of Seattle born and raised in the White Center/Burien communities. As the son of Vietnamese refugees, his family was able to settle in Washington with assistance from public housing. His experiences growing up in an immigrant community informs much of his service today.
Joe is the chair of Wellspring Family Services’ Associate Board, which works on issues related to family homelessness and is committed to housing 2,000 children and their families in the next two years. Part of the board’s work includes advocacy, and they were able to help pass Wellspring’s first bill (HB2861) providing support for trauma informed care, which was signed by the Governor in the 2018 session.
He is involved with police relations as a member of the Community Advisory Committee for the Office of Law Enforcement Oversight in King County. Their work focuses on building bridges between community and law enforcement to achieve equitable policing.
Professionally, Joe is a Senior Manager at Microsoft building learning experiences to empower people with skills needed to succeed in 21st century jobs. Equitability in tech is a particular passion, and he is also working to provide culturally competent programing for students with diverse background in partnership with the Henry M. Jackson Foundation where he is a current fellow.
Joe is a father of two energetic children, ages one and three, and lives in West Seattle with his wife Tallie.

 

 

B10: Youth, Homelessness, and Foster Care
In this interactive and experiential workshop, you will have an opportunity to put yourself into the shoes of a young person entering foster care or experiencing homelessness. Participants will gain an understanding of pivotal moments that shape youth in these systems and how they can apply this understanding to their professional work.

Speakers:
Dorian Brajkovich, Youth Leader, Yakima Chapter of The Mockingbird Society's Youth Network


Heaven Calvert, Youth Leader, Yakima Chapter of The Mockingbird Society's Youth Network

Raymond Sanders, Youth Leader, Yakima Chapter of The Mockingbird Society's Youth Network

Jade Tillequots, Youth Leader, Yakima Chapter of The Mockingbird Society's Youth Network

 

B11: Supporting Opiate Addiction Recovery Through Medication Assisted Treatment 
This session will provide an overview of Washington’s opiate crisis and the challenges faced by people who are experiencing homelessness and are struggling with an an opiate addiction. An overview of the physiological impact of opiates, medications used to treat opioid disorders, and efforts underway to expand medication assisted treatment options will be discussed.    

Presentation Slides

Speakers:
Stephanie Endler, Opioid State Targeted Response Project Director, Washington State Department of Social and Health Services

Stephanie Endler is the Project Director for the Opioid State Targeted Response. She has a Master's Degree in Public Administration from The Evergreen State College, and more than sixteen years with the Department of Social and Health Services in a variety of roles, such as contract management, monitoring, and program management.

Dr. Charissa Fotinos, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Washington State Health Care Authority     
Dr. Fotinos has provided clinical leadership for Medicaid clients served by the HCA and DSHS since 2013. Dually employed, much of her work focuses on improving clinical policy and the clinical quality of care delivered to persons with substance use disorders and/or mental health conditions. Dr. Fotinos works at HCA because everyone deserves access to quality, evidence-informed, financially responsible health care. Working with talented, creative, and passionate people who share this vision is a tremendous opportunity and pleasure.

 

 

Lunch and Keynote Address
Wed, 12:30pm - 2:00pm

Marc Dones, Associate, Equity Initiatives and Diversity, Center for Social Innovation

Marc Dones is a leader in equity-based systems transformation and co-leader of SPARC. Marc’s work has focused on transforming service delivery systems to better care for vulnerable populations. Previously, Marc worked at the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services designing and implementing program and policy responses for youth experiencing homelessness and LGBTQ communities facing health inequities. They were also the Director of Project Management for Child and Adolescent Services at the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health. They served on the Massachusetts Commission on LGBTQ Youth and co-chaired the Administration Committee. Marc is a graduate of New York University's Gallatin School with a concentration in Psychiatric Anthropology.

 

 

Conference Bonuses

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

7:30am - 8:15am

Low Barrier Shelter and Housing Breakfast Meeting
Join Commerce staff to discuss the upcoming Consolidated Homeless Grant requirement for each community to have a low barrier project. Let’s talk about the details of the requirement, how it will be assessed, and answer any questions that you have. Additionally, come ready to share your successes and challenges! Has your project reduced rules and eligibility criteria? We want to hear about it!

"Been There" Conference Orientation Breakfast 
If you've experienced homelessness or live in affordable housing, you're invited to join a conference orientation breakfast to connect with other attendees and get questions answered about the conference. First-time attendees with these experiences are especially encouraged to stop by. Resident Action Project Leaders Lisa Striedinger and Mr. B will be on hand to greet you and help you prepare for a great conference experience.

9:20am - 10:50am

Housing and Essential Needs Provider Meeting
HEN grantees, sub-grantees, managers, and staff are invited to discuss program administration and advocacy best practices. Program design analysis will be discussed with a  focus on implementation challenges/successes faced with HB 2667, the implementation of Medicaid supportive housing/employment, and HEN integration with local coordinated entry initiatives. Come share your ideas and network with peers across county lines. Facilitated by Janelle Rothfolk and Christine Crossely with CCSWW King County.

 

10:00am - 5:00pm

Community Acupuncture
Back by popular demand! Acupuncturist, clinical counselor, and community advocate, Rebekah Demirel, L.Ac, MPCC, with Trauma Integration Programs, will be providing an opportunity for you to unwind and let your nervous system receive some deserved rest and relaxation. Payment is cash or check and on a sliding scale from $20 to $40. No appointment necessary--first come/first serve. Learn more about Rebekah at www.traumaprograms.com 

Rebekah is the author of a new memoir about her violent childhood and homeless teen years, a resource for healing childhood trauma and family relationships, Nothing's for Nothing - Transformation Through Trauma. You can learn more about Rebekah's book at this link, and copies will be available for sale at the acupuncture check-in table.

 

11:10am-12:25pm

Help inform the Housing Alliance’s 2019 Legislative Agenda 
The Housing Alliance hosts a conversation that will help inform our 2019 state legislative priorities. We want to hear from you about persistent or newly emerging issues, including barriers personally faced or witnessed. We will provide an overview of factors likely to influence the 2019 legislative session. All are welcome.

 

2:00pm - 3:30pm

Washington State Coordinated Entry Guidelines Meeting
Join Megan Kendig and Julie Montgomery from the Washington State Department of Commerce Office of Family and Adult Homelessness (OFAH) to discuss the Washington State Coordinated Entry (CE) Guidelines, released in February 2018. The CE Guidelines integrate HUD Coordinated Entry System requirements that were released in January 2017 for Washington State CHG, ESG and Balance of State Continuum of Care grantees. Participants will have an opportunity to ask questions and discuss implementation of the new requirements.

 

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

7:30 am - 8:45 am

HOME Tenant-Based Rental Assistance (TBRA) Breakfast
Join fellow HOME TBRA grantees to share your successes and build your network. What have you learned over the years? What partnerships support the success of your program? How do you engage with the Homeless Crisis Response System? All Participating Jurisdictions are welcome to attend this informal breakfast meet-up, including Department of Commerce contractors and direct HUD recipients.

PATH And STR Peer Pathfinders Breakfast
Join this informal breakfast conversation to meet fellow conference attendees who work with the Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness (PATH) and the State Targeted Response (STR) to the Opioid Crisis Peer Pathfinders programs. This will be a great opportunity to learn about developments in communities across the state and meet people engaged in similar work across Washington.

"Been There" Caucus Breakfast 
This meeting is a chance for conference attendees who've experienced homelessness to come together for mutual support and networking. This will be a caucus space--only attendees with this shared experience, please. Hosted by Kristina Sawychyj and Lisa Sawyer, Resident Action Project Leaders.

 

11:00am - 12:30pm

Supporting Veterans from Homelessness to Housing Through Community Partnerships
The Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) assists Veterans and their families to secure housing through partnership with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and community agencies. Staff from the the Puget Sound VA will discuss barriers faced by Veterans experiencing homelessness and how the VA Supported Housing (VASH) program helps Veterans obtain and maintain permanent housing.

Presentation Slides

 

2:15pm - 2:50pm

A Way Home Washington Host Home Conversation
A Way Home Washington (AWHWA) is please to host a follow up conversation to the Host Home (HH) Convening. Through the HH Convening, a decision was made to support the work and creation of host homes by creating a statewide collation sponsored through AWHWA. This will be the first of many converstations, but this meeting will set the legwork for the main goals for next year. A conference call option is available: 1.206.899.2697, 68236516#.

 

3:00pm - 4:45pm

Youth Coalition - Homeless Network of Yakima County

 

 

Affinity Group Caucus Spaces

Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

7:30am - 8:15am

"Been There" Caucus Orientation Breakfast 
If you've experienced homelessness or live in affordable housing, you're invited to join a conference orientation breakfast to connect with other attendees and get questions answered about the conference. First-time attendees with these experiences are especially encouraged to stop by. Resident Action Project Leaders Mindy Woods and Mr. B will greet you and help you prepare for a great conference experience.

 

3:50pm - 5:05pm

Allyship Caucus 
What does it mean to be an ally? This caucus will provide white conference attendees an opportunity for honest conversations about our privilege and how to be an ally to people of color. We will develop shared definitions of privilege, allyship, and explore how we have benefited from a system that has oppressed marginalized communities. All are welcome, and the discussion and tools will be relevant to many forms of allyship; however, the focus will be on white allyship in the contexts of structural, institutional, and interpersonal racism.

 

6:15pm - 7:15pm

People of Color Gathering: Self-Care, Support, and Voices for Action 
Doing the work to address housing instability and homelessness in our communities requires you to bring your whole self. But sometimes the institutions we work through perpetuate racial inequities, and people of color need a space to come together and process. Hear from other people of color about the challenges in confronting racial inequity in their roles, build relationships, and decompress. Our goal is to create a supportive space and build a sustained network of people of color pushing to ensure that their lived experiences are reflected and empowered in organizational settings, and local and state policy.

Queer Identity Gathering: We’re Here, We’re Queer, We’re Meeting with our Peers! 
LGBTQ+ folks are everywhere - in all walks of life, in all shapes of bodies and minds - but sometimes we can feel invisible and unaffirmed. And, doing the work of housing justice on behalf of our community and identity can be challenging. Hear from other queer folks engaged in the work for a time of social networking, collaboration, and community support. Our hope is to build a network of folks with queer identities around Washington who are working for housing justice to lift up our issues in organizational work and state policy. Anyone with a queer identity is welcome to join this space!

 

Wednesday, May 23,2018

7:30am - 8:45am

"Been There" Caucus Breakfast 
A chance for conference attendees who've experienced homelessness to come together for mutual support and networking. This will be a caucus space – only attendees with this shared experience, please. Hosted by Resident Action Project Leader Kristina Sawyckyj.

 

2:15pm - 3:15pm

Allyship Caucus 
A continuation of our conversation around how to hold ourselves accountable and be an ally both with colleagues and the clients we serve. Our time will focus on developing practical steps we can individually take to deepen our roles as allies in our practice and personal lives.

People of Color Gathering: Self-Care, Support, and Voices for Action 
Doing the work to address housing instability and homelessness in our communities requires you to bring your whole self. But sometimes our institutions can reflect and perpetuate racial inequities that drive these issues, and people of color need space to come together and process. Hear from other people of color about challenges in addressing racial equity, build relationships, and decompress. Our goal is to create a space to support one another with the intention of building a sustained network of people of color pushing to ensure our lived experiences are reflected and empowered in organizational settings, and local and state policy.