Making Democracy Work

Facing Pierce County Homelessness: Creating HomeFULLness

Community forum on April 28, 2018 at Tacoma Convention Center. This page has power points, pictures and evaluation information from the forum. Check out the follow-up presentation to Pierce County here as well.

Update on Homelessness in Pierce County

Data as of March 2019. For additional information, see the web pages listed on this document.

Homelessness in Pierce County

HomeFULLness Forum, April 2018

This community forum was intended to educate the public about homelessness countywide. Homelessness is an emergency that is growing continuously. It is invisible; we only see about 5% of the people who are experiencing homelessness, and those we don't see are not people we normally think of as people who would be experiencing homelessness.

The forum was intended to inspire community action countywide to mitigate the effects of poverty, which is the cause of homelessness

Participants could attend any or all of the sessions.

Take a look at the program here. This contains the agenda and the bio of each speaker.


At left, Keynote Speaker Pamela Oakes, Gates Foundation. Ms. Oakes was introduced by Cassandra Mitchell, KeyBank, at right.

The day closed with a panel discussion among elected officials.

Left to right, WA State Senator Jeannie Darneille, Pierce County Councilmember Connie Ladenburg, Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards; and Moderator Cynthia Stewart, President, League of Women Voters of Tacoma-Pierce County.

Panel: Opening Session

See the power point presentation and text of comments by Tess Colby (pictured below) here. Tess Colby is Manager of the Community Services Division, Pierce County Human Services Department.

Ms. Colby presents data and offers observations about Pierce County homelessness at this point in time.

Two of the other presenters on this panel were LaCreasha Jackson (above, left) and Samantha Iverson, McKinney-Vento liaison at Tacoma Public Schools (above, right). Not pictured was Gerrit Nyland, Catholic Community Services.

Panel: Affordable Housing

Two of the presenters on this panel used power points. Following are the power point presentation by Daniel Murillo, City of Tacoma Housing Division,

Closing the Affordable Housing Gap by Damiel Murillo

and Jill Severn, representing Quixote Village, a community of tiny houses located in Olympia, WA.

Quixote Village Story

Panel: Health Care and Homelessness

Two of the presenters on this panel used power points. Following are the presentations by Kyle Davidson, Pierce County Accountable Communities of Health,

Kyle Davidson Presentation

and Jacques Colon, Equity Health Coordinator, Pierce County Public Health Department.

Jacques Colon Presentation

Panel: Racial Inequity in Homelessness

The panel on Racial Inequity in Homelessness began with a presentation by Raphael Hartman and Klarissa Monteros, of Associated Ministries, summarizing data from the SPARC report.

Supporting Partnerships for Anti-Racist Communities Report Summary

Comments by Adriane Wilson, an African-American citizen who has been homeless, are here.

Panel: Hard Times in Hooverville: Homeless Settlements during the Great Depression

Hard Times in Hooverville was an exhibit and presentation by Gwen Whiting and Susan Rohrer, of the Washington State Historical Society.

Shown above, left to right, Gwen Whiting, Susan Rohrer and Ned Witting, convener for the discussion.

Participant Feedback

Participants at the forum were asked to provide both an evaluation and their responses to strategic planning questions. Here are the results.

Evaluation of Forum

Responses to Strategy Questions

Recommendations to Pierce County

The HomeFULLness forum organizers sent a letter to the Pierce County Executive and Council with several recommendations based on the feedback from this forum. The recommendations assume that homelessness is a county-wide issue and that the County has a regional responsibility. Read the recommendations here.

See the presentation to the Pierce County Council Select Committee on Human Services here: (fast-forward to approximately 20 minutes). This page includes links to the power point and supplemental handouts as well.

See guest editorial by Larry Seaquist and Cynthia Stewart in the News Tribune, July 7, 2018,