Interfaith Task Force on Homelessness Programs
The ITFH provides support for direct outreach to the homeless who are unsheltered. It does this via one community worker who covers East King County. Additionally, the ITFH coordinates its volunteer "membership" to address unsheltered persons around King County. This includes leading efforts to provide safe space for vehicular residents, to find accommodating space where encampments can survive and thrive, and to lead efforts for day-centers/drop-in centers for the homeless, overnight winter response shelters, and 24 hour shelter responses to address the high number of unsheltered persons.
The ITFH partners with many organizations to do advocacy for legislative remedies to homelessness, for low-income housing, and for harm reduction for those who are homeless. This includes WA State, Federal, and each municipality in King County (39 cities). Further, the ITFH serves in Snohomish County on the Homeless Policy Task Force and assists in efforts to secure better support in all forms for helping end and mitigate homelessness.
The ITFH teaches in many venues about the circumstances of homelessness, and uses as its primary curriculum, "Affirming Charity, Compassion, and Justice." The ITFH meets with elected leaders and public staff to educate their decision on behalf of those who are homeless. The ITFH especially attends to faith communities since it is often their effort that brings about neighborhood and community change.
The ITFH is largely volunteers who serve throughout the community on behalf of their faith community, neighborhood nonprofits, and public sector efforts. The direct service the ITFH does is this accumulation of work and volunteerism. Since 2011 the ITFH has led in assisting homeless vehicle residents with crises to include tabs, title, scofflaw mitigation, repair, DL renewal, and so on.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
The ITFH is at its best in beginning efforts and engaging new leadership. Since 2011 we have led Seattle-proper in assisting those living in their vehicles to avoid more harm under the Scofflaw law. We have formed partnerships with Seattle Parking Enforcement, Seattle PD, SDOT, Seattle Human Services, and others to stop harm and address remedies. We have helped more than 70 persons on a meager budget of $6500. More funds are needed to continue this harm reduction. Those helped are led to pathways to stable housing whenever possible.