.sqs-block-horizontalrule hr { margin-top: 1px }

Homeless Response:
Advocacy and Action

Since early 2016, a group of non-profits, community organizations, city and county governments, police, fire, faith and community leaders, and concerned citizens have come together every month to practically meet the needs of our homeless neighbors.

If you'd like to be part of advocacy and action in behalf of our homeless and low income neighbors for safe and affordable housing, email us → for more information or sign up for our newsletter list.


why housing is not affordable for many in our community

According to the Census Bureau, Monroe's median household income is $67,844. For the family right in the middle, housing would then be "affordable" at about $1,700 per month.

Fair Market Rent in Snohomish County for a two bedroom apartment is $1,544, a three bedroom at $2,240.

Add in utilities and even a two bedroom apartment is unaffordable for half of our population.

This is affirmed by the Snohomish County's Housing and Needs study...

  • 51% of renter households in Monroe pay more than 30% of their income in rent.
  • 49% of owner household in Monroe pay more than 30% of their income for housing.

A single mom with two kids working full time at a minimum wage job after payroll taxes, rent and utilities will have about $6.30 a day left for everything else...food, transportation, daycare and medical care, clothes and shoes for her children...everything else.

It's far too easy to become homeless in Monroe.


it's not a crime to be homeless but...

Imagine a world where it is illegal to sit down. Could you survive if there were no place you were allowed to fall asleep, to store your belongings, or to stand still? For most of us, these scenarios seem unrealistic to the point of being ludicrous. But, for homeless people across America, these circumstances are an ordinary part of daily life.

Click to view and download the report

The Department of Justice filed a statement of interest on August 6, 2015 arguing that making it a crime for people who are homeless to sleep in public places, when there is insufficient shelter space in a city, unconstitutionally punishes them for being homeless.


Tiny house
villages
 

SquareOne Villages in Eugene, Oregon is doing some amazing things. Growing from their first Opportunity tiny house village, the innovative Emerald Village provides accessible and sustainable tiny house living for people with very low incomes with a creative ownership model.

SquareOne's website is a wealth of information.


 

Quixote Village in Olympia Washington was founded in 2011 with a $1.5 million grant from the Washington State Legislature. Quixote's 144 square feet cottages include a half-bath and cost considerably more than the traditional tiny house dwelling at about $100,000 per unit— but still approximately 40 percent of the average cost of conventional state funded studio apartments.


Printable
Information
Materials

Click on the image to view and download a printable copy of informational brochures, flyers, and fact sheets.

One page on current homeless statistics for our own community here in Monroe.

One page on current homeless statistics for our own community here in Monroe.

One Page on the need, why tiny house villages are cost effective, how lives are changed, requirements, and resources.

One Page on the need, why tiny house villages are cost effective, how lives are changed, requirements, and resources.


links to resources

In most cities in America, homelessness is not a crime...but...there is no place a homeless individual can legally camp...

The Department of Justice filed a statement of interest on August 6, 2015 arguing that making it a crime for people who are homeless to sleep in public places, when there is insufficient shelter space in a city, unconstitutionally punishes them for being homeless.

National Alliance to End Homelessness website

United States Interagency Council on Homelessness

  • Ending Homelessness for People Living in Encampments Advancing the Dialogue pdf

  • Quick Guide Ending Homelessness for People Living in Encampments: Advancing the Dialogue pdf

  • Planning Checklist Ending Homelessness for People Living in Encampments: Advancing the Dialogue pdf


Why Housing Messages are Backfiring and What We Can Do About It
http://www.enterprisecommunity.org/download?fid=14845&nid=18689

Tiny Homes White Paper: a case study centered around Quixote Village in Olympia.
"There has been significant recent publicity about ‘tiny houses’ and tiny home communities for homeless households. This paper argues that ‘tiny homes’ should be a model for subsidized permanent supportive housing and one of the tools in the tool box to respond to homelessness." View and download here


Snohomish County

Point In Time Count Reports 2016 | 2017 Preliminary
Three of the top six reasons for homelessness are financial. There's a good case to be made that the rest could be related, too.

  1. Job Loss
  2. Family Crisis / Break Up
  3. Drug / Alcohol Use
  4. Primarily Economic Reasons
  5. Mental Illness
  6. Medical Problems / Illness

Snohomish County Temporary Shelter Program Report (June, 2017)
Background, Considerations, and Recommendations to address issues related to homelessness including short and long term strategies and packed with information


An eye-opening article on how and why incomes for our most vulnerable populations have decreased over the past 30 years.

Incomes for the lowest paid 10% of wage earners were 5% lower in 2017 than in 1979 - they haven't had a raise in 40 years.

It's too easy to become homeless!

There has been a lot of press and discussion surrounding studies decrying negative impacts of Seattle's increased minimum wage. For an insightful alternate explanation and more hopeful interpretation of the results here's an interesting read and also in the Seattle Times. It's not as bad as "they" want you to believe...there is actually a lot of good news.