July 2014 Minutes

P.O. Box 662, Bellevue, WA 98009-0662
July 8, 2014

Special Lost and Found Notice:  A green Calloway golf cap with brim was left in Bristol Hall after this meeting.  It had fallen onto the floor on the south side of the room at a middle/back table.  If this is your cap, it has been left under the ledge at the Welcome Center at the church.

The meeting was held in Bristol Hall of St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church beginning at 12:00 noon.
WELCOME: The meeting was called to order and conducted by EISCC President Warren Marquardson.
OPENING REFLECTION: Sandy Lewis provided the opening reflection.
SELF-INTRODUCTIONS were made by 29 representatives and guests.
MINUTES of the June 10, 2014, meeting were approved as submitted.
TREASURER’S REPORT: The Treasurer was not present at the meeting.  Warren reminded our member organizations to forward their dues payments for the current year – if they have not already done so.
REFRESHMENT COORDINATOR: Many thanks to Trish Rogers, Betty Spohn, and JoAnne Way for providing the day’s refreshments.
Nominating Committee:  At its June meeting, the EISCC board appointed a nominating committee for the elections which will be coming up in October.  Trish Rogers and Betty Spohn are the two members of that committee.  Officers and several at-large positions are open.  If you would like to serve on the board or if you would like to suggest someone else for consideration, please contact a member of the nominating committee.  The committee’s slate will be put forward at our September meeting.

Congregations for Kids: Nancy Jacobs reported that there is just a month to go before the program kicks off for the next year.  It appears that there are 100 fewer kids than this last year – but more kids are likely to be added over the summer.  Estimated participation is 1575.  Interested parties can e-mail her at bnjacobs@frontier.com.  To sign up to help, go to their website at http://congregations4kids.org/.

Backpack Meals: Jan Starr was unable to attend our meeting and we did not receive a report on this project.

Legislative Coordinator:  For those interested in adoption issues, House Resolution 588 is currently making its way through Congress.  In very diplomatic terms, this bill requests that the Congolese government release the visas of those children whose adoptions have been approved, many of whose adoptive parents are currently in the Congo waiting to bring their children home.  (Post-meeting note: this bill was approved by the House the day after our meeting.)

Bellevue Presbyterian Church:  Steve Roberts reported on many of the social justice projects taking place at his home congregation, Bellevue Presbyterian Church just north of downtown Bellevue.  A church of approximately 3,000 members, their focus is on reaching out with acts of service.
The church has long been a sponsor of the Congregations for the Homeless project, and they have been hosting the men during the month of December.

The church has worked with the Bellevue schools in developing Jubilee Reach, a program that helps middle schools with after school sports programs and provides a number of other services such as health and dental, tutoring, ESL, and a variety of other projects. The program now includes a number of other congregational and community partners.  More information about the programs can be found at www.jubileereach.org.

Related to Jubilee Reach is the Jubilee Service Day.  For the last 10 years, they have sent teams out into the community to provide needed maintenance at homes or schools in the community.  Tasks are available for all ages and skill levels (including no skill).  Your church is welcome to join in this effort.  For more information, contact Gary King at gking@belpres.org or 425-746-0506.  You can also go directly to their church website at belpres.org.

PROGRAM: Camp Unity
Allen Bolen, the Outside Director for Camp Unity, spoke with us about their organization has served homeless, mostly on the Eastside, since 2012.  Allen handles the community interface and the site searches.  Camp Unity broke away from the Tent City IV, due to a difference of opinion about management and oversight with the parent organization of that group, SHARE.  They are now on their own, and do not receive any support from SHARE.  Tent encampments are the best option, he believes, for those homeless persons who do not want to be in inside shelters.  They do charge residents a $30 maintenance fee to live at the camp, to assure that adequate sanitation standards can be assured. They have been at the Woodinville Unitarian Universalist Church for the last 9 months, but they will be moving to Kirkland Congregational Church on August 1.

Camp Unity Eastside is a transitional mobile encampment and self managed outside community. They make their focus on giving a hand up to those who have a need for simple shelter. Each member there is a responsible and active part of keeping CUE running. Their current Internal Director, who deals with the internal rules and logistics, is Barbara Eagan.

Allen wanted us to know what could really help to support this homeless encampment.  The camp is concerned to be a responsible neighbor to the host congregations and the surrounding communities.  They have provided opportunities for the local community to engage in dialog, but these sessions have usually been poorly attended.  They can use meals, clothing and blankets, and bus tickets and would benefit from access to umbrella services such as medical services and counselors.  They would also appreciate opportunities for dialog – they have a concern that people often talk for them but not to them, so presence is seen as very important.  Cash donations would also be welcome, although they are still working on getting their 501(c)3 status.  One of our representatives suggested that they consider finding a fiscal sponsor for their organization until their 501(c) does come through.  To date they have received only about $1500 in cash contributions beyond their internal assessments.  They have also received in kind contributions such as meals.

Allen believes that some neighbors associate the camp with problems created by homeless persons that reside near but not in the camp.  They sometimes need to ask people to leave the camp due to violations of their rules, and these people often have nowhere else to go.  He estimates that there may be as many as 60 homeless persons in the area that are not part of the camp, and that the need for camps may be greater than what is currently available.  He thinks that 3 camps might be needed to serve the existing homeless population.  He believes that 3 to 4 months would be the optimum time for a camp to be sited at any particular place.

They see the need growing for services for the homeless in our area.  They would like to see a day when their residents could live at a permanent location in small houses with access to a community center, job training, and other services.

For more information, contact Allen at 206-293-5901 or allenbolenprc@gmail.com.  You can also find more information at the Camp Unity website at campunityeastside.com.

Sandy Lewis reported that the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection will hold their Fourth Annual Neighborhood Faire on Saturday, September 6, from 10 am to 4 pm.

Hero House announced their July 31 fundraiser, the 15th Anniversary Seattle Storm game, which will support people recovering from mental illness to reclaim their lives.  Visit their website at www.herohouse.org for more information or call 425-614-1282.  They would like to see at least 100 people support their organization by participating in this fundraiser.

Jay Doran from the Friends of Youth reported that their organization has not seen the usual drop-off in program participants that they have experienced in past summers.  They hope to continue providing support at their pre-summer level – roughly 15 persons per night.

Karen Studders reported that the City of Sammamish has just passed one of the most onerous encampment ordinances in the area.  In place of that ordinance, it had been suggested that they consider the Seattle model, which does not have strict limits.  More information will be coming out in the news over the next few days.

Pat Chiarelli, the Community Liaison for Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) introduced himself.  He assured us that his presence at our meeting was not for any partisan/political reasons. As his boss’ job is to represent his constituents, it’s important that he gets to know more about them, and what they care about.  If you have concerns that you would like to share with the congressman, you can contact Pat at 101 Evergreen Building; 15 S. Grady Way; Renton, WA 98057.  His office phone is 425-793-5180.  His mobile number is 253-254-1442.

Anne St. Germain reported that the Eastside Friends will be hosting an interfaith event in recognition of the International Day of Peace on September 21, 2014.  More details will be available at our September meeting.

A workshop on Best & Promising Practices in Faith-Based Solutions to Ending Family Homelessness will be held at Seattle University on Wednesday, August 20th, from 4 to 8 pm at the Student Center Room 160. Space is limited and registration is required.  For more information, contact gustavel@seattleu.edu.  To register, go to


Newport Presbyterian Church will host a free screening of a new documentary titled “Trigger: The Ripple Effect of Gun Violence.”  The film was produced by the Presbyterian Church (USA) and examines the ripple effect that one shooting had on a survivor, a family, a community, and a society.  The screening will be held on Wednesday, September 24, at 7 pm.  The church is located at 4010 120th Ave. SE in Bellevue.  For more information, please contact Nancy Ellingham at 425-746-5205 or nancyee@comcast.net.

CLOSING REFLECTION:  The meeting ended with closing readings by Nina Weaver from Rick Warren’s The Purpose Driven Life and her prayer book.

THE NEXT EISCC MEETING will take place on Tuesday, September 9, 12:00 – 1:30 p.m.PROGRAM: Congregations for the Homeless. 

Together we are building a caring community