November 3, 2018 Dena Jensen (Thanks to Jim Peterson’s video)
Jim Peterson of HomesNOW! Not Later. is stoked!:
“Winter Haven, our temporary emergency encampment for the winter, is a go. We got a green light today. We met with the City. We don’t have a site yet, but there will be a site…Not this coming Monday, but two weeks from this coming Monday, the site will be announced publicly.
“I want to start out by thanking Rick Sepler, Chief Doll, and Mayor Linville and the staff for their hard work they’ve put into this. Me, Doug, Charlie, and Danielle met with Rick Sepler, the Chief, and Lisa, the head plannaer for the planning department for the City of Bellingham, and a lieutenant, that I can’t remember his name, I think it’s Centrella, from the City. And it was great news; we are a go.”
Here are notes from Jim’s video:
1. HomesNOW! is filling out the application this weekend and will have it turned in by Tuesday.
2. Jim thanks the City Staff, the Chief, and Lisa from planning for their work on this. He can’t thank them enough.
3. The goal is for the camp to be open, hopefully, the first week in December.
4. There is a process that has to be followed by HomesNOW!, just as others have to follow the process.
5. It is a year and seven months into the effort to end homelessness by the year 2020, the persistence at HomesNOW!, with Doug and Jim working daily on this issue and all the volunteers that worked on this issue. Jim doesn’t want to leave anybody out!
6. HomesNOW! has the green light now and is moving forward and it is time to do the work. HomesNOW! has talked like they can do a lot, now it’s time to prove it!
7. There will be no sleep out at City Hall as had been planned for December 1. Jim’s promise to the City had been if they didn’t have a safe encampment by December 1st that they would be doing the sleep out again this year. The city has come through. They are allowing HomesNOW! to do their temporary emergency encampment for the winter, so according to Jim’s word, he will not be doing a sleep out and the meeting for planning the sleep out is cancelled.
8. Next Saturday will be the planning meeting for Winter Haven. By then they will know what is needed for Winter Haven. People will be needed to contact churches for food donations and the days they want to feed. There will be a need for people to contact businesses. There’s a need for 20 brand new four person cabin tents with rain flies so that everyone can be dry and safe. HomesNOW! will have a whole list put together by next Saturday of everything that they need, all the jobs and supplies.
9. Jim: “Oh, my god, this is so exciting – I can’t tell ya! I’m watching it come to life. This is – there’s a little crack in the dam now. The water is coming out, and once we prove that we can do this emergency encampment, I have no doubt we will be building tiny homes next year! It’s freaking awesome. I just can’t express how happy I am!”
10. HomesNOW! has never given up the whole time they have been at it. They have not changed course. They haven’t backed down. They have just kept pushing. And they pushed it and now they have a green light. It was a shock because there was a meeting at HomesNOW! before they went into the meeting with Rick Sepler and City officials and staff. So they went to that meeting with the City expecting nothing, and City reps blew them away. The police department and the Mayor and the Planning Department and members of the community are on board with HomesNOW!
11. HomesNOW! will be needing to raise about $5000 to start the project. They will provide a detailed budget of what it’s going to cost to run it at all times and they will be coming to the community to raise the funds for it, so when they start it, they will have enough to continue it through to the end date which will be sometime around the second week in March. They will know more about all of that next Tuesday.
12. Jim hopes everybody celebrates and jumps for joy like HomesNOW! is and is ready to donate funds and time for this good cause.
13. Please share this video and let people know Winter Haven is going to become a reality.
14. Thanks to all who have stood beside HomesNOW! and have fought with them. It’s not always been fun. People have been rubbed the wrong way but HomesNOW! never gave up and they never will give up.
15. Jim promises that Winter Haven will be up and running in December and people can take that to the bank. Just money and volunteers are needed to make it a reality.
16. After this a tiny home village, there’s no stopping HomesNOW! now!
Here’s a link where people can donate to HomesNOW!: https://homesnow.org/donate/
And you can message HomesNOW! to volunteer on the HomesNow. Not Later. Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/HomesNowNotLater/