May 17, 2021 by Dena Jensen, with significant contributions by Sandy RobsonContinue reading
May 15, 2021 by Dena Jensen, with significant contributions from Sandy Robson
[Author’s note: In regard to the headline, officials might have hoped to silence a few more voices, as well, but I will stick to the public records that Sandy Robson recently received from Whatcom County to let readers decide. For context, I want folks to know that I have been following Whatcom County’s Homeless Strategies Workgroup meetings since the summer of 2019 and that I am familiar with the person who was the target of County officials’ silencing efforts.
I have interacted through Facebook with Markis Stidham – Markis Dee is his profile name – over the past few years regarding civil rights and social justice issues. Additionally, Stidham met with Riveters Collective Justice System Committee, of which I am a member, on a couple of occasions. I remember seeing him twice in public, in years past, at Dignity Vigils in front of Bellingham City Hall, and shook his hand once, although I don’t think he knew who I was at the time. Stidham read a public comment of mine at a Homeless Strategies Workgroup meeting on August 23, 2019.]
May 14, 2021 Dena Jensen
In public records obtained from the City of Bellingham, emails revealed that leading up to the 2020/2021 winter season, City Planning and Development staff told emergency winter shelter providers, with whom they had partnered the previous cold weather season, that the City would not be operating or funding such operations in the coming season.
April 29, 2021 Dena Jensen
Yesterday I attended Bellingham City Club’s online event, “Chronic Homelessness: A Nationwide Challenge.” This was Wednesday, April 28, the same day that Bellingham Police Department’s homeless encampment cleanup coordinator and fellow officers were out to clean up the “remainder,” as the coordinator described it, of homeless encampments at Maritime Heritage Park. (The ACLU equates camp clean–ups and camp sweeps.) Some other encampment locations had been tagged to be vacated or were given instruction to bring all possessions off the streets and into parked RVs.Continue reading
March 21, 2021 Dena Jensen
It seems that the Port of Bellingham would benefit from hearing more from all of us here in Whatcom County about the motivations for our desire of them to help contribute solutions to our friends and neighbors sleeping outside and getting swept by police officers in Bellingham and at WWU. Apparently they were also swept from Port of Bellingham property at Laurel and Cornwall on the day that COB swept folks from Geri Field. Contact information is at the bottom fo this post.
February 5, 2021 Kai Rapaport
[Author’s Note: I am not a representative of Camp 210, but a concerned community member and volunteer; mistakes are my own]
This message is a plea to our Mayor Fleetwood to stop the sweep of our houseless neighbors at Camp 210, in their new location by Puget and Fraser near Civic field Friday at 4pm. This article is also an invitation to the community to support our houseless neighbors in voicing their concerns about this sweep.
I understand this message is long so I can summarize it now:
Please contact your Mayor, principally; your health department; the parks department; your City Councilmembers; and encourage your organizations to denounce this sweep. Sweeps do not solve houselessness, they only move our houseless neighbors.Continue reading
The City of Bellingham and Whatcom County Government have been increasingly focused since the cold weather season has hit, on putting out information about their housing and sheltering efforts. There is no doubt that they have been making efforts to create low income housing and to sustain and enhance some sheltering solutions. But a significant challenge being faced right now by our community is a failure of our government agencies to respond effectively to hostile weather emergency sheltering needs, especially during a pandemic.Continue reading
November 1, 2020 Dena Jensen
For those who didn’t get to listen to the discussion of the resolution Affirming Racism is a Public Health Crisis at the October 27, 2020 Whatcom County Council meeting, here is a little information on that.
First, here are some details I am aware of because my partner, Sandy Robson, called Whatcom County staff to find out why notice of discussion of the resolution seemed to not be available on the County website.Continue reading
October 25, 2020 Dena Jensen
‼️Heads up‼️ regarding a resolution “Affirming Racism is a Public Health Crisis.”
This is a quick call to action to contact the Whatcom County Council to support the Whatcom County Public Health Advisory Board resolution. The County Council was supposed to discuss/vote on the resolution Affirming Racism is a Public Health Crisis in one of their committees by October 27, which is why we all should contact them ASAP.
September 24, 2020 Dena Jensen
Fall, wind, and rain are here. Late-November, (which is the last time severe weather shelters were offered) is two months away. At Friday’s 1:30 p.m. Homeless Strategies Workgroup meeting, 5 minutes are scheduled for discussing Winter Shelter (temporary and emergency) and 5 minutes are scheduled for discussing Encampment clean-up/sweeps. How are these critical topics not a priority topic when people who are unsheltered are in positions -right now – to have their tarps and tents either blow away or be flooded, and freezing temps are weeks away?Continue reading