Pushing back on the push-back on tiny home villages / Letter to Bellingham and Whatcom County officials

Click the still frame of a YouTube video of the Bellingham City Council Community and Economic Development Committee to access the recording of the May 24, 2021 meeting

March 26, 2021 Dena Jensen

Sent: Wednesday, May 26, 2021, 09:54:49 PM PDT

Subject: Pushing back on the push-back on tiny home villages

Dear Bellingham City Council, Mayor Fleetwood, Whatcom County Council, and County Executive Sidhu:

I recently listened to Bellingham City Council’s Monday, May 24, 2021 Community and Economic Development Committee meeting. I wanted to address comments made by a couple of the City Council Members after Whatcom County Health Department Human Services Manager Anne Deacon gave her presentation. The presentation was on the Health Department’s Recommendations for Consideration by the Homeless Strategies Workgroup that the now-disbanded workgroup had voted to recommend to Whatcom County Council for approval. 

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Take a hard look at Whatcom County’s Severe Weather Shelter history / Letter to the Homeless Strategies Workgroup

Click the graphic image presenting Recommendations for Consideration by the Homeless Strategies Workgroup discussed at their April 16, 2021 meeting to access a text version on the Whatcom County website

April 21, 2021 Dena Jensen

Below is my email, sent today, to Whatcom County’s Homeless Strategies Workgroup:

Subject: Regarding the presentation related to severe weather shelters at the April 16, 2021 Homeless Strategies Workgroup meeting

Dear Homeless Strategies Workgroup:

Near the end of the the April 16, 2021 Homeless Strategies Workgroup meeting discussion, a motion was approved by the workgroup to recommend to Whatcom County Council a recommendation from Health Department/County staff. This guidance was a short term action step to establish a data collection process to assist in ongoing analysis and planning. 

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A call to stop moving dangerous and unsafe conditions to new locations in Whatcom County / Letter to Bellingham and Whatcom County officials

Credit for map image of streets and businesses in downtown Bellingham near the cross streets of Cornwall Ave. and York St.: Google Maps (modified with current Base Camp location and an arrow indicating Arlis’s Restaurant)

April 14, 2021 Dena Jensen

Keep writing your elected officials and working on sheltering solutions.

There was another encampment sweep in Bellingham at Sunset Pond Park this morning. More people without shelter displaced. Meanwhile, it’s possible one of our Port of Bellingham Commissioners is working on hiring a security guard because they don’t think the police are moving unsheltered people on to shelter and services (which currently don’t exist for many). 

Here is the email I sent about all that tonight: 

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BTC and COB park safety root issues remain unaddressed / Letter to Bellingham City Council

Click on the image of a YouTube video still frame picturing former Bellingham Police Department detective, Al Jensen, to access the recording of the April 12, 2021 Bellingham City Council Parks and Recreation Committee meeting

April 12, 2021 Dena Jensen

Subject: Failing to address root issues at your April 12, 2021 Parks and Recreation Committee meeting

Dear Bellingham City Council:

I listened to your April 12, 2021 Parks and Recreation Committee meeting from this afternoon. Your discussion was related to information in a staff memo from today that stated in part:

“Bellingham Technical College (BTC) has documented many incidents that have occurred at and around the Perry Center. Incidents range from physical attacks, threats and aggression towards students and employees to used drug needles left in front of the building, tents set up next to the building, people sleeping in vehicles and in the doorway of the main entrance to the building, garbage, and human feces in the area near the building.”

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Our community members in crisis must not be treated as expendable / Letter to the Homeless Strategies Workgroup

Click the graphic to access Whatcom County’s Homeless Strategies Workgroup meeting materials webpage

March 4, 2021 Dena Jensen

Dear Homeless Strategies Workgroup:

I really appreciate the questions and points raised in recent letters sent in by Carmen Gilmore and Arrissia Owen Turner, and I hope the workgroup will use these to help cement focus and progress on primary goals. 

I also call for one of the primary goals of this workgroup being that of addressing the needs of unsheltered community members in crisis, and feel it will become easier and quicker to make progress on this goal by staying grounded in an approach that views people falling through the cracks of existing solutions – or lack of them – as unacceptable. 

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The goal is to marginalize no one: email to Whatcom and Bellingham leaders / Noisy Waters Northwest

Click the graphic to access material available on the City of Bellingham website presenting the City’s view of events surrounding the 1/28/21 sweep of Camp 210

February 19, 2021 Dena Jensen

Here is an email I sent this morning:

Subject: The goal is to marginalize no one

Dear Mayor Fleetwood, Bellingham City Council, Bellingham Parks and Recreation Department, and Homeless Strategies Workgroup Members:

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A call to provide winter shelters in Bellingham and Whatcom County / Letter to Bellingham City Council and Whatcom County Council

October 30, 2020 Dena Jensen

Sent: Thursday, October 29, 2020, 07:39:21 PM PDT

Subject: A call to provide winter shelters

Dear Bellingham City Council and Whatcom County Council:

I am calling on you to take immediate action to address the absence of ample winter shelters to keep individuals being left with no other option than to sleep outside overnight during conditions that can cause hypothermia, and in the middle of a pandemic. According to an October 16, 2020 King5 report, “Washington State remains on track for a cooler, wetter winter.” https://www.king5.com/article/weather/weather-blog/winter-outlook-wetter-colder-washington-state/281-8a300d02-79fb-48b3-837f-2303c49133af 

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Agency glorification won’t generate community trust in law enforcement / Letter to BPD Chief David Doll and Bellingham City Council

Click the still frame of the Bellingham Herald video “Messages show how police used man with mental health issues in prank” to access the video on The Bellingham Herald website

August 27, 2020 Dena Jensen

Dear Chief Doll and Bellingham City Council:

I want to address the statement made by Bellingham Police Chief Doll at Bellingham City Council’s August 24, 2020 meeting. Chief Doll’s remarks were in regard to the four Bellingham Police officers who were involved in an incident where one of the officers responded to a 911 call during which a phone number was requested to a cab company from a man with a severe mental illness on Sept. 19, 2019. The incident developed into four BPD officers agreeing to one of them intercepting the victim who had called 911, and was not seeking BPD involvement or services, to use him to play a prank on some off-duty officers. 

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Attending sweeps of unsheltered residents during pandemic sounds alarms for better solutions / Letter to Whatcom County Council & Bellingham City Council

Screen Shot 2020-07-09 at 6.43.27 PM

Click the graphic of a portion of a recent listing of Bellingham Police Daily Activity displaying four different items regarding Illegal Camp clean ups and notifications to access this information on the COB website

July 9, 2020  Dena Jensen

Sent: Wednesday, July 8, 2020, 07:47:20 PM PDT

Subject: A call for providing funding and land for tiny home communities

Dear Whatcom County Council and Bellingham City Council:

I am writing to call on you to support the request of community members and members of HomesNOW! to act quickly to reappropriate funds from things like unauthorized tent site clean-ups toward the creation of tent, tiny home, or cottage communities.

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Intensified intimidation and persecution can ensue as Whatcom County gun store stokes alarm / Letter to Ferndale City Council

June 13, 2020  Dena Jensen

Subject: Calling for Council Members to refrain from actions that intensify intimidation or persecution of people of color and other marginalized community members

Dear Ferndale City Council:

During this time of extreme pain and demand for action from people in our communities who are Black and of other oppressed and persecuted communities, I wanted to write you about what I see as a visible representation of violence and intimidation that stands in close proximity to your Council. Continue reading