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 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-2303c49133afContinue 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 2, 2020 Sandy Robson
Back in 2010, Jeffrey McClure, who is currently an incumbent candidate for commissioner for Whatcom County Public Utility District No. 1, signed onto a June 15, 2010, letter to then-Department of Natural Resources Public Lands Commissioner Peter Goldmark, urging him to remove what the letter described as “inherent conflicts” in the Washington State Department of Natural Resources’ draft of its Cherry Point Environmental Aquatic Reserve Management Plan.Continue reading
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
September 12, 2020 Dena Jensen
On Friday, September 11, 2020 Whatcom County’s Homeless Strategies Workgroup (HSW) held their most recent meeting. Many critical issues were discussed and people should watch and listen to the whole meeting. Homelessness is an emergency for many members of our community.
In this blog post, however, I am providing a transcription of a discussion during the meeting, which began shortly before public comment was taken and continued throughout some of the public comments later on. The discussion focused on Bellingham Police Department (BPD) policy/procedure related to City of Bellingham unauthorized homeless “camp clean ups”, as they are referred to by COB.
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.Continue reading
August 25, 2020 Dena Jensen
I am posting below Bellingham Police Department Chief Doll’s statement at the 8/24/20 Bellingham City Council meeting last night, which was regarding the September 2019 prank involving BPD officers taking advantage of a severely mentally ill community member to play a dangerous prank on fellow officers at a local restaurant. The incident was reported in the Bellingham Herald on August 15. I will put the link to the part of the meeting where the statement begins at about 00:52:30, https://youtu.be/7-r7GZCe5r0?t=3146Continue reading
August 21, 2020 Dena Jensen
Here’s the link to access the agenda and meeting materials, for today’s August 21, 2020 Homeless Strategies Workgroup meeting: http://whatcomcounty.us/2748/Homeless-Strategies-Workgroup-Meeting-In
I was able to remotely attend the last 45 minutes. I will view the first half of the Zoom meeting after the recording gets posted. Below is my email to the HSW regarding what was discussed during the period of the meeting for which I was present. I had tried to make a public comment, but today was a technical difficulty day for me. When I was unmuted in the Zoom meeting, alas, workgroup members still couldn’t hear me.