There will be an opportunity at Monday’s May 24, 2021, 7:00 p.m. Bellingham City Council meeting for people to comment during a Public Hearing on an issue that can impact individuals who are homeless, along with anyone spending a day in a Bellingham park that can be, in some way, assessed to be “camping.”
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.
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.
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).
Bellingham, WA — The Sunrise Movement, which includes the Sunrise Bellingham Hub, is demanding a Green New Deal that guarantees a good job fighting climate change and making a safer, healthier society to anyone who wants one. We are calling on Senator Murray, Senator Cantwell, and Representative Larsen to take the Good Jobs for All Pledge. The pledge is a commitment to invest $10 trillion to create at least 15 million good jobs over the next decade, with 50% of funds going to communities on the frontlines of our economic, environmental, and public health crises. When we say “good jobs” we mean jobs with safe workplaces, family-sustaining wages and benefits, and protection of workers’ rights to organize.
March 15, 2021 Press Release, Serenity Outreach Services
Serenity Outreach Services strongly condemns the city’s decision to sweep the Geri field homeless encampment. We feel the homeless encampment sweeps must be addressed as it relates to us as a nonprofit, as community members, and as tax-paying individuals. The sweep goes against recent CDC guidelines, Whatcom County Health Department guidance, and the recent 9th Circuit Superior Court Ruling.
[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.