Union Gospel Mission says it’s working with city on Nickelsville contract

June 28, 2013 at 11:32 am | In 'Nickelsville' encampment, West Seattle news | 25 Comments

Been wondering who would get the money approved by the City Council this week to help move out Nickelsville residents so the encampment can be closed by September 1st? Union Gospel Mission just announced they’re working with the city:

Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission (“the Mission”) is developing a contract with the City of Seattle’s (“the City”) Human Services Department to help Nickelsville residents transition to permanent housing and get back on their feet. This comes as a result of the $500,000 appropriated by the City this week to assist the residents of Nickelsville to secure housing, shelter and services over the next several months.

“The Mission looks forward to walking beside the 160 individuals and families who desire a pathway out of homelessness. Mission staff will develop relationships with individuals and families wanting assistance, assessing their needs, finding appropriate housing options, and meeting with them on a weekly basis for up to a year with the goal of each person becoming fully self-reliant,” said Jeff Lilley, the Mission’s president.

The Mission will offer:

1. Relocation assistance to permanent housing for all Nickelsville residents – though all are free to seek their own alternatives.

2. Assisted and case-managed housing, up to one year – with the goal to have residents fully self-reliant at the end of that year.

3. Case management to help residents develop self-sustainable skills, utilizing existing resources as needed, including the Mission’s legal services, dental clinic, community job sources, etc.

4. Evaluation and referral services to those residents requesting entrance into recovery programs – guaranteeing a treatment bed in the Mission’s programs if they so choose (or a referral to other program).

5. Emergency shelter beds at Mission facilities during this transition period as needed.

“The Mission will not manage Nickelsville during this time, just assist in the relocation process. The project has many challenges as well as opportunities, and the Mission, with funding from the City, will begin work right away, ” said Lilley.

25 Comments

  1. That actually sounds like a well thought out, pretty effective plan. I’m sure the social service workers providing it will do their best and are devoted to the work.

    However, as someone who works in nonprofit, this is a bit of a scary idea. I can tell you that when you offer something like this, all that happens is that a line forms. Want a place to live, case management and emergency shelter, without going through the usual channels or following the normal (albeit not always fair) shelter rules? Form a camp, cause some trouble, embarrass the city, and get your own custom-built social service plan.

    At half a million dollars per incident/camp, this is going to get expensive fast. In fact, even if we provide permanent housing for every homeless person in Seattle, if this is the new deal, you’ll see new arrivals from Oregon, Idaho, California…..

    We need regular services, with routine funding, that are sustainable, not “throw money at it” knee-jerk responses.

    Comment by Rebecca — 12:00 pm June 28, 2013 #

  2. My concern: Gospel Mission is faith based and I’m wondering if there will be any proselytizing and/or requirements to attend church services in order to receive services, as some faith based facilities mandate?

    Comment by Carrie P. — 1:29 pm June 28, 2013 #

  3. Rebecca…what would you rather? Put them out on the streets? Yes weneed regular services, but I think that will take more time than the people in NV have.

    Comment by JanS — 1:46 pm June 28, 2013 #

  4. Yep.. they are gonna have to get with Jesus if they want that roof over their head. UGM’s requirement is you have to sit through their Jesus message every night for an hour before you get a matt to sleep on.

    Comment by Jiggers — 1:54 pm June 28, 2013 #

  5. If what Jiggers says is true, and if this half million is government money, I don’t feel Gospel Mission should be managing this. Just my 2 ducats

    Comment by Carrie P. — 2:43 pm June 28, 2013 #

  6. Rebecca – I agree that 500K is a lot of money, but there is no real alternative given the situation. We created the mess, now we have to clean it up. IMHO The way that we prevent this type of abuse in the future is to not allow these types of encampments to be setup in the first place.

    I would love to see a Please Help Don’t Give Campaign that funnels money to organization who can help the homeless find long term self-sustainability. I personally would contribute.

    http://www.nashvilledowntown.com/services/please-help

    http://www.bizjournals.com/denver/stories/2006/06/26/editorial4.html?page=all

    Comment by Paul — 3:09 pm June 28, 2013 #

  7. What Jiggers said is not true. They are a Faith-based organization, and they do offer chapel services and religious counseling, but they pointedly do not require chapel attendance of their clients and pointedly do not discriminate against clients who choose not to do chapel.

    http://www.ugm.org/site/PageServer?pagename=about_faq#chapel

    Comment by Lura Ercolano — 3:34 pm June 28, 2013 #

  8. Carrie P. – I run the emergency services and addiction recovery programming for Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission and will be overseeing the project from our side. To clarify, no, there is no requirement for any religious service for anyone to access the services we offer at the Mission. We simply want to help as many men, women and children at Nickelsville find safe and stable housing options. In the old days of emergency shelter there was a chapel requirement, but it has not been that way for years now. Any devotions that we hold at our downtown site are completely voluntary. We are a faith based organization that wants to see the homeless of King County treated with dignity, honor and respect. Our goal is to offer housing and case management to all in Nickelsville before the City’s Sept 1st deadline.

    Comment by Terry P — 4:34 pm June 28, 2013 #

  9. Thanks for the information, Terry, and your obviously heartfelt work!

    Comment by Carrie P. — 5:22 pm June 28, 2013 #

  10. Thanks Carrie! Is there any way a group of people could help out? Not just a one time, but maybe a couple times a month.

    Comment by Jen — 9:41 pm June 28, 2013 #

  11. Union gospel mission offers great programs. Furniture making schooling tutors mentors internships. The problem is going to be changing the mind set that other adult taxpayers and govt taxes owe to let them call their own shots and us pay the bills. Its time the consultant go get a real job and pay taxes lived for. 22 years off donations!

    Comment by Mom — 9:57 pm June 28, 2013 #

  12. Lura you’re wrong. You know how I know. Because I was homeless for three years myself and stayed at UGM. But that was two and half years ago. Did they change their requirements? I’ll call them soon to find out. Terry.. are you telling me it’s not required now to sit thru Chapel service to just get a matt? I know if you want to have diiner that’s a requirement right? To Just sleep, they used to put you in the other room. Comon now tell it like it is Terry. Oh Terry.. I still have that yellow bright card with my picture on it that you gave me for I.D.

    Comment by jiggers — 10:06 pm June 28, 2013 #

  13. Again, there is no religious requirement to access ANY of our services to include meals, shelter bed nights, clothing, showers, dental care, legal help, counseling or any other services that we provide. All of these services are free and created to help those in greatest need get the help when they need it most. I would love to give a tour to anyone interested in learning more about all the Mission has to offer the residents in Nickelsville and the homeless and hurting throughout King County. Additionally, there is many ways for people to volunteer to help in this effort and other areas of the Mission. My email is tpallas@ugm.org and my phone number is 206-432-8451.

    Comment by Terry P — 11:40 pm June 28, 2013 #

  14. Terry,
    I know that UGM DOES NOT require attendance to ANY of their religious services to gain access to the services/programs/shelters they provide to the homeless.
    But to the Liberals/Progressives here in WS you can tell them 24/7 that it is the truth, but because the word “Gospel” is in the name and religious counseling is provided (but NOT mandatory) UGM is the WORST organization out there in their opinion.
    They would rather see that money go to SHARE/Wheel where ZERO services to get the homeless out of that lifestyle and back on their feet are offered.
    These are the same zealots that frown on the Pledge being recited at school, continue to deny ANY bible studies at a public school after hours (but say nothing about rooms being provided to Muslims so they can pray to Mecca during school hours), want to see “In God We Trust” removed from US currency…etc.
    They truly BELIEVE that “separation between church and state” is written in the Constitution verbatim.
    I truly hope that UGM gets the contract to assist the Nicklesville trespassers in their move. IMO UGM is the BEST organization in Seattle/KC for this and will make that $500,000 go A LOT further than others.

    Comment by Ex-Westwood Resident — 6:22 pm June 29, 2013 #

  15. Well stated Ex-Westwood Resident.

    Comment by West Seattle Hipster — 8:14 pm June 29, 2013 #

  16. Ex-Westwood, your post shows you to be just as extreme in your beliefs as those you criticize. Holy generalization/stereotyping! Jiggers is actually speaking from experience, as someone who actually received services at Gospel Mission, he’s not just talking out of the back of his neck w/assumptions. I, the person who originally questioned having a faith based organization managing the money, acknowledged Terry’s reply and I accepted it at face value and thanked him for his hard work. I am quite open to the idea that UGM manage the money and oversee the Nicklesville transition. However, my concern is valid because over the years, many, many faith based services have required conversion/religious participation to receive the most basic of human needs. Many, many native populations of the world have had religious organizations come to “save” them via services with a hefty side of religious pressure.

    Comment by CarrieP — 9:08 pm June 29, 2013 #

  17. Yay UGM for continuing to do the great work you do for the homeless in King County! As a UGM volunteer in their Men’s Shelter, I get to see it firsthand. I see the faces of the many grateful persons who have a meal there up to three times daily. Do not be so close to judgement in the name of “religion”. They are serving a need that local county and state are not.

    Comment by T — 2:19 am June 30, 2013 #

  18. I’m the extremist because I want to see the money go to an organization that provides shelter, food, counseling, training, search and rescue and much more, than one that does NOTHING other than a piece of ground to lay on?!?!?!
    Here’s a bit advice; ask UGM and SHARE/Wheel for the financial records to see where the money they get is being spent. You’ll be waiting A LONG, LONG TIME for the one from SHARE/Wheel.
    Once again the Lib/Dem/Prog tolerance for opposing views shows up. If you don’t 100% agree with what they say and think, you are labeled an extremist!!!

    Comment by Ex-Westwood Resident — 8:31 am June 30, 2013 #

  19. Glad to see city money being spent responsibly for once.
    .
    There are few more experienced and successful organizations than UGM.

    Comment by JoAnne — 8:40 am June 30, 2013 #

  20. Since many of the Nickelsville enablers claim that most of the squatters have mental health issues, will any of the $500,000 be allocated to counseling or treatment of mental health issues?

    Comment by West Seattle Hipster — 9:38 am June 30, 2013 #

  21. Weren’t nearly identical services being provided all along at Nickelsville? What was the percentage of success?

    What happens at the end of this year-long program through UGM for those who fail to achieve independence? Won’t we be right back where we are now, with the same urgent demands?

    Comment by anonyme — 10:47 am June 30, 2013 #

  22. I cannot beleive that the city is even thinking about giving that kind of money to these people. What housing? Where is this housing? Don’t think that you are going to bump me off of a list so that these drug addicts and drunks can have a free place to live. Wait your turn for housihg like everyone else or get your own housinbg. Maybe if some of you worked for a living insted of doing drugs and methodone you could become a funtioning part of society. CITIZENS OF SEATTLE SHOULD PETITION CITY HALL TO CANEL THIS DEAL.

    Comment by Marty Short — 6:48 pm June 30, 2013 #

  23. anonyme,
    NO those services WERE NOT provided at NV.
    NV depended mainly on donations of food, clothing, materials, money from the community with a LITTLE help from SHARE/Wheel (VERY little).
    Marty,
    I agree, but since the Clowncil has already approved the spending, I would rather see the money going toward an organization (any organization) that has a PROVEN track record of getting people off the streets and on their feet again than seeing “one red cent” going to SHARE/Wheel.

    Comment by Ex-Westwood Resident — 7:47 pm June 30, 2013 #

  24. @ Marty – drug addicts and drunks? That is not judgmental at all. You need to rethink your view of people who utilize low income housing. Many are immigrants who work full time and provide for their families. I have a friend who lives at High Point – she is NOT an addict. She is an Ethiopian immigrant, works full time, and is a full time student at U-Dub. I am so sick of people’s notion that low income housing is a haven for drug addicts, drunks, and moochers. What if YOU were homeless and had no place to live?! Have some compassion!

    Comment by T — 3:24 am July 3, 2013 #

  25. it’s a lot of money, but i think the many donations that have poured into the camp week after week, with little to no results for the residents there shows that a thoughtful investment is needed. what concerns me is the desire being expressed by this group for another camp. the results are in, the encampment structure doesn’t work. it doesn’t move people from homeless to housed. it creates a system of dependency, that keeps people from looking for more substantial answers to their problems. without substantial management and services, it supports addiction and mental illness – in it’s own way, keeping people homeless. beds without substantial services (i.e. help locating housing, work, reconnecting with family, medical care, education, mental health, etc…) is a waste of money and a tax on all of us.

    Comment by laura — 10:32 am July 6, 2013 #

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