CAMP SECOND CHANCE: Concerns, costs, data access discussed @ Community Advisory Committee

(UPDATED Thursday night with a second city response to the data question)

(At Sunday’s meeting, L-R: C2C’s Eric Davis, Alki UCC’s Cinda Stenger, city HSD’s Shawn Neal, committee chair Willow Fulton)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Just before the first blast of snowy weather hit our area Sunday, the latest updates on West Seattle’s city-sanctioned encampment were shared at the Camp Second Chance Community Advisory Committee meeting.

In attendance were C2CCAC chair Willow Fulton, members Aaron Garcia, Cinda Stenger, Judi Carr, and Grace Stiller, camp manager/co-founder Eric Davis, and Shawn Neal, a grants/contracts specialist with the city Human Services Department.

STATUS REPORTS: Davis provided the monthly report on the camp’s status via this one-sheet:

Later in the meeting he shared an anecdote about the camp helping reunite a lost dog with its owner

From committee members: “Everything seems to be going pretty well” in and around the camp, reported Fulton. She mentioned a camper (minus vehicle) that had been abandoned along Myers Way and was a magnet for odd roadside activity for a while but said it’s since been removed, as has some roadside trash. Fulton also mentioned the two January meetings about the camp’s hopes of an extension to stay atthe site, Westside Interfaith Network (WSB coverage here) and Highland Park Action Committee (WSB coverage here); she spoke at both meetings. She also reported going to Burien to see “Trickle Down Town,” the documentary that features C2C, and hopes to get a screening arranged at Arrowhead Gardens (which is where the CAC meets, a few blocks north of the encampment). … Garcia said he was heartened by the “civil dialogue” at the HPAC meeting, which he attended … Stenger reported that tiny-house building has resumed in the “special tent” on site at C2C.

CITY REP: Shawn Neal, who handles grants and contracts for sanctioned encampments, said he talked to the city colleagues who attended the aforementioned West Seattle meetings, and described them as “happy” with the expressions of support. He said some other community events will be scheduled by the city related to the proposed extension of C2C’s stay at the Myers Way Parcels, but he didn’t have dates yet.

CAMP NEIGHBOR’S QUESTIONS/CONCERNS: Garcia read email with questions/concerns for the city, sent by area resident Carol (who also copied WSB the same day, so we have cut/pasted below):

How can the mayor of Seattle, HPAC, NHUAC or the surrounding communities make an informed decision on CSCs third permit extension with no current data ?

We feel that there is a lack of transparency on housing data & the details of exactly how people are being helped.

This has been an ongoing problem with CSC, LIHI & the city regarding the nonprofits that they contract with.

As of Friday February 1st 5 pm CSC still has not produced any Community Advisory Committee meeting minutes or data since August 2018 !

There is no current data for how many individuals have been housed, exited, barred or connected with services.

On the Seattle.gov Homelessness Response page under Permitted Encampments / CSC… It states that the city has only requested the minutes from October and November 2018.

Garcia asked Neal if he had any response. Garcia said the committee is not bound to submit a formal data report. Fulton said she has submitted minutes as of midweek and was awaiting city posting. (We checked the city website just before publishing this story; the C2C section now has minutes linked through January, with only October missing.)

Fulton also noted that WSB usually covers the meetings (archived here but note that we did miss the January meeting) and publish reports for anyone interested. As for camp status, Davis’s reports, he said, are unofficial. Neal said that the city does track how many people from C2C are exiting to permanent housing. “We have that information.”

So, asked Stenger, where would that be accessible? It’s in a database, Neal said, but not necessarily someplace easy to access. We followed up, asking, does that mean someone could access it simply by asking, or whether a public disclosure request would be required. Neal said he didn’t know but would find out. (We have not heard back but are following up.) Fulton said access to the official reports would be helpful so that committee members could help in their role as unofficial community liaisons.

ADDED 12:57 PM THURSDAY: Lily Rehrmann of HSD replied to part of our followup inquiry:

For the third quarter of 2018 (representing data from January 1 – September 30, 2018), Camp Second Chance had a rate of exits to permanent housing of 48%, meaning that of those households that exited CSC 48% entered permanent housing. This is the highest rate for all the permitted villages in the third quarter. The percentage represents 21 households entering permanent housing in the first 9 months of 2018.

ADDED 8:51 PM THURSDAY: That didn’t answer the question of how a citizen would routinely access the data, so we repeated it. Rehrmann’s response:

The best place for a constituent to ask a question about homelessness results and data is by contacting homelessness@seattle.gov. There is some data that HSD queries in the regular course of business when we report quarterly results, including the below question about exits to permanent housing that we can answer fairly quickly. Some data we don’t pull automatically each quarter and that may be best accessed through a PDR request. We can offer that advice through homelessness@seattle.gov.

We report quarterly results at a system level to the Council and on our blog, but I realize that may not be the level of data that folks are interested in.

https://homelessness.seattle.gov/human-services-department-releases-2018-first-quarter-results-from-investments/

https://humaninterests.seattle.gov/2018/10/08/results-housing-placements-up-35-in-the-first-six-months-of-2018/

https://humaninterests.seattle.gov/2018/12/19/city-funds-have-helped-more-people-enter-and-remain-in-housing-in-nine-months-than-all-of-2017/

Q1 Report to Council:
http://seattle.legistar.com/View.ashx?M=A&ID=621168&GUID=737949A1-A0EF-4C29-8573-BB17EDED7749
Presentation: http://seattle.legistar.com/View.ashx?M=F&ID=6666471&GUID=BFABBAB7-0595-41DC-92DA-024E9E5113DC

Q2 Report to Council:
http://seattle.legistar.com/View.ashx?M=A&ID=640923&GUID=2F7439F0-4689-402D-8BB0-CC1264F275AE

Presentation: http://seattle.legistar.com/View.ashx?M=F&ID=6656600&GUID=F1F50D25-8721-478B-912D-6E1FFBE7D5D6

(back to original report) FUNDING FOR TINY HOUSES: Arrowhead Gardens resident Diane asked Stenger to clarify the money that’s being spent on tiny houses at C2C. Reply: The church raised $21,000 starting in spring 2016, then through “momentum” of community and church, that “ballooned to $40,000, and we’re kicking off a campaign to raise another $60,000.” One house generally costs $2500 to $3000, Stenger said, depending on what kind of material donations are available, or how much is available at reduced prices.

MEETING AT ARROWHEAD GARDENS: Sometime in the next week or so, they’re expecting City Councilmember Lisa Herbold for a meeting, and they want reps from SDOT, Parking Enforcement, Parks and Recreation, to talk about the situation on both sides of Myers Way. That includes an update on where the development of the cleared east-side property stand, since Parks had said xxx). “This is our front yard” and they want to be partners in determining what’s done with it.

NEXT MEETING: The committee meets on first Sundays, so it’s scheduled to convene again at 2 pm Sunday, March 3rd, again in the Arrowhead Gardens community room (9200 2nd SW).

14 Replies to "CAMP SECOND CHANCE: Concerns, costs, data access discussed @ Community Advisory Committee"

  • Jim P. February 7, 2019 (10:28 am)

    ““We have that information.”
    So, asked Stenger, where would that be accessible? It’s in a
    database, Neal said, but not necessarily someplace easy to access. We
    followed up, asking, does that mean someone could access it simply by
    asking, or whether a public disclosure request would be required.”Gee and that doesn’t make alarm bells go off in my mind in the slightest.I also note self-reporting about police calls.  What does the PD say about it compared to the claims? Is there any independent inspection of sanitation/trash/condtions or is that self-reported also? (I do not count reporting by anyone getting fund/grants as there seems to be a great lack of genuine transparency at all levels as to how money is being used and what results, if any, occur.)Basically, is there any actual progress or are people settling down for the long term while practicing what might be charitably called a “minimalist lifestyle” at other people’s expense?

  • anonyme February 7, 2019 (12:50 pm)

    Spot on, Jim P.  The stats surrounding this camp and others are either non-existent or unattainable.  Transparency on spending and outcomes has been clear.as.mud.  This will continue as long as multiple individuals and agencies are making money off of this crisis, which is at least in part self-perpetuating.  Enough coddling.  Raise expectations, enforce mileposts, and eliminate code and law-enforcement loopholes. 

    • WSB February 7, 2019 (12:51 pm)

      I heard back from HSD and am adding to the report.

      • hbb February 7, 2019 (1:03 pm)

        Thanks WSB, always appreciate the detailed coverage. 

  • Chris February 7, 2019 (2:19 pm)

    We know a wonderful gracious lady who lives there.   We talked to her re housing and she said it could take 2 to 10 years to get a place.   She told us she was in a tent with a little heater.    We are very thankful for Camp Second Chance for those in need.    She is trying and does have some work.

  • John Walling February 7, 2019 (6:56 pm)

    Apparently, relevant CSC data is held by HMIS, HSD, and LIHI.CSC Camp Manager keeps informal data related to resident occupancy, comings and goings. The LIHI/CSC Case Manager has access to HMIS  data for the purpose of housing and job placement; and for training and assistance. I don’t know if he has access to HSD data.LIHI has data, but I don’t know the nature of it. I believe they use it to fulfill contract obligations with the city and to support their client needs.No one seems to have responsibility for all the relevant data.  For example, HMIS records transitional housing placements, but HSD only records permanent housing placement–based on what I have gleaned from CAC meetings at Arrowhead Gardens.CAC members do not collect or collate CSC data. They would like to have official data reports for better communication with the community per Willow Fulton.A good project for a WSB intern would be to inventory the homeless data held by various entities.  Surely, some UW grad student would love the challenge.  ;-)

    • WSB February 7, 2019 (7:15 pm)

      Intern? I wish! That aside, my followup-to-the-followup did yield more info from HSD’s Lily Rehrmann, which I will add to this soon as I finish the storm-preps update I’m working on.

  • 1994 February 7, 2019 (9:16 pm)

    What will happen to 44 little houses if the city does not renew the ‘permit’? Will they need to be moved? Who will pay? I don’t think the city should be allowing these camps to be created or maintained on public land.

  • WW Resident February 8, 2019 (5:36 am)

    QUOTE: FUNDING FOR TINY HOUSES: Arrowhead Gardens resident Diane asked Stenger to clarify the money that’s being spent on tiny houses at C2C. Reply: The church raised $21,000 starting in spring 2016, then through “momentum” of community and church, that “ballooned to $40,000, and we’re kicking off a campaign to raise another $60,000.” One house generally costs $2500 to $3000, Stenger said, depending on what kind of material donations are available, or how much is available at reduced prices.WW Resident : in the last few years, Seattle has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on the homeless issue. I’ve read other articles where LIHI get their materials for the micro housing through donations. Meanwhile Sharon Lee of LIHI is pulling in close to $200,000 a year in wages. Where is all the money being spent? 

  • Willow February 8, 2019 (8:00 pm)

    This link has some other examples that you can compare:

    https://www.curbed.com/maps/tiny-houses-for-the-homeless-villages

    And this one:
    https://www.shareable.net/blog/transitional-microhouse-community-opportunity-village-eugene-addresses-homelessness

    Regarding Sharon Lee’s salary, there’s some interesting information about that here:
    https://thecisforcrank.com/2018/07/09/morning-crank-isnt-it-weird-that/

    From this, it appears to me that she is making a comparatively fair salary for her position – and to next likely argument that all of these directors make “more than they should” – I wonder what it would take for most people to do the level and amount of work that they do. Being an ED is a HUGE responsibility, and involves commitment, knowledge and skill that most people can barely imagine – doing it for a non-profit usually means that you have worked your way there doing TONS of long hours and hard work that most people are unable or unwilling to do.  If someone out there thinks they can do better for less, please, step up – I’ll support your efforts, cheer you on, volunteer with you and defend you, too.

    • WW Resident February 9, 2019 (2:38 am)

      Maybe you should Google the article, “The Anatomy of a Swindle”. It is a well researched and lengthy article on this subject

  • hpresident8 February 11, 2019 (12:45 am)

    Lily Rehrmann of HSD

    For the third quarter of 2018 (representing data from
    January 1 – September 30, 2018), Camp Second Chance had a rate of exits to
    permanent housing of 48%, meaning that of those households that exited CSC 48%
    entered permanent housing. This is the highest rate for all the permitted
    villages in the third quarter. The percentage represents 21 households entering
    permanent housing in the first 9 months of 2018.
     

    Lily, where did this data come from?

    These are the numbers from CSC minutes available on line. This
    is what the public has access to:

    May 2017:  14 residents
    initially, now 50 residents. No mention of anyone moved to housing. 0%

    June, 2017 – 55 residents, 4 moved out. 8%

    July 2017 – 62 residents, 1 moved to housing, 1 moved to
    section 8 housing 3.22%

    August 2017 – no number of residents reported, 2 moved to
    housing of some sort. ?%

    Sept. 2017 – no meeting, no notes

    Oct. 2017 –  “not sure
    of the number of residents or intakes or exits”. 0%

    Nov. 2017 – David Baum steps in to help set up better
    recording, 41 residents, 0 exits. 0%

    Dec. 2017 – 46 residents, 12 new, 8 departed – no explanation
    of what “departed” means, so for here, we will assume “departed” means exits to
    housing. 17.39%

    Jan. 2018 – 42 residents, 8 new, 13 departed, 3 stayed only
    a few days – again, no explanation of what “departed” means. Again, we will
    assume “departed” means exits to housing, and the 3 who stayed only a few days
    are part of the 13 “departed”. 30.95%

    Feb. 2018 – 50 residents, no report on how many exits. 0% ?

    March 2018 – 50 residents, 1 housed. 2%

    April 2018 – 54 residents, 0 housed, served 233 meals to people outside the camp at the gate. 0%

    May 2018 – 52 residents, 2 exits (assumed to housing), 5
    exits not to housing, served 141 meals to people outside the camp at the gate.
    9.615%

    June 2018 – 48 residents, maybe 7 exits – Aug. meeting
    clarified that there have been 8 exits total since May 2018.  If May, June, July and August totaled 8 exits
    total, suppose 1 ½ exits per month, or 3 ½ %. 108 meals served to people outside the camp at the gate.

    July 2018 – no meeting

    August 2018 – 46 residents, 8 housed since May 2018 – see June
    2018 note about %.  220 meals served to people outside the camp at the gate.

    September 2018 – 45 residents, 6 exits to housing by reconnecting
    with family. 13.33%. 183 meals served to people outside the camp at the gate.

    Oct. 2018 – no meeting minutes

    November 2018 – 46 residents, 1 person reunited with family.
    2.17%

    December 2018 – 48 residents, 0 exits. 0%

    January 2018 – 48 residents, 4 reunited with family, 1 asked
    to leave because of behavior. 8.33% based on 4 exits, not counting the 1 exit
    that was asked to leave.

    Is there data somewhere to support the 48% rate moved to permanent
    housing? Even if you average the percentages, it still isn’t anywhere near 48% – more like 10%, I think.  Are the people who are served meals at the gate part of the group that has moved to housing, but still receive meal help at the gate? The minutes made a point of the number of meals served, and then abruptly stopped reporting this information.Please
    note that some of the people who “exit” the camp also return at another time
    for various reasons, according to the minutes and discussions during meetings. I am also confused about Jan.1 to Sept. 30, 2018 being called “the third quarter”. Isn’t the first quarter Jan. Feb. March, the second quarter April, May, June, the third quarter July, August, September, and the 4th quarter October, November, December? If the third quarter IS July, August, and September,  the totals would be 3 1/2%, 3 1/2 %, and 13.33%, or an average of 6.78%, not 48%, and a total of people “departing”  approximately 9 (assuming the June 2018 clarification note of 1 1/2 people for May, June, July, and Aug.), not 21.Excuse my ignorance in asking, but I am confused by the information presented by HSD.

  • hpresident8 February 11, 2019 (7:47 am)

     

    The
    King County HMIS seems to be the only link that leads to a way to access
    data.  It appears you can only access the
    data if you are an approved data use agreement for purposes authorized by the
    HMIS Steering Committee, which conducts a detailed review of every request and
    makes a determination on a case by case basis. If approved in a request for data, you may pay a fee for the data, depending on time needed to secure the data for your request, and are limited to one request per year.  Is this the only way the public can view the data on which so many critical and crucial decisions are being made?

    In

     

     

    ying& Data

    Home/ReportReports

    Running and managing
    reports within the Clarity Human Services is a simple and easy process. Follow
    the link below to access the Clarity Human Services Online Help Portal.

    Reporting Information for Staff and Case Managers

    HOW TO RUN A REPORT

    Data Requests and Data
    Use Agreements

    King County DCHS may
    release de-identified data from the Homeless Management Information System
    (HMIS) to entities with an approved Data Use Agreement for purposes authorized
    by the HMIS Steering Committee. Each Data Use Agreement is specific to the individual
    project, and all projects require annual review.

    Review Process and Criteria

    King County DCHS and
    the HMIS Steering Committee conduct a detailed review of every request for
    access to de-identified data and makes a determination on a case by case basis.
    Requests for de-identified data will be granted only if the project cannot be
    complete with aggregate information, and the data request are of a scale to not
    identify data. When possible, data requests will be reviewed on a first-come,
    first-served basis. However, King County DCHS staff will have discretion on the
    order in which requests are filled.

    If the data use
    request is approved by the HMIS Steering Committee then a Data Use Agreement
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    requesting the data. Approved requests are held to the highest ethical
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    Agreement.

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    Please review
    the HMIS Data Standards if you are unsure of
    which data elements are available. Requestors are encouraged to submit
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    of the data.
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    entire request and ask for all aspects of what you expect to need. It is faster
    and easier for DCHS to do multiple analyses or a single data pull at one time
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