Guest Column — All are welcome at community hall lunches

November 18, 2014

On Thursdays from noon to 1 p.m. at the Issaquah Community Hall, I’m known as “the coffee guy.” I stand near the door as 50 or more people come through for a shared lunch provided by a circle of people of which I’m part, offering my “best in Issaquah,” home-roasted brew.

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Family Drop-in Center now on summer hours

July 29, 2014

The Issaquah Family Drop-in Center is open by appointment only during the summer.

The program was started in late February at the Community Hall, 180 E. Sunset Way, to provide a resource for families in the Issaquah School District who are experiencing housing instability.

On Wednesday and Thursday afternoons, volunteers have been providing a listening ear, companionship and advocacy while helping families connect with local resources that may be able to help them stay housed or to access assistance that could help them remain within the area where their children go to school while they look for stable affordable housing.

The service is provided by volunteers through the Issaquah Sammamish Interfaith Coalition.

Call 206-478-3899 for an appointment.

Eastside coalition explores permanent winter homeless shelter

July 1, 2014

Finding shelter in the winter might get easier in the future for the Eastside’s homeless.

The Issaquah City Council heard a presentation during its June 24 Committee of the Whole meeting about the exploration of opening a permanent winter shelter on the Eastside. Council President Paul Winterstein serves on the Eastside Human Services Forum and said that group initiated the topic in response to growing need.

“That forum hosted a mayors’ breakfast where this idea of potentially creating a regional solution for a permanent winter shelter was brought up,” he said. “It is an idea that is in the incubation stage.”

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Tent City 4 stay eases Faith United fears

June 10, 2014

Faith United Methodist Church’s volatile decision to host Tent City 4 changed a lot of minds, church leaders said as the traveling homeless shelter moved to its next site May 31.

After leaving Sammamish’s Mary, Queen of Peace in January, Tent City 4 set up for an emergency 30-day stay in Lake Sammamish State Park with the approval of the state. With options running low, the regional shelter petitioned for Faith United, located near the Klahanie neighborhood, to host the encampment.

“We kind of had to scramble to get things together, which we did,” Pastor John Brewer said. “After we got out in front of it, the experience itself of hosting Tent City 4 has gone very, very well. It went really without incident.”

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New county program will house, stabilize up to 350 families

February 11, 2014

A new pilot program will move as many as 350 homeless families in King County into rental housing by Dec. 31, 2014, and provide a range of short duration support services to help those families achieve stability.

More than $3.1 million will be dedicated to the pilot over the course of the next year.

The pilot program, Rapid Rehousing for Families, will provide short-term financial assistance and temporary housing-focused supports, including employment and training services, to help remove the barriers that hinder homeless families from accessing and maintaining housing. The program is designed to resolve the housing crisis, while also working with families to move toward independence.

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Students to have new outlet for reporting concerns at school

September 10, 2013

Students aren’t always comfortable reporting the problems they’re facing at school, so administrators in the Issaquah School District are trying something new to get them talking.

By the end of September, the district’s five middle schools and four high schools plan to implement Talk About It, a Web-based communications tool that will allow students to post comments while remaining anonymous.

Sena Camarata, assistant principal at Skyline High School, said the program should foster an environment where “students have a voice that they can share with administrators in their building if they have concerns about what’s going on at their school.”

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