Free public forum Saturday, April 28 – Facing Pierce County Homelessness: Creating HomeFULLness

Tacoma, WA – This Saturday, April 28, those who live and work in Pierce County are invited to attend a free community forum at the Greater Tacoma Convention Center on the topic of “Facing Pierce County Homelessness: Creating HomeFULLness.” Hear from business, civic and community leaders and participate in discussion panels during multiple sessions. All sessions are free and open to the public. The community forum runs from 10:00 AM through 4:00 PM.

Panels will focus on how the community can more rapidly house the homeless, decrease the number of homeless, and mitigate the costs in Pierce County. The forum will provide information about affordable housing options, current services, effects on the health care system, youth homelessness, racial inequity, and organizing the community to address homelessness.

Homelessness is increasing at a steady rate in Pierce County. The causes are many and varied, including impacts from rising rents and unchanging wage rates. This growing population includes people who have experienced medical or other financial emergencies while living close to the margin of their income.

Keynote speaker Pamela J. Oakes will emphasize what the community can do to respond to the growing homelessness crisis. Oakes is a leader in Strategic Planning and Engagement at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. She has consulted with top corporations in the areas of diversity, change management, employment and gender equity, and personal empowerment. Larry Seaquist, former Washington State Representative, and Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards will participate in panels, along with city and county housing authorities, non-profit leaders, and other community experts. Washington State Historical Society will present an exhibition exploring the adversity and triumph of everyday Americans during the 1930s, and comparing the struggles of the 1930s with those faced today.

Homelessness impacts all of us. This is an opportunity to learn more. Leave feeling inspired and galvanized to move toward homeFULLness.

This free public forum is organized by the League of Women Voters Tacoma-Pierce County, American Association of University Women’s Tacoma chapter (AAUW), National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s Tacoma chapter (NAACP 253 ), and Restoring the American Dream – Tacoma (RAD).  It is hosted by the Washington State Historical Society. Sponsors include Key Bank, Rotary Club of Tacoma North, Molina Health Care, and Associated Ministries.

The Tacoma Convention Center is located at 1500 Commerce St., Tacoma WA 98402. Check this site for parking, light rail and other directions: https://tacomaconventioncenter.org/parking-directions. There will be a concession cart on-site, and attendees can visit the many nearby restaurants during intermission.

Registration is not required but is suggested; register at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/facing-pierce-county-homelessness-creating-homefullness-tickets-44228531729. An event schedule/ program can be found here: http://tacomapiercelwv.org/files/schedule_of_speakers_4-11-18.pdf

About The Washington State Historical Society: The Washington State Historical Society partners with our communities to explore how history connects us all. Address: 1911 Pacific Avenue, Tacoma, WA 98402

Washington State History Museum: Hours: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM Tuesday through Sunday. On the Third Thursday of each month, 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM.

Admission: Free for members; Adults $14; seniors (age 65+), students (age 6-17) and military (with ID) $11; free for children 5 and under; family rate $40 (up to two adults and four children under age 18). Patrons with a Washington Quest card can attend for $1 per person or $2 per family. Admission is free 3:00 – 8:00 PM on the Third Thursday of each month.

- Washington State Historical Society