housing action


Conference on Ending Homelessness
October 6–8, 2021

Keynote Speaker


Dr. Kendi wearing a checkered shirt and a gray blazer in front of a gray backgroundIbram X. Kendi, PhD

Dr. Ibram X. Kendi is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Boston University, and the founding director of the BU Center for Antiracist Research. He is a contributing writer at The Atlantic and a CBS News racial justice contributor. Dr. Kendi is the 2020-2021 Frances B. Cashin Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. He is the host of the new action podcast, Be Antiracist. 
Dr. Kendi is the author of many highly acclaimed books including Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, which won the National Book Award for Nonfiction, making him the youngest ever winner of that award. He also produced five straight #1 New York Times bestsellers, including How to Be an Antiracist, Antiracist Baby, and Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You, co-authored by Jason Reynolds. In 2020, Time magazine named Dr. Kendi one of the 100 most influential people in the world. 

Breakout Sessions

Building Community Power in the Aftermath of the Pandemic 

Thousands of low-income Black, Indigenous, and people of color renters are at risk of displacement when eviction moratoriums lift. Our communities are facing intersecting racial and economic inequities exacerbated by the pandemic. Drawing on a long history of tenant organizing, we will explore how to build community power to prevent mass displacement in the aftermath. 

  • Terri Anderson, Spokane Director, Tenants Union of Washington State 

  • Julissa Sanchez, Community Organizer, Tenants Union of Washington State 

 Co-Design Methods with People Experiencing Both Homelessness and Substance Use 

This session will explore how co-design methods with people experiencing both homelessness and substance can be used to adapt evidence-based interventions. We will provide an overview of co-design methodology and highlight examples of this work by hosting a panel of academics and co-investigators with lived experience. 

  • Callan Fockele, MD, MS, Emergency Physician and Population Health Research Fellow, University of Washington 

Co-Developing and Implementing Collaborative Funding Processes and Program Launches with Youth Leadership 

The session is a case study of the Peer Life Coach project and how it used a collaborative framework centering youth with lived experience in project development, request for qualifications (RFQ) design, and program implementation. The session will include audience participation and shared learning. 

  • Brianna Franco, Communications Officer & Board Member, Youth Action Board 

  • Martha Sassorossi, MPA, YHDP and Homeless Youth & Young Adult Initiative Lead

  • Tujuana Horton, Program and Facilities Manager, Therapeutic Health Services 

  • Carol Rozumalski, MSW, MEd, Planning and Development Specialist, City of Seattle Human Services Department, Homeless Strategy and Investment Division 

Community Services Division (CSD) Program Panel and Discussion 

Join us and learn about Basic Food, TANF/WorkFirst, Aged, Blind, or Disabled (ABD), the HEN Referral Program, and more. We’ll discuss program benefits, eligibility rules, and have time for questions and group discussion. We’ll also discuss accessing services through local CSOs, mobile offices, the statewide customer service contact center, and Washington Connection. 

  • Nicholas Swiatkowski, Social Services Program Manager, Economic Services Administration, Department of Social and Health Services 

Cross-Systems Data, Equity, and Coordinated Entry Prioritization 

Since October 2020, King County has been using cross-systems human services data to identify and prioritize households most at risk for COVID-19 in the Coordinated Entry System. This method embedded a deep equity focus and has dramatically shifted the demographics of who is being prioritized in favor of BIPOC households. This presentation will introduce attendees to this novel coordinated entry prioritization method and the cross-systems data that made it possible. It will walk through how equity-based decision making informed the process, the benefits and limitations of using administrative data in this manner, and the remaining challenges to continuing this type of prioritization methodology.  

  • Alex Ebrahimi, Coordinated Entry for All Planning & Partnerships Manager, King County Department of Community and Human Services 

  • Victoria Ewing, MPA, Housing & Homelessness Evaluator, King County Department of Community and Human Services 

Designing to Increase Racial Equity in our Homeless Response System (Part 1)

At Building Changes, 2020 was a year of reckoning around racial justice and how we work. This pushed us to center racial equity and lived expertise from the very beginning of project planning. Please join us to learn from our experiences and to workshop a project from your organization. 

  • Dimitri Groce, MSW, Senior Manager, Capacity-building & Grantmaking, Building Changes 

  • Kalyn Yasutake, MPH, Senior Research Associate, Building Changes 

Leading with Racial Equity: Partnering to Design BIPOC-Focused Programs (Part 2)

BIPOC households are more likely to face homelessness and often don’t get their needs met in the homeless system due to historical and persistent racism. To do better, we must prioritize and fund racial equity work. Two organizations will share their journeys in advancing equitable homelessness strategies. 

  • Amy Reynolds, MSW, Deputy Director, Share 

  • Vivian Obah, LNHA, MBA Candidate, Executive Director, Helping Hands Project Organization 

  • Dimitri Groce, MSW, Senior Manager, Capacity-building & Grantmaking, Building Changes 

 Diversion With an Equity Lens 

Our community has created a System Integration Project meeting which brings together representatives from marginalized communities and community-based organizations. The focus of this group is to identify areas of growth for the agency, larger community, and offer support for our agency program and staff members serving Families of Color and LGBTQ+ families experiencing homelessness. Through the FACE program, which serves exclusively Families of Color and/or LGBTQ+ families, staff work with families identified through schools and coordinated entry, providing diversion focused support that is expanded through collaborative feedback gathered from our system integration project meetings. 

  • Sunny Wonder, MSW, Diversion Director, Council for the Homeless 

  • Gina Ochoa, Diversion Coordinator, Council for the Homeless 

  • Heather Sheppard, MSW, Systems Integration Manager, Council for the Homeless 

 Domestic Violence and HH: Seamless Service Provision! 

Gender-based violence is a leading cause of homelessness for women and children. Barriers to housing access and retention are high. BIPOC and LGBTQ survivors often face additional challenges. Survivors need both advocates and housing/homeless providers to help them achieve housing stability, heal from trauma, and begin to rebuild their lives. 

  • Linda Olsen, MA, MSW, Housing Director, Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence 

  • Lea Aromin, MSW, Domestic Violence Housing Systems Coordinator, Coalition Ending Gender Based Violence 

Ending the Cycle of Family Homelessness 

Wellspring Family Services has been helping individuals and families experiencing crisis since 1892. Take a tour with Wellspring staff on their collective work of ending family homelessness through trauma informed early learning, housing stability, prevention, resource navigation and being culturally responsive to the families Wellspring serves with a diversity, equity, and inclusion lens. 

  • Nawiishtunmi Nightgun, Director of Housing, Wellspring Family Services 

 Ending Urban Indigenous Homelessness & Indigenizing Coalition Building 

Join us for an overview of the first-of-its-kind National Coalition to End Urban Indigenous Homelessness, founded in Seattle, and to learn how ending Indigenous homelessness can help end all homelessness. This will be open to all Indigenous-identified homeless/housing advocates and those in solidarity. 

  • Patricia Allen-Dick, Community Advocate & Lead Coalition Liaison, Chief Seattle Club - Coalition to End Urban Indigenous Homelessness 

Fidelity is NOT an "F" word 

When you think of fidelity, do you think of an audit? Does it make you wanna swear?! Well, curse no more! This presentation is an opportunity for attendees to learn more broadly about who, what, when, where and the why of fidelity in the Foundational Community Supports Programs across Washington state. You will hear not only from program administrators, but from direct service staff who regularly utilize the principles of these Evidence Based Practices to best serve their participants and have success in their agencies. 

  • Kimberly Castle, CPC, Supportive Housing Program Manager, HCA/DBHR 

  • Amanda Polley, CPC, Supportive Housing Program Manager, HCA/DBHR  

Foundational Community Supports (FCS) PhotoVoice Project 

PhotoVoice is an opportunity for individuals being served through housing or employment services in the FCS program to share their story in a way that is representing and enhancing their lives and communities. This specific process combines photography and videography with accompanying stories which creates an avenue for social awareness as well as continued recovery. 

  • Amanda Polley, CPC, Supportive Housing Program Manager, HCA/DBHR 

  • Kimberly Castle, CPC, Supportive Housing Program Manager, HCA/DBHR 

 Foundational Community Supports: Exciting Things Ahead! 

Foundational Community Supports has been successfully implemented for three years! Join this panel to learn about new program initiatives, plans for sustainability, updates on data outcomes, and to gain a deeper understanding of program evaluation. 

  • Melodie Pazolt, Recovery Support Services Section Manager, Health Care Authority 

  • Taylor Danielson, PhD, Research Manager, Department of Social and Health Services 

  • Matthew Christie, Foundational Community Supports Program Administrator, Health Care Authority 

  • Lisa Gosiaco, Foundational Community Supports Program Manager, Health Care Authority 

Housing Relations With Culture of Trauma (Part 1)

Panelists will share the historical context for why Native people experience homelessness at the highest rates and why they often experience lower rates of access to services and experience poorer outcomes. Panelists will share the power of community serving its own and the importance of centering Native culture in services and programming. 

  • Norine Hill, Executive Director, Mother Nation 

  • Terri Claw, DV/GBV Advocate, Yeha:wi Advocate, Mother Nation 

  • Glen Pinkham, Elder, Outreach and Engagement Coordinator, Mother Nation 

  • Liza Burell, Program Director, Building Changes 

Housing Relations With Cultural Healing (Part 2)

Through examples and stories, panelists will share what Mother Nation is doing to integrate cultural services into its domestic violence, sexual assault, and homeless stability services. Additionally, they will share about the importance of partnering with local tribal organizations in order to reclaim culture and taking care of their own. 

  • Rose Linda Looking, Elder, CDP, Talking Circle Facilitator, Mother Nation 

  • Reuben Twin, CDP, Cultural After Care Services Manager, Mother Nation 

  • MartiRai Ramsey, Yeha:wi Advocate, Mother Nation 

  • Liza Burell, Program Director, Building Changes 

Housing Stabilization Plans: How to Respond to New Use in Recovery Housing Settings

Join this session to learn how to respond to new use and relapse in a recovery housing setting. Participants will design a "Housing Stabilization Plan" to maintain recovery integrity and secure housing stability. A discussion about how to move from zero tolerance to recovery empowerment and increased stability.  

  • Stephanie Patterson, Housing Case Manager, King County Drug Diversion Court 

  • Shannon Thomas, MA, Housing Case Manager, King County Drug Diversion Court 

How 500 Years of Oppression and Colonization Has Led to the Unjust Homeless Rate Within the Urban Native Community 

Join us to deepen your understanding of historical and intergenerational trauma within the Native community and how this relates to homelessness and to the lack of access to mainstream service providers. 

  • Derrick Belgarde, MPA, Deputy Director, Chief Seattle Club 

  • Virgil Wade, MBA, Operations Director, Chief Seattle Club 

Leveraging Maternal Support Services to Improve Access to Housing Solutions 

Racial disparities in the homeless system also occur within the maternal/child healthcare system. By pairing housing resources with home visiting programs, families of color have greater access to housing and health supports. This presentation shares the learnings from two providers in Pierce and Yakima Counties doing this innovative work. 

  • Delmar Algee, Housing Programs Manager, Catholic Community Services Family Housing Connection 

  • Robyn Wiebe, Case Manager, Step By Step 

  • Annette Rodriguez, Homeless Services Director, Yakima Neighborhood Health Services 

Navigating Organizational Trauma and Burnout in a Global Pandemic 

We will explore how COVID-19 exposed the many intersecting crises we face and the intense impact it has had on direct service organizations. Did your organization reimagine all systems and strategies of care during the pandemic? Did it take a toll? Join us to discuss how we navigated it all! 

  • Tarryn Bieloh, Navigation Team Program Manager, Interfaith Works 

  • Meg Martin, MSW, CPC, Executive Director, Interfaith Works 

Public Will Building for Ending Homelessness and Building Affordable Homes 

Join us for an exciting panel discussion with national leaders on public will building campaigns for homelessness and affordable housing. We will take a deep dive on lessons learned from specific case studies in King County and rural youth homelessness in Washington state. 

  • Julie Patiño, Executive Director, A Way Home Washington 

  • Marc Dones, Chief Executive Officer, King County Regional Homelessness Authority 

  • Erik Houser, Consultant, Positive Rage Strategies 

Service Enriched Housing: Collaborative Service and Operations Management to Maximize Resources for Services and Housing Stability 

Participate in a discussion and presentation on our integrated services and operations model in service enriched housing, tax credit (LIHTC) and Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) sites – working together to enhance quality of life and increase housing stability in low-barrier housing. Review the effects of this practice utilizing harm reduction and trauma informed care as a foundation. Explore areas of cooperation and overlap between onsite operations and supportive services in day-to-day functions and overall property management. 

  • Teena Ellison, Director of Housing Services, Compass Housing Alliance 

  • Tawnie Fransen, Director of Housing Operations, Compass Housing Alliance 

Supporting Students Experiencing Homelessness Through School-Housing Partnerships 

The Homeless Student Stability Program brings together schools and local community-based organizations (CBOs) in intentional partnerships to meet the needs of students experiencing homelessness. In this session, CBO staff will share how they work with education partners to collaboratively meet students’ needs and grow communities’ capacity to support them. 

  • Annette Rodriguez, Homeless Services Director, Yakima Neighborhood Health Services 

  • Tasha Slater, Student and Health Diversion Manager, Council for the Homeless 

  • Amy Bonet, Housing Stability Specialist, Wellspring Family Services 

  • Inez Gonzales, Housing Stability Specialist, Wellspring Family Services 

Using Flexible Funds and Real-Time Data to Reduce and End Youth Homelessness 

Learn how Anchor Communities are using real-time quality data and Centralized Diversion Funds to rapidly end a young person's experience of housing instability while also working to create more racially just and equitable systems that are ready to say "yes to yes.” 

  • Kiki Serantes, Diversion & Training Manager, A Way Home Washington  

  • Vishesh Jain, Data & Evaluation Manager, A Way Home Washington 

  • Liz Harding Chao, Data & Evaluation Director, A Way Home Washington 

 Washington State Landlord Mitigation & COVID Relief Programs 

The highly successful Landlord Mitigation Program has adopted two new programs to assist in the recovery from the statewide health emergency and eviction moratoriums. Learn how landlords can qualify for each of these programs and receive much needed funding. 

  • Nicholas Yuva, Landlord Mitigation Administrator, Washington State Dept. of Commerce

The full conference program and schedule will be available soon, including information on additional breakout sessions, caucus meetings, wellness offerings, and stakeholder meetings.