FROM THE CEO
Reducing youth and young adult homelessness
I am happy to report that together we are making a difference for youth and young adults in our community. MDC was among a number of organizations that participated in the 100 Day Challenge to eliminate youth and young adult homelessness in Tacoma and Pierce County. When the challenge wrapped up on July 31, our community helped to find safe housing for 176 young people. This total included a number of young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 who moved into MDC’s Avenue Apartments.
The results from the 100 Day Challenge offer a promising start, but we know there is much more to do. The 2017 Point in Time Count identified 396 youth and young adults who were homeless in Tacoma and Pierce County in January, including 269 under the age of 18 and 127 between the ages of 18-25. Among them, there were 84 unaccompanied youth and young adults. The Avenue Apartments, with 14 units for young adults, opened in July to serve individuals who have been chronically homeless and who have a disability. The apartments are not time limited, and include access to wrap around services to help residents pursue their goals.
I am inspired by the first residents, who are focused on their education and employment opportunities. I am also proud that MDC’s new care management services link these critical resources together in a client-centered approach that can help improve the lives of these young adults.
Our community has a real opportunity to change the direction of the lives of youth and young adults by investing in new, innovative services offered through care management.
I hope you will join us at the MDC Share Breakfast on September 28 to learn more about the difference that community support is making in the lives of people here in Tacoma and Pierce County. Together, we can amplify the good and provide the tools people need to create better lives.
NO VETERAN SHOULD BE WITHOUT A HOME
Originally from Tacoma, Patrick was a disabled combat veteran, living with his family in Texas. When services for their autistic daughter were
discontinued by the state, Patrick decided to move back to Washington for a better way of life for him and his family.
“Our four-year-old daughter is autistic, and we were told that her speech and occupational therapies were not a medical necessity. I knew that Washington had great programs for children with disabilities. We arrived February of this year, with only three suitcases and the clothes on our backs.”
Upon arriving, they discovered the home they were promised was now being sold and no longer available. The shock of suddenly not having
a home put a great strain on the family, but Patrick was determined not to give up.
“We jumped around from friends’ houses. At one point, I was sleeping in the car outside my mom’s place, while my family stayed inside.
There just wasn’t enough room for all of us.”
In their search for housing, Patrick ran into barriers due to his disability, a previous eviction, and limited income. No one seemed to want to
work with him. In his desperation, he reached out to old friends about his situation and learned that they were connected to MDC.
Through recomendations, he quickly made an appointment with the Supportive Services for Veteran Families program and met with a case manager. With a little hard work and persistence, Patrick was able to find a place to live and his MDC case manager assisted with everything they needed along the way.
“SSVF paid for our application fee and all of the necessary deposits. They also supplied us with a furniture voucher from Northwest Furniture Bank and even offered a trip to Wal-Mart to pick out household items.”
Now that he and his family are housed in a safe and comfortable home, Patrick is able to manage his post traumatic stress disorder and mental health much better. A three time survivor of suicide, Patrick gives back to the veteran community in his role as president of a local nonprofit for veterans called 22 is 22 Too Many. The organization builds awareness around the devastating statistic that 22 veterans commit suicide each day. His goal is to help in the efforts to reduce the number of veteran suicides to zero.
“I really appreciate the MDC Veteran Services program. It has greatly helped me and my family, and I have already recommended it to other people. I will always recommend services that will help veterans get back on their feet.”
BELLETE WILLIAMS: GIVING BACK TO COMMUNITY