Consumer Advisory Council

The purpose of the Consumer Advisory Council is to Educate. Advocate. Inform Change.

The Consumer Advisory Council (CAC) serves as a forum to incorporate consumer feedback within policy and strategic decisions and action items under the Strategic Plan. Consumers ensure that the effort to end homelessness in King County incorporates the expertise of people who experience homelessness – including those who are at risk of becoming homeless or were formerly homeless – at all levels of implementation, evaluation, and plan revision.

Interested in joining us for a meeting? Please see the information below. If you are unable to join us at a meeting or would like to submit feedback, complete the form here (available under “Provide Feedback” heading).

CAC Postcard

2017

July 26 | TBD

June 28 | Federal homeless funding application (CoC NOFA)

Participants reviewed the Continuum of Care funding application values and added these comments which will be shared at the next Coordinating Board:

  • Agree we need to maintain funding at current levels, at minimum (1)
  • We need an homeless response system that is an immediate response system that actions with urgency, not referral to referral to referral (2)
  • Need for increased tenant protections to make sure homelessness is “rare” (2) – landlords find the smallest flaw to start the eviction process
  • Stress the importance of permanent, affordable housing (3b)
  • There is value in permanent communal living spaces for long term sustainability (3b)
  • Think resources should expand to people who are couch surfing or paying for their own motels (3d)
  • Agree we need to stress low barrier interventions (3f) – criminal records are keeping people on the streets longer
  • Recommended addition to values: Evaluate and understand the well-being and respect of consumers when prioritizing projects
  • Recommended addition to values: Listen, hear and implement the needs from people who are accessing services

May 31st | City of Seattle Human Services Director Catherine Lester on the up-coming Request for Proposal process

Catherine Lester joined the first half of the CAC to share about the City of Seattle’s up-coming request for proposal (RFP) process and to seek insights on how participant’s homelessness could have been avoided or resolved faster. The Coordinated Entry for All (CEA) referral specialist team held a listening session during the remainder of the time to get feedback on CEA for the up-coming lean process.

Items to bring to Coordinating Board:

  • Criminal records continue to keep people out of housing, both in the private market and in the homeless system
  • Communication on how the homeless response system works and what to expect continues to be confusing and sets people up for disappointment
  • There is a need for more affordable housing in Seattle
  • There needs to be a stronger integration of systems and services (i.e. VA, WorkSource, housing authorities)
  • We need resources/services on demand so people don’t experience additional trauma and prolonged experiences of homelessness

April 26* | Youth Homelessness Demonstration Project

Next Steps:

  • All Home staff will provide consumer recommendations to the Youth Homelessness Demonstration Project advisory boards.
  • Consumer Advisory Council needs to round back to outlining what peer outreach looks like and what employment opporunities could look like for homeless job seekers.

Items to bring to Coordinating Board:

  • Young Adults are caught in the middel of the young adult and adult system.
  • Highlight barriers to young adult programming shared by the group (ID requirements, income/job pre-conditions, inability to access system with a partner/family, etc.)
  • Poor customer service is not captured in data and there isn’t a mechanism to hold providers accountable to treating people well (recommendation: providers have a code of ethics and commitment to good customer service; collect qualitative data at a system’s level; create a system wide “Human Rights” for people experiencing homelessness).
  • The system takes so much time to navigate (recommendation: create an App for 211 resources).

*Note change in meeting date. Starting in April, the CAC will meet on the last Wednesday of the month to better align to give recommendation to the All Home Coordinating Board.

March 15 | Open Forum

Next Steps:

  • All Home staff will prepare consumer feedback for the next meeting that resulted from the new online feedback form.
  • All Home will follow up with the City of Seattle to remind Count Us In guides about CAC opportunities

Items to bring to Coordinating Board:

  • Recommendation of more peer to peer outreach to help connect those who are distrustful of the system or “professional” outreach workers.
  • Warrants and criminal records are a barrier to housing, and health/treatment/social services.

February 15 | Increasing Diverse Consumer Voice

Next steps:

  • CAC participants will work with All Home staff to set up and lead or co-lead focus groups.

Items to bring to Coordinating Board:

  • Coordinated Entry for All remains confusing for people trying to access the system – Different parts of the system share different information and “Diversion” isn’t available in real time.
  • There isn’t a clear place for consumers to share their concerns or experiences about the system – How can we create a centralized process for feedback?

January 18 | Changes to All Home Structure and CAC 2017 Goals

Next steps:

  • Think about how to engage consumer voice who may not be able to prioritize a meeting or focus group, or for consumers who desire anonymity.

Items to bring to Coordinating Board:

  • CAC meeting should happen monthly to align with the frequency of Coordinating Board meetings

 

Additional materials available upon request.