Support Us

June 25, 2021

RE: Request for Funders

Prospective Partners and Funders,

Hello, my name is Genevieve Fisher.  I am the CFO of the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the USDA Coalition of Minority Employee’s here in SW Washington. I am a native Washingtonian, home-grown right here in Vancouver, WA.

I originally became involved in the Coalition in the Urban Youth Employment program in the late 1990s.  Through that open door I was able to enjoy a decade long federal career in Wild land firefighting.  I served on engines, hand crews, helicopter crews, and even as an elite senior hotshot firefighter. I recently continued my education as a nurse, currently working in drug and alcohol rehabilitation at Lifeline connections.

As a federal civil servant of many years, I believe our highest calling and duty is to serve people, especially those unable to care for themselves.

Our Not for Profit is currently focusing on housing chronically homeless individuals with Severe Mental Illness in an Adult Family Home. We are familiar with partnering and serving the community, but new to housing. We are currently seeking partners, funders, and mentors to help us fulfill our vision of housing the chronically homeless SMI population here in Vancouver, WA.

We have secured a preliminary Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) grant to acquire property. As stated above, we are seeking partnerships to help with operational management, and logistics in this new arena. Below is a synopsis of our current project. I look forward to meeting and working with all who wish to partner and serve to do this great work for such a time as this.

 

OUR WHY

We the Coalition of Minority Employee’s sought to support the CDBG goal: to develop viable communities by providing decent housing, a suitable living environment, and economic opportunities. This mission inherently comes with the need to house chronically homeless persons with severe mental illness/behavioral health.  Chronic homelessness is up 23% here in Clark County.  Furthermore, according to Clark County today “The trend of more people experiencing chronic homelessness on our streets means our community must invest further in targeted, intensive supports,” said Kate Budd, Executive Director with Council for the Homeless, “including behavioral health treatment and permanent housing that facilitates people successfully moving off the streets and improving their quality of life.” We the minority Coalition are seeking to house Chronically homeless individuals with severe mental illness in an AFH (Adult Family Home). The income level we are serving are those who fall within 100-200% of the poverty line in Clark County. The age is 18-65 years of age.

Our proposal addresses the need for housing for the population that is at the highest risk of homelessness, which is those with mental illness and behavioral health challenges. Our proposal removes many barriers to housing for this population like income, employment, credit score, rental history, and criminal record, as tenants will not be excluded from our housing for lack of having or having an unfavorable history of the terms. We will provide housing and support that allows for SMI to be housed. According to the first-choice advisory council, “There is always a need for high-quality homes which offer quality services and attentive staffing.”

Our Mission Goals

House 1-3 chronically homeless SMI persons from Clark County

Provide access to preventative, and managed healthcare; reducing Emergency room visits in a year.

Reduction in nights spent in Clark County jail of these persons.

Provide Independence in a supportive environment by allowing grooming, access to showers, and laundering.

Reduce the spread of COVID19 by allowing tenants to shelter in place in their homes.

Standard of Care & Cultural Competency

Our proposed project is the best solution because it provides housing for a population that is in high need. As a group home we can provide supportive services like food, cleaning, and monitoring that are not found in independent living. Our proposal provides for the greatest opportunity for Chronic homeless SMI persons to remain housed by offering this tri-fold care.

Historically underserved populations in Clark County are those with mental illness and African Americans. As a Minority Coalition we can culturally relate and identify with African Americans; we can provide culturally appropriate foods and even language and customs to better understand, house, and serve members of this population. Also, our CFO being an LPN understands co-morbidities associated with SI and AA, such as diabetes control and management. The minority coalition has a history of providing access to legal defense, and employment for people of color here in Clark County. Our board president is the former president of the NAACP local chapter. Furthermore, we have a track record of promoting diversity and representation by forming partnerships with The City of Vancouver, the federal government, and local churches.

Fair housing goes hand and hand with the quality of life we completely comply and utilize fair housing principles allowing people access to housing without regards to race, religion, or orientation.

Earl W. Ford, Executive Director
USDA Coalition of Minority Employees

LDEF PNW Chapter
P.O. Box 872721
Vancouver, WA 98687
360-907-7934