Interfaith Task Force on Homelessness

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Checks to ITFH, 3030 Bellevue Way NE, Bellevue WA 98004

Who we are 
Formed in 2001 under St. Mark's Cathedral Seattle, we've been subsequently hosted by The Church Council of Greater Seattle, and since 2009 by St. Luke's Lutheran Church, Bellevue WA. It is via St. Luke's that we are able to operate as a 501(c)3, aligned as it is with the Northwest WA Synod, ELCA.  We thus work and appreciate being a ministry of St. Luke's and are "in residence at St. Luke's" as an expression of their outreach. Our accounting and banking are done by St. Luke's.

The  Interfaith Task Force on Homelessness (ITFH) is composed of individuals representing religious congregations, religious and secular organizations which work toward preventing and ending homelessness.  Most of our membership spans much of the religious community, including Christian, Unitarian, Jewish, and Muslim.   We reach out to all sectors of the faith community to join us in action and to support us morally and financially. More than this, we work as colleagues with all who seek to alleviate the harm of homelessness.

Our mission
The ITFH works to create the political will to end homelessness.  We are organized by four

· Because housing is a basic human right, being homeless (and/or unsheltered) is not criminal, and its continuing existence is an offense to what is moral in a civil society.

· Homelessness for those unsheltered and for those in interim housing is a major barrier to achieving social and economic justice and is harmful to the well-being of those so afflicted.

· Embedded in the sacred scriptures of all the world's religions is the moral mandate to act individually and in partnership with others to end homelessness.

· Homelessness can and must be ended through a range of efforts that provide either Housing Tonight or a safe permanent place to live, accompanied by programs of sustained support and as necessary pathways that promote work and foster self-sufficiency.


In memoriam 

Colleague and friend to many Jean Darsie died August 27. Jean will be remembered in many ways. She co-founded the Scofflaw Mitigation Team with me in 2011, and had several other founding efforts to her credit, such as Ballard Homes for All, and the Ballard Community Taskforce on Hunger and Homelessness.

KUOW Memoriam 

RIP with your beloved nature, Jean. We continue your work.​  


Current Efforts

Within the King County Regional Homelessness Authority, the ITFH is currently:

1) continuing its work doing Vehicle Residency Outreach under fiscal host University Heights Center, Seattle

​2) advancing the use of the Companionship model to use with clients to alleviate the realities of isolation, stigmatization, criminalization, and abandonment

3) advancing with the City of Seattle the use of on-street safe zones, aka "nests," for 4-5 RVs with case management, trash/porta-potty, code of conduct, good neighbor agreement, and more, toward making pathways to stability 


The Stones Would Shout: Homelessness and Place and Faith 

Softcover available NOW direct from me or on Amazon and can

be purchased now The Stones Would Shout .  The Kindle version

is readable yet I recommend the soft cover since it is work book size

and may be used more easily. As noted, you can purchase direct

from Amazon. If you are nearby, you can order it straight from

me ( Bill )  $16 for the workbook-sized soft cover print version.  

  • Podcast with Dr. Michael Trice, Religica Theolab, on the book above (about 32 minutes) dated 1/10/2022     
  • Our new Parking in Seattle booklet is printed and hard copies are being distributed. This aims to be an assist for vehicle residents. (see Ticketing in Seattle page). We are also creating a Safe Parking  document for use in Washington State. 

  • We have ended monthly meetings. TOO MUCH DRIVING for distant partners! Instead, we maintain an email list that includes at minimum our weekly E-Update every Friday. This is a one-sheet reference, along with upcoming meetings within the local Strategic Homelessness Plan and related area meetings, and other information each week that is pertinent to working to alleviate the harm of unsheltered homelessness in King County WA.  Sign up by emailing to .

  • We continue the Seattle Scofflaw Mitigation Project (SMP), which is a harm alleviation effort within the Scofflaw ordinance in Seattle. This ordinance, written in 2011, is aimed to collect penalties for those with 4 or more tickets. It includes booting and impoundment where responses do not occur. For many reasons, persons living in vehicles get caught in this law and do not understand remedies. Through an agreement with the City of Seattle under former Mayor McGinn, the SMP is notified when Seattle Parking Enforcement Officers discover a Scofflaw-eligible vehicle resident. Harm suspends while SMP does outreach, to include ushering the vehicle resident to court to address outstanding tickets. For assistance, call 425-442-5418 or 206-782-0788. Help is limited to Scofflaw-eligible vehicle residents.  The ITFH also provides a stipend to a knowledgeable formerly homeless outreach staffer, Jenn Adams, who does one-to-one work with vehicle residents. She may be contacted through one of the two numbers above.  NEW--> We will be partnering soon with The Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle for our Scofflaw work, using a budget allotment by the City of Seattle.

  • In 2020 the ITFH will be working with the Housing Development Consortium to hold small group meetings of 8 congregations to consider how they might further their mission by advancing the development of low-income housing on their property. If interested, reach out to Otherwise we will be issuing direct invitations. ​Our first meeting has been delayed due to the COVID-19 arrival. We will re-schedule soon.

  • The ITFH has sustained efforts on vehicle residency to address the shortage of policy, protocols, and remedies available to vehicle residents in King County. Each annual Point in Time Count for the last decade (or more) has indicated 1/3 to 1/2 of the unsheltered count has been vehicle residents. In 2018 the percent of vehicle residents out of the total unsheltered was over 50%. At no City level nor at the King County level is adequate funding, outreach, or harm alleviation in place to address these numbers. The new Regional plan will be fostering regional groups, for sectors of the County; namely, EAST, SOUTH, NORTH, and SEATTLE.  If you are interested to work with us, contact 425.442.5418 or write .  Work is to include looking at remedies within 1) Law, 2) Outreach Alignments Local Configurations, 3) Congregational hosting locally, and 4) Building community engagement locally. 

  • The ITFH continues outreach efforts in East King County via Joe Ingram, current ITFH Chairperson. Joe's contact info is 206.579.2205, and . Joe is a member of Washington State Balance of Care for 34 of 39 Counties, is a knowledgeable resource for all aspects of unsheltered homelessness, is a Veteran, and practices Companionship (accompaniment of those in harm's way).

  • The ITFH remains an active partner in anti-criminalization of the homeless. The Washington State Homeless Anti-Criminalization Campaign was started 3 years ago. In partnership with Seattle University School of Law and the Homeless Rights Advocacy Project (HRAP, under Professor Sara Rankin), there have been just under a dozen reports by law students that span topics of the criminalization of the homeless. "Living at the Intersection" has been particularly helpful in our work around vehicle residency and the law. Further, in collaboration with a private attorney and Columbia Legal Services, a vehicle resident has sued the City of Seattle. This effort is seeking the court to provide relief and policy guidance. 

  • The ITFH continues to encourage the practice of local groups addressing homelessness. Using a companionship model of accompanying such groups, we participate with the University District Conversation on Homelessness (meets 9:30-11, 1st Wednesdays), the Eastside Homelessness Advisory Committee (meets 2-4p, 2nd Thursdays), the Ballard Community Taskforce on Homelessness and Hunger (meets 10:30a-12, 4th Thursday), and we publicize ongoing area group meetings such as the South Homeless Forum (meets 9-10:30a, first Wednesday), West Seattle Interfaith Network/WIN (meets 6-7:30p, 3rd Mondays), Lake City Task Force on Homelessness (meets 3:30-5p, 2nd Fridays), and the Northshore zUrban Human Services Alliance. 

  • The ITFH participates on Continuum of Care (CoC efforts attached the Housing and Urban Development with local plans to end homelessness) efforts in King County. In King County the ITFH participates in monthly Coordinating Board meetings.  

  • The ITFH continues its effort to support the use of small houses. After providing the first such units to Nickelsville (3 of our builders pictured above, Sinan, Dennis, and Rick), the movement has been embraced by the Low Income Housing Institute and others, to include private builders who have made prototypes now in use, and by groups like Facing Homelessness with its current Block Project.

  • The ITFH remains a working partner with the Seattle Meals Partnership Coalition after spending 3+ years working with Operation Sack Lunch Founder Beverly Graham to sustain outdoor meal service with adequate sites and times that serve nutritionally dense food, and to educate those volunteers coming to Seattle to serve the poor to provide nutritious food and to be good neighbors while doing so. It remains a working protocol for the ITFH that the daily need of every unsheltered person is a safe place to sleep and food each day to eat.