In partnership, the executive directors of the Tacoma Housing Authority, Community Youth Services, and the Social Impact Center of the YMCA of Greater Seattle are seeking your help!
Together their organizations have financed, built, and now have opened the Arlington Drive Campus for Homeless Youth and Young Adults in Tacoma. Our community has been urging the state legislature to continue the funding to pay for the supportive services that Arlington Drive’s young residents need. This week provides an important chance to express that support.
The Senate Ways & Means Committee has scheduled its hearing on the 2021-2023 operating budget for Friday, March 26th at 1 PM. We ask that you:
1. Sign up to testify in support of Arlington Drive’s budget request, or if you are already planning to testify, please include a mention of Arlington Drive in your remarks.
2. You can sign up to testify at this link: https://app.leg.wa.gov/CSIRemote/Senate. After you sign up, you will receive an email with the link to use on the day of the hearing.
3. Indicate that you are testifying before the Senate Ways & Means Committee hearing on March 26th at 1PM; you are testifying about that part of SB 5092 called “All other”; you would like to testify live during the hearing; you are testifying not “pro” and not “con” but “other.
**Please note that SB 5092 is merely a reprint of the Governor’s proposed budget. SB 5092. So it shows the same $1.25 million for Arlington Drive that the Governor has proposed. See p18, Section 129, Sec. (23)(b)(ii). Sometime before the hearing the Committee should be publishing its own proposal as a substitute bill SSB 5092. It may not come out until the morning of the hearing. If the substitute comes out showing the full $4.25 million, please testify in support of that amount. If it shows something short of that, please ask the Committee for the full amount.
4. On the day of the hearing, plan on spending a while waiting your turn to testify.
5. You may have as short as 1 minute to speak. In brief testimony to the Senate Committee, here are some points you may wish to make:
Arlington Drive campus is an ambitious and unique collaboration among THA, CYS, and the Social Impact Center of the YMCA of Greater Seattle.
The Senators have all been receiving information about it.
This campus is now open. Every year, it will serve and save hundreds of homeless youth and young adults.
Arlington Drive needs the state to continue its funding for the supportive services that its young people need. When Arlington Drive opened last year, the state legislature provided $1.25 million for those services. The Governor’s proposed budget would continue funding at that same amount. That amount was enough to cover that part of the present biennium that the campus would be opened. Arlington Drive needs the legislature to continue the funding at the same rate, but now for the full biennium. That requires $4.25 million.
The state’s funding would cover about 40% of the operating costs. The rest of the money, 60%, will come from THA, the City of Tacoma, Pierce County, and philanthropy.
Arlington Drive fits all the spending priorities the state has identified:
preserve the value of the state’s previous investment of $5 million that helped pay for its construction;
stem the spread of COVID-19;
protect the most vulnerable, like young people who are homeless without families;
invest in a more equitable future by interrupting the distressingly disproportionate rates of homelessness among young people of color and LGBTQ young people.
6. Alert your networks! Ask them to sign up to testify in support for Arlington Drive.