Free regional forum on housing meets Nov. 14

Everyone who wants to help end homelessness across the North Olympic Peninsula is welcome at a free forum, Wednesday, Nov. 14, at the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribal Center in Blyn.

“Last year’s forum contributed to at least three new programs now being in place and serving veterans and other vulnerable people in our two counties,” said Pam Tietz, executive director of the Peninsula Housing Authority, which serves both Clallam and Jefferson counties. “This second annual forum follows up on that very promising two-county approach.”

Registration will open at 8:30 a.m., with the forum convening at 9 a.m. and concluding by 1 p.m. It will be held in the Red Cedar Hall, on the waterfront at 1033 Old Blyn Highway, Sequim.

The lead speaker will be Kim Herman, executive director since 1983 of the Washington State Housing Finance Commission, which has issued more than $3.8 billion in bonds to finance more than 65,000 housing units and 50 nonprofit capital facilities during his tenure. Herman will discuss how creating affordable housing contributes to the economy and jobs, and will cite multiple examples of housing developments that the commission has financed in the two counties.

U.S. Navy Gunner’s Mate Tony Sparber (Ret.), now a lead Veterans Affairs case manager, will present the new HUD-VASH program serving Jefferson and Clallam counties. The program illustrates the effectiveness of a regional approach to delivering housing and services.

Whatcom Homeless Service Center Director Greg Winter will kick off a discussion of 10-year plan strategies that work to end homelessness in rural communities.

Forum sponsors are the Shelter Providers Network of Clallam County, Peninsula Housing Authority, Serenity House of Clallam County, the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe and Olympic Community Action Programs.

To RSVP or for more information, contact forum moderator Martha Ireland at 452-4737 or e-mail