Encampment Developments; Sweep; Straw Bale Pause; More; Folk Fest; Song: Go! Move! Shift!

CONTENTS 1/22/2021
Encampment Developments
Update On Sweep
Pause On Straw Bale Delivery
Free Training
Stimulus Checks For Homeless?
Soup Delivery Tomorrow
Today’s Ingredients
Motel Mamas
Aftermath Of Yesterday
Neighborhood Association Membership
Bellingham Folk Festival Tonight!
Radio Free Fl!p: Go! Move! Shift!


It’s been an anxious day. Yesterday the City posted an eviction notice for an band of 25 feet around City Hall. That is something like a quarter of the current camping grounds. The notice was for 9 AM tomorrow. My initial reaction was that this would be a hassle, but not necessarily the end of the world. It happened on the library side quite a while ago and was hard but not a disaster. Unless the modification is handled harshly.

But looking more closely, I became very concerned. The eviction notice posted was for Friday morning. There was also news that the Lighthouse Mission would finally be reopening the emergency shelter on Holly Street on Sunday. And in between, the weather forecast is for freezing nighttime temperatures with wind chill down into the high 20s, and snow. So, the plan was to drive people out of the already inadequate shelter they had, right before a snowstorm, and then open an emergency shelter a couple days later?

Parts of the notice seem not that unreasonable. The City will throw away trash. They will hold your belongings for a couple months during which time you can call and go claim your stuff. But that’s if the Public Works worker can tell the difference between your possessions and trash. And if you have access to a phone to call. And access to transportation to go claim them.

The Herald ran a story that cheerfully suggested that there were enough beds at the Lighthouse Mission’s Base Camp to take in the campers at City Hall. With no curiosity about reasons campers are not already there.

I have heard through the grapevine that one council member has actually talked one-on-one with at least one camper. By phone. This would be a good option if more campers had phones, but almost none of them do. How can the decision makers make workable plans if no one is talking with the people most affected?

My apologies to all for not pitching a fit and falling in it last night. Fortunately, there were others who did. I just received a notice and invitation from the younger generation as follows:


Our community voiced their disapproval. Our community said they would not stand for the forced removal of our neighbors without housing options for everyone. It is working.

Fleetwood has promised there will be no forced removal tomorrow. He has said there will be no police presence.

However, Public Works will still be there tomorrow to ask folks to move, and there are still not enough housing options for all. This is just a delay to the inevitable.

We are asking our community to still show up tomorrow morning. Bring your protest signs. Bring your voices. Demand housing for all. This is what community looks like.


Ahwren and Brett delivered the first two loads of straw bales this morning (22 bales), and it became apparent that we would need to pause on delivery due to the uncertainty around the eviction posting. The last thing we want is to give resources, only for the City, in our name, to immediately dispose of them! We will be able to restart delivery. Our stalwarts are standing by with truck and trailer. “The situation is fluid” and therefore we must also be flexible as we keep seeking ways to support our neighbors and remind our elected officials that they represent all of us, not just people with houses. We must find, develop, and create affordable housing for every income level. And resolve this humanitarian crisis immediately. Here again are addresses to write to. Writing actually does make a difference!

City Hall – 210 Lottie Street, 98225.

Whatcom County Courthouse – 311 Grand Avenue, 98225


SAT, JAN 23, 10 am – 12:30 pm (ZOOM)

Road2Home is training its own volunteers and others (remotely), tomorrow, Saturday, January 23.

In this FREE training, learn more about trauma, Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), social justice when volunteering, local resources, common reasons for homelessness, and more. Our goal is to help you feel more confident and comfortable when you volunteer at any local organization serving people who have experienced trauma. We will also hear how the Coordinated Entry System for housing works here in Whatcom County.

R2H thanks Whatcom Community Foundation for supporting this training. 

TO REGISTER, find Zoom link at https://road2home.org/events/ , or email info@road2home.org      


A lovely young woman walked up to me at the Encampment yesterday and asked me to tell her how to sign up for stimulus checks. I had no idea, I simply receive mine in the mail. How do homeless people sign up for/receive stimulus checks? If you have any ideas as to where to point me…please do.
Thank you,

[Does anyone know? Please let me know, and I’ll pass it to Ahwren and to other Outreach volunteers. ~ Fl!p]


The MealTrain has set up an alternative drop spot, away from any potential drama, for the day Friday. Today’s cooks have been give a volunteer’s phone number to call for pickup from another spot. If you are also planning a delivery of some kind, check in with me.


Pasta, rice, lentils, split peas, chicken soup base, onions, eggs, shredded cheddar, carrots and celery, and another case each of cups and lids. More restaurant pans and lids. Two sizes of bakery bags. Thanks to all the lovely people who offered the store run this morning and especially the one who dropped everything and went first thing in the morning. We’re back in great shape.


They tell us that their immediate needs have been met. Thank you SO much!!!


I am still SO moved at the huge flood of support. I’m sad we couldn’t move swiftly to deliver all our straw bales, but we paid for a bunch more and will watch to see what unfolds and how we can be most useful.


Due to my personal health issues and work challenges due to COVID, I will be resigning from the CNA Board, effective with the election at our first meeting on Feb. 23. It’s a new year and typically at our first meeting we have our membership drive. This year requires us to do things differently. We are going to have an in-person CNA Membership Drive on Saturday, Feb. 20th, 10am-2pm at the Columbia Share Shack. If you would like to become a member, there are other ways to join. If you would like to be a member, please fill out this form at: https://tinyurl.com/cnamembershipform, which provides a place to share your interests and a variety of payment options in case you can’t make the in-person Membership Drive. In this form, you will also be able to express interest in becoming a board member!!! We will be sure to invite you to our next board meeting later this month, provided you filled out the form in the next week. Thank you for your interest in making our neighborhood a great place to live.

Please email columbianeighborhoodassociation@protonmail.com if you have any questions.
Thank you,
Jill MacIntyre Witt
CNA President
Walnut Street

[And thank you Jill for your many years of service to our neighborhood and community!]


January 22nd, 23rd and 24th

Begins TONIGHT! And I myself am doing a song-leading session, with Songs Of Connection. This promises to be a rollicking good time! The e-festival offers three days of inspiring workshops, performances, and jams for all ages and abilities. It’s a celebration of homemade music happening online and in your very own home. Don’t live in Bellingham? No problem! For the first time ever, attendance isn’t really restricted by your physical location.

Other benefits include but are not limited to:

  • free parking!
  • no lines!
  • no uncomfortable chairs!
  • the freedom to noodle!
  • no audible coughing!
  • using the bathroom whenever you want!
  • your babies/cats/xylophones can come!
  • no nasty glares for coming in late!




Ewan MacColl: The Moving On Song.


Love/Fl!p 360-671-4511  2518 Cherry Street flip@columbianeighborhood.org

If you’re willing to share your phone and address with me, personally, I would love that, and would not share it further without your express permission.

If you want to ask me to post something, just email me. If it’s urgent, phone. If it’s a real emergency, call 911.

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