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Homeless RFP Media Announcement:

Homeless RFP Media Announcement:

Yakima Valley Conference of Governments (YVCOG) is seeking Requests for Proposals for programs that will address the immediate needs of the chronically homeless in Yakima County.  Funding is available for projects in an amount up to $100,000.00 for this purpose.  To apply for funding please go to:    https://zoomgrants.com/gprop.asp?donorid=2257&limited=1313 . The deadline for applications is March 9, 2017 at 5:00 p.m.  Awards will be determined on approximately March 20, 2017, and funding will be available thereafter.  Please note this money is available for new projects, serving unserved or underserved homeless populations immediately, and is not intended to be used for ongoing maintenance or operation of current programming.  Additions to current programming may apply for funding.  This is a one-time grant of funding outside of the upcoming YVCOG RFP process.  For questions, please contact Crystal Testerman, Homeless Program Manager at 509-424-4695 or crystal.testerman@yvcog.org .

Employment Opportunity – Transportation Program Manager

Contribute to the Future of Yakima Valley:
The Transportation Program Manager plays a key role in supporting regional decision makers in transportation planning for the future of all of those that live, work, and visit Yakima Valley. It is an exciting time specific to how this region addresses land use, transportation, and human services.

Please click here for the entire job positing.

QUALIFICATIONS:

A Bachelor’s degree in planning, Geography, Political Science, transportation, or Engineering.
Five (5) years progressive responsible experience, including two years in a supervisory and managerial capacity; or the equivalent combination of years of experience to perform the essential duties of the position.

PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES:

The Transportation Program Manager reports to the Deputy Director and performs the assigned job duties under general supervision as follows:
 Administers and coordinates transportation planning/programming activities including development of an updated long-range plan for the Yakima Metropolitan Area and Yakima Valley Region. Performs planning research and legislative analysis.
 Responsible for the development of the annual Metropolitan and Regional Transportation Improvement Program (MTIP/RTIP) and Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP). Reviews, corrects and processes amendments.
 Responsible for the preparation of YVCOG reports to the Transportation Technical Advisory Committee and the Transportation Policy Board. Represents YVCOG or member jurisdiction at state and local meetings and may be called upon to testify at hearings.
 Administrative resource to member jurisdictions on transportation planning and transportation funding opportunities.
 Responsible to provide member jurisdictions traffic counts when requested.
 Utilizes computer-based transportation model for general planning and traffic analysis.
 Supervises assigned personnel; prioritizes, assigns and monitors work; evaluates performance; recommends and implements decisions regarding employee selection and discipline; ensures resources are available for operations and provides staff training and cross-training.
 Prepares monthly newsletter articles and written documentation to support billable hours.
 Other duties as assigned.

EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE:

 A Bachelor’s degree in planning, transportation, geography, political science, or engineering; (equivalent experience may substitute for education on a one-one basis)
 Five (5) years of progressively responsible experience, including two years in a supervisory and managerial capacity; or the equivalent combination of years of experience to perform the essential duties of the position;
 Must be able to obtain a valid Washington State driver’s license within 30 days of employment and possess valid auto insurance, or to demonstrate the ability to travel throughout the Yakima region and state on a regular basis, at times during inclement weather conditions;
 Must possess a strong knowledge of the principles, methods and practices of planning, project management, budget, and preparation of a wide range of written reports;

Please click here for the entire job positing.

 

HOW TO APPLY: Position Closes March 3, 2017.
To apply for this opportunity, email your resume and cover letter to yvcog.hr@yvcog.org

The Yakima Valley Conference of Governments is an Equal Opportunity Employer. This is a drug and tobacco free workplace.

DRAFT: January 2017 Amendment to the Yakima Valley 2017-2020 Metropolitan and Regional Transportation Improvement Program

Please click here to view the:
January 2017 Amendment to the Yakima Valley 2017-2020 Metropolitan and Regional Transportation Improvement Program

Review Period for the 2017-2020 MTIP January 2017 Amendment begins Wednesday, December 28, 2016 and runs through Noon, Wednesday January 11, 2017.

Please mail your comments to:
Brian Curtin
Yakima Valley Conference of Governments311 North 4th Street, Suite 204
Yakima, WA 98901
Email: brian.curtin@yvcog.org
Fax: (509)574-1551

STBG Set-aside Evaluation Mtg 12-14-2016 @ 1:30pm

Good Afternoon All,

I have the following volunteers for the STBG Set-aside evaluation sub-committee:

  • Alan Adolf – Yakima County
  • Bill Preston – WSDOT SCR
  • Gracie Sexton – People For People
  • Ardele Steele – City of Zillah
  • Brett Sheffield – City of Yakima
  • Menglou Wang – City of Wapato
  • Rocky Wallace – City of Toppenish
  • Jeff Ranger – Town of Naches

Thank you all for being so willing to sit through the evaluation of the applications. All applications are due to YVCOG by 5:00pm on Monday December 12, 2016. Once I receive all the applications, I will upload the evaluation materials with the application information inserted and the complete pdfs of the projects to the Shared “O” drive.

Since we’ll be using a temporary folder, I will ask John to provide me a link specifically for the evaluators and I’ll send that out individually. I anticipate having the link available to evaluators on Tuesday.

I am asking that if you are submitting a project and not intending to be at the evaluation meeting, please make someone available (and please provide to me a phone number) to answer questions during the time of the meeting so the evaluators have all the info they need to make decisions on the proposed projects. I think it’s reasonable to get through all evaluations within 2 hours.

When we are finished with the sub-committee meeting, I should have a proposed prioritized list that a sub-committee spokesperson will bring back to the full TAC in January. We’ll decide at the meeting who that could be. The TAC recommended prioritized list resulting from January TAC action will go before the Policy Board in January for approval.

So far so good, we are on schedule for the 2017 prioritized project(s) to be ready for the February TIP amendment.

Best Regards,
Deborah LaCombe
MPO/RTPO Manager
Yakima Valley Conference of Governments
311 North 4th Street, Suite 204
Yakima, WA 98908

Providing services to homeless: A complicated dance and we’re still stepping on toes

In the summer of 2014, the Yakima County Commissioners asked the YVCOG membership: “Would it be better to move the Homeless Program from the County to YVCOG in order to best serve the cities facing homelessness problems?” Later that year, the YVCOG general membership (comprised of elected officials throughout the Valley), voted to accept the Homeless Program into YVCOG.

We would like to move much more quickly to address issues such as the encampment in downtown Yakima. Unfortunately, we’ve been slowed by a perfect storm that includes:

  • A program transitioning from Yakima County to YVCOG. We are in the midst of a planned 18-month transition of the program from the county to YVCOG. We are still working out the bugs and resolving redundant processes.
  • A technical agency takes on a human service program. Traditionally an agency focused on land use and transportation, we are learning rapidly as we take on the opportunities and challenges of this social program.
  • A suddenly visible homeless problem in downtown Yakima. For whatever reason(s), a homeless population that for years has been mostly unseen became very visible this summer. This has created pressure to “do something” without a plan in place. That plan is under reivew and will be adopted later this year.

Approximately $3.5 million passes through our Valley each year to combat homelessness. The YVCOG guides the funds to service providers who, in turn, provide direct services to the homeless. Those services include temporary rental housing; mental health and chemical addiction counseling; employment training; and transportation.

Last summer we created the Homeless Planning and Policy Council. This advisory panel includes representatives from housing, law enforcement, business, local elected officials, mental health, and the Homeless Network (a separate grass-roots coalition). Their primary tasks are to:

  1. Develop and update our comprehensive countywide homeless policy plan
  2. Make funding recommendations to the YVCOG Executive Committee
  3. Establish performance outcomes to evaluate the effectiveness of programs, review and evaluate homeless and housing data, and to determine the effectiveness of the strategies and objectives in our policy plan.

Here’s what you can expect of us in the coming months: New partnerships, working closely with local governments, the business community, and service providers to bring new energy and resources to our homeless problem. Valley-wide services, ensuring that every city in the Valley has equal access to the resources needed to help the homeless.

Improving transparency by creating visual “dashboards” and other tools to make better decisions, and posting these tools on our website. Data-driven, performance-based program evaluation, by working closely with our contracted providers to give them frequent feedback on their services. Lastly, within two years, using these evaluations to reward programs that work with stable or increased funding and defunding programs that don’t meet performance targets.

To learn more, contact YVCOG at 574-1550 to schedule a presentation with your group, or attend our Homeless Planning and Policy Council meetings. Meetings are held at 11 a.m. on the second Tuesday of the month. Visit yvcog.org for the meeting location.

• Larry Mattson is the executive director of the Yakima Valley Conference of Governments.

 

Originally published in the Saturday Soapbox on the Yakima Herald Republic on September 17, 2016.

100 day challenge – Zero Unsheltered Families

Homeless Network - 100 Day ChallengeDear General Members,

I would like to thank you all for the warm welcome I received at the General Membership meeting on Wednesday night. I was great to see so many familiar faces as well as meeting so many influential and dedicated members of our community. I’m so grateful YVCOG has provided me the most amazing opportunity to have a proactive role in this fight against homelessness.

As many of you may already know, Yakima County was approached by the Department of Commerce to participate in a state wide 100-day challenge with the goals of “Zero unsheltered Families” and “Lasting System Changes”. With the state of our current homeless situation, YVCOG and the Homeless Planning and Policy Council saw this as an excellent opportunity to jump start much needed action. We are currently 25 days into the challenge and excited about making progress and learning new tools to drive the “Housing First” approach that we are adopting. This challenge is not going to be without its struggles, but I think we are all ready to take a stand. I’m reaching out to you fellow community members, not as “the lower valley” and not as “the upper valley” but as Yakima County, a unified functioning body to work together to accomplish this task of housing ALL unsheltered families.

How can you help??? We all know the need is there, but what do we do, right? The first step is identifying those that are in need. If you know an unsheltered family please contact one of the numbers listed below and we will give you direction how to get these people help. I’m truly looking forward to working with each and every one of you and would love to learn what you all feel are the strengths and weakness in our current systems with the goal of getting better! Please contact me if you have ANY questions!

Crystal L. Testerman
Interim Homeless Program Manager
Yakima Valley Conference of Governments
Office: (509)574-1550
Direct: (509)424-4695
Fax (509) 574-1551