Homeless Strategies Workgroup


The Homeless Strategies Workgroup was originally established by Resolution 2017-055 to identify alternative solutions to living unsheltered in Whatcom County, with priority given to solutions to prevent people from having no other option than to sleep outside as the weather gets cold.

On July 23, 2019, the County Council approved Resolution 2019-034 amending the membership and purpose of the Workgroup. The amended purpose of the Homeless Strategies Workgroup is to identify additional temporary winter shelters and added capacity for year round shelters. Additionally, the workgroup will identify ways to address the needs of the county’s homeless population and prevent people from having no other option than to sleep outside.

On February 14, 2020, the Homeless Strategies Workgroup members approved the addition of three more members, and on February 26, 2020, the County Council approved a Resolution 2020-010 amending the Homeless Strategies Workgroup membership.

On May 4, 2021, the short and long term recommendations of the Homeless Strategies Workgroup were presented to and approved by the Whatcom County Council (see AB2021-268). Additionally, the Council approved Resolution 2021-018 (AB2021-281) concluding the work of the Homeless Strategies Workgroup and transferring responsibilities to the Whatcom County Housing Advisory Committee


The Homeless Strategies Workgroup had 23 positions. The members were:

  • Barry Buchanan, Chair, Whatcom County Councilmember
  • Tyler Schroeder, Whatcom County
  • Rud Browne, Whatcom County Councilmember
  • Michael Lilliquist, Bellingham City Council Member
  • Hannah E. Stone, Bellingham City Council Member
  • Seth Fleetwood, City of Bellingham, Mayor
  • Riley Sweeney, City of Ferndale
  • Michael Shepard, Port of Bellingham, Commissioner
  • Hans Erchinger-Davis, Lighthouse Mission Ministries Representative
  • Mike Parker, Opportunity Council Representative
  • Nick Lewis, Lummi Indian Business Council
  • Ann Beck, Whatcom County Health
  • Karen Burke, Housing Advisory Committee Member
  • Jason McGill, Northwest Youth Services Representative
  • Florence Simon, Bellingham Police, Deputy Chief
  • Doug Chadwick, Whatcom County Sheriff, Undersheriff
  • Mike Hilley, Whatcom County EMS
  • Guy Occhiogrosso, Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber of Commerce Representative
  • Markis D. Stidham, Homeless Advocate (County Council-appointed)
  • Vacant,Homeless children and families (County Council-appointed)
  • Emily O'ConnorHomeless children and families (County Council-appointed)
  • Michael Berres, Special populations (representing domestic violence, behavioral health, and/or elder care and medically fragile) (County Council-appointed)
  • Lisa Marx, Schools (County Council-appointed)
In fall 2020, HSW members developed six (6) subcommittee workgroups. View the HSW Subcommittees and members here.


Additional Information