August 3, 2011
Ad hoc Homelessness Steering Committee
Guanajuato Room, Ashland Public Library
3:00 – 5:00
Rohde, Lewis, Hopkins-Powell, Ayars, Parker, Saldana, O’Byron, Voisin (council liaison), Seltzer (city staff)
Everson, Slattery (council liaison)
Call to Order
Parker called the meeting to order at 3:05.
Approval of Minutes
Minutes of the July 14 meeting were approved with corrections.
Review and Discussion of follow-up on proposals to forward to Council
Chamber Donation Boxes
Seltzer reported she sent an email to the Chamber with three questions: Have they identified a non-profit to oversee the collected funds, Have they determined the number of boxes and Have they drafted language for signage. Executive Director, Sandra Slattery has been out of the office and has not yet had a chance to respond. Lewis will follow up with the Chamber and report to the committee at the next meeting. Lewis will also ask if the Chamber has considered costs associated with maintenance.
Parker spoke with the person who submitted the proposal for public toilets. He did not have suggestions for locations or associated costs. Parker will contact Don Roberson about Park policy on restrooms and associated costs to leave them open 24/7. Parker will also contact a portable toilet provider to get a sense of rental costs and maintenance.
Homelessness Steering Committee
Voisin referenced the municipal code on forming commissions and boards and suggested the recommendation to Council is to extend the existing Homeless Steering Committee for another year. It was suggested the recommendation include a revised “charge” for the committee based on the existing charge and suggestions provided in the proposal. Voisin and Rohde will draft the recommendation.
Location for Day Use Center
Ayars spoke with Jackie Agee of the Salvation Army about space needs for the day use center. Agee indicated any space will do and they have volunteers that could do needed improvements to the space. Ayars contacted City Administrator Martha Bennett about the use of a City building and Bennett responded the City does not have any surplus space. Ayars identified a couple of privately owned spaces for rent. The realtor for the location at the intersection of Ashland Street and Shamrock Lane (formally, Good Times) said they are in negotiations with an entity to rent that space. The other location in the Ashland Shopping Center was 1,400 square feet at a cost of $140 per square foot was available for a monthly rent of $1800. Ayars will contact Agee to determine if this size and no kitchen could work.
Ayars also reported that City social service grants are awarded every other year and will not be awarded until 2013. CDBG funds will be awarded in the Spring of 2012 however the CDBG requirements do not allow monies to be spent on rent.
Hopkins-Powell reported that Lewis arranged a meeting for her with Leigh at the Methodist Church to discuss use of space. It was agreed the Listening Post could use dividers on the stage area of the hall during Uncle Foods Diner once a week from 4:00 – 6:00. She expects listening post services will begin in mid-Ocotber once volunteers have been trained. Hopkins Powell will draft the summary for the Council presentation.
Review of Police Chief Memo
Voisin reported that Chief Holderness attended a Coalition Meeting that was attended by five homeless persons. Holderness spoke about some of the issues addressed in his memo and expressed the desire to have good relations with the homeless population so they feel comfortable/confident in reporting crimes against themselves or others.
New Proposals Received
Two new proposals were received: one was about free bus passes and another was about business assistance.
There was general discussion about free bus passes. Saldana noted that free bus passes were distributed/available at the Homeless Connect event but were not used. Seltzer spoke about the free bus pass program subsidized by the City. Passes are distributed to Oregon Trail card holders in Ashland and to the Ashland School District and to senior citizens. The program is administered by Senior Program Director Christine Dodson. Seltzer will connect Parker with
Dodson about the program and follow up with the proposal submitter.
There was general discussion about the proposal for business licenses and vouchers. The committee agreed it was somewhat confusing but did agree there were possible ideas that could be addressed such as connecting homeless entrepreneurs with mentors to gain business knowledge. Voisin will follow up with the person who submitted the proposal.
Discussion on Presentation to the Council
The group discussed their written and oral presentation to the Council and how to divide the work. It was suggested that each recommendation to the Council be brief and succinct and include what the proposal is, who submitted it, when it could/would occur or be implemented, why is was selected by the committee and why it would benefit the homeless community and how it will be implemented. Each recommendation should include the budget amount requested of the City Council.
The group agreed to the following actions for review at the August 18 meeting:
Sara Hopkins-Powell will be gone from 8/24-10/4. Graham Lewis will be gone from 8/6-8/14. Ann Seltzer will be gone from 8/5- 8/20.
Meeting adjourned at 5:10 p.m.
Next Meeting Dates:
August 18, 4:00 – 6:00 Ashland Library, Gresham Room
August 25, 4:00 – 6:00 Ashland Library, Gresham Room