August 18, 2011
Ad hoc Homelessness Steering Committee
Guanajuato Room, Ashland Public Library
4:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Parker, Lewis, Hopkins-Powell, Saldana, O’Bryon, Voisin (Council liaison), Shiplet (city staff)
Everson, Rohde, Slattery (council liaison)
Call to Order
Parker called the meeting to order at 4:07 p.m.
Approval of Minutes
Ayers/Hopkins m/s to approve the minutes of the August 3 meeting two corrections.
Follow up and review of draft recommendations
Chamber Donation Boxes
Lewis reported that there is a meeting scheduled early the week of August 22 at the Chamber of Commerce to discuss the boxes. He will report on their response after the meeting.
Parker submitted draft notes to the group of her conversation with Parks Director, Don Robertson. She felt it was a very positive discussion. They talked about the history of restrooms maintained by the Parks & Recreation Department and some of the problems they encounter. Mr. Roberson explained that for safety reasons he would not support opening the rest rooms on the Calle all night, nor would he support opening restrooms in residential neighborhood parks. However, he was not opposed to a trial period of a portable toilet (or two) near the Calle - so long as it is a trial and there will be a review of the effectiveness.
Parker gave information on costs of portable toilets ($81.50/mo + 5% damage waiver ($100 cost if totally destroyed) handicap costs $125/month +5% damage waiver). The group discussed including asking the City to cover the cost of that in their presentation to Council on September 20th. The group also discussed alternate locations (near the Greenway, somewhere on the South end of town, etc.) The group decided that the would ask the City for permission/money to install one near the Calle and one near the Greenway (just off Eagle Mill Road).
Robertson and Parker also discussed the possibility of opening city facilities for showers. He thought that the Grove might be ok for a temporary resource, but wanted other groups (SOU, YMCA) to also be considered as resources. He did say that anytime someone needed a shower for a job interview he would be glad to find them a location to do so. The group had a discussion about the challenges of using the Grove as there is only one shower and therefore might not have enough hot water to fill the need. Voisin will continue to work researching options for shower locations.
Homelessness Steering Committee
Voisin will draft a request to Council to grant a one year extension of the current group, with a modification to the mission statement to include “follow up” on current proposals. The group agreed that there also needs to be requirements for “milestone” dates (i.e. clear deadlines for future proposals.) The committee members agreed to contact Carol individually regarding whether or not they wish to continue as a member of the committee should Council grant the extension.
Location for Day Use Center
Ayars presented her draft proposal to the Council. She has incorporated the groups suggestions regarding including a council action section. The shopping center location she was asked to research is too small for the day use center purposes. She did find out that CDBG grants are eligible to pay rent on a day use center, so the group should apply for that grant in Spring of 2012. She also thinks that if we need to get up and running soon, we should ask for a 6 month loan from the City of up to $12,000, repayable either by CDBG funds or forgiven by the City if we do not get the CDBG grant.
Hopkins-Powell submitted her draft proposal to the group, wanted to know if she should stay in the format she drafted or use the format created by Ayars for the Day Use Center proposal. Group agreed that the format she used was fine, and that if City Staff want to re-format for consistency they are free to do so.
Follow-up on proposals received in late July
Parker had done research as to what the city currently does in regard to bus tokens. She handed out a spreadsheet from the Senior center listing all the tokens handed out, and what qualifications are required. She had also talked to Police Chief Terry Holderness who explained that police staff give out approximately 60 -70 tokens a year to homeless people who need to get to Medford for medical appointments. The tokens are either donated by local churches or purchased by the police department as necessary. Police also have small emergency kits available with toothpaste, toothbrush, energy bars, water, etc. for homeless who have had all their belongings stolen. The group discussed the importance of having tokens available at the Day Use Center. They also discussed how to get the word out that groups can donate tokens or money for tokens to the police or day use center. They suggested that maybe this was one of the things the Chamber of Commerce support/purchase with donation box funds.
Parking Lot Proposals
The group liked the format started by Seltzer for tracking proposals. They would like easy means to identify the proposals we’re tracking that have not yet been completed. They think showing this list (and the items we’re tracking) would help with the justification to Council for continuing the committee for another year.
Ayars, Hopkins-Powell, and Lewis will be absent at the Council presentation but they have made arrangements with others to present on their behalf. The group agreed that Parker should introduce each proposal presenter to the Council. The group will have all proposals written and submitted to Ann for inclusion in the council packet prior to September 12th. The group will do a “dress rehearsal” of the presentation at the meeting in September (either 9/7 or 9/8, date had yet to be determined.)
Meeting was adjourned at 5:32 p.m.
Next Meeting Dates:
August 25, 4:00 - 6:00 p.m.
September 8, 4:00 - 6:00 p.m.