March 14, 2012
Ad hoc Homelessness Steering Committee
Ashland Public Library
4:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Ayers, Parker, Lewis, Rohde, Saldana, Voisin (Council liaison) Slattery (Council liaison) Reid (City staff)
Agenda Item #1: Call to Order
Parker called the meeting to order at 4:05 p.m.
Agenda Item #2: Approval of Minutes
Rohde/Ayars moved to approve the minutes as presented.
Agenda Item #4: Sub-Committee Meetings.
Ayars reported on the day center sub-committee activities-see attached
Rohde and O’Bryon were scheduled to meet the following week and would present an update on the committee extension narrative at the next meeting. Some points that Rohde came up with were;
Noting the committee’s accomplishments
Noting the dedication and synergy of the current group
Note that homeless planning is a full time adventure, that it shouldn’t be lumped in with other work
There is still work needing to be done on the day use center, the planning process for a venture of that size takes on going work
Include personal success stories of individuals
Saldana added that another positive accomplishment of the HSC was to create a community dialogue around homelessness.
Parker spoke with Jan Janssen spoke about the diversion program for youth that Janssen used to run for the Ashland Police Department. Janssen thought that it would be easy to set up a deferred sentencing program for homeless offenders.
There would need to be city buy-in, and a discussion with Judge Pam Burkholder. The Advocate/Counselor would need to have a meeting place, ideally not at the police station. The program would be administered through the municipal court, with a small salary to provide one day/week of services.
Key components of a pilot program for Deferred Sentencing would be:
Identify the Advocate. It’s very important who that person is: creative, compassionate but firm, and able to hold clients accountable.
The Advocate/counselor would develop a relationship with each client-offender.
The Advocate develops consequences tailored to the crime, the perpetrator and their interests. The consequences should not be just punitive, but should allow the client to give back to the community in a meaningful way.
If the offender-client fails to complete the plan as prescribed, they are then required to fulfill the original sentence. When the offender-client completes the diversion plan, the original sentence is forgiven.
This could be done with minimal salary of one day/week.
Rohde asked if the program would be available to everyone in the community.
Lewis felt that similar to the DUII diversion program the service would be tied to the type of crime.
Saldana wondered if the program would be overwhelmed if it were available to everyone cited for every crime.
There was a brief discussion about the exclusionary zone ordinance.
Councilor Slattery stated that every community has some form of exclusion zone; rules of behavior that, if violated, incur repercussions. The question is, how do we apply that in some way to the downtown? The council needs to be responsive to the community.
Councilor Voisin felt that the Council should ask to have this body make recommendations. There needs to be some discussion in the community about it.
Councilor Slattery agreed that there needs to be a number of different community voices reflected in the ordinance, and that there needs to be a public review process. Slattery definitely felt that the HSC should make recommendations and that the ordinance should reflect a mixture of people, perspectives and priorities.
Lewis stated that he understood that the mission of the committee from the beginning was to make recommendations.
Saldana asked; what about having a choice regarding exclusion or community services?
Agenda Item #3: Donation Box update.
The Chamber Committee met with St. Vincent De Paul - Our Lady of the Mountain Conference, and they agreed to be the agency that will be in charge of collecting and dispensing the funds donated through the boxes. Peoples bank will be the account holder and will be able to accept direct donations. The boxes will be ordered next week and should be installed by Memorial Day. St. Vincent’s will provide a monthly report on how the money gets spent. There will be a list of possible uses. It will be printed on the boxes that St. Vincent is in charge of collecting and distributing the donated funds and their contact information will be printed on the boxes as well. It is expected to take a few months to have enough donations from the boxes to do anything with.
4:30-6:30 Portraits of Disconnection Reception in the Gresham Room of the Library
Meeting adjourned at 6:10
Next meeting date:
4-6 in the Siskiyou Room of the Community Development building at 51 Winburn Way.