May 21, 2012
Ad-Hoc Homelessness Steering Committee
4:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Ayars, Saldana, O’Bryon, Hopkins-Powell, Lewis, Rohde, Morris (Council liaison), Reid (City staff)
Agenda Item #1: Call to Order
Rohde called the meeting to order at 4:05 p.m.
Agenda Item #2: Approval of Minutes
Lewis/Saldana moved to approve the minutes as presented. Voice Vote-Motion passed unanimously.
Agenda Item #4: Review homeless Survey
Audience members Sandra Coyner provided copies of the homeless survey undertaken by members of the Ashland Citizen’s Coalition in conjunction with the Jackson County Homeless Task Force’s Point in Time homeless Count. Coyner gave a brief overview of the origins of the local homeless survey and summarized the findings of the coalition; which were that there was a lot of desire for the services that a day use center will offer and that there were quite a few people who would like a job. Committee members reviewed and discussed the results. Hopkins-Powell reminded the committee members that next week is the last week for showers at the UCC for the summer, and that the UCC is not sure that it will be able to provide that service next fall as their volunteers are getting burned out.
Agenda Item #5: Review and Discuss the six original proposals from staff in May 2011
-Lewis updated the Committee. Boxes will be place near Mix, City Hall, and the Black Swan. Due to a slight wording change, the installation will be delayed by a couple of weeks. Some of the merchants will be putting out donation boxes at their places of business-the chamber will be giving quarterly reports.
-Committee members remembered that there were liability issues with this option. According to the Point in Time count survey, 24 individuals reported living in their cars. Not having a safe and secure place to sleep in your car posed a safety issue for single women. It was suggested that this question be added to the list for Heidi to ask when talking with Faith groups; specifically whether the group would be interested in hosting a roving car park. It was suggested that the committee only look at churches that are not in dense neighborhoods.
-At some point the committee should ask La Clinica if they could come to do a presentation on the Medical/Dental van.
- Salvation Army is still a possibility; they already have a very successful transitional housing program in Medford. DASIL and RVCOG’s Home at Last Program is another successful model. Although Home at last is a permanent supportive housing model, that program does provide case management and move people out of the program and onto the section 8 program. Scattered site models are very cost effective. Does the group need to reprioritize this issue??? Is there a way to be a catalyst for change/action? This should be a council study session discussion.
Community Outreach Worker
-As proposed this activity would be cost prohibitive. However Community Works already offers something similar for homeless youth, which gets some support from the City’s Social Service Grant program. The new budget contains adding a downtown summer patrol officer and extra park patrol. Would the city be willing to add a part time person to be cross trained as an outreach worker?
Agenda Item #6: Sub-Committee Updates
Agenda Item #7: Overview of “Work for Vouchers Program” Presented by Sandra Coyner
Community Forum (Rohde/O’Bryon): Rohde met with Seles regarding the community forum and provided the committee with an update. Essentially the HSC needs to decide whether they would like to sponsor this forum. Saldana was not in favor of sponsoring the event, the HSC has their hands full at this time, and there is no interest in or resources for this type of event at this time. The other committee members agreed with Saldana.
Outreach to Faith Community: The committee members brainstormed ideas on this topic. Hopkins-Powell suggested putting together a one or two pager with bullets of things to consider, and then invite the faith community members to a meeting. Saldana suggested changing the bullets to check boxes with “we already do this” and “we could do this”. Some of the items could include: car park, rotating shelter, showers, food, and laundry. Some wording which could be included in the letter to be drafted by Parker; “We are the Ad Hoc Homeless Steering Committee, what are you doing already, and what can be done to enhance that. This effort is to bring as many different faiths together to learn from each other.” A timeline for the meeting was established in order to get a rotating shelter together by winter. Get the letter out by early June, meeting by late summer. The committee decided to continue this discussion to the next meeting. Hopkins-Powell has a list of the faith community contacts. For the June Meeting agenda, have a draft letter ready by the 13th. Committee members will send the information to Heidi for her to put together into a letter.
This program is modeled on the Downtown Streets Team Program in Palo Alto. It offers participants:
helps transition people out of homelessness,
helps people with basic needs,
Appeals to conservative interests because of the jobs piece.
Participants must attend meetings every day. The meetings act as a support group. The meetings are held at the day use center and there is a social worker available. Participants who attend meetings regularly get their names on a list and get the opportunity (through a seniority system) to go to work. They work for vouchers not cash. They must show up to work on time, sober and ready to work. The jobs are 20 hours a week maximum and are low skilled manual labor in nature. The vouchers can be used for food and shelter. Downtown streets can then place participants into permanent paying jobs.
Committee members raised questions about liability. Downtown Streets Team has offered to share their legal documents with the entity that would like to duplicate their model. More information about the program can be found at the Downtown Streets Team website: http://streetsteam.org/
Next meeting: June 13, 2012 4:00-6:00 P.M.
Ashland Public Library
Respectfully Submitted by Linda Reid, Housing Program Specialist