November 14,, 2012
Ad-Hoc Homelessness Steering Committee
4:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Ayars, Parker, O’Bryon, Hopkins-Powell, Sohl, Rohde, Lewis, Reid (Staff)
Saldana, Morris (Council liaison)
Agenda Item #1: Call to Order
Rohde called the meeting to order at 4:05 p.m.
Due to some members needing to leave early agenda items, 9 and 8 moved to 3 and 4 respectively.
Agenda Item #2: Approval of Minutes
Rohde/Ayars moved to approve the minutes as presented. Voice Vote-Motion passed unanimously.
Agenda Item #3: New Chair Election (Formerly agenda item #9)
Rohde asked if Ayars would be willing to serve as chair as Hopkins-Powell had already declined to serve as chair. Ayars asked why there was so much reluctance on the part of committee members to act in that capacity. Rohde felt that in general all of the members of the committee were already very busy; also consideration of the interface with the council may have some bearing on the decision. Lewis was concerned about the chosen individual’s affiliation. Parker was concerned that whoever is chosen has the ability to relate to the council in a positive way. Rohde pointed out that the chair person need not be the person who is most involved with the council. O’Bryon stated that she would be willing to present the next quarterly report to the council should she still be in town. Hopkins-Powell stated that she would be willing to co-chair with someone else. Rohde agreed to act as co-chair with Hopkins-Powell. Lewis offered to act as the presenter to the council. Parker/Ayars m/s to elect Hopkins-Powell and Rohde as co-chairs of the ad hoc Homelessness Steering Committee, with Lewis acting as council presenter. Voice Vote, motion passed unanimously.
Agenda Item #4: Veteran’s Court sub-committee report/update (Formerly agenda item #8)
O’Bryon and Lewis met with Paul Skinner the Veteran’s Justice Outreach officer at the Veterans Administration Southern Oregon Resource Center. Mr. Skinner was instrumental in setting up the veteran’s court in Klamath Falls. Mr. Skinner offered to act as a liaison for a delegation from the HSC to Klamath to see how the Veteran’s court works and talk with the other organizers. Mr. Skinner did not think that it would be difficult to institute a Vets court in Ashland or Jackson County. Both O’Bryon and Lewis will talk with Judge Burkholder. Councilor Lemhouse is also interested in visiting the Vet. Court in Klamath Falls. Lewis is not sure that there is a lot of need for a vet. court specifically for Ashland but does believe that there is enough need throughout the County. In Klamath organizers worked with the District Attorney who was very supportive and helped to get the court started. Essentially the program is a diversion program that helps veterans get into treatment programs. Most of the legal issues are substance abuse and mental health related. There is also a vet mentor program. The model would be similar to the drug court model which is already operating in Jackson County. A Veteran’s court would add a couple of extra hours of operation to that court. Skinner stated that the idea for a Vet’s court in Jackson County was put forward last year but there was not enough support for it. If the City of Ashland were behind it there might be more political will to move it forward at the county level. Hopkins-Powell asked what role the VA played in the Vet’s court? O’Bryon answered that the VA provided the treatment and mental health piece. Parker asked if there were any stats for Ashland. Reid will look into it and get back to the HSC at the next meeting. O’Bryon and Lewis will talk with Chief Holderness and Judge Burkholder hopefully before the next meeting and will provide an update to the group at that meeting. Hopkins-Powell stated that she sees a lot of younger and older vets who are homeless; she felt that a mental health court would be valuable for this population. Lewis and Rohde both stated that they saw a vet court as a jumping off point for the possibility of a mental health court.
Agenda Item #5: Debrief from Faith Based Outreach Meeting
O’Bryon and Rohde stated that they were happy to see the energy and enthusiasm that came out of the meeting. The other committee members agreed that despite the low turnout the meeting was very productive.
Agenda Item #6: Review of Next Steps from Faith-Based Community Meeting
Parker stated that the subcommittee met and organized a volunteer training for the winter shelter. Parker handed out the agenda for the meeting. The training will be at Calvin Hall of the Presbyterian Church on Tuesday, November 27, from 7-8:30 P.M. Father Tony is working on a press release to announce the opening of the Trinity Episcopal Church’s additional shelter night and to announce the volunteer training to staff the shelters. Shelters will be open every Monday at the Presbyterian Church and every Wednesday at the Episcopal Church. The purpose of the training will be to bring in new volunteers. Parker will be devising a way to make a volunteer list. Will figure out what the process will be at the meeting. Parker will take names and preferences on which nights people will be available noting if they have a church preference as well. Hopkins-Powell reported that Keith Haxton and Leigh Madsen were planning on putting on a training as well, and that Ruth Coulthard was conducting training for CERT volunteers today. The Unitarian board is reviewing the shelter idea and will be voting on whether that church would be able to host a regular weekly shelter night on Wednesday. John Wieczorek wasn’t sure if they were going to act as a regular weekly shelter or as an emergency shelter only. Coulthard has stated that she would really like to have a greater local volunteer pool to call on for cold weather shelter nights. Part of the CERT training was to meet the needs addressed in Resolution 2007-11. Reid will make a flyer about the shelter training and send it out to the group and post information about it on the City’s website. With regard to outreach to other FBO’s for shelter nights and volunteers, Parker stated that she would like to see a systematic outreach effort. Rohde felt that the systematic outreach effort should wait. Sohl offered to check on making an announcement about the need for shelters and volunteers at the Thanksgiving Day inter-faith service and at the Havurah Solstice inter-faith service.
Agenda Item #7: Review of Project Evaluation Spreadsheet and Final Scope of Work
No changes, the evaluation sheet should be helpful.
Agenda Item #8: Discussion of Member recruitment from School District
This item was proposed by Lewis, he has had to leave the meeting early for a prior engagement, it was suggested that the committee forward the discussion to the next meeting.
Agenda Item #9: Winter Shelter Update
This Item has been covered by previous agenda/discussion items.
Agenda Item #10: Announcements/Public Comments
Next meeting: November 26, 2012 4:00-6:00 P.M.
Siskiyou Room of the Community Development Building
Lotus Rising Project has an emergency program for LGTB populations. Rohde will check to see if they would like to be included on the resource list.
The Hope House photography project, Pictures of Hope, is having a display at TC Chevy on Thursday night.
The Listening Post has won an Award of Merit from the Episcopal Church Commission for the Poor and Homeless.
Parker announced that Uncle Food’s is short of volunteer servers and dishwashers
Reid announced that the Project Community Connect Planning Committee is looking for volunteers to serve on the Committee.
Respectfully Submitted by Linda Reid, Housing Program Specialist