July 23, 2012
Ad-Hoc Homelessness Steering Committee
Siskiyou Room, Community Development Building
4:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Ayars, Parker, Lewis, Rohde, Sohl, Saldana, O’Bryon, Morris (Council liaison), Reid (Staff)
Public in Attendance
Father Toni Hutchinson, Evie Strauss, Reverend Pamela Nelson-Munson, Wilbur and Coral Clous, John Wieczorek, Linden Crouch, Wendy Eppinger, Coriann Mathews, Keith Haxton.
Parker called the meeting to order at 4:05 p.m.
Welcome and Introductions
Sohl asked group members to share a brief story or experience about homelessness that has led them to have an interest in working with the homeless or on homeless issues. Several people shared stories of their experiences.
Review of the trip to Bridgetown in Portland
Sohl shared her experiences from leading a group of teen volunteers to work with Bridgetown, a Portland organization that provides services for homeless populations. Bridgetown provides outreach services and gives youth groups the opportunity to interface with homeless populations. Bridgetown does a Thursday night outreach that brings portable showers, a hot meal, and resources like clothing and shoes to the homeless congregating under the Burnside Bridge. Bridgetown also does a “walk about”, where volunteers walk around handing out hot coffee, sandwiches, clean socks and talk to the people on the streets. Sohl found the most striking aspect of Bridgetown to be that they do not have a permanent space. They rent storage space to store the goods that they have/collect, they rent spaces to stage the events, but all of their activities take place in public spaces.
Brief history of how the Homeless Steering Committee started and what they have accomplished to date
Lewis provided some background about the formation of the committee. The committee was originally formed to look at, study, and gather ideas about what can be done about homelessness within the community. Lewis looked back through the minutes; the committee has met 27 times since its inception. The committee went through the process of gathering input from stakeholders within the community. In all the committee received 31 proposals. The committee vetted those proposals and forwarded some onto the council. Out of those proposals came five action items; the La Clinica dental/medical van, a 24 hour restroom, donation boxes, the listening post, and extension of the committee for another year. The committee has decided to do outreach to the faith communities to find out what they are doing within the community and explore opportunities to work together.
How the HSC got the idea of a Day-Use Center and Rotating Winter Shelter
Parker spoke about how the first year that the HSC was formed there was an urgency to do something. A day use center would allow volunteers to check in with people, provide a phone number, address, showers, storage lockers, maybe a space for food storage and preparation. Currently Oregon is fifth in the nation for the highest number of homeless singles, families, and children. One model that the HSC is interested in comes out of Grass Valley, where the day use center busses homeless populations to rotating area churches and temples some of whom offer a bare bones shelter and some of whom offer meals and shelter. Then in the morning the busses come back and pick up the people to bring them back to the day use center where they can access services such as counseling, job preparedness and storage for belongings.
Survey results and Brainstorming session
Rohde facilitated a brainstorming session where the group looked at four main areas then came up with some action steps.
Inventory of Services/Resources available in the Ashland Community
Uncle Food’s Diner-Tuesday meal at Wesley Hall
Church without Walls-Sunday Meal in the Park
Community Works Street Outreach Meals-Wednesday and Friday 3:00 PM
Tasty Tuesday-Tuesday family meal at the Methodist Church
Presbyterian Church Meal-Last Wednesday of the month
Access Food Pantry-Seventh Day Adventist Church and in the Greensprings
La Clinica Mobile Clinic-Tuesday’s at the Methodist Church 1:30-5:00
Free Box –Clothing
Listening Post-Various locations, various days
Winter Shelter-Presbyterian Church Sunday nights
St. Vincent De Paul Home Visitation program outreach- (advocacy, resource referral,
emergency rent and utility assistance, medication, life skills training
Police Station-(bus tokens
Jackson County Fuels Committee-(Advocacy/wood chopping and delivery/fuel rate
reductions and emergency shut of prevention
Maslow Project-(school based outreach, case management, resource referral, clothing,
hygiene products, school supplies
Deacon’s Association First Congregational Church – (bus tokens, food vouchers, other as
South Valley DHS-(Food stamps, TANF
, resource referrals
, toiletries, hygiene products,
Project Community Connect Event-One day resource fair
Requests for financial assistance overwhelm churches
Storage for belongings
Phone access/Message Number/Mailing Address
Central (mobile) facility/Day center
Coordinator for day center
Mental Health Care
Drug and Alcohol Treatment Programs (local)
Barriers to providing more/different services
Systemic problems that perpetuate homelessness/lack of support for proactive activities
Strong Leadership for Homeless services/populations
Space for a Day Center
Financial Support for a Day Center
Ask if faith based organizations would contribute to an organization similar to former
Organization similar to the former ICCA to act as a clearing house for financial requests.
Central mobile facility
Next Steps/Action Steps
Reconvene in a month or so
Continue to work on finding a place for the day use center
Get copies of the resource brochure from Community Works
Resources already donated in support of a Day Use Center
Hot water heater
Washer and Dryer
Next meeting: August 8, 2012 4:00-6:00 P.M.
Ashland Public Library, Guanajuato Room
Respectfully Submitted by Linda Reid, Housing Program Specialist