Agenda Item #1: Call to Order
Hopkins-Powell called the meeting to order at 4:05 p.m.
Agenda Item #2: Approval of Minutes
Rohde/Parkers m/s to approve the minutes, Voice Vote-Motion passed unanimously.
Agenda Item #3: Sub-Committee Reports:
Winter Shelter report/update
Audience member John Wieczorek provided the committee members with an update on the Pioneer Hall winter shelter. Wieczorek reported that the shelter has been going well; volunteers have turned some people away because of dogs. Individuals and businesses have been donating prepared food to share without being asked. Soldana mentioned how the County emergency disaster response shelter also has a pet shelter, and wondered if getting some crates would be helpful. Wieczorek said that some people are reluctant to be separated from their dogs and have been sleeping on the porch with their dogs. Wieczorek reported that in the three weeks that the shelter has been open there have been a total of 29 guests. Parker reported that the City has coordinated with volunteers on background checks and that 30 volunteers have had background checks. There are now 72 volunteers in the shelter volunteer database. Parker stated that one issue that needs to be resolved is how volunteers who have already had background checks can utilize them. Saldana reported that she and Ruth Coulthard hosted the emergency cold weather shelter held at the grove. They had 15 guests at the shelter that night. Wieczorek reported that some OHRA members have spoken with the owners of the Belleview Grange about utilizing that space as a winter shelter, so far the owners are undecided. Hopkins-Powell spoke with Dorita at the Methodist Church; they have been having issues with homeless individuals sleeping under their covered walkways, because of this they are looking at whether or not the church may be able to provide some alternative sleeping arrangement. Hopkins-Powell also added that food shows up at Trinity every week too without anyone asking.
Veteran’s Court sub-committee report/update
Lewis, O’Bryon, and Councilor Lemhouse were going to Klamath tomorrow (January 29th) Weather pending.
Car Park report/update
Parker has contacted the Eugene St. Vincent De Paul to schedule a visit. Parker, Ayars, and Hopkins-Powell are planning on going on Friday, February 8th. The Eugene St. Vincent De Paul has a few different programs, an overnight parking program, an urban rest stop and a recycling/job training center. Hopkins-Powell reminded the committee that the idea behind exploring these resources is to get as much information as the committee can to put together a report.
Parker reported that the shower sub-committee met this week; they found out that the Forest Service mobile shower unit is available for rent only. Parker has spoken with the superintendent of the Ashland School District about using the showers at Lincoln school, the Superintendent is looking into it, Parker report back to the group when she hears. The committee reviewed the minutes from the December 12, 2012 meeting for shower costs at various locations that offer shower facilities. Sohl is will continue to pursue the senior center idea. Reid found the resolution establishing the senior center from 1973, but could find no discussions pertaining to the process that led to its establishment in the Council minutes from that time period. Similarly, Reid was not sure who to speak with at the City that might have the institutional memory about the topic. Soldana will e-mail her former supervisor Don Bruland, who was involved with the Rogue Valley Council on Aging at that time.
Agenda Item #4 Quarterly Report Discussion
Hopkins-Powell volunteered to write the report but would need someone else to present. Hopkins-Powell stated that the report should include an overview of the work around winter shelters, Lewis felt that the winter shelter report should include the number of guests, the number of volunteers and the number of people turned away because of pets, a report on the Veteran’s Court information, and some information about the car park program. Lewis offered to present the report to council.
*Additional agenda items:
Discussion on the Resource Center RFP: Committee members discussed the RFP discussion that took place at the recent City Council Study Session and noted that Reid was asked to contact potential respondents to get feedback. Committee members asked Reid if she has had the opportunity to talk with anyone. Reid stated that she had spoken with some service providers and had just completed drafting the memo and attached replies to provide back to the council. Reid shared some of the feedback from the homeless service providers. Rohde noted that staffing costs seemed to be an issue for the providers and noted that it could be a considerable cost for non-profit agencies. Lewis noted that many of the providers commented on the scope of services and put forward the idea of having a program that transports people to appointments in Medford rather than trying to recreate those programs here. Lewis stated that he would like the sub-committee to explore the transportation program option, to look at the liability issue and see if there are similar programs. Lewis also noted that some buildings may not have been suitable for a resource center and may have needed some modifications, those additional modification costs on top of staffing costs could add up quickly. Councilor Morris felt that any discussion of the RFP will be put on hold until after the hospital and budget meetings take place. Lewis gave a brief update on the donations boxes, the box is being powder coated and will be installed before the report. Hopkins-Powell stated that in April when the Committee sunsets she would like to have something to hand off to some future group. Hopkins-Powell stated that she felt that the Committee has done some valuable work and would like future groups to benefit from that knowledge rather than having to do the same exploratory and information gathering work over again. Parker suggested convening a final joint meeting with the Faith Based Community to see how the shelter situation will work next year.
Agenda Item #5: Announcements/Public Comments
Parker announced that she would be willing to accept and collect any donations for the shelters, which are really in need of sleeping bags and blankets.
Hopkins-Powell announced that the Open Table project has a family and is starting.
Reid announced that the next meeting of the Jackson County Homeless Task Force will be held at the Community Center in Ashland on February 19th from 10:30-12:00.
Next meeting: February 13, 2013 4:00-6:00 P.M. Ashland Library
Respectfully Submitted by Linda Reid, Housing Program Specialist
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