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Housing and Human Services Commission (View All)

Housing and Human Services Regular Meeting-TIME AND LOCATION CHANGE!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Ashland Housing and Human Services Commission
Minutes September 16, 2014
Chair Joshua Boettiger called the meeting to order at 4:35 in the Library at the First Methodist Church of Ashland located at 175 North Main Street, Ashland OR 97520.
Commissioners Present: Council Liaison
Joshua Boettiger Pam Marsh
Heidi Parker  
Connie Saldana SOU Liaison
Michael Gutman Andrew Ensslin
Coriann Matthews  
Rich Rohde Staff Present:
Gina DuQuenne Linda Reid, Housing Specialist
Commissions Absent: Carolyn Schwendener, Admin Clerk
Sue Crader  
Regina Ayars  
Approval of Minutes
The minutes of the August 28, 2014 Housing and Human Services Commission meeting were approved as presented.
No one was present to speak.
Boettiger gave a subcommittee report. As the deadline for the Strategic Plan is fast approaching the following topics were discussed to help with the process.
  • The Commission needs to give more clear recommendations to the City Council.
  • Suggested that fewer organizations receive more money
  • Focus on mental illness, low cost affordable housing, job/life skills, homelessness
  • Connect in a clear way with Ashland’s City Council 2020 goals
  • Key interviews with the following stakeholder groups law enforcement, businesses, social service agencies, basic needs/homeless providers, schools, faith communities, environmental agencies, OSF, health care providers, media/news stations and housing providers.
By doing interviews it would give the Commission some data to work with regarding what the greatest community needs are and how to address them. The following three questions will be asked in the interviews and Reid will email them out to the Commissioners.
  1. What do you see as the greatest community need?
  2. Please provide us with a list of your opinions on unmet service needs or gaps in your community.
  3. Any additional comments, concerns or suggestions
Saldana/Mathews m/s to modify the questions from the previous survey to be used for interview questions for Key Informants.  Voice Vote:  All ayes motion passed unanimously. 
The following is a list of Commissioners and which entity they will contact for interviews
  • Environmental – Saldana
  • Law Enforcement – Gutman
  • Mental Health/Health Care – Rohde
  • Business/OSF/Co-Op – DuQuenne
  • Access/Housing Authority/Property Management companies – Matthews
  • Faith Community – Boettiger
  • Schools/SOU/Ashland Public Schools – Parker
  • Media – Reid
  • Maslow – Ensslin
  • Veterans Administration – Ayars
  • Head Start/Living Opportunities – Crader
The interviews will need to be completed and results sent to Reid no later than October 10, 2014.  Reid proposed to present the Strategic Plan Draft to the City Council at their Study Session on November 17, 2014.  Put the Strategic Plan on next month’s agenda.
Reid explained that the City of Ashland is an entitlement jurisdiction, receiving an annual allocation of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). As a recipient of CDBG funds, the City is required to prepare a five-year strategic plan that identifies housing and community needs, prioritizes these needs, identifies resources to address the needs, and establishes annual goals and objectives to meet the identified needs.  This five year plan is known as the Consolidated Plan. The Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Report (CAPER) addresses the goals identified in the 2010-2014 Consolidated Plan which was approved in April of 2010.
Reid reviewed the CAPER report with the Commissioners. This is a valuable report as it collects a lot of good information about the things the City is working to accomplish, stated Reid.
Rohde/Mathews m/s to approve the CAPER Report.  Voice Vote; All Ayes motion passed unanimously. 
Ensslin is currently working on preparing a list of landlords to interview regarding Student Fair Housing.  Suggested contacts were; Southern Oregon Renters Association (SORA), Commercial Property Management (CPM), Pacific Properties, Ashland Property Management, Craig’s list, as well as private individuals.  In the City it is required to register for a business license if you have two or more units.  The business license applications would be another source of names.   Ensslin has prepared a questionnaire and he and Christy Wright will do phone interviews. 
It was decided to postpone the Goal Review and Discussion topic on the agenda until a future meeting.
COUNCIL –Marsh conveyed that a concern was brought to the City Council regarding the issue of the behavior of the people on the street in the downtown area.  Two downtown business owners appeared before the Council to explain their interactions with the people hanging around the Black Swan Theater.  They also submitted letters from co-workers sharing their concern about the lack of safety downtown.  Marsh stressed that Chief Holderness has been a very good resource and presence in the downtown area.  The Council is putting this topic on an upcoming Study Session and Marsh invited any Commissioner who is interested to attend. 
SOU – Ensslin spent part of his summer organizing a welcoming event for new students that involves the downtown business community.  It’s called “SOU Loves Ashland.” Ensslin reached out to over one hundred and twenty local businesses and asked if they would be interested in participating in the event.  The event will involve sending five to six hundred freshmen to Lithia Park for lunch as well as a meet and greet. Ensslin went on to say he has eighty-four confirmed businesses participating.  Students will be encouraged to visit ten to fifteen businesses of their choosing.  The intent is to show students what the downtown has to offer, where to eat, places to shop and where to spend time.  The event will take place Saturday, September 27, 2014 from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm.
GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENTS – Saldana announced that you can now take the bus (RVTD) from the Medford transfer station to Grants Pass.  The cost is two dollars.  They are making five round trips a day.
Parker mentioned that they are gearing up for the winter shelter for homeless again offering four nights a week.  She encouraged anyone who might know of any church or organization who would be willing to host another night to let her know.  They will be offering a training class sometime in October.
Put goal setting on the October agenda.
Review of the Strategic Plan
November Housing and Human Services Commission regular meeting – To be determined due to Thanksgiving.
ADJOURNMENT - The meeting was adjourned at 6:00 p.m. followed by a tour of “Uncle Foods” which is a volunteer run program that prepares meals for the homeless/low income families and individuals.
Respectfully submitted by Carolyn Schwendener

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