Agendas and Minutes

Housing and Human Services Advisory Committee (View All)

Housing and Human Services Commission Regular Meeting

Thursday, September 22, 2016


Ashland Housing and Human Services Commission
Minutes September 22, 2016
Chair Boettiger called the meeting to order at 4:30 pm in the Siskiyou Room at the Community Development and Engineering Offices located at 51 Winburn Way, Ashland OR 97520.
Commissioners Present: Council Liaison
Gina DuQuenne Rich Rosenthal
Rich Rohde  
Joshua Boettiger SOU Liaison
Tom Gunderson Megan Mercier, absent
Sharon Harris  
Sue Crader Staff Present:
Heidi Parker Linda Reid, Housing Specialist
Michelle Linley  
Commissioners Absent: Carolyn Schwendener, Staff Secretary
Tom Buechele  
Two corrections were made to last month’s minutes. (Council Liaison report - Not the Chamber Board) Rohde/Gunderson m/s to approve the minutes of the August 25, 2016 Housing and Human Services Commission meeting with corrections.  Voice Vote: All Ayes, minutes were approved with corrections.
No one was present to speak.
The Commissioners welcomed new member Michelle Linley and City Councilor Rich Rosenthal who was subbing for Pam Marsh.
Rohde reported the materials that came out of the forum have been summarized and the next step is to prioritize the direction in which to take. The Committee has recently done an exercise in strategic mapping looking at all the players in affordable housing in Ashland and the decision makers. Some of the priorities outlined are; funding of the Housing Trust Fund, removing barriers for tiny houses, renter’s rights including a ninety day notice and looking at some of the homeless issues.  Reid commented the committee recognizes some organizations are going to want to put all their energy into priorities locally while other organizations are needing to serve in a larger more regional effort.  If anyone is interested in attending the meetings they are held every Wednesday at 1:30 pm at the Pony Espresso café located in the Washington Federal Building on Lithia Way. 
Reid gave an overview of what the CAPER report is.  This is a document required from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) fund program.  In the City’s five year consolidated plan for the use of CDBG funds the City sets goals for what type of projects they would like to fund. The CAPER reports the accomplishments generated by the activities funded in program year 2015 and how those activities allow the City of make progress in meeting the outcomes and goals identified in the 2015-2019 Consolidated Plan.  Reid brought attention to the fact that the City actually funded four projects in the 2015 year grant cycle; The Maslow Project, St. Vincent DePaul, Ashland Supportive Housing and Habitat for Humanity.  Habitat for Humanity was not able to expend their funding as they did not find enough home owners to participate in their program.  The money was given back to the City.  That money can be re-awarded mid-stream but would need to go through award process again. 
The Commissioners discussed the CAPER making some grammatical changes.
Harris/DuQuenne m/s to approve the CAPER with changes.  Voice Vote:  All Ayes, motion passed unanimously.
Porta Potty Sub-committee update – Harris spoke with Parks Director Michael Black regarding the placing of a porta potty on the Bear Creek Greenway/Bike path. The sub-committee is interested in placing a porta potty in the downtown area somewhere around Ace Hardware/Food Co-op area.  They would also like to see one at the south end of town by Shop-n-Kart. Mr. Black has no problem with locating one on the bike path and offered to meet with someone from the sub-committee to discuss the best possible place to put it.  The HHS commission agreed they still need to get approval from the Council as well as a funding source.  Harris and DuQuenne will arrange a time to meet with Mr. Black and do a site visit. 
Joint H&HS & Planning Commission meeting – At a prior H&HS meeting it was suggested to have a joint meeting with the Planning Commission at one of their study sessions.  There are a lot of land use pieces to some of the priorities that this group has, stated Reid.  It was decided to meet with the Planning Commission at their October 25, 2016 Study Session at 7:00 pm at the Council Chambers.  Reid will type up a brief summary of the Planning land use activities this group has been working on and email it to the Commissioners.  It was also decided it is still necessary to have the regular H&HS Commission meeting in October. 
Council – Rosenthal reported that the resolution for the winter shelter is on the City Council agenda for their Tuesday October 18, 2016 meeting.  The emergency shelter was a discussion item at their Study Session and Council directed staff to look into the concept of contracting with an outside organization to help with the program.  This coming Sunday from 3:00 to 5:00pm is the second climate and energy action plan public open house at SOU Stevenson Union.  Potential strategies will be outlined on how to reduce our carbon footprint. 
Staff – Parker and Reid attended the Homeless Task Force meeting on Tuesday in which local law enforcement spoke to the group regarding the homeless populations. Medford, Central Point and Ashland were represented.  Each community pointed out they see very different populations of homeless in their communities.  Chief O’Meara acknowledged that Ashland has a larger population of transients who do not necessarily want services or jobs; they are living here as a choice.  Central Point police Chief Allison pointed out the population in Central Point is very different.  It tends to be transitional families who are going from housing to homelessness for one reason or another.  They see a large number of families sleeping in their cars and often experience issues of domestic violence.  Medford Chief Sparacino emphasized they primarily see peoples with mental illness and/or drug addiction and homeless veterans. 
Parker conveyed that she disagreed with Chief O’Meara’s description of the homeless in Ashland.  As a volunteer if you go to the homeless shelter in the winter you will find people with mental illness as well as some who have been abused, stated Parker.  None of those people in the shelter are opposed to having shelter.  Parker commented that mischaracterization of who the homeless are makes it difficult to have compassion for people who are choosing homelessness rather than people who are there for other reasons; bad choices through no fault of their own, poverty or abuse.  Everyone agreed they all need to work together. 
Reid announced that Parker is putting together a training for the Ashland Winter Homeless & Emergency Shelter volunteers that will include presenters from Jackson County Mental Health, Public Health, and APD Assistant Chief, Warren Hensman.  It is tentatively scheduled for October 19, 2016The date may change. 
Quorum Check – Everyone should be present
Next Housing Commission Meeting – 4:30-6:30 PM; October 27, 2016 in the Siskiyou Room at the Community Development & Engineering Department located at 51 Winburn Way.
The meeting was adjourned at 5:55 p.m.
Respectfully submitted by Carolyn Schwendener


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