Houseless solutions support committee Dec. 3, 2012

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Houseless solutions support committee Dec. 3, 2012

Postby Barb Prentice » Fri Dec 14, 2012 7:53 am

Houseless Solutions Support Committee
Monday Dec. 3, 2012

Attendees: Michael C (facilitator), Barb (notes), Sabra, Robin, Michael G., Jean, Ann, Diane, Graham, Jennifer
• Announcements
• Reality Kitchen Event
• Report on Memorial
• Letter from Kitty
• Comments from Graham
• City Council
• Prometheus
• Sabra requested that we contact LTD, requesting that they keep bathrooms open when buses are running. 541-682-6100 (voice)
• City Hall Discussion Cozmic 7 p.m.tonight
• Design Bridge meeting at Reality Kitchen Dec. 9 at 2 p.m. (see below)
• Dan and Jean will be speaking at the Rubicon (a Republican group) date not specified
• Jean and others will be presenting at City Club on Friday, Dec. 14 12:00 to 1:30 p.m. - Eugene Hilton, O'Neil Room Topic: Gifts to the City
• Officer Randy Ellis started a program four years ago to help the homeless. After starting completely on his own, Ellis eventually solicited help from the Eugene Police Department and the community at large. This year, the amount of clothing donated has doubled in comparison to the last with cash donations amounting to nearly $7,000

• Robin added flowers to the Memorial last Monday and will add more today. She reported that she got honks from people passing when she was doing it and it appeared that other people had added flowers.
• Suggestion that a permanent memorial be created some time in the future, perhaps at the site of Opportunity Village.
Reality Kitchen Report
• UO architectural students and professors in a program called Design Bridge met with homeless people and allies on Sunday Dec. 2 at 2 p.m.
• They have a $7000 grant to do something around homelessness and wanted to talk to community to learn about the issues and get ideas.
• General discussion lasted for 2 hours
• A suggestion was made to establish a “Homeless City Council” with a representative from each ward to discuss issues that affect them
• Josie, who manages the Dining Room which now has a 5 year contract, spoke about the need for all of us to have interpersonal relationships with the unhoused and poor population in order to address prejudice and classism. Should we invite her to one of our meetings?
• A second meeting is scheduled for Sunday Dec. 9 at 2 p.m. at Reality Kitchen

Comments from Graham
• Represents Trainsong Neighborhood
• Questioned if a small OVE were created, would there be problems at the site with those who were not included? Perhaps screening should happen elsewhere.
• Concern was expressed that the Trainsong and Whitaker neighborhoods are already under pressure from poverty and unhoused population. Would OVE at the Garfield site increase that pressure?
Letter from Kitty (reprinted at end of minutes)
• Barb shared a letter that a friend had received from Kitty after the friend wrote to city council and mayor, criticizing the slow response of the council and asking that the camping ban be lifted.
• Discussion centered around the sentence “We actually seldom enforce the camping ban at the present time” We concluded that meant that tickets and arrest weren’t happening. However, unhoused people report that they are rousted and warned that they must move which does not equate with the right to “legally” camp. One person reported being moved 4 times in the last few weeks.
• Someone should ask for research on what results there would be if the camping ban were lifted.
• Use the letter as an opportunity to bring up issues mentioned.
City Council
• Suggestion that City Council and Mayor need the weight of public opinion to move them (give them an excuse) to act.
• Picketing the homes of public officials is a time honored way to get attention.
• Dec. 10th meeting: Michael C. talked with George Brown and he is not willing to introduce motion to lift the camping ban at that meeting.
• Will join others at the Dec. 10th Human Rights Rally at noon at Free Speech Plaza.
• Need lots of speakers and supporters at City Council meeting on Dec. 10, specifically asking that the camping ban be lifted.
• Action alert will be going out soon. Check your e-mail.
• SLEEPS meetings at Grower’s Market: 9:30 a.m. Tues. and Thursday
• SLEEPS Communication Team 9:30 a.m., Wed. at World Café
• SLEEPS sign making at CALC Thursday at 1 p.m.
• Can headquarter at OE5 between actions.
• General discussion of how to help people who are being asked to move: Have allies go to campsite immediately. / Ask people who have been rousted, to record their names (first name enough) and present at City Council Meeting.
• On Sat. Dec. 22, to commemorate the dispersal of the Occupy Eugene camp, there will be a gathering in Washington Jefferson Park from 4-6 p. m. There will be a short play presented that is an adaptation of the myth of Prometheus, fire-bringer.
• This will also bring attention to SLEEPS and the necessity and difficulty to stay warm.
Next meeting
• A request for $100 from Occupy to reimburse Jean Stacey for expenses of visitors from Portland Seattle needs to be officially approved.
• Discuss criteria used by service agencies for people seeking shelter

From Kitty Piercy (in answer to a letter from an ally of SLEEPS)

I don't see these comments as fair. We made a priority of putting in place strategies to help people get through the winter and all of those have received action. This would include expanding the car camping program by about 20 sites; replacing the lost triage position to actually get people to services; expanding Egan center capacity, funding additional housing at Shelter Care. In addition council asked staff to provide bathroom access for the medical van and to have the HRC begin the work of a permanent committee on homelessness as recommended by Opportunity Eugene Taskforce. In addition to these items which do follow up on OE recommendations, providers are in the process of adding some storage space and some day space and some shelter space. I'd say in all fairness that amounts to a considerable amount of capacity building. We actually seldom enforce the camping ban at the present time. I also want to add that this city and council have been partners in building hundreds of units of affordable housing so that all of those folks have a place to live. As a matter of fact I have had people very close to me who have experienced homelessness and have worked on this issue in many ways for over 20 years. In that time I have worked on keeping people from being homeless and helping those that are including the service station, the dining room, New Roads, and a number of other forward thinking steps. I have worked with Looking Glass for services for young people for years. I have not mentioned all the funding that the city puts in for the Human Services Commission to allocate or to Cahoots to help those experiencing crisis or to Buckley House to help those with addiction issues or in making all our services available to everyone. I grant you it not perfect but there is a lot of effort and kindness shown by council and staff. In spite of some of the comments some make, I expect council to keep moving in this direction. I expect they will support a micro housing pilot in December and begin a look at the laws with the help of Eric Tars. Will all of this mean that no one will be unsheltered. No I expect this will continue to be a challenge. The camping issue alone is complex, given its human and environmental implications. The homeless are a mixed population like rest of us. I do believe everyone should have a safe place to be. I also believe the community needs to be a safe place for all, a good place to live and raise a family. And I believe capacity is built through hard work and not through hard words.
Houseless Solutions Committee minutes 12-3-2012.doc
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Barb Prentice
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