The Community Engagement Committee met on November 19th.

First, a big thank you to Jane Banks of Center for Human Development for stepping up to chair this Committee.  Thank you, Jane!

Secondly, we are meeting hereafter on the 3rd Monday of the month, 9-10:30 am.  That means our next meeting is Monday, December 21, 9-10:30 am.  It also means that the meeting following would be on Jan 18, which is Martin Luther King day and therefore not our meeting date.  But we decided, after much effort, to attend to the rescheduling of that month when we meet next!

Minutes of 11/19/09 meeting

In attendance: Father Stan Aksamit, Andrew Baker, Jane Banks, Martin Chaisson, David Gadaire, Sylvia deHaas-Phillips, Erica Johnson, John Klenakis, Michael Konig, Suzanne Smith, Pamela Schwartz, Lynne Wallace
Regrets:  Evan Dobelle, Gerry McCafferty, Betty Medina Lichtenstein, Andrew Morehouse

Decisions and discussion:

1.  The Committee reviewed and approved the one-page factsheet on the Network.
2.  The Committee clarified various outreach plans and strategies, including:

  • Lynne is reaching out to the Northampton Chamber of Commerce and the western regional superintendent of schools;
  • Sylvia will look into reaching the W. Mass funders’ groups and those already involved in the Springfield Leadership Council;
  • Father Stan is spearheading a summit on homelessness in Greenfield on December 1,  3-6 pm, at the  Greenfield High School, which will involve numerous constituencies, including shelter providers, faith leaders, elected officials, landlords, health care providers, and the media.  Pamela will also speak briefly about the Network.
  • Dave Gadaire will meet with Pamela on 11/30 to discuss contacts with area chambers and other leading local institutions.
  • John Klenakis will explore contacts with landlord associations in the region.

3.  We had an excellent discussion regarding the content of our outreach and agreed that at this point the “ask” is to become aware of the Network, its mission of Housing First and why it is so critical to ending homelessness in the region.  We are not asking for money at this time but that the current funding is limited and we are likely to return to ask for funds later.  This is an awareness building phase.

At the next meeting we will also take up our draft committee mission statement.

Finally,  John Klenakis requested to “transfer” to the data and performance evaluation committee where he feels his experience is a better match.  We enjoyed having you, John, brief though it was.

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