Steering Committee Meeting Minutes – November 4, 2010

In Attendance: Father Stan Aksamit, Our Lady of Peace Parish, Jane Banks, chair, Community Engagement, Peg Keller, Tri-County CoC, Gerry Mccafferty, City of Springfield, Andrea Miller, co-chair, Data Committee, Center for Human Development , Pamela Schwartz, network coordinator, Suzanne Smith, data analyst, Lynne Wallace, Dietz&Co. Architects

10/27 Leadership Council Meeting De-Brief

The Committee agreed we need to examine the structure and flow of the LC meetings to ensure maximum participation and engagement.  The varying perspectives among our own committee members reflected the challenge of meeting the needs/interests of 40-50 people in one room at one time.

By-laws: We agreed  that we need to revisit our by-laws because we have grown from a group of 25 to over 50 members.  We will set up a sub-group and invite any interested LC members to participate.  Lynne will facilitate this.

Where to next:

The Committee reflected that the Network has completed its first phase; we have built our foundation and our infrastructure and the accompanying relationships, coordination and collaboration.  Now we have entered the next phase, the “implementation phase” and  the challenge has shifted to zeroing in on the ongoing barriers to housing and how the Network will respond to them,  e.g., landlord outreach, breaking down down state agency barriers , creating more affordable housing.  We must be sure to keep the Network focused on how to avoid shelter and end homelessness.  Some believe that we can’t end poverty but we can end homelessness.  Others on the LC  would argue that we can’t end homelessness without ending poverty.  We need to figure out our focus in the face of the bigger issues – what can we do that actually decreases homelessness?  In some cities, homelessness is going down in the face of terrible economy; in other cities homelessness is going up…proving different approaches work.  We can do better with the resources we have.  How does the Network facilitate that?  What is our role?

Next step:

Special Steering Committee Meeting/retreat to address these questions and the role of the Leadership Council:

Tuesday, December 7
9:30 am – 12:30 pm
Location to be determined (but determined to be comfortable!)

New Fiscal Agent Business

Lynne and Pamela reported to the committee about their meeting with Sylvia deHaas-Phillips of the United Way of Pioneer Valley to discuss transition to UWPV as its fiscal agent.  We proposed, per our conversation with Sylvia, that the Network’s fiscal year become July 1 – June 30, consistent with UWPV’s fiscal calendar.  In the name of the transition, we will adopt an 18 month budget, spanning 2 fiscal years, 1/1/11-6/30/11 and 7/1/11-6/30/12.  The Committee unanimously agreed.

Next Leadership Council meeting location

The Committee agreed to ask Bill Miller of the Friends of the Homeless Resource Center if we could hold our January 27, 2011, meeting at his facility.  It would be a great chance for all members to see the center and to connect more closely to the work at hand.  Note:  Bill gladly offered the space, so the meeting location is confirmed!

The Committee also noted that the date of our meeting is the same as the annual Point in Time count and that we should invite and encourage LC members to participate in this effort.  A more formal invitation will be relayed closer to the date.

Next Steering Committee Meeting

Our next regularly scheduled meeting is Thursday, December 2nd at 3 pm.  However, due to the retreat scheduled the following Tuesday, we will likely cancel the 2nd meeting date and place any additional business on the retreat day.  The Committee decided to wait until closer to the date to make this final decision in the event business arises that requires the additional meeting time.  Please stay tuned.

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