Community Engagement Committee Meeting Minutes – July 15, 2011

In attendance:  Jane Banks, Center for Human Development, David Gadaire, CareerPoint, Andrew Morehouse, Food Bank, Pamela Schwartz, network coordinator, Lynne Wallace, co-chair


Agreed at last Leadership Council meeting that LC members will be stewards for community engagement.  Governance Committee then met and debated existence of community engagement committee and concluded::  need smaller group – this committee – to push forward and be accountable for LC community engagement agenda.  LC meets quarterly but it is difficult to stay connected to Network inbetween these larger meetings.  Community engagement is the way to connect to Network in a meaningful and ongoing way.    Comm engagement needs to be about reaching out to broad community, e.g., landlords, housing developers – and get to the shared goal of ending homelessness. Use community engagement to educate all about our goals.

How to move this agenda forward?

First, revisited committee mission statement that was adopted in 2010:

The Community Engagement Committee builds support for the strategy of providing permanent housing as the solution to homelessness.  The Committee partners with other local and regional networks, including faith-based, business, education and human services, to advance the “housing first” mission.

Agreed that the mission still stands; what’s changed is that we’re now asking LC members to participate concretely.  LC members are THE SOURCE for community engagement.

How to pose our ask (thanks to Dave Gadaire):

It’s all about messaging and relaying our impact – you’re our messenger – we need you to think about how you personally can play a role, e.g., legislative connections, access to a lot of staff, public speaking – need to think about what action you can take – we need to use you to get the message out – build ownership – consider it a personal challenge

Andrew added:  frame the ask with a breakdown of the commitment:  propose 2 hours every 3 months

All agreed this was an excellent idea.  Also agreed that Dave and Andrew will pose this to the LC at the 7/28 meeting.

LC meeting flow:  begin with tornado relief – an opportunity for LC to hear about it, recognize the power of the Network and its role and now engage LC members to build on that and engage others.  Then lead-in by Dave and Andrew; then BRAINSTORM by all LC members.

Our measure of success for this meeting:  the amount of communication that takes place between LC meetings, e.g., after idea exchange, committee follows up with a plan that actualizes what was discussed; follows-up with those who expressed interest and approaches those who did not; lay out a calendar and necessary resources.
Meeting schedule: 2nd Wednesday, 8:45 – 10:00 am – next meeting: 8/10, 8:45 am; Pamela will confirm location.

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