Community Engagement Meeting – 1/5/12

In attendance:  Jane Banks, CHD, Andrew Morehouse, Food Bank of Western Mass., Pamela Schwartz, network coordinator, Lynne Wallace, Dietz&Co. Architects

Review of draft factsheet.  Click here to review.
Andrew:  great, short, good on one page.  Add links for further info in each section, e.g., pilot project impact, housing first, network unique role…
Stats and Facts section on blog is outdated – need to update.

Jane:  We need to talk about our need/vision.

Lynne:  this is good for general public.  Consider another track:  think of what funders may need.  A little more detail.

Andrew:  would be helpful as a non-practitioner to have a map of what’s what – how people/families get to services, utilize housing first.

Consider a diagram for how people move through the system.  And then our vision for what we need, how people can contribute (based on each constituency, e.g., landlord, funder, citizen).

Jane will connect  with Yoshi Bird of CHD who has tremendous skill in diagramming and ask if she will consider creating a diagram on this.

Leadership Council Meeting Brainstorm

Brainstormed Mayor meeting – to deliver to Steering Committee for further consideration.
Currently, mayors who have RSVP’d yes: Holyoke, Northampton, Chicopee, Springfield, Greenfield, Easthampton, Amherst and tentatively Westfield and West Springfield; still waiting to hear back from Pittsfield, North Adams.  Agawam sent regrets.

Current thought: Focus on affordable housing challenge.  Former Mayor Clare Higgins volunteered to provide history of this effort and why it’s important.  All agreed great to have her.

Connect with Dave Christopolis who has agreed to chair housing production working group of Network.  He is on board of state CDC.  He is also part of regional non-profit housing developer group (organized by HAP).  He will be
connector.  I will discuss with Dave presenting at meeting.

Advocacy piece:  bringing mayors into lobbying around state funding around family homelessness. Need someone to give overview of situation (Jane willing).

Draft timing for mayor meeting:
Welcome and Introductions (Lynne) – 5 min
Network overview (Pamela) – 5 min
History of effort, role of cities/towns, affordable housing as focus (Clare Higgins) – 20 min
Network follow-up on affordable housing production (Dave Christoplis) – 5 min
Family homelessness overview (spokesperson to be determined) –  10 minutes
Discussion – 15 minutes
Wrap-up – advocacy  (immediate on supportive housing bill? confirm status) (Pamela, Lynne) – 5 minutes

Follow-up on family pilot project  – Family Services deferred to LC to pursue this idea – too full-up with current management.  Jane agreed to raise the concept with Holyoke DTA advisory board – meeting next week.  Will report back.

Next meeting of community engagement committee:  Monday, 2/6, 9 am, Senior Center (will confirm location).

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