Community Engagement Committee Meeting – Feb. 6, 2012
In attendance:  Jane Banks, CHD, Michael DeChiara, United Way of Pioneer Valley, Dave Gadaire, CareerPoint, Andrew Morehouse, Food Bank of Western Mass., Pamela Schwartz, network coordinator, Lynne Wallace, Dietz&Co. Architects

Review of CHD draft of Network overview :  Thanks to Jane for facilitating and Yoshi for producing this first draft.    If community partners are our audience, then flow chart may want to focus on how partners would intersect with family.  Draft only addresses family homelessness, not individual – that is ok since very separate systems but need to be clear about agenda.  Consider two agendas:  (1) how do partners get connected; (2) educating Leadership Council and others about how the system works.

Discussed role of this committee in relation to this effort.  Community engagement committee could be lens for review.  Then make available to all practitioners and leadership council.

Jane will bring it back to Yoshi for another round discussion.  Thank you, Jane!!

CHAPA legislative gathering:  Pamela informed the committee about CHAPA’s invitation to the Network to co-sponsor its legislative meeting of western Mass. legislators on March 12 at HAP.  The invitation also includes giving the Network a few minutes to discuss its own agenda ($1 million in network funding) and goals.  The committee unanimously agreed that this is a great opportunity for Network exposure and advocacy.  Pamela will follow-up regarding exact details and capacity to invite entire Leadership Council (we hope this will be the case).

Mayor participation on Leadership Council:

Pamela updated committee on mayor status following 1/25 Leadership Council meeting.  Definite yeses to from mayors/town manager to serve on Leadership Council:  Amherst, Chicopee, Easthampton, Greenfield, Northampton

Following-up: North Adams (call with mayor today), West Springfield (waiting to hear back), Westfield (CDGB staff is definitely on LC), Springfield, Pittsfield (will contact Berkshire contacts for update) .  Agreed will also follow-up with Agawam (which initially declined invitation to 1/25 meeting) after first round of follow-up and confirmations are complete.

Committee agreed that best focus on Network resources would be to follow-up on Mayor Bissonnette’s request to work with housing authorities.  Pamela will brainstorm with Gerry re: best approach (how regional to go) and will report back at next meeting.

No One Leaves Coalition:  Andrew suggested we discuss Network support of this exciting and effective anti-foreclosure effort in Springfield.  Committee agreed its goals are consistent with preventing homelessness and the Network could be a resource in educating others.  We agreed the first step is to get better informed about the project and felt that the July LC meeting would be a good place to do it (April being devoted to budget discussions, presumably).  We also agreed that it would be appropriate to give the mayors’ heads-up on this agenda item since the group engages in civil disobedience at times.  We should be informed of their perspective.

April Leadership Council Meeting:  Since budget season will be in full swing, we agreed our meeting agenda should focus on the Network’s role in budget advocacy.  Agreed to think through possible guest speaker (from CHAPA?).  Lynne will also contact the new DHCD undersecretary, Aaron Gornstein, and see if he would be interested in attending.

Next meeting:  It is regularly scheduled to be 3/5 at 9 am, however we agreed that we would take stock a week in advance to determine if we need to meet or can conduct our business via email until our regularly scheduled April meeting on 4/2 at 9 am (sufficiently in advance of our 4/26 LC meeting).

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