Community Engagement Committee Meeting
January 7, 2013

In attendance:  Jane Banks, Center for Human Development, Michael DeChiara, United Way of Pioneer Valley, David Gadaire, CareerPoint, Andrew Morehouse, Food Bank for Western Mass., Pamela Schwartz, network coordinator

Website migration:  moved site from one website to another.  Success!

Next up:  tweaking template.  Michael, Lynne and Andrea.  Lynne is meeting with Andrea on 1/24 and will clarify her time on this effort.  Clearly CoC Corner will be her domain.

Consider interns to assist with website.  Andrew suggested UMass Center for Public Policy and Administration (CPPA), which offers interns on a semester basis.  Pamela will check into it.

Discussion of how best to present regional planning commission (RPC) transit information:

This is an outgrowth of the mapping project, demonstrating the barriers for homeless heads of households in obtaining employment.  Decision at last RPC meeting was to focus on public transit.  RPC asked how they should demonstrate info.  We agreed:

Demonstrate through hypothetical (and eventually real) stories that capture the challenge of getting:

  • To work for a 7 am or 3 pm shift start
  • To child care and then to work
  • To community college

Also demonstrate the employer need, eg., Yankee Candle, hospitals, how without adequate transit they cannot get their employees to work.

Also note how greater transit leverages more funding opportunities on a federal level.

Agreed that the information should not be overly detailed or comprehensive.  Should capture the on-the-ground realities in a story format.

Consider these routes to demonstrate:
Springfield to Holyoke
Holyoke to Northampton
North Adams to Pittsfield
Amherst to Holyoke (4.5 hours to get from shelter to DTA office in Holyoke)
Athol/Orange to Greenfield

Pamela will contact Bill Messner of HCC  and other community colleges and housing providers.  Search for stories with people who are willing to talk.

Leadership Council agenda planning:

10 am – gather
10:10 – welcome, introductions, welcome new LC members, minutes approval
10:25 – Undersecretary Aaron Gornstein (present 30, Q&A 10)
11:05 – Liz Rogers ICHH (15 min)
11:20 – RPC transit discussion; vote on position, next steps on advocacy (20 minutes)
11:40 – CoC update (5 min)
11: 45 – budget update, chair/vice-chair vote; next meeting heads-up re: CHAPA guests to discuss legislative advocacy
12 noon – adjourn

Discussion of request for Network to conduct training as part of CoC effort:

Agreed Network’s role is as support, outreach, but not in position to organize training, both for lack of funding and expertise.  Andrew recommended Mass Law Reform Institute, Pat Baker.

Raises larger questions:  What is Network role?  How do we define it?  Need criteria about how to respond to requests from member groups.

Agreed at next community engagement meeting we will discuss larger picture of Network workplan, goals, etc., to fuel Steering Committee level work on strategic plan.

Next meeting:  2/4/13  9 am – 10:15 am, Senior Center

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