|The New MWHI Webpage (text is from the media release)|
The Mid-Valley Homeless Initiative task force held its first meeting yesterday. CCTV was supposed to record it, but it looks like they got only the last 43 minutes. Maybe they'll find the rest somewhere. [Update: the whole vid's now been posted here]
Of the 20 members appointed, 16 were present. Absent: Gladys Blum, Kim Freeman, Patty Ignatowski, Shaney Starr.
The Statesman Journal's headline reads "Homeless Initiative Members Press for Change." The article, however, states only that "several members articulated that they hope this committee will be able to bring about real change." This is very Salem: publicly hoping = pressing. The several members who spoke of the need for change were Warren Bednarz, Bruce Bailey, Chief Moore (better coordination needed) and Sheriff Myers ("the homeless don't belong in the criminal justice system, but that's where they end up").
But change is not what Co-Chair Carlson envisioned for the task force when she repeated earlier statements that she wanted the task force to come up with recommendations that would put "meat on the bones" of the ten-year plan. Would such recommendations satisfy Councilor Bednarz's desire for an "action plan, not a discussion, not a report"? We shall see.
|Co-Chair Peterson Opened the Meeting|
The task force members were grouped (philanthropists - business - providers - law enforcement) and arranged in a square, the four co-chairs seated at their own table at the far end of the Anderson Room, under the display screen. Those on the side opposite (providers) sat seated with their backs to 70+ people crammed into the other half of the room, many of whom were technical advisers to the task force. Just a handful of audience members were not representing media or a service organization of some sort.
The meeting started fifteen minutes late with comments from the Co-Chairs, followed by introductions all around. When it came his turn, Jon Reeves, with his back to the audience, commented on their number, praising their interest in homelessness as rare and much needed if the initiative was to have any success. This struck us as somewhat odd, until we heard Diane Merry (subbing for Amber Reeves) admit that the Community Action Agency had never managed to succeed in creating a functional network of local service providers, something we've long suspected, and that she hoped that the Initiative would succeed in doing this. The question is, are they even going to try?
What, for instance, did the mayor mean when she said, "We are just beginning what will take a community focus." The provider community? Or everybody? If the latter, what's the plan to involve them/us? There is none.
|Co-Chair Carlson Querys Task Force Panel|
After introductions, the "orientation" began with that Jon Stewart video Commissioner Carlson likes so much. After that, the air began to thicken with jargon and carbon dioxide as all available oxygen gradually left the room, and task force members began to feel as confused as Hasan Minhaj in the Daily Show video. Finally, at ten 'til six, Councilor Bednarz called a halt. (Chair-for-the-meeting Peterson had left by then.) He wanted some "idea where we're headed", that it was 41 days until the next meeting, and he "wanted some action tonight", or "at least homework" for the task force members. He did not get either. Co-Chair Carlson assured him that she and her fellow Co-Chairs would be debriefing this
be happy to receive his input. Carlson told the
Statesman Journal that they might be able to start looking at recommendations by the third or fourth meeting.
A total of eight meetings remain within which the task force is scheduled to complete its work: March 29, May 2, June 6, July 20, September 19, October 17, November 17 and December 1.
[Update: added detail about task force grouping and July meeting date.]
[Update: agendas and some informational materials are available at the MWHI webpage on the Marion County website (some provided at the meeting, some not, and the "Background and Scope" document used in the first presentation was not posted). Note: you end up at the MC site if you go here: http://www.homelesstaskforce.net.]
[Update: meeting attendees
Herm Boes, SLF
Diane Merry, Linda Strike MWVCAA
Brent Demoe, Community & Family Svces, PC
Tiffany Ottis, Roberta Moore, CHP
Jayne Downing, CHS
Craig Bazzi, MCJD
Faye Fagel, MCJD
Sharon Nielson, Nielson Group
Andy Wilch, Pamala Garrick, SHA
Christian Edelblute, Sheri Beehner WVHA
Shelly Wilkins-Ehenger, MCHA
Public Safety Reps
Paige Clarkson, Deputy DA, MC
Tim Fox, OSP
Health Care Reps
Cami Jack, Salem Health
Rachel R, Silverton Health
Margaret Terry, MVBCN
Sara Carrillo, OHA/OHP
Robin Sischo, Marion County Health, TAY
Bill Guest, CEO, Willamette Valley Community Health
Walter Reed, HBE Inc.
Social Svces Reps
Janet Scott, DHS, SSP
Melissa Baurer, Community Services Director, Salvation Army
Rick Burnette, Shangri-La
Stephen Goins, NWHS
Eva Corbin, Carolyn ___, Grace House/Shellys House
Jeanne Knight, UGM/Simonka Place
Maureen Casey, Erin Chris Jones, CCS
Linda Bednarz, MWVCAA board
Other Org Reps
DJ Vincent, SLF
BJ Ellison, Amazing Grace Outreach
Bill Hayden, First Congregational Church
Terry Howard, Volcanoes
Kai Blevins, Salem Social Justice Collective
Ken & Jan Nelley, OR Voices
David Lewis, Capitol Manor
Melissa Scott, PSU
Tom Andersen, Salem City Council
Evan Sorce, Chief of Staff, Representative Paul Evans
David Clyne, City Mgr, Independence
Steve Powers, City Mrg, Salem
Kenny Lapoint, ORHCS
Sarah Owens, Michael Livingston, Sara Cromwell KMUZ
Craig Murphy, Keizertimes
Pam McCollum, LCSW
Jane Silbernagel, LCSW
Jane Doe ]