Thursday, April 28, 2016

MWHITF: Agenda for Meeting 3

Home of the Brave
At its third meeting this coming Monday, May 2, 4pm at the Keizer Civic Center, the Task Force will hear about "The Challenge to Better Serve Homeless Veterans" through two local providers: Gerald Pygott, Deputy Director of Home of the Brave,  and Linda Strike, Director of The ARCHES Project, followed by Q&A.

According to one estimate, there are about 300 homeless veterans in Marion and Polk Counties. 

Home of the Brave, a seven-bedroom house at 655 Cottage St, NE, is entirely supported by private donations, including substantial underwriting by Larry Tokarski.  Since it opened September 30, 20135, it has offered transitional housing to maybe a couple of dozen male veterans, five at a time, supported by Mr. Pygott.  [August 2016 Update:  HOB has placed its clients in other programs and closed its doors for reasons undisclosed but suspected of being financial.]

Gerald Pygott

Mr. Pygott previously worked for Northwest Human Services' Homeless Outreach & Advocacy Project (HOAP). [6/10/16 Update: you can hear much more about Mr. Pygott and HOB in this podcast.]

Two questions we would have for Mr. Pygott are, what support do his clients receive when they leave his care, and what provisions have been made to determine whether they remain "self-sufficient" up to, say, five years later?
Linda Strike
One of the programs offered by The ARCHES Project is "Supportive Services for Veterans", which, according to the notoriously uninformative MWVCAA website, provides "supportive services for low or very low-income veteran households who are experiencing homelessness or at-risk of becoming homeless. The services are designed to increase the housing stability of veteran households."  Maybe Mr. Pygott's  clients go into this program after they leave his care?  Hopefully, we will find out that and more on Monday (e.g., what the "Supportive Services for Veterans" program looks like generally [case load, success rate, tracking system]).

One thing we do know about these two individuals/programs is that they both are likely to support the proposal to amend the Oregon Constitution to require 1.5% of lottery revenues to be expended for the benefit of veterans, on the November 2016 ballot (House Joint Resolution 202).  That's about $9M/year that would be used to leverage additional federal dollars.

Following Mr. Pygott and Ms. Strike is a 20-minute, five-member "veteran panel discussion" that's billed as "information", followed by 10 minutes for questions.  We predict there will be problems keeping panel member remarks to no more than four minutes, unless Commissioner Wheeler's a whole lot stricter than Mayor Clark was about keeping time.  (See below for who's on the panel.)

The mystery item on the agenda is, once again, the item "Strategic Plan (Information/Discussion/Action) Commissioner Janet Carlson", which is allotted only 20 minutes, at least half of which we can expect Commissioner Carlson to absorb.  This item is scheduled to start at 5:20 p.m.  (See below.)

As to what will be discussed, the agenda gives no hint.  No doubt Commissioner
Item 5: Meat on Bones
Carlson will explain everything when the time comes.  We have heard that the co-chairs have started staffing several committees, so perhaps this is where the Task Force will be asked to approve those actions, as required under Robert's Rules of Procedure (creation of committees, etc.). 

Speaking of transparency and following the rules, those on the list of interested persons received a copy of the agenda on Monday, but it has yet to be posted to the Task Force page on the Marion County website, so here it is:

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