Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The MWHI Task Force Strategic Plan

Courtesy Olive Grove

Marion County [Board of Commissioners] just passed the attached item...This is FYI, but we probably want to document it somewhere as part of our work.

-- Janet Carlson

As further evidence that the "strategic plan" being developed by the Post-Truth Task Force is likely to sit on the shelf, presented below is a list that contains all the recommendations, adopted and pending (P), published so far.  They have been edited for brevity and simplicity.  The full bureaucratic text can be found in the documents linked below in all their permutations. 

The first set of recommendations (10, if numbered consecutively),  adopted in September and discussed here, showed up again last month in Karen Ray's list of 10 approved, and 20 pending (P) recommendations.  Some of those 20 pending (P) recommendations have come forward in the second set of recommendations (11 through 22, if numbered consecutively, as shown here), and will likely be were adopted at the December meeting.  The second set also contains several new recommendations (highlighted here).  [Update 1/23/17: the third set of recommendations (23 through 43, if numbered consecutively, as shown here), will likely be were adopted at the January meeting, except for 32, 33 and 41.  The third set contains several new recommendations (highlighted here).  All recommendations in Karen Ray's list have now been brought forward] The pending (P) recommendations highlighted below have not yet been brought forward (and might not be). Note that leadership has elected not to include the recommendations of either the Polk County's Veterans committee or CANDO ("Favoring a systematic response to homelessness").  At the final meeting in January, recommendations 32, 33 were adopted as reworded, 41 was dropped, and one new recommendation concerning service/assistance animals was adopted.

Summary of Task Force Recommendations

Will be completed/moot by the Task Force's last meeting
Community engagement/outreach (5).

Self-executing (requires no TF action)
"Endorse" the local LEAD effort (2, P11, 37).
"Support" Salem's non-existent anti-panhandling programs (P10 and P12, 28, 29).
"Endorse" the local CCO's efforts to get more people into supported housing (3). (allowed)
"Support" MWIC's affordable housing projects (P1 and 19).
"Endorse" MCREI's transitional housing project (P3 and 19).
"Endorse" [Westcare] veteran housing project (P4 and 19).
"Support" any and all DV and family housing projects (P5 and 20, 21).
"Endorse" UGM's relocation/expansion plan (P6 and 19).
"Support" PHA DV and homeless preferences (P7 and 21).
"Support" Dream Ctr, HOME expansion & similar neighborhood-based services (P14, 18).
"Support" SKATS' travel training program (P16, 25).
"Endorse" Salem/Keizer's implementation of the HNA (11, 12, 13, 15).
"Support" YHDP grant to expand RHY services (1, P13 and 18, 19)(not successful)
"Develop" landlord assessment tool (4) (deleted 1/7/17
"Determine" desirability of "temporary support-coordinated camping" program (P9c and 22c).
"Support" Marion County, Salem Health, etc. in creating a Salem-area sobering station (35).
"Support" community partners in creating a one-stop resource center (36).

Not self-executing
Inventory land/buildings suitable for housing, change zoning as needed (P8, P9d, 14, 22d).
Explore CDL as "regional tool" (P18) and adopt statewide resource network (P19, 26, 27).
Create "Development Team" to implement plan (P9 and 22).
Develop senior shelter, housing, supportive services, and supportive housing (30, 31, 32, 33).
Develop medical street-outreach team (34).  
Develop veteran housing and services as per the list under the 12/31 update below (39, 40, 42, 43).

"Advocacy" only 
for coordinating and facilitating grant applications (6, P9b and 16, 22b, 23).
for more money from the state housing agency (7).
for a home-buyer tax credit (10).
for DV/homeless preference in new housing (P2 and 21).
for greater HMIS coverage and a plan to secede from ROCC (P9a and P20, 22a).
for collaboration between providers and WorkSource Oregon (P15, 24).
for policy changes in SK 24J (P17 and 17).
for continued transit service up the canyon (38). 

"Assistance" only
expanding finlit training in schools (8).
bringing finlit classes to the poor (vs. making them go to a class somewhere) (7).
offer training about requirements related to service assistance animals (adopted at last meeting) 


Stripped of excess verbiage, the plan can be seen for what it is: a perfect reproduction of the values of the provider community it comes from, namely Marion County -- siloed, uncoordinated, unsystematic, concerned with turf, and content to base decisions on anecdote and personal world views, rather than data.  That's why, no matter how hard the Task Force tries, this plan will fare no better, and deserves to fare no better, than the 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness, which is only four years old, and sits on the shelf.  Recall that Dr. Janet*, who was also on that plan's leadership team, when asked what she'd like to see coming out of the MWHI by the end of the year, replied, "some very solid recommendations" that would put some "meat on the bones" of the 10-Year Plan.  Evidently, Dr. Janet was aware her 10-Year Plan needed work.  Why, then, was that the last anyone heard about the 10-Year Plan?  (Unless it was discussed at one of those secret "agenda-setting" meetings.)  The answer: it's rubbish, and everyone knows its rubbish, just like the current plan.  
*We apologize for not having observed Dr. Janet's doctorate in preceding blogs.  We only just happened to notice yesterday from video footage the "Ph.D." on her name tent.  Although we've been to all the meetings, the audience is seated so far away from the Task Force that none of the name tents are legible.  We regret the oversight.

[12/2 Update: to reflect that second set of recommendations were adopted at the December 1 meeting.  Also at that meeting, Verena Wessel said the P15 and P16 recommendations would be coming forward in 2017.]

[12/31 Update: we obtained a copy of the materials given the Task Force members at the 12/1 meeting.  In those materials were six "issue briefs" covering eight recommendations from the PACE students, all  purportedly based on their review of the audio records of the committee on veterans co-chaired by Jennifer Wheeler and Steve Bobb, Jr.  They were: 
1-3 Use SPDAT, VI-SPDAT and VAT as assessment tools. 
4. Provide veterans with bus passes, gift cards and rent support.
5. "Find veterans using rapid identification and assign them to permanent housing."
6.  "Promote coordination among various agencies including HUD Veterans' Affairs Supportive Housing   Program, current shelters, public housing authorities, US Department of Veterans Affairs."
7.  Develop permanent supportive housing units.
8. "Build a 'tiny house' development to house homeless veterans in communities with shared kitchen and living facilities."
It's unclear why Task Force did not include these recommendations in the list of recommendations considered and adopted at the December 1 meeting.

[1/13/17 Update: HUD announces Seattle selected as a YHDP community for our region and feds announce 1115 Medicaid Waiver renewed 5 years.]

[1/23/17 Update: incorporated the third set of recommendations.]

[1/24/17 Update: noted which recommendations were not adopted.]

[2/8/17 Update: incorporated changes made at the last TF meeting.]

6/1/17 Update: final version.]

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