Ventura Social Services Task Force Dedicated to Ending Homelessness in the City of Ventura Minutes of the Regular Meeting 08/06/2008 I. Attending (29): Debra Abramovitz; Neal Andrews; Ken Belden; Jerry Breiner; Jack Broms, Peter Brown; Cathy Brudnicki; Cindy Cantle; Sherry Cash; David Deutsch; Adele Fergusson; Bill Finley; Jill Forman; Jesse Giglio; Tom Higgins; John Jones; Karl Keller; Shelli Locklear; Donna Mason; Loretta McCarty; Mike Merewether; Kate Mills; Ed Moses; Michael Perry; Karol Schulkin; Mark Stadler; Mary Stewart; Daniel Zapata; Caroline Zeiner. II. Subcommittee Reports A. Housing Options Subcommittee (Loretta McCarty) Housing Options has focused on the City's Housing Element. At the joint City Council and Planning Commission meeting Monday, 8/4, 9:00 PM to Midnight there were many comments and some changes. The land inventory and infill strategies were discussed, as well as underutilized sites. Re homelessness, the 10-Year Strategy... was added as separate program. Re farmworker housing, sites were identified, and connected to workforce housing. City staff was encouraged to to help with emergency shelter siting, and reconciling land use policy conflicts with the Housing Element. The next step is State initial review, from which comments are expected to be returned. The next (2nd Wednesday) Housing Options Subcommittee meeting will be 6:30-8:00 PM Wednesday August 13 in the Topping Room, immediately left of E.P. Foster library, 651 East Main Street, Ventura. B. Homeless Prevention Subcommittee (Cindy Cantle) Salvation Army helped 2 households last month. The United Way report will come next week. To date, the VHPF has helped a total of 29 households, more than 65 people, and raised almost $32K. Only one family has failed to remain housed. The subcommittee will enthusiastically support the "One City, One Weekend, One Fund" Valentines week project. The subcommittee is working on holiday materials for prevention. The next (4th Wednesday) Homeless Prevention Subcommittee meeting will be 4:00-5:00 PM Wednesday August 27at Supervisor Bennett's offices, Government Center 4th Floor, Ventura. C. Community Education Subcommittee (John Jones) The July 4th Street Fair booth was a great success, though no one knew of the 10-Year Strategy.... The committee is looking at Farmers Market and EP Foster Library for
further outreach. The Web site (www.vsstf.org) development is in process, and needs photos. It will be announced when the first-cut site is available. The next (2nd Tuesday) Community Education Subcommittee meeting will be 3:00-5:00 PM Tuesday August 12, at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 5654 Ralston, Ventura. D. Faith Community Subcommittee (Jack Broms) The "One City, One Weekend, One Fund" Valentines' weekend project was approved, for "new" donations. The "One City" Thanksgiving feed is proceeding well, with Salvation Army collaboration starting tomorrow. Assumption church has a rented house, to a single mom tenant for 1-2 yrs, with support help from the congregation. A rental agreement is available to others. Women of Jewelia created an advocate circle, providing Gail with help with housing at negotiated reduced rent, and she is starting to have lots of work. Specific recommendations for help from FBOs are: create an advocate circle; provide budgeting help; purchase and/or operate a home; rent spare rooms. 24 churches are now involved. 3 sermon talks are scheduled in September. Some Fed and CA money may be available to help provide housing, per Cathy Brudnicki. The next (1st Tuesday) Faith Community Subcommittee meeting will be 4:00-5:00 PM Tuesday September 2, at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 5654 Ralston, Ventura. E. VSSTF Steering Committee on the Community Education Coordinator (Karl Keller) We had a dozen applicants, 3 are top-ranked, two interviews are scheduled tomorrow and the other ASAP. III. New Business A. Plans for Tuesday 9/2 River Bottom physical cleanup (Peter Brown) 500 Cal Lu freshmen will be cleaning trash out of the Ventura river! They will not take people's possessions in active camps, and they don't expect to encounter people. All else are invited to participate. There is an 8/28 orientation, 9 AM - 2 PM in City Hall; RSVP to Peter Brown. Daniel Zapata asked that we involve the Nature Conservancy. B. Update on chronic homeless downtown (Peter Brown, Ken Belden) Ken Belden, aided by Sherry Cash and Tony Palazuelos, have been working Downtown. Tom Higgins, VPD, said the familiar long-perm group on Main is not there any more. Jerry Breiner said there have been less complaints lately. Sherry Cash said she often sees no panhandling since the One Stop has kicked in. Those seen on the street are primarily new; most "old timers" are gone. Some are sharing rooms, for
example in motels. Jerry Breiner noted the change that VPD are now on the street downtown. Existing drug problems in Mission Park will be helped by the camera network in process. Ken Belden noted the Fair has creating employment and new people have come into town. C. Update on shopping cart alternatives. (David Deutsch) David passed out specs for a candidate cart. Some said it was too large, can rust, and has sharp edges. A locker was mentioned. Daniel Zapata offered to lead a group with Sherry Cash, Jerry Breiner, Mark Stadler, David Deutsch and homeless persons, to resolve the cart issue for our next meeting. D. Update on 'One City' Thanksgiving Celebration (Jesse Giglio) Planning is moving forward. It will be held at the Knights of Columbus hall across from the Mission, with an outdoor Jolly Jumper. Collaboration with the Salvation Army is started, and we're considering preliminary promotional materials, E. Results from the July 4 Street Fair Booth (Adele Fergusson) The wheel was a great hit, especially for kids. Kids put quarters and nickels in and encouraged their parents to contribute. Other comments are above. F. Report on the 2008-2009 Marketing Plan (Karl Keller) The theme is "The Three Faces of Homelessness", referring to 20,000 Venturans "At Risk", 450 temporarily homeless, both due to poverty, and 150 chronically homeless due to mental illness and addiction. The "One City" concept will be used to underline how we in Ventura are supporting the "10-Year Strategy ..." Promotional materials for 2008-2009 events will center on this theme. Cathy Brudnicki offered 2 other dates, Jan 2009 (the last Tuesday if that's not the 31st) for the next street count, and a movie premier for "Where God Left His Shoes" sometime this Fall. IV. Networking - your events, fundraisers, position openings, etc. (10 min) A. Update on the "One Stop" (Kate Mills) (5 min) It is doing well. Jobs are needed. In July the One Stop served 211 people, 90 unduplicated, 49 men, 41 women, 23 total under 35. They are starting to see families and children. For January through June, they served a total of 726 clients, so volume has greatly increased. They have introduced case managers to the One Stop, including a Veterans Rep, and are working on those clients who are not following through. The goal is a continuum of care through case managers and community outreach volunteers. Needed jobs range from washing windows, picking up litter, etc., to full time office jobs. Some people need job performance assistance.
B. Other Ed Moses noted the housing demand is outpacing what we have, and demand grew exponentially last year. Cindy Cantle, Karol Schulkin and others met with the Workforce Investment Board, and will be talking with HSA to explore ways to address the One Stop population's needs. Cindy Cantle noted the County's Housing Element will include low income housing. Neal Andrews suggested we revisit the relationship with EDD, and invite State agencies and farm labor contractors to help provision jobs. C. VC Star Reporting (Peter Brown, Karl Keller) Kathleen Wilson's supervising Editor's contact info is firstname.lastname@example.org, phone 805.437.0261. V. Next (1st Wednesday) Meeting Our next regular (1st Wednesday) meeting is 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM Wednesday September 3 at Family to Family, 303 N Ventura Ave # E, Ventura CA 93001. Respectfully Submitted, Karl B. Keller, Chair Ventura Social Services Task Force 805.750.5275 email@example.com (Subject "VSSTF") alternate: firstname.lastname@example.org (Subject "VSSTF")