Ventura Social Services Task Force “Dedicated to Ending Homelessness” www.vsstf.org Meeting commenced at 3:00 pm – Wednesday September 3, 2008 Members present introduced themselves; Jerry Breiner, Jack Broms, Peter Brown, Cindy Cantle, Sherry Cash, Robin Davis, David Deutsch, Adele Fergusson, Rich Hancely, Bill Finley, Laurel Hewson, Tom Higgins, John Jones, Karl Keller, Danny Lara, Shelli Locklear, Donna Mason, Mike Merewether, Kate Mills, Ed Moses, Mayur Patel, Norman Patton, Rick Pearson, Clyde Reynolds, Debora Schreiber, Karol Schulkin, Mark Stadler, Mary Stewart, Sharon Taylor, Danny Zapata Reports Housing Options Sub-committee There will be a joint Faith Based and Housing meeting this month and they will address options for those in the Faith Based group who wish to further help other than give money. The next Housing Options Meeting is on Sept. 10 at the E. P. Foster Library 6:30 pm Homeless Prevention Sub-Committee – Cindy Cantle The fund balance is $776.88. Project Understanding did not assist any households in August due to lack of resources. Catholic Charities is the fund distributor this month. Outreach and fundraising continues with new ideas about the One City, One Fund, One Weekend Event. The committee worked on materials for our regular donors, such as, donation forms with a perforated edge—stamped and ready to go. Next they will work on outreach materials in conjunction with the February meeting in Conejo Valley “One” event. Several visitors attended the last meeting, thanks to the members who stayed and responded to their questions.Our next meeting will be held in Supervisor Bennett’s office at 4 pm on September 24. Community Education Sub-committee – John JonesThey met on August 3, with 3 members attending.They are checking on a local improvisational group to see if they are interested in doing a skit surrounding the format of the 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness. Checked out Ventura Farmer’s Market - We are only allowed to set up a table on the public sidewalk surrounding the market. Next Meeting is on Tuesday, September 9 at 3 pm, UU Church Faith Community – Jack Broms-Work continues on “One City, One Fund, One Weekend” event in February. Jan Christian is creating promotional and advertising material for “One City, One Fund, One Weekend” event in February with placards. She wants data from all us about our events as soon as possible. She plans on distributing the “One” information at the Thanksgiving Day event. Jesse Giglio is in charge of this project. Several churches feel educated now and want to know how they can help with further actions. The Interfaith Sub-Committee will organize several members of our organization and create an outline on how to help. A screening procedure must be explored. Possibilities include advocate circles to “adopt” a person, budget planning classes or advice, purchasing a home, use of a spare room or flat. Job mentoring was suggested. There will be a meeting between the chairs of Housing Options and the Faith Based Subcommittees on September 18 at 4 pm.. Faith based luncheons continue. Fundraisers suggested raising $2,000. Speaking Events-*Peter Brown will speak at the Trinity Lutheran Church on September 21, 2008 at 8, 9:30, and 11:00 am. Also, he will speak at the Ventura Center for Spiritual Living on September 14th. New Community Education Coordinator-Sharon Taylor introduction; she will be our event planner. She will help us organize the handful of events at this time. She will catch up on our current planning and what’s been done so far along with who is in charge. Bridges Out of Poverty – Karol Schulkin- This will be a one day event with a choice of either November 7 or 8, 2008. November 7’s seminar will be held at the Ventura County Medical Center Auditorium. On November 8 the event will be held at the Calvary Community Church in Westlake Village. Information and registration capabilities are on the United Way website. The donation of $20.00 dollars includes lunch and an opportunity purchase the book at a discounted rate. Early registration is by invitation only. At some point in the future the VSSTF may do a continuation series which would train the trainers and snowball the effect of the of this Bridges event. River Bottom Cleanup – Peter Brown 1 VSSTF.Min.Sept.3.2008
500 incoming California Lutheran University freshman, their peer advisors and their president spent over two hours - 1:15pm to 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 2-- removing 5 tons of trash from the Ventura Riverbed bottom. There were no injuries. Most active homeless camps were left alone and some dismantled. Another area behind Riverhaven adjacent to the golf course (Tee 12) will be cleaned up set for Thursday, September 25. There were some altercations resulting in some in unprovoked assaults up on city streets. There was a discussion on using the un-incorporated area for future SB2 housing sites. One taxpayer questioned: When will the city (ultimately, the taxpayers) be held responsible for the fine of $25,000 a day for noncompliance with the maintenance of the riverbed bottom since there remains 25 more tons to clean up? Whatâ€™s the status? When might we get charged? We discussed the possibility of the city being assessed $25,000 a day for violating clean water requirements along the estuary. One solution would be to permanently house the people living there. This could be done for less than $25000/day. The winter warming shelter is also much more expensive than the creation of permanent housing with services. It was mentioned that if more of us recycled our own trash, there would be nothing worthy for people to retrieve from the trash cans. One person suggested that housing should be built instead of carts handed out. The last clean up was in January 2005, so in 3.5 years weâ€™ve accumulated 25 tons which is approximately 10 tons a year. Someone suggested that the City partner with the Housing Authority to discuss the risks of fines verses the cost of developing housing and shelters. One person suggested the notion to take the housing problem to the Juvenile Justice Department. We might cut down the need of half the jail space if we built housing/shelter space. The money we are already dedicated could be spent to build a good housing project. This problem has existed ever since 1996 and unless a permanent solution is built it we will have this same problem 25 years from now. If this group can get to a level of conversation with the city, involving all parties who addresses this issue, then the argument could point out the risk of being hit with a big fine is greater than simply building new housing. It doesnâ€™t make good sense for the city to ignore the housing problem and take the risk on the fine. The housing problem is creating the garbage. Shopping Cart Alternatives (please see the sub-committee minutes for further history) David Deutsch Ad Hoc sub-committee met. The UU Church will purchase 20 folding pull carts on wheels from Staples for $20.00 each. Turning Point has a pod to store the carts. They will be loaned or leased and marked with a serial number. The loaning and marking idea is for a temporary solution for people who truly need some way to transport their things. Sometimes they abandon their belongings when they go to jail or the hospital. If identified we can return it to the person, cleaned up and reconditioned or continue to help other people rather than a gift it for future trade/sale. Our intention is to create more store responsibility and the management of this program needs to handle this issue outside the city budget. Presently the city pays a cart wrangler $350 a month. The purchase of the carts was approved. One Stop- Kate Mills 1,081 people to date seen of which 685 were unduplicated. In August, out of 143 visits 76 unduplicated, 22 were under the age of 35 years old, 3 under 21 yrs old, 57 were women and 86 were men. New Business 1. Cindy will follow up with the DMV to obtain their presence at One Stop. 2. A local motel owner was introduced. He has two clean establishments. 3. We discussed possible sites for SB2, presently un-annexed property. VSSTF next meeting is on October 1 from 3-5 pm - Adjourned 4:20 pm Recorded and submitted by Sherry Cash, Co-Secretary
Community Education Sub-committee – John JonesThey met on August 3, with 3 members attending.They are checking on a local improvisational gr...