Homeless Ministry Task Force Sack Lunch Sept. 11th
70 people present
Opening Prayer- Pastor Blake
Norm Hardin on behalf of FUMC Homeless Ministry Task Force shared a slide show, “Changing the Face of Homelessness”
Tom Schwedhelm Vice Mayor of Santa Rosa City Council
- Making connections to people was my job as chief of police.
- A few years back met Jennielynn Holmes, who was running local shelters. She wanted a close connection with local police. Both presently working together on City Council.
- Homeless and housing are number 1 issue at present.
- Homelessness solutions coming to council from public.
- Should we just throw money at system? We can't arrest our way out of the problem?
- Police part of solution along with the community.
- Cross section of groups working on Homelessness collaborated to form the SR Homeless Collective
- Clean Shower Truck helped homeless folks connect with HOST.
- Important to give hand up, not hand out.
- City declared ‘Homeless Emergency’- gives flexibility with zoning.
- Let's ‘walk the talk’.
- Project at FUMC could be a model for the community.
- City Council Homeless subcommittee and Technical Advisory Committee are doing work to pave the way with CHAP resolution. (Making any FUMC project legal.)
Jennielynn Holmes Director of Shelter and Housing Catholic Charities
- Is FUMC project the right step? Housing is the answer to homelessness. With tight housing situation- it can be an interim step. Shelters are full, with waiting lists.
- What do other successful shelter situations do? Have time limit, case management and 3rd party over site.
- This FUMC project would be an expansion of the safe parking program.
Other Catholic Charity programs
- Rapid Re-housing- subsidizes rent, works with landlords.
- Reunification program- helps youth get back home with family after verification
- Homeless Outreach services work with homeless, pay homeless to clean up camps, and downtown.
- Vulnerability Index screening gives a score. Supports homeless by providing suitable housing by greatest need, not first come first served. 5-9 range higher functioning but need support.
- All homeless have an Individual Operation Plan. It is client driven - ask client, “What is your end goal?”
Housing placement is overall priority.
Catholic Charities Intake Scoring system, if in the 5-9 range and folks don't get help, do they move up into greater risk? (5-9 level would be the level of homeless we would expect at FUMC)
- Yes all homeless need greater support, the longer they are on the street.
What is ideal time length of transitional housing (on our site)? 6 months
Catholic Charities would provide
- Bathrooms, clean shower trailer, use of drop in center showers, rides to appointments (Volunteers needed.) Bus passes also donated.
- All residents would have responsibilities - clean up of camp etc. also have a resident contract. All need to be active participants.
What about over site?
- Let's get rules worked out first.
Cost of housing in our area?
- A complex social issue! ‘Housing for All’ looking for other single resident occupancy sites, like Palms Inn.
How can we incentivize landlords to provide for 'past homeless' folks?
- ‘Rapid Re-housing’ provides subsidized rent. Landlords can rent to Catholic Charities who provide tenants. Catholic Charities have a ‘housing locator’ looking for housing on behalf of homeless. 600 housed last year.
- Most residents do not want to live under rules and regulations. Tom suggests they use same intake form as Catholic Charities. They would be able to apply for a place on FUMC land only through Catholic Charities intake process and by agreeing to all rules and regulations.
Other housing opportunities?
- Shared housing - with manager support.
- Chanate property - need to talk with county.
- Fire House on Parker Hill - ADA issues. Can we bypass this with State of Emergency? No, ADA is Federal Law.
- Oak Crest also part of discussion.
What is the best process to deal with RL Stevens School and neighborhood?
- Conversation started with school. Pastor Blake, Pastor Lindsey and Doug met with principal. Longevity in relationships helps with new missions. FUMC and church have strong relationships with the school. Also, how can we help school with their issues with homelessness? Date of future school forum to be determined.
- Ask neighbors what is the worst thing that could happen. Then, ask if that happens? What would you expect us to do?
- As joint operator Catholic Charities and FUMC will be out in the community. Have good neighbor policy. Catholic Charities has a response line 24/7, or contact Jennielynn and C.C. works extremely closely with police. Hold a community meeting to address concerns and hear their fears. Tom says neighbors need to know that you care.
Is a start date of around November possible?
- CHAP proposal comes to SR City Council Sept. 27th. October could be logistics and MOU with Catholic Charities. No definitive answer here.
Decision at FUMC?
- Church Council will decide on process.
- Catholic Charities supports behavior model. Residents see shelter, transitional housing as a lifeline so want to follow guidelines. It is their home so residents want to protect it. Folks need to stay focused on their improvement.
- Helping addiction, or 100 % clean and sober? What about relapse? How can the person contribute is the real issue? Do not judge the addict?
- Barrier against pedophiles? All participants checked through Megan’s Law -also a mute issue as we are near a school, which would eliminate any sex offenders allowed in area.
Is City kicking the can down the road?
- Jennielynn, “No other area have I seen such an active City Council. It takes a whole community.”
- Not allowed in Catholic Charities shelters or housing. Also,illegal under federal law.
How can we all to be a part of the solution?
- Tom and Jennielynn will attend a Leading Academy on Homelessness in October. Need input.
- Big thanks to this church and church goers for the outreach and understanding, not pity or sympathy but empathy. Empathy is knowing what people are going through.
- The approach of the FUMC Homeless Ministry Task Force is to be admired.
Closing Prayer Pastor Lindsey