Minutes 12.7.11

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12/7  housing working group minutes

Facilitator jeff

Minutes garrett

Attending dean, Julia, mina, trish, channing, jose, Jason, ray, odd, Cynthia, autumn, garrett, michael, will, Kelly,

Report backs; Housing website updated, safety cluster working concerns, clothing donated to ows at west park, handbills for housing info, host an occupier project working on website 2 day eta, community meeting at  86 at 8 pm tonight, transportation metro project, housing invoice for 86, quaker friendship school has ideas to approach us with, needs for contractors within  several housing options,AME Zion church on the hill, 975 st Nicholas avenue, Washington heights- future church site! 190 people bathrooms… info gathering project continues 60 signatures 2-3 day eta, houseless caucus at charlotte’s place, yonkers site meeting Friday for apartment expansion, working on temporary leasing especially for medical/ support groups, future site- flushing on j ,

Agenda: Box of clothes at west park Presbyterian- Jason or Damien

Approval on invoice for 86 and park slope-

86- see attached for invoice

Park slope- not yet available

Safety clusters role in church and future site access, roles and not/roles of housing,

Details within  housing, official point people, and other roles-

Point people-office-Jason and Julia

Finance- Cynthia, Jason

Discussion from safety cluster: Jose

– safety cluster has been meeting, made up of medics, mental health profs, safer spaces ppl, mediation, nonviolent communication, de-escalation security team

– meeting because of concerns at sites; problems range from: people being turned away from arbitrary reasons, violence against mental health profs by ppl in this meeting, behavior at the churches, power developing out of the housing group,

-there has been a process developed in the park about who can enter, etc.; want to go back to that process; mental health professional in ny refuses to go back to work at site because it’s not safe; lots of members have had serious concerns

– amazing that we are housing people; want to make clear how serious the concerns are; want to integrate into the current process and as new sites open up don’t want to have the same problems

-having support staff at every space; would like the people from mental health or safer spaces/with experience dealing with this – to be at the door and be part of the conversation on how policy is set; need to broaden that conversation

Jason: people coming into the churches after living in the parks with all kinds of problems created a very interesting site; people who were detoxing, scared, had difficult time going from the park to the church; was a handful of people who were trying to manage sometimes 100+ cases to the best of their ability; now things have started level out and we can build a positive educational gap bridging environment in these spaces; not just homeless people; people are coming all over the world

Kelly: Comhub has been in charge of dispatching medical, etc.  We need to make sure that medical/support/de-escalation – that point person’s numbers are available to comhub

*Jeff will text point people information to Comhub

Rules/regulations should be posted in each site so people know

Jeff: referred to each autonomous space to implement their own rules; churches and Kelly’s landlord example; there are whiteboards

Gilbert: wants to offer professional services; have 30 years’ experience in large group housing; concern is with OWS residences when we get them.  Yesterday we occupied a house for a family, we need to occupy houses for ourselves; know how to organize residences so people don’t kill themselves;

Jose: wants an agreement or format; totally understand what happened in the start of housing; moving forward would like that housing group scale back its authority, narrow and clarify its role; let other groups handle other parts of that responsibility; concern that so much power will concentrate into housing; expelling group was a month-long discussion with 5 working groups; housing limits its scope;

Kelly: when Jeff helped me, Julia, Garrett create the housing group; things had to get done;

Julia: we had 3 goals: find physical spaces and get people in there after the eviction

Odd: one of the unspoken roles of housing is to maintain the relationships with the owners of those spaces; Lauren is putting together a code of conduct that’s pretty cool; idea of having a code of conduct is feasible; people who don’t have that upbringing the code might help them consider these rules

Kelly: even though I’ve been at many sites, some codes may be different for some instead of others

Mina: can vouch for Julia that the majority of the members of housing have not been appointing anyone, just trying to send support/medics etc; people take it upon themselves to govern and control; as soon as someone comes in and takes authority; right now at one church don’t even know how this person became point person

Alex: there are big problems with Maria; asked me to cross the street to smoke a cigarette even though she herself smoked in front of the church; refused to help him find another place to sleep; ]

Kelly: said that we will have a housing representative at each location to coordinate with support people; housing will choose those reps; talk about evictions etc within that site; if there’s a point person at housing at each location that will be responsibility to take care of that

Jose: still a slight concern that housing is finding spaces and assigning point people to spaces; concern with the safety cluser that housing people don’t integrate well into that space; safety is asking that we be a part of that decision making; go into a new site to help create those rules

Kelly: current process is that housing makes calls over to the landlord/rev; have conversation that says what place can do, how long, etc.; don’t have time to call the rest of the group

Jeff: churches are the ones making the decisions at this point

Gilbert: even if you have a good understanding of the person, the human being is difficult; everybody has things that offend others without even being aware



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