Present: Don Koots, Audrey Brooks, Mary Clare Stack, Fraser Williamson, Bob McKeon
Regrets: Jay Freeman, David Kunin, Mark Stanley, Pam Reichenbach, Rick Chapman
Summary of Discussion
- Meeting notes from Oct 22, 2012 Steering Committee meeting were approved.
- General discussion on the Nov 1, 2012 General Meeting. Overall feeling that the meeting went well. Attendance was about 30. Several called saying that they could not attend because of the bad weather. The focus of the meeting was on Welcome Home (WH) and the Congregational Housing Workshops. The high point was the presentation by Debbie J. (Welcome Home Participant), and Sr. Rose Favreau sce (Welcome Home Volunteer).
- Sr. Mary Clare provided an overview of the Congregational Housing workshops that have been held in different parts of the Edmonton region in recent months. Attendance has varied, but there has been good energy at these workshops. One suggestion was to have WH participants give a personal presentation for congregation members. Mention was made that it is often difficult to get a participants to speak at multiple events. Some have significant health challenges. One approach might be to produce a video at one event that could be used at subsequent events.
- Mary Clare spoke about progress to date in the Welcome Home program. There is a challenge because more participants have signed up than volunteers from faith communities. There was a discussion about reaching out further to identify potential volunteers. Some potential contacts:
the Service Learning Network at U of A, the Jewish Community (David and Carmit), Anglicans (Rick Chapman), Christian Reformed (Mike van Boom), Lutherans (Synod Office and Trinity Lutheran), Buddhists, and the Taoist-Tai Chi group. To reach beyond the Christian groups, it was suggested that a meeting be set up with Netta at the Interfaith Centre. Mary Clare agreed to make contact and update the list of Interfaith signers of the March 17, 2011 public statement so that they can be re-engaged around WH and the Congregational Workshops.
1. To raise the profile of work our Interfaith Housing initiative, there were other suggestions:
- Encourage WH volunteers to be “ambassadors” for housing concerns in their congregations
- Seek to identify a congregational rep/champion in each congregation
- Name a special annual Interfaith Housing week
- Use faith periodicals and newsletters to feature stories of WH (e.g. the story on WH in the Western Catholic last fall)
- Make better use of drama and social media, especially with youth
- Audrey Brooks will contact a representative from “Make Poverty History” at U of A
2. Follow through on Brian Kieley’s initial work to produce a preaching guide on homelessness and housing.
3. Revise the congregational action guide (a short term update and a longer term revision). Work to make the guide more inclusive using examples from different faith communities. Present guide is seen as having much of a focus on Christian examples. Bob is taking the lead.
4. Work with Homeward Trust to put on a workshop on Aboriginal Awareness early in the new year. Late January was proposed as a good time.
5. Take advantage of the 2nd anniversary of the signing of the Interfaith Housing Statement in March 2013 by involving faith leaders in a special general meeting.
6. Encourage Steering Committee members, IF statement signers and all supporters of the Interfaith Housing Initiative to become a housing champion and sign on as personal or institutional supporters of the 10 Year Plan to Eliminate Homelessness on the new website of the Edmonton Homeless Commission www.homelesscommission.org.
7. Remember the Second Annual Habitat Interfaith Housing build is scheduled for May 2013.
Next Steering Committee meeting will be scheduled in 2013. No date was set.
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