IFHI Steering Committee Meeting Notes – Feb 8, 2013
Present: Audrey Brooks, Catherine Douglas, David Faber, Jay Freeman, Carmit Harari, Don Koots, Bob McKeon, Mary Clare Stack, Mark Stanley, Fraser Williamson.
Regrets: Rick Chapman, Brian Kiely, David Kunin, Pam Reichenbach.
1. Opening Welcome
Bob welcomed all the steering committee members. New members – Rabbi Carmit Harari and David Faber were introduced and welcomed.
2. Review Agenda
There were no omissions or additions made to the meeting agenda.
3. Review Meeting Notes from November 21, 2012 Steering Committee Meeting
There were no omissions or additions made to the meeting notes from the Nov. 21 meeting.
4. Brief updates since last meetings
Jay Freeman – Homeless Commission Executive Director
Jay informed that for the first time in this year homeless street count, age and gender questions were asked and due to this fact there was a significant increase in certain numbers: 46% with Aboriginal people, and children in youth increased a 10-12% because of the questions. There is a broad consensus that the number of homeless children is not acceptable. This is the 4th year of a 10 year plan End of Homeless. There will be “heavy lifting” ahead of us including providing housing for those with more intensive needs and support.
The count is not fully scientific, but the methodology is consistent year by year. The total for this last count was 2,174, the numbers dropping for the last two counts.
Some city council members, inner city community league reps, and neighborhood groups are opposed to Non-Market Housing Projects, because of perceived detrimental impacts on neighbors and the local community. Jay insisted that there is no evidence to support this stance, but providing supportive housing for people with addictions and other challenges is getting to be a bigger challenge every day.
Jay spoke about the new website for the Homeless Commission. It has provisions for individual and organizational endorsements for the goals of the 10 Year Plan. One question posed at the meeting was, whether these endorsements are public and can be published together as a list. Jay promised to get back with an answer.
The challenge for the city is to share the message about the benefits of non-market housing. Faith communities can help to provide a level of education within their communities, but this is not enough because neighborhoods are shutting their doors.
Bob reported on his positive experience as a Homeless Count volunteer and He invited others to volunteer for a 2 hr. shift during the next Homeless Count.
5. Welcome Home
Progress to date; new video
Next steps, support and more recruitment from Interfaith network
Sr. Mary Clare – Catholic Social Services – Welcome Home: Progress to date and new video:
Sister Mary Clare shared that there is a new WH banner with no pictures, in order to avoid stigmatism.
Paula Cornell is working on a Connecting, Education and Action letter to generate more interest for new members and membership renewals. She is also working to build relationships with the Universities.
WH Volunteers have increased in number and they have been properly trained under a 6 months commitment.
Outreaches to Mormons, Presbyterians, and Muslims are examples of new volunteers.
Twitter account is a work in progress.
The new WH video was viewed. SC members spoke positively about the new video. Additional copies of the WH video will be available shortly.
Stanley Milner Library will have a job fair and Sr. Mary Clare will be there.
Toronto is interested in having a Welcome Home program.
Some suggestions to get to know Welcome Home were shared during the meeting:
– Get the Rotary Club involved
– Connect with community leagues using WH material
– Put WH video on line and interfaith housing
– Put cross link pages (interfaith communities)
WH was nominated on March 7th for the ROOPH Award. Housing workshop can be a general housing theme or specifically on Welcome Home, if you know people who want to host a workshop, let Sr. MC know.
6. Congregation Housing Workshops
Report on recent workshops
A new workshop focusing on Welcome Home has been developed.
7. January 31st, 2013 Aboriginal Awareness Workshop with Homeward Trust
Homeward Trust offers an introductory workshop. This workshop was attended by about 15 members of our interfaith housing network. Some who attended shared their impressions about how this shop can help us understand aboriginal people. Agreement that we should try to make it available for others from our network.
The Idle No More issue was brought to the meeting, but because of time line it wasn’t discussed in detail. It is part of a far-reaching community process. Aboriginal women were the ones who initiated this movement.
8. Revisions of Congregational Action Guide
Steps to follow:
– Shorter term minor revision (for the April 9 plenary meeting))
– More complete revision to make guide more Interfaith afterwards by start of September
– Fraser, Catherine, MC and Carmit have submitted recommendations for changes
– Link it within our web pages to make it open to the public
– 2nd edition book more visual and requested to have the Actual IF Statement included
9. Habitat for Humanity May 2013 Interfaith Build Report
– Report on planning meeting distributed. Julien Hammond taking a lead – Chair of the sub-committee for the Habitat Build Housing 2013.
– David Faber will join the sub-committee for the Habitat Build Housing 2013.
– April 26th, 2013 Interfaith public launch at Rutherford Park proposed to break the ice within communities and make connections with each other’s as individuals. Date will have to be confirmed.
– It can be a group or a single person activity. It is Tue thru Sat, Sun and Mon is off.
10. Next Plenary Event for the Capital Region Interfaith Housing Initiative
– Date is Tuesday April 9 from 9:30 – 12 noon, Archbishop Smith can attend
– Location: First Choice: Edmonton Unitarian Church (north side) Audrey to confirm; backup can be the Catholic Pastoral Centre if needed
– Look at new faith community sites to host plenary meetings
– The focus is to look at community welcome and acceptance and address NIMBY concerns
– Proposed title of the event was suggested by Bob “Welcome Home, Welcome to Our Home”
– Start meeting with a faith text study discussion (faith statements into groups from different faiths, then explain to others) (Carmit to take lead)
– Time for future planning for the Interfaith Housing initiative at end (David to take lead)
– Expand membership – bring in new people (ourselves and new comers)
– Promote May Interfaith Habitat Build with plenary meeting participants
– Plenary Event committee Jay, Audrey, Bob, David, Sr. MC, Catherine
11. Interfaith Housing Initiative Web Presence Implementation
– Mark gave an update concerning the website.
12. Future meetings
– Next Steering Committee Meeting:
Tuesday; March 19, 2013 9am to 11am NE Boardroom
Catholic Pastoral and Administrative Offices