IFHI Steering Committee Meeting Notes: Nov 28, 2013

Present: Brian Kiely, Bob McKeon, Catherine Douglas, David Faber, Don Koots, Fraser Williamson,
Jay Freeman, Kathleen Schmitke, Mary Clare Stack, and Rick Chapman.
Regrets: Audrey Brooks, Mark Stanley and Pam Reichenbach.

1. Opening Reflection and Welcome

Prayer for Peace and Justice.

2. Review Agenda

An addition was made to the meeting’s agenda by Rick Chapman.
Future events: Month of May 2014, celebration of the Parliament of World Religions in Edmonton

3. Review Meeting Notes from September 18, 2013 Steering Committee Meeting and the November 7
Plenary Meeting
There were no omissions or additions made to the meeting notes.

4. Updates
a) No Room in the Inn

Bob introduced the new brochure of NRII with Oxford Houses Foundation Canada.

 These houses are focused on how to prevent homelessness, due to the opportunity they
give to men and women recovering from addictions.
 Oxford House Foundation in Edmonton has 8 houses which are well accepted and
integrated in the community.
 Bob invited the SC members to participate in this 2013 campaign. Brochures and envelopes
are available for those interested.
 Don shared his approach mentioning that what they do is a “loose change” collection during
the Christmas service, which helps them to reach out more parishioners and the
contribution is about $2,500.00 only for that night.
b) Welcome Home
Sister Mary Clare provided some updates:
 Time Raiser people wants to get engaged with volunteers
 Welcome Home Christmas party is on Saturday, November 30, 2013 2pm to 4pm
 Barb Spencer, new CEO of E4C, asked Tania Tellier-McCandless to take their staff on a tour of
the CSS east office and speak with the WH team. Re-schedule for January 14, 2014.
 Director of the Programa Nosostros Rodrigo Loyola, will do a TV interview with a WH
participant, a volunteer and Sr. Mary Clare during the week of February 10, 2014.
 National Bank Financial hope to have a presentation for Religious Congregationsin the
Edmonton area. They work in Central and Eastern Canada and they want WH to be part of this
program in order to improve funding issues. Sister Mary Clare spoke with Marc Barylo about it.
Marc is supportive.
 Jay recommended the Stollery Foundation to SMC in order to involve WH with this organization.
 Bob recommended for next WH brochures to make a more distinct difference between the
appearance of the brochures for volunteers and participants. It is confusing because they look
c) Habitat for Humanity
 As a result of the General Meeting, unfortunately there were no volunteers for the Chair
position of this event, even though it is only a one year commitment.
 SC members suggested talking to participants who had been participating in this build
consistently and have knowledge of it.
 Don mentioned the United Church congregations from McClure and Castledowns who have
shown stable leadership and had been participating with a significant group. Don will contact
 Maria informed that Habitat for Humanity is having its Annual Open House on December 13,
2013 from 2pm to 6pm. (invitation is attached)
d) Justice YEG Conference at First Baptist – Nov 16
 Fifty participants at YEG attended the session on homelessness in their communities.
Participants included those from Edmonton, Lac LaBiche and Calgary. The Congregation Action
Guide and the Welcome Folder were distributed.
 The event was well attended and they showed a wonderful energy.
 Sister Mary Clare will invite Shauna –Lee Young from Evangelical Assembly
 Evangelicals helped organize the Neighbor Centre.
 SC members would like to follow up with this community and raised the questions of:
 How do we connect our conversations with Evangelicals?
 How do we reinforce each other?
 How do we connect and follow up?
 Could we get volunteers for WH-Habitat?
 Rick will invite Evangelical contacts to the Steering Committee
 Jay will follow up with Jasper Place to build a stronger relationship between us
e) Contacting IF Housing
Bob cited some insights of the City Poverty Elimination Initiative meeting
 New Mayor is very interested in the poverty initiative and wants to make it his personal project.  It is a formal initiative – a council initiative.
 New Mayor also wants to reach out for Aboriginal people. 40% of Housing First clients are
Aboriginal. David informed that there will be selection of priority initiatives with Council and if
an initiative is approved it becomes a city administration priority. David also recommended to
have a dialogue with members of the Council and show them the Update of Year 4 of the 10-
Year plan.
 At a national Homelessness Conference in Ottawa last October it was reported that Edmonton
was a leading city with excellent strategies on Homelessness and Affordable Housing.
(Homeward Trust and Homeless Commission working together)
 One of the ideas that came out during the meeting, was to re-engage the people in the City of
Edmonton with advocacy in communities to inform better about the 10 Year Plan.
f) Planning for the future: Next Steps
 Follow up from General Meeting
– Promotion of the 10 Year Plan
– Missing piece: Where we want to go after the Plenary?
Gather Institutional faith leaders again to educate and involve them in the process of
the 10 Year Plan early in the new year.
 Meeting with Faith Leaders
– Archbishop Smith asked Bob for a written statement on what took place at the Nov. 7
Plenary. His Grace spoke about conversations at the General Meeting with members of
the Homeless Commission. He was an initial convener of this interfaith initiative and he
is willing to assume this role again.
– Bishop Jane Alexander, Archbishop Smith and other faith leaders meet in late January or
early February. Proposed goals for this meeting 1) faith leaders (original signers and
successors) recommit to goals of 10 Year Plan, 2) encourage and facilitate engagement
at the community level in discussions about neighborhood welcome and inclusion for
housing for the formerly homeless, 3) meet and engage the new Edmonton mayor and
council about supporting the goals of the 10 Year Plan.
– Bob asked the SC the following questions in order to plan next year’s work:
Where do we go with our Network? And how do we use it to engage leaders?
Do we have suggestions for the Youth leaders? We want them in our meetings
 Facilitating the Conversation:
follow Mark’s suggestion of focusing on the promotion and implementation of the 10 year
plan citywide and in local communities; as a Steering Committee put less time on Welcome
Home and the Interfaith Habitat build since these can now better stand on their own
 Welcoming the newly housed into our community
– One on one discussion with community leaders.
– Jay explained that the way SC has worked is at the bottom (grass roots) and at the top
(institutional leaders) The middle is where there is a lack of information on the 10 Year
 Congregational Workshops – new Approaches, research questions
– Everybody agreed that in order to do a better job communicating the 10 Year Plan it is
necessary to find common ground with Community leagues. David will set up a meeting
with Edmonton Federation of Leagues and talk about this initiative.
– Brian, David and Don team up in order to prepare a workshop needed to inform
congregations and communities on what the 10 Year Plan is and what are its
ramifications (affordable and supporting housing) in different neighbourhoods across
the city.
– Jay informed that there will be a meeting with City administration, government officials
and leaders from organizations focusing on the 10 Year Plan. The goal is to come up with
a communication plan on how to inform citizens and residents of Edmonton about the
10 Year Plan, what it is and what does it imply to be part of it. This “Finding Common
Ground” project speaks to response of local communities on proposed social housing
projects. Meetings are: Tuesday December 10, 2014 6:00pm at the City Conference and
Wednesday, December 11, 10:30 am.

1. – Re- affirm public commitments to the goals of the 10 Year Plan- political and faith leaders – Commit
to the continued implementation of this plan, local neighbours – local conversations, meeting with
the Mayor, potential new faith leaders statement.

2. – Develop workshops that explain what supportive housing is – Work at the level of Community
Leagues – Create a FAQ document/brochure with city and faith leaders about where to go and get
more information – Ecumenical/ interfaith network needs development to make it stronger and to
build it up. The FAQ document could be inserted into the CHAG.

3. Future Events:
 December 8 Unitarian Presentation
 May 7-10, 2014 World Parliament of Religions Conference in Edmonton
SC was invited to submit a proposal on a presentation for this event.

4. Next Steering Committee Meeting
 Thursday, January 9, 2014 10:00 AM. at the Pastoral Archdiocesan Offices.