TCT Minutes for Feb 2, 2016

Feb 2, 2016

MEETING PARTICIPANTS:

Facilitator: Vince, Stacker: TBA, Note Taker, Alan.

Attendees: Bill H (observer). Theresa P, Melissa Y, Vince H, Alan O, Tom F, Megan C, Inez B, Trina S

INTRODUCTIONS: Meeting participants briefly introduced themselves.

ADOPTION OF MINUTES AND APPROVAL OF AGENDA

  1. Shall we adopt the proposed agenda? Unanimously adopted as amended
  2. Shall we approve the minutes of 01/19/2016? Unanimously approved.

REPORTS/DISCUSSION

  1. Membership Changes
    It was reported that over the past few days, our chair, Paul W, resigned. Also Neal R, Linda M, Carl M, and Felicia M resigned. All except Felicia resigned because of policy disagreements. Felicia is still friendly. She resigned owing to professional obligations and may be back.This split came because of policy differences. Those policy differences revolved around the extent of the BOD (Board of Directors) chair’s authority to make binding decisions between membership meetings. Those who left felt the chair could make important decisions before the membership could vote in a meeting, absent an emergency or urgent matter.The people who had resigned seem to be making efforts to start another group. This new group would have the same aim as Tent City Tacoma (TCT): to provide the homeless with a temporary, safe, and stable living situation.
  2. General Discussion of These Recent Events
    The attendees extensively discussed this seeming impasse. After some discussion, the group reached a consensus. It was felt that having two groups with the same mission was not helpful to either group’s efforts and maybe even a hindrance. Therefore, several attendees suggested both side try mediation with an impartial professional mediator to see if we could reunite. Alan and Vince could attend the mediation for our group, and maybe Paul, Linda, Neal, and/or Carl could attend for the other group. The TCT meeting decided to ask Rev Vince to write a draft proposal to the other group and let Inez edit it. When the draft is acceptable to both Vince and Inez, the letter could be sent. Both Rev Vince and Inez have had years of experience in professional counseling.
  3. Other Organizational Questions:
    1. BOD Questions:
      There were a variety of other organizational questions on the agenda, mostly dealing with when and whether we should organize a BOD and 501c(3). The consensus was that discussion of this topic should be deferred for now.
    2. This Group’s Name:
      At the January 12, 2016 meeting, the membership voted to change our original name, Tent City Tacoma, to HEARTS 4 Change. The “HEARTS” part of the new name is an acronym for “Hope Empowerment Action Recovery Team And Sustainability.” However another group, which feeds the homeless, has already registered the name “HEARTS 4 Change“ as a US trademark and operates its group under that name. Therefore, we cannot use it.The attendees at this meeting discussed this issue and decided that we should keep the name “Tent City Tacoma” for now. Item 2 of the Motions section of these minutes reflects the vote on this decision.
  4. PAST AND FUTURE DIRECTIONS:
    There was much discussion about how TCT had been trying to find churches to host temporary tent cities. Vince and Alan recounted our past attempts, the roadblocks we had met. Alan and Vince also discussed the history of our efforts to get the city council to enact the Use Permit ordinance for tent cities.Several new attendees from Catholic Workers (CW) asked how much money a tent city would cost per year. Alan said that although he had not done the research, those who had researched this question estimated it would cost about $40,000 a year. That’s for a camp of around 100 residents. The CW attendees asked us why we had not thought of trying to get the City of Tacoma government to own the problem. Their insight was that the City of Tacoma should provide a place for shelter for the homeless at public expense, similar to Seattle. The City of Tacoma already spends many tens of thousands of dollars to clean up of ad-hoc encampments. For example, they spent at least $150,000 putting the boulders around the City Hall.The meeting attendees, including Vince and Alan, felt this was an excellent idea. We asked Megan, one of the CW attendees, to be the facilitator at the next meeting. She agreed to do so and, in turn, asked us to do some homework to bring to the next meeting. She would like us to list demands we want to make to the City of Tacoma to finance and implement a more permanent tent city-type shelter.

MOTIONS:

  1. Motion: We will delay setting up a Board of Directors until our members have had a chance to discuss matters further. Unanimously approved
  2. Motion: We will rename ourselves Tent City Tacoma for the time being and abandon referring to ourselves as HEARTS 4 Change. Unanimously approved
  3. Motion: Vince will write a draft letter inviting the members of the other group to engage in mediation to resolve our differences. Vince will send the draft of this letter to Inez for advice and editing. When they are satisfied with this proposal, Vince will send this letter to the other group.

NEXT MEETING PLANS

  • COORDINATORS
    • Facilitator:Megan (Special thanks to Catholic Workers)
    • Stacker (Timekeeper>: TBA
    • Note taker: Alan
  • TIME AND PLACE
    • Date: 02/17/2016
    • Time: 3:30 to 5:00 PM
    • Place: First United Methodist Church (FUMC) at 621 Tacoma Ave S, room 207. Enter at the Tower Entrance at the far left of the building.

ADJOURNMENT: 6:44 PM

Respectfully submitted: Alan OldStudent

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