February 2015

February 18, 2015

Call to Order/Introductions – Theresa Beachy
Approval of January 21, 2015 minutes – Approved
Speaker of the Month – Nadia Shields, School Board of Alachua County
Ms. Shields explained her advocacy efforts for ensuring Alachua County implements the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Act for Alachua County homeless children. Most importantly, she ensures families know their rights under the law which are that children are entitled to immediate enrollment. Children are entitled to remain in a school if they move out of that school’s zone. They are entitled to bus transportation to school including across county lines. Ms. Shields advocates and assists these families and also closely works with adolescents who are on their own to help ensure they graduate high school and attend college if desired with the assistance of a voucher.
• GRACE update- Theresa Lowe
The new dorm is now available. It will not be in use for approximately 2 weeks pending a Volunteer Day to move the furniture in. Eight new showers will then be available, a welcome increase from one. There will still be 22 beds.
The city is taking control of the 10 acres surrounding Grace and hired Betty Baker part-time to work with all stakeholders on how to manage Dignity Village. There are 177 people camping there. Grace has no direct responsibility for Dignity Village.
There is oversight with 2 components-the Oversight Board consists of 2 county commissioners, 2 city commissioners, and one community member. There is also a Citizens Advisory Board tasked with assisting the Oversight Board. It consists of a diverse group of 14 people from the community. These boards’ meetings are on the county and city websites. Residents of Dignity Village are encouraged to participate.
There will be an Open House in June in celebration of Grace’s one year anniversary.
• CoC/Coalition Update – Theresa Lowe
HUD grant inventory worksheet is complete for the CoC.
The PIT count was discussed and a draft count attached. Notably the total numbers were about the same but shifted to different locations with the opening of Grace.
Harvey Ward is leading a committee to nominate new members for the Coalition Board. Nominations are being accepted.
• Treasurer’s report (Theresa Lowe) – Treasurer was not present. The Coalition is currently in the black.
• GPD report- (Cpl. Deihl and Officer Moiser)
o March 1, 2015 Bo Diddley plaza is closing for renovation for 9-12 months. Most people have moved. There are 5 people still living there. The police are assisting people with moving. Calls for service on the Plaza have not decreased since Grace opened.
• Coalition Fundraiser – Terry Fleming. There will be a fundraiser, Masquerade Merriment, at the Hippodrome March 27th, 9-12 pm. Tickets are $30. Packets for selling tickets are available. Theme is Age of Aquarius.
• Homeless/Formerly homeless Comments or suggestions: no one present
• Other business—elections for a new board are in June
• Friends of Grace – Theresa Lowe shared this group is having 2 fund raisers for Grace
o April 21 a showing of the Two Musketeers at the HIPP
o May 1st Cymplify food truck rally

Next meeting is March, 18, 2015 at Grace Marketplace