Good meeting today, 8/8/17 -- I promised to help with the ICH's communication problems:
Connecting the Dots to Housing Able-Bodied Homeless
I think today's Inter-agency Council on Homelessness (ICH) committee meeting was a good one. I sensed a positive attitude toward all of the homeless and formerly homeless attendees by the housed people. Keep up the good work therein!!!!!
I promised to assist with the ICH's long-standing communication problems which we've communicated about in many past meetings. I've made that offer in the past as well.
Later this evening, after my 6-8 pm meeting, I'll move on that promise by writing a short blog post about what stood out to me in the meeting and things that we should do to address long-standing problems that have been discussed time and time again. Recognizing that some of the homeless men that I'm working with have e-mails while others have cell phones, I'll send the meeting update as a blog post link. This is one innovation for helping people navigate their communication challenges.
I'll write about the problems that the ICH has admitted having when it comes to communicating information about their member agencies' services to the homeless people -- the system's end-users.
If I forget to send you the blog post, check here tomorrow: MY BLOG
Below is an e-mail that I originally sent to DOES (DC Gov Dept. Of Employment Services). It's questions and concerns apply to other agencies as well.....
Hopefully the ICH can develop a decision chart that helps people navigate the system better -- an idea that I've touted for a while. The ICH is forever talking about communication problems, but fails to move on the ideas that the homeless advocates present. See below:
Connecting the Dots to Housing Able-Bodied Homeless:
1 -- If a homeless person without dependents has regular access to less than $50 per week and wants to get to a place where they are making at least $20/hour, what are all of the steps that [your agency] would take to actually HELP them (including ASSISTING them in getting to a different agency that [your agency] refers them to) so that they can:
A -- obtain transit assistance from the point of the job search all the way to their first paycheck???
B -- obtain food to eat during their lunch break (especially given the fact that Mick Mulvaney has encouraged Trump to eliminate food stamps and HUD vouchers)???
C -- obtain interview and work clothes that are consistent with the type of job they seek???
D -- obtain proper documentation such as ID or even a driver's license???
E -- obtain job training, if necessary, and have all of the above items that they would need during training???
F -- obtain a job that pays at least $800/week if the first job that [your agency] helps them obtain pays considerably less???
NOTE: I am aware that at least some of the info is accessible on-line; but, figured you might be able to send it all in less time than it would take me to find it myself. During the meetings I attended last year about homeless employment, I floated the idea of an electronic and hard-copy decision chart with icons/paragraphs that correspond with the lettered items above (and possibly some other areas) and which enables a homeless job seeker to figure out the best order in which to address those matters and whether they should start at point A, B or C etc, given their personal situation. In my role as a consultant on how to get A-bods (ABAWD's) out of homelessness, I'm trying to construct the hard-copy version. Your help would be greatly appreciated.
2 -- Will [your agency] actually offer transit assistance if a homeless person goes to [your agency] first and is told that they must visit another agency first??? (I know that the former Franklin Street Center at least used to have caseworkers; but, I don't recall them offering transit assistance when referring someone to a different agency.)
3 -- Do you know of a one-stop shop (besides Community Connections, which primarily serves the mentally ill) that will help an ABAWD to plan ALL of the lettered items out during the initial phase of casework??? (AMAWD's who like to think want to know within the first three casework visits how the ENTIRE process will work -- from having $50/week all the way to the first $800/week check.)
4 -- If the answer to question 3 is "No", will you/[your agency] create a place/process within the agency through which an AMAWD/ABAWD can meet the goal of question 3???
5 -- Being as [the DOES] director has said that there are many job opportunities that don't go through DOES at all, can you/[your agency] devise a process for informing people about job opportunities that might not even be registered on DC Networks??? Maybe it could be an interactive page on the website where someone who is not an employer can say, "I just got a job here" or "My friend just told me that [such and such company] is hiring".
6 -- How would [your agency] react if a homeless ABAWD/AMAWD entered the office with their mind made up, presented a viable plan (knowing that they need the BOLD-italicized items but not being sure as to how to get them) and insisted that [your agency] help them navigate through ALL of the services they need in order to get to a place of making $800/week???
Thanks a mil...or shall I say "Thanks 40,000"???
TEXT!!! (240) 305-5255 (4 swift response)
POLITICAL PROMISE: If by 5/15/18 we find DC had 5,000 or less homeless people on 1/2X/18, I'll quit advocating & support Muriel's re-election bid.