ALLIED PARTNERS - September 13, 2006

Present: Barbara Alvarado, Mary Jean Bartholomew, Jeni Bingen, Mike Bodden, Mary Charnitz, Susan Corrado, Dan Haupt, Marcia Henderson, Linda Ketcham, Joan Laurion, Marge Lyford, Leslie McAllister, Barbara Park, Shirley Robbins, Sue Sawyer, Dianne Stevens, Alex Thornbury, Jack Tiffany, Marissa Winger.

Introductions were made and we welcomed visitors Rev. Alex Thornbury (new at Westminster Presbyterian) and Marissa Winger, Christ Presbyterian. Jack's opening thought was a meditation on the law of attraction, we receive the blessings that we give.

Minutes of the August meeting were approved as presented. Since no written reports came in before the meeting, we will again hope that such reports as can be written a week ahead of the meeting (not all can) will be e-mailed to Linda, so she can have them printed. Mike suggested that a few minutes could be spent reading (silently) reports at the beginning of the meeting, so that later they would not have to be repeated.

1) Barbara A. and Joan L. came to describe their Play N' Learn Groups in the Allied Neighborhood. With a trained teacher and an assistant, groups of young children (ages 0 to 5) and their parents/caregivers gather for a variety of activities, at the Allied Learning Center. The aims are improved success in school and positive social emotional development for the children and information, support, and social connections for the parents. The strong need is for transportation, especially in winter. Can Allied Partners churches provide volunteers? Could a volunteer commit for the winter to pick up and return one family for one or two sessions each week? For information, call Barbara Alvarado at 204-6563. Allied Partners members are urged to publicize this in their churches. Joan would come to a church to speak about this.

2) Overview of the charette: Susan and Leslie reported that though there were fewer residents attending than hoped for, good ideas came forth, not only on buildings and traffic, but on social issues. The architects took the residents' ideas seriously. Three options were finally chosen, all good, with the Wellness Center incorporated in each. These go next to a Task Force, then to the Plan Commission, finally with a recommendation to the City Council. Leslie emphasized that the neighborhood itself did fine work in getting the word out about the charette and the rally/parade, with door-to-door visits. Mike moved that Susan be authorized to write a letter of thanks to Channel 3 for their extensive coverage of the charette, and a thank-you letter to the local newspapers on behalf of Allied Partners and other stakeholders. The motion was seconded by Mary Jean and carried.

3) Leslie reported that 200-250 people attended the Move Forward Not Out rally, with several celebrities. The Career Fair brought 40 to 50 employers and about 125 job seekers. The Mobile Food Pantry has served 80 families in three times of operation.

4) Mary Jean reported for Alice A. that 50 to 70 kids were served each day during the two weeks when churches were serving lunches. There was some food-throwing and disrespectful behavior at times; more help is needed from the neighborhood. Discussion: Do we need a more visible place to serve, such as the Learning Center? Do we need to publicize more, as with a flyer? Should we serve only on a couple of days, or have a big event on the two Fridays? It was decided that this will be discussed further at our May meeting. The behavior problems suggest that we discuss our moral mandate to help the children learn respectful behavior and responsibility.

5) Discussion of reforming the agenda. General agreement that issues should be first, reports last, but people who need to leave early need to be high on the agenda. Susan, Dianne, and Mike can't finalize their reports a week ahead, so they might be given ten minutes each first, then special reports (usually visitors), then issues. Dan agreed to work with Alice Appen to re-form the agenda. All of us should tell Alice before the meeting if we know of items needing to be on the agenda.

6) Tabled: Executive Committee Formation, schedule of Allied projects, and the Landmark Forum.

---Brochure - Jack said that Good Shepherd will print the agreed-on 500 for the next meeting, for churches to take to their congregations.
---E-mail list passed around for additions and corrections.

---Food Pantry (Mike) - printed, detailed report - New families moving in, the need for food is high; the theft issue is still pending; food bags at CUB bringing about 25 bags a week. ---Wellness Center (Susan) - printed, detailed report - a fine Women's Retreat held in August; medical services flourishing; two grants submitted; we are on target financially for this year. Susan noted the large amount of violence recently and that people are talking with her and are scared. This is a big safety issue. Empty buildings contribute to the risk. It seems that the police may have found the basic cause, a core group of 16-year-olds from Chicago who are trying to claim drug territory. Guns have been found and removed.
---Our Special Needs Family: Susan acknowledged the strong role of Sue Sawyer with this family. There is now a housing issue, with "Casa" working with the family on this. We are beginning to wonder whether we are enabling dependency in this family, and are we responsible for moral guidance?
---Eviction Prevention (Dianne) - printed, detailed report - the Fund is in good shape at this point, thanks to some very large donations - nine families helped this month.
---Boys and Girls Club (Jeni) - 1043 backpacks given away - fall schedule presented - many volunteer opportunities.
---Finance Committee (Jack) - Will have a proposed budget at our next meeting, which will include a donation advocated by Mike to the Boys and Girls Club because they have been so good to Allied Partners and the Food Pantry. Other ideas were given for the budget, and the matter of percentages for undesignated donations will be discussed.

NEXT MEETING October 11. Facilitator, Dan Haupt; Thought, Mary Jean Bartholomew. Matters for the agenda: Transportation for the Play N' Learn Group; proposed budget, with donation to Boys and Girls Club; if time, our role in teaching responsibility and respectful behavior.