Allied Partners - April 11, 2007

Present: Rita Adair, Jeni Bingen, Mike Bodden, Fred Clark, Michelle Horton, Alice Howard, Craig Howard (Dale Heights Presbyterian Church), Linda Ketcham, Marge Lyford, Leslie McAllister, Barbara Park, Shirley Robbins, Brian Spangler, Dianne Stevens, Alex Thornburg, Jack Tiffany.

The meeting opened with introductions and with a poem by Mary Oliver, "In the Storm", read by Barbara.

Minutes of the March meeting were approved (with one requested omission) on motion by Alex and second by Fred.

Financial Report was presented by Jack. Linda noted that MUM had received a check for $400 "for the greatest need". It was moved by Alex and seconded by Dianne that we put that $400 in the Special Projects Fund. Motion carried.

Action Items
---Article for church newsletters: After discussion, we decided that it would be good to make available to member churches short paragraphs about each of our projects and about neighborhood providers, and also items from the Voices newspaper. A newsletter could use one of these each month. Dianne will write the first paragraph, about the Home Stabilization Fund, and send it to Linda. When we have an Allied Partners website, these items can be put there so churches can choose which to use when.
---Website: Bob Park will produce a website for Allied Partners, and Barbara will let us know when it is "up". She will also confirm that the URL is* and will send instructions for using the website and give us Bob's e-mail address.
---Neighborhood Community Meals: Several of the monthly meals still need sponsors. A sponsor would provide money for food (usually $300 to $500), lend tables, send volunteers to set up, serve, and clean up (residents do the cooking). This is a great way for people of AP member churches to get to know neighborhood people. Churches could partner in sponsoring a meal. Alice will bring to our next meeting a list of open months, with procedures, needs, costs, etc. Rita suggested involving churches with large Hispanic memberships. To this end, Michelle will contact St. Joseph's, which could partner with Westminster Presbyterian (offered by Alex as a sponsor). The consensus was that this is a good plan and should be developed.

---Food Pantry: Report given out by Jack in Mike's absence. (He came later.) This included an account of a recent theft, and a note that Mike has accumulated the makings of a chili dinner for the residents.
---Home Stabilization Fund: Dianne gave out a written report, noting that though the fund looks good now, it will run out of money in a few months and still needs donations. She asked that the guidelines be discussed at our next meeting. Then she said, to our regret, that she can no longer come to AP meetings. We are glad that she will continue to manage the Home Stabilization Fund. Jan Christian will come to meetings until a permanent rep for Orchard Ridge UCC is found. Fred said that Dianne has done a very good job, a statement which the group applauded!
---Wellness Center: Some grants have been received recently, but the Center is still counting on AP churches' pledges. Rita said there had been a theft of checks from the Wellness Center checkbook, which is disheartening for Susan, though it is hoped that not a large amount of money will have been lost.
---JFF: Rita said she is altering her workload to focus on being a community social worker, letting residents take ownership of community events and projects. (Celebrations, Christmas gifts, etc.) The escalating attitude of entitlement in the neighborhood has become very stressful for her. As part of the development of individual responsibility, people will be required to take a one-hour class before receiving funds. (Budgeting, other "tools" for responsible living.) Rita also noted that there is ongoing discussion by the City, County, providers, a landlord, etc. about moving JFF to a different site, along with other providers. One of the apartment buildings can be partly redesigned for this.

---Katrina Fund: Linda presented a proposal from the Committee. It was moved by Alex and seconded by Dianne that we accept the report. After much discussion, Craig offered an amendment, seconded by Mike, that we approve the $10,000 allocated to the Madison Apprenticeship Program (MAP), and allow two weeks from now for other ideas and requests to the Committee. Alex accepted the amendment (Dianne had left), and the motion was carried. Linda is to send this request for ideas out, and then the Committee will meet once more and bring another proposal to AP.

Jeni Bingen was present to update us on Boys and Girls Club events.
Brian Spangler informed us about the ACORN tax preparation assistance being offered.
Ann Bodden provided a poster about the June Citizen Advocacy Workshops.

NEXT MEETING: MAY 9. Facilitator: Alex Thornburg; Thought: Alice Howard.

*Webkeeper's note: The correct URL is In the above minutes the "wi" was missing.