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Compassionate Action Now, Jan. 26, 2017

Eighteen people shared conversation and stories about their experience with homelessness, resources for collaboration, and potential shelter projects. The world café methodology that was used is a simple, effective, and flexible format for hosting large group dialogue. It's also a fun, interactive way to explore a complex topic, hear many perspectives and efficiently access the wisdom of a large group. There are two main parts to the format: (a) a series of small group discussions to generate data and feedback on an issue in response to prompts, and (b) a large group discussion to "harvest" and explore the feedback generated during small group discussion.

In one short hour, ideas and people circulated from table to table, resulting in a harvest of inspiration and connections made for moving forward. During the final moments of mingling, some attendees were engaged for 40 minutes in two table groups, learning about (a) the St. Vincent de Paul’s Youth Home Project or (b) the effort to purchase the Tamarack Center. To see the specific questions that were asked and the intriguing ideas suggested during this event, scroll down this page. Additional, detailed feedback and idea clusters will be linked to this page as soon as they are available.

QUESTION 1
Stories: What stories about homelessness (your own or other's stories) capture your heart or engage you in some way about the topic of homelessness? Best response:  Computer skill training for unskilled & unhoused to give them a chance to make a change.

QUESTION 2
Collaboration Resources: What are some of the barriers to collaborating and some examples of the successful collaborations among our local faith communities working together on homelessness projects? What tools, resources or other potential community partners could help support current or future interfaith collaborations? Prioritized responses:

  • Food for Lane Co. gathered main line & evangelist churches to meet together
  • First Congregational is looking at unhoused youth and transitional housing options, working with SVDP and other organizations
  • School, faith and housing communities could work together to support a homeless family, by providing ways for people to get actively, hands-on engaged
  • Piggy-back with 211 or develop a faith-based “211” listing of churches and services offered 
  • Church of the Brethren collaborated with Shelter Care, and is now in a new program with SVDP, buying motels
  • Create online tools: volunteer central pool, housing digest, website
  • Examples of successful collaborations: CSS, OVE, OM, rest stops, dawn to dusk, Egan Warming Centers, Habitat for Humanity, Conestoga Huts
  • Barriers to collaboration: so much to do, overextended, so many groups, unclear objectives, lack of money, lack of time, understaffed, lack of communication between faith-based & government funded non-profits

QUESTION 3

Potential Projects: What interfaith collaborative projects would you recommend, support or pursue if there were no barriers and resources were plentiful for such a project? What roles could the interfaith community have in the creation and operation of an indoor shelter and/or locating more emergency temporary shelter models such as:
1. Tiny Homes
2. Various Types of Outdoor Tent Camps
3. Car Camping
4. Other shelter ideas?

Prioritized responses:

  • Alex Daniell will put a tiny house on any available lot, call him
  • Develop a program that sorts out people who genuinely need help
  • Day shelter
  • Large shelter like the Armory for people with disability & substance abuse with volunteer staff from churches & neighborhoods
  • shower facilities
  • year-round shelter
  • more affordable, very low rent housing
  • meet together for conversation
  • churches or businesses adopt safe spots
  • donate space on your land for a tiny house
  • address storage problem
  • leisure/recreation program

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