Salt Lake Marching and Chowder Club
Minutes of the Salt Lake City Marching and Chowder Club 12/1/2015
Prepared by Lauren Smith
President, John Shannon;
Vice President, Charlotte Mates:
Secretary, Lauren Smith;
Treasurer, Barbara Taylor:
Treasurer’s report: no money in or out. We have $8.00 on hand
Last week’s meeting minutes were accepted
There was a movement called Occupy in 2011. A self-sufficient community was formed in Pioneer Park. Residents policed themselves. They had pride in their community and they had their own dynamics. It broke down because around 70% of transients are mentally ill. Also, they were in need of a support system for addiction which they didn’t have because they were homeless. Even though it failed, there is a lot we can learn about community from the incentive. People feel good and are more responsible when they are empowered to make decisions about their lives.
Pouring more money into the system will not solve problem. It is frustrating that 75% of time spent on efforts to clean up the neighborhood is spent on talking about more funding and more services. There is an excess of both available as things are. Too often, egos are not put aside, so new ideas don’t come often.
It is not that people are not willing to help. They jump at the chance once a decision is made. Example: With the help of the LDS church, Pamela Atkinson was able to put together steak dinners for 600 people cooked by the Grand America Hotel Chef one Christmas.
The system is broken. Kids fall through the cracks. Family promise is a good program with a high rate of success, but they only pick up kids that they can help. The children that have PTSD from abuse are hard to place in foster homes. Some foster parents are very committed and try very hard, but they feel like failures.
There are many veterans who suffer from PTSD who are not getting help.
Volunteers need to be matched up to consumers and act as mentors. They can help people with self-esteem based on their own life experience. Everyone has something valuable that they can teach to those in need.
According to a resident at the Road Home, there are 5 corrupt individuals who are either officials or who work for a service organization. Some have gang affiliation. He would not say who they are.
They do take care of their own to some degree. For example there is a saying, “baby on block” where people hide their drugs when children are coming. Could there be other key phrases to warn people in a “neighborhood watch” type scenario?
We need to cut to the chase and get to the root cause.
We need to research successful programs and to continue brainstorming the problems.
We believe that most of the people in the community want to earn for themselves, almost no one wants to be handed everything.
We need local people working together and comparing success stories.
We need to find people who are homeless and in the system who are willing to act as leaders.
There is a severe disconnect between the transient population and the members of typical society. But help from the community is necessary for their survival. Drug addicts have to decide for themselves to get help. Once they make that decision, they need to work 1 on 1 with qualified professionals.
The positions that are available in the Mayor’s office will be filled after the first of the year. There is some paranoia that exists among the Road Home residents. Some are wary of officials and government representatives because they are not upstanding citizens.
200 hours community service needed for University of Utah pre-med students. Nate will be the liaison for college students and will work with Char to coordinate efforts. Can we set up a meeting with Char, Nate and Lana (new social worker) to meet after Nate’s finals?
The new members introduced themselves.
Bernie & Marita: They are strong activists. They “played hard” and they owned a business for 30 years (machine shop). They moved downtown to be closer to the problems they are concerned aobut. They are interested in anything that helps our community and they want to work with kids in detention.
Avis: she thought article in City Weekly was good and that our approach is a great way to help the homeless. She has been in the medical field. She is very artistic and very spiritual. She believes that people need to be healed from the inside out. She believes in divine appointment.
“Friday”: is John’s new “bodyguard”. He is from Sudan. He has been here since 2008. He lived in Denver and used to drive a taxi.