Salt Lake Marching and Chowder Club

Minutes from the Salt Lake City Marching and Chowder Club                                     12-8-2015

Minutes prepared by Lauren Smith


John Shannon, President SLCMCC, 

Charlotte Mates, Vice President SLCMCC, 

Lauren Smith, Secretary SLCMCC, 

Nate Rockwood, student, 

Bernie Hart, member SLCMCC, 

Gina Cross, member SLCMCC, 

Jacob Yardley, member SLCMCC, 

Carl Spitzmacher, local resident, 

Xander Smiley, student, 

Bradley Weischedel, John’s friend, 

John would like to remove the term “homeless”, better to call people “local residents”

Minutes read and accepted

Treasury report: $11.00 + $2.00 pending (see below)

Lauren accepted $1.00 membership fee from Gina Cross + $1.00 from Jacob Yardley for membership dues. To be given to Barbara next meeting

New visitors and members introduced themselves.

Brad: Met Dr. Shannon through several months ago through Susan Terry (Dr. Shannon’s wife). He is interested in our work and thinks he can help.

Carl: John calls him the “con man” in jest. He grew up with cash in the bank and is now on the street by the objective choice of others. He is very active politically and thinks he can be objective about local resident problems.

Gina Cross:  Does volunteer work at a hospital and at the homeless shelter. She has been homeless before and has spent nights at St. Anns, the Rescue Mission and at YMCA. She wants to make a difference

Jacob: A friend of Gina’s  

Xander: Bountiful High school student and Lauren’s son

John believes that the $52 million dollars a year that is being paid by taxpayers is well spent and believes the services are very good. It is good bang for the buck. He wanted to make a quick reminder from that we are here to exchange ideas about how we can encourage good behavior by lifting spirits. As we inspire individual people, we hope they can build a better community from the ground up.

We need to remind ourselves and each other continually that there is no solution, only progress.

This is a marketplace of ideas where people with different backgrounds can meet each other and talk freely.

Brad wants to find a way to dignify smaller communities. They need to be able to do things like putting on a clean shirt.  We are creating the way to listen to local residents and learn about them. The connection between people is his goal in coming to club meetings. He would like to witness success stories.

Gina said there are 2 types of homeless people. Those who have accepted that they have hit bottom and those who are in denial about how bad things have gotten. She thinks lack of daycare is a major problem. She had no one to watch her son while she went to work when she was homeless.

Complaints could go to City Council through self-appointed “leaders” in the community.

Carl thinks that officials seem to be having a popularity contest. He mentioned that we might want to get in touch with John Nadle. He is a key person who was once homeless and is still involved in the community.

Brad is a social worker who lived in Detroit and did community organizing with people who lived in community housing. He wants to discuss how to create programs and write grants. It is his opinion that we should get away from City Hall and work more with focus groups.

Bernie emphasizes that focus groups need a focus such as mothers advocating for children to get daycare.

We are planting seeds. There are people in the community who want to become involved.

Carl says we need to pay attention to what people are not saying in regards to infrastructure. John is giving more credence to the idea that Jesus is working through us (atheist, my foot ;) )

Brad connects with refugees at the clinic, but he doesn’t work with the homeless directly. He is not here professionally.

Bernie thinks that the reason the system is so screwed up is because mentally ill people are expected to do something that they are incapable of. They are expected to take care of themselves. There needs to be a way to verify that a good job is being done. We need evidenced feedback.

We need to make people more accountable. Local residents need to comply with some standards. Issues need to be discussed and bars need to be set.  

There is a grocery list of unacceptable behavior. People have to respect one another.

What kind of consequences can they give themselves and each other?

Is it within taxpayers’ rights to separate people who cannot verify identity?

“Occupy Salt Lake” was dysfunctional because the functional people left the group. There was paranoia and the inability of people to keep a grip on themselves. The larger the group, the harder to manage.

Bernie says that are two groups of transients. One group is at the Rio Grande and the other is the library. People outside of the community who are interested in drugs go to Rio Grande.

Carl says addicts should not be able to demand respect. He thinks that overdose is the cure for addiction. The club does NOT share this perspective. He says that cops are the last resort.

Carl is getting contact information for Judge Baxter to invite him to a club meeting. He says that he is a dynamic guy who knows about infrastructure.

It is hard to get people to care about respect because you can’t take things away from someone who has nothing. We should strive to help people change their priorities and give them “dollops” of responsibility.

Carl approached representative Sandra Hollins LCSW as the meeting was wrapping up. I got her card and will invite her to the next meeting

Bernie has been politely banned from service organizations because he pushes people out of comfort zone. He has 3 main ideas:

Dream jar: where people write down their dreams and put them in a jar
Giving people a way to express themselves
make a newspaper where no one is censored, voice

Not part of the minutes:

A question came to me when I was preparing the minutes. I am wondering how the State weighs in on the “scatter” system that the City/County has decided upon.

The group will talk more about Bill Gates community in Seattle, Boston, Vancouver, etc.

We need to start giving action items in the future. Lauren to research Souper Tuesday and transitional housing and report next week. Also look up what Ben McAdams has done for Magna.