After months of work, we’ve finished making the Santa Cruz Free Guide into a searchable website for people who are experiencing homelessness – or simply anyone who could benefit from being connected to services. Check it out at santacruzfreeguide.org!
On Tuesday I made an appearance on Community Television of Santa Cruz County, talking about Project Homeless Connect and veteran homelessness. Project Homeless Connect is an event that brings every service that someone experiencing homelessness could need into one building on one day, so they can get a lot of their needs taken care of at once and get into housing more quickly. You can check out the website, and volunteer on the day of the event, here: phc-santacruz.org
Here is the link to the Community Television episode on YouTube.
You can also donate to my work, and come and volunteer with me and my team, by visiting santacruzhsc.org
Some of you may know that, for months now, I and a handful of other people have been working on building a truly comprehensive resource guide for people without housing who live in Santa Cruz County. Today we launched the new guide, as well as one of our new services: real time schedules of all the services in Santa Cruz County.
It has truly been serendipitous that this project has come together the way it has, and I am grateful for all the folks who have worked on it.
Also, this truly is just Phase 1 of this website and project. There will be more features and improvements coming in future months.
Here is the announcement email that went out today to service providers throughout the county:
Providing a taste of what it can be like to be homeless
The full quote is “Think about what it might take for you to become homeless. The money you’d have to lose, the job you’d have to lose, the relationships that would have to break down. There are thousands of people in this county who have gone through that trauma.”
a facilitation framework for running meetings that gain consensus among the participants
Below is a facilitation framework for running meetings that gain consensus among the participants. This is a living document, so it will be updated as need be. It is important that each participant at a meeting like this be committed to doing the work it takes to reach consensus.
-At least one day prior to meeting, request agenda items from participants.
-At least one hour prior to the meeting, send all the agenda items to all of the participants in order of priority.
-At the beginning of the meeting, record who is present.
-One person speaks at a time.
-Ask the group if they agree with the order of the agenda items, or if they would like to move anything forward. Let those who want to move items make their case, as well as those who don’t want to move items make their case. Make sure those who have opinions on the agenda items have fully stated their case. As the facilitator, check in with the group to see if everyone agrees on changing the agenda. If they do not agree, request that they agree with a proposal that halfway meets everyone’s stated intentions. If there is not agreement on some sort of compromise, it is time to stop the action and have a deeper conversation about what the participants are up to in the meeting.
-Begin the meeting, with the first agenda item.
-In this sort of meeting, it is important to have open conversations regarding each item. Allow for each participant to share their views on each item to their fullest extent, while being mindful of the time. Record all promises and actions to be taken. If there is a stalemate, ask bigger questions to move the conversation forward. Is this something that needs to be decided now? If we don’t agree on this, what do we agree on? Do we all agree that this is an issue that needs to be resolved? The role of the facilitator is to move the conversation to consensus, and this ability is more an art than a science. Also, to do so responsibly, the facilitator must also communicate their opinions regarding the topic of the conversation. Move on to the next agenda item when all present are in agreement that it is time to move on.
-Once all agenda items have been addressed, decide on a date, time and location for the next meeting.
-End the meeting
-Send all notes of promises and actions to be taken to everyone who has a stake in the meeting.