Members present: Helen Howell, Paula Carvalho, Simha Reddy, Gordon McHenry, Adrienne Quinn, John Chelminiak, Nate Caminos, Dr. Damien Pattenaude, Harold Odom, and Professor Sarah Rankin
Members absent: Rev. Dr. Carey Anderson and Juanita Spotted Elk
Welcome and Settling In
Jason Johnson (Director of Human Services Seattle) was the facilitator. He acknowledged the indigenous history of the lands they were meeting on - he from Denver, much of the Board from Seattle, one from Idaho.
Meeting started on time. Attendance taken - all present except for two folks, Carey Anderson and Juanita Spotted Elk. When attendance taken each answered whether they were an introvert, extrovert or some combination of both. This was done to help build relationship, understanding between the Board.
A representative from the Hawkins Group gave an update on the CEO process. In the last eight weeks they have met with the stakeholders - this Board, the Governing Committee, etc. and have put together two documents. The first is a position profile to be used in recruiting and the second is a screening document to be used in assessing candidates. This should have been completed by Oct 12 but is being completed by Oct 15. At this point the actual search for the CEO will begin.
Reddy wanted to know what themes for the position came through. Four key things were mentioned:
1. The person has experience launching a new organization or working with a new organization the size of 50- 100 people.
2. The person is comfortable working in a complex political environment.
3. The person has a passion for the work, is an advocate for the vision.
4. The person have a degree of financial fluency.
Adrienne wanted to know a bit about how the recruiting was going to happen. The Hawkins Group would not keep their search to just those within homelessness work positions. Focus was more on the core skill set accompanied by the heart/passion for the work. They asked the Board as well as other stakeholders to please put forth names they felt should be considered and they will be looking nationwide for candidates.
RHA Staff Update
Next up was an update from a staff member, Leo Flor, on two subjects.
First, the Advisory Board names were to be brought forward at this meeting, but it is on hold until the next meeting because they have to verify something in the charter.
Second, the temporary staffing recommendation had to be discussed and approved/not approved. The CEO needs to have some temporary budget for the hiring of some initial positions within the first five months of his/her hire. This gives the CEO funding for these few positions.
Reddy wanted to know if the five positions mentioned are fixed, and the answer was no. This was just a suggestion to put together a budget for approval purposes.
Odom said that the hiring needed to be equity-based and based on the Theory of Change. Flor said that this was in their hands as the Implementation Board to direct the CEO to hire in this manner. Also Odom felt it important to hire an ombudsman at the start.
Chelminiak wanted to know if this included salaries and benefits, what size organization was being considered and how many months did the budget cover. The salaries and benefits covered approximately five positions for five months. The size of the organization long-term is open but was expected to be around 60 or so.
Quinn reiterated Odom’s point about the importance of hiring an ombudsman as one of the first hires.
A vote was put forth to approve the temporary staffing/budget recommendation with the priority to hire an ombudsman as one of the first hires. It was approved unanimously.
The meeting was opened to public comment for ten minutes. There was one public comment - again from a man who spoke at the last meeting saying that the regional committees feel disconnected from the Implementation Board. They have no idea what is going on. The regional committees are out on the front lines dealing with COVID-19, winter shelter, and vehicle homelessness and need to be brought in the loop as to what the Implementation Board is doing. There was discussion from the Board with this public person for ten minutes as there was no other public comment. All agreed the Board needed to be accountable to the Public. They will determine the best way to communicate out to these groups - maybe with some formal monthly communication. There needs to be ongoing dialog back and forth. Trust dissipates quickly without connection and the Board needs to be wary of this.
RHA Implementation Board Chairs
Next on the agenda was the structure for the Implementation Board - a subject continuing from the last meeting. Should they have co-chairs, vice chairs, etc. It was agreed that they should have two co-chairs, with at least one having lived experience. The rest of the executive set up - whether they would have vice chairs, a secretary, treasurer, etc would be decided at a later date. The vote was unanimous for the two co chairs. The staff will ask all Board members if they are interested in a co-chair role and these names will be presented at the next meeting.
The next meeting of the Implementation Board is being rescheduled due to Veterans Day. The next meeting will be on Tuesday, November 10 from 4 - 5:30.
An additional meeting is being held with the Governing Committee on Thursday, Oct 15 from 10 - 12. The subject of this meeting is a facilitated dialogue about centering equity and the Theory of Change in the work that these groups are doing. This references the Theory of Change created by community and adopted by the King County Continuum of Care board last year. The Theory of Change will be discussed during Thursday’s meeting: If we create a homelessness response system that centers customer voice, then we will be able to focus on responding to needs and eliminating inequities, in order to end homelessness for all.
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