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210106 - Minutes, Veterans Advisory CommitteeMinutes from the Second Veteran’s Advisory Committee meeting January 6, 2021 Call to Order The Zoom meeting stared at 1839. A quorum was present. The presiding officer was Jake Demers. The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Vice-Chair Greg Edens. Members present or absent Chair Jacob (Jake) Demers Vice Chair Greg Edens William Ruland, Secretary Laura Lane-Unsworth David Swain Starlene Hamilton Commissioner Jeff Cline Teresa Spruill Stephanie Pulver Victoria Sterling, Behavioral Health Rep. Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs (position currently vacant) Agenda for the night Call the meeting to order Pledge of Allegiance Review minutes from December 2nd meeting, make corrections if needed and approve them. Discussion on what the focus of the group will be going forward. It is recommended that we limit the focus to three topics. Teresa Spruill attached the report for the 2020 point in time count for Maryland in an email prior to the meeting for review. Teresa also attended the Joint County Veterans Commissions Meeting on December 17th and she provided some information that was provided by Purdue University which covers military caregivers, a Washington County Snapshot and a report showing the veterans vs non-veterans income reports for previous years that she thought might be helpful to our discussion. Approval of the minutes The revised minutes for the December 2, 2020, meeting, was sent to the Committee prior to this meeting. There was no discussion. Teresa made a motion to approve the minutes as supplied, seconded by Laura, and was accepted by unanimous vote. Discussion of Next Steps for the Committee The committee had a general discussion of the next steps. Topics discussed included: 1. The committee was looking to understand both the problems facing local veterans and the services already available to them, including an understanding of how those services are communicated to veterans and how successful those outreach efforts are. 2. Tasha Powell, the program director of North Point Veterans Home, was suggested as a possible speaker to meet with the committee next month to explain some of the local services available to veterans. It was also suggested that if Tasha was not available, Starlene’s son could also give a presentation. After the meeting, Laura confirmed that Tasha is available to speak at our next meeting. 3. Teresa reported that the Washington County MD Dept. of Veterans Affairs position is still vacant and that Allegany and Frederick Counties representative, who are on telework due to COVID, are filling in and handling claims as needed. 4. Teresa reported that she attends the Joint County Veterans Commission every other month and that she attended a meeting on December 17, 2020. She provided to the committee several background documents described above in the meeting agenda (documents attached). 5. Teresa also provided during the meeting The Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs Resource Guide for Veterans and their Families. (attached) 6. Starlene reported that there are about 11,000 veterans in Washington County. She also suggested that we establish working relationships with the local veterans organizations. 7. Chair Jake volunteered to contacting and/or attending an upcoming meeting of the Joint Veterans Organization to help us understand the current programs for veterans. 8. Chair Jake proposed the following for our next steps: a. Tasha Powell would be invited to speak at our next meeting. (see no. 2 above) b. Lock down contacts that veterans could use to seek help. c. “a” and “b” above would be a good tasking order for the first fiscal year. d. Committee members should come prepared with two or three questions for Tasha for our next meeting. At 1937 a motion was made by Starlene and seconded by Laura to adjourn the meeting. The motion passed by unanimous vote. Next Zoom meeting is scheduled for February 3, 2021 at 1830. Platform invitation will be sent closer to meeting date.