Loading...
210203 - Minutes, Veterans Advisory CommitteeMinutes from the Third Veteran’s Advisory Committee meeting February 3, 2021 Call to Order The Zoom meeting stared at about 1840. A quorum was present. The presiding officer was Jake Demers. The Pledge of Allegiance was said. Members present or absent. Chair Jacob (Jake) Demers Vice Chair vacant 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 January 6th meeting, make corrections if needed and approve them. 1. Call to Order and verify quorum. 2. Pledge of Allegiance. 3. Review and approval of December 2020 meeting minutes. 4. Presentation by Tasha Powell, Program Manager, North Point Veterans Home 5. Discussion and vote to replace Greg Edens. 6. Nominations and election for a replacement vice-chair of the committee 7. Discuss ways to reach vet community, e.g., Community drives, web, media. Approval of the minutes The minutes for the January 6, 2021, meeting, was sent to the Committee prior to this meeting. Prior to the meeting, Teresa provided a correction that the meeting that she attends, the Joint County Veterans Commission, meets every other month, instead of every month. There was no discussion. A motion was made and seconded and the minutes were accepted by unanimous vote. Presentation by Tasha Powell, the program director of North Point Veterans Home (now https://www.sheppardpratt.org/care-finder/veterans-housing/ ) 1. Tasha provided details for the clinical treatment program that works with the US Dept. of Veterans Affairs. They have a 25-bed facility that has an income test that is for veterans that were not dishonorably discharged. They seek to help homeless veterans with permanent housing and help in seeking employment. 2. Eligible veterans can use the facility for three stays. 3. They try to screen patients and hopefully obtain them from in-patient facilities. 4. They are staffed with, among others, with a recovery specialist, a site supervisor that is an ex-USMC, three resource coordinators/case managers, and an employment specialist. 5. They provide 30 days transportation to work. 6. If the veteran has sufficient income, they require the vet to volunteer for 20 hours/week. 7. The general philosophy is to “get the right bed for the right vet.” 8. Tasha said that their biggest need was for transportation. They have had bicycles for the clients, but they have been stolen. A general discussion/Q&A discussion followed the presentation. Points raised included: 1. Jake said that the sheriff’s department has confiscated vehicles. He was going to see if the vehicles could help with the transportation problem. 2. There was a general discussion of the County Commuter was used by the veterans. Tasha reported that some vets were spending up to 4 hours on the County Commuter. We should explore with the County Commissioners about what can be done to help the vets use the County Commuter. This would include possibly using their vet cards as payment for the fare. Commissioner Cline was going to explore this. 3. Tasha reported that she now has the ability to write grants. 4. There was a question about flyers for the Shepherd-Pratt facility. Jake was going to be in touch off-line. 5. Regarding outreach outside Hagerstown, and by extension outside Washington County, Tasha reported that she was receiving funding from the VA and thus it was open nationally. She gave an example of an out-of-state vet that heard about the facility from a friend. There was general agreement that in the future, speakers should be given a time for the talk and the follow-up questions, possibly limiting it to 30 minutes. Replacement on the VAC for Recent Resignation After a discussion of potential candidates that had been supplied before the meeting, each committee member was asked to name their top candidate. . It was the intention of the committee to forward two candidates to the County Commissioners, based on the recommendation of Commissioner Cline. Replacement Vice-Chair Starlene Hamilton volunteered to serve. With no other interest and nominations, a motion and a second was made to elect Starlene, which was approved by unanimous consent of the Committee. The meeting was adjourned upon a motion, a second, and a unanimous vote. Next Zoom meeting is scheduled for March 3, 2021 at 1830. The entire year of Zoom links have been sent to the committee previously.