January 24 Working Cities Wednesday

There was a full house at the Christian Center at the last Working Cities Wednesday networking night. Below are notes from the discussions and how you can get involved.

Housing and Homelessness
Lead name: Debbie Vall, (413) 358-3438, dvall.ccp@gmail.com

Summary of discussion:
Homelessness in the area is a reality and awareness is essential. Current shelters and housing options are severely under-resourced. Barton’s Crossing in particular is in need of a larger facility. All providers are constantly searching for more funding. Collaborate with different sectors to help solve the systemic problem.

Three things to do before next meeting:

  • Need an accurate assessment of the areas need, utilize currently available data and reach out to populations that may not be included.
  • Investigate models used in other similar cities.
  • Create a subcommittee to continue meeting on this topic.

Resources you may need:

  • Continued interest in the conversation and continued participation
  • more players at the table
  • new ideas and voices

Registering people to vote
Lead name: Andrea Sholler, (917) 553 – 0889, andrea@shollermasley.com

Summary of discussion:
We created an extensive list of possible places for the League of Women Voters to register new voters.

Things to do before the next meeting:
Suggestions will be brought back to the League of Women Voters to incorporate into outreach plan.

Resources you may need:
Interested volunteers to help register voters

Flash mob
Lead name: Kate Lauzon, (413) 841-5841, kate.lauzon0@gmail.com

Summary of discussion:
Plan a flash mob event in Pittsfield at 1st Fridays or 3rd Thursday. Send out a description to studio and set a date to talk about ideas. Aim to get to a point where there is a core group who will dance within a few minutes notice.

Things to do before next meeting:

  • Recruit dancers
  • create a description of plan to put out to studios, dancers, and choreographers
  • plan first rehearsal for March.

Resources you may need:

  • A space for rehearsal
  • portable sound system and someone to work it
  • volunteers and choreographers
  • outreach support.

Quality of Life framework
Lead name: Carolyn Valli, Bruce Rodgers, (413)442-3181, cvalli@berkshirehabitat.org

Summary of discussion:
Used the Quality of Life framework to identify the sense of community in the area. People do not know what resources are out there. They feel frustrated that they don’t know who to call or who to go to with questions, concerns, and problems. There are barriers to being welcomed in a neighborhood. The group answered a common investigative tool to help gather information on how strong the sense of community is for the area.

Things to do before the next meeting:

  • Pull together more answers and consolidate the information.
  • Hold another larger meeting to discuss the common themes gathered from the investigative tool.

Resources you may need:
Neighbors with lived experiences to share, community space for meeting.

Feel free to contact any of the organizers of these topics directly, or contact Working Cities Pittsfield for more information.