Present: Abi, Andy P, Donny, Eric, Erik, Jesse, Jessica, Laura, Meghan, Marilyn, Mike, Molly, Nolan, Virgess
Laura: Currently subletting at Rosewood. Lived in Austin for five years. No pets.
Erik: Was here about a month ago as a guest. Been in Austin for about four years. Work for the government doing accounting. On the weekends I help out at a group that builds with natural materials. Main project is on east 10th st. earthbaghouse.com. Sharing an apartment is fine. Don't have any pets.
What gives you meaning? People being happy, helping out people. Every Saturday I go out to the construction site. We're building a tiny home for someone in a rural area. Giving it to them for free.
Abi: Have had three years of coop experience. Here for Caritas. A nonprofit in Austin. Been around for 50 years. Mission is to work with predominantly homeless folks in becoming self-reliant through housing, employment, and self-care. I work with the supportive services for veteran families program. In 2009, was a national initiative to get homeless veterans off the street. We're pretty fortunate in that we have financial resources to assist people in paying application fees, security deposits, and temporary rent assistance. I'm a landlord outreach specialist. Working to find more unorthodox housing situations, thinking outside the box, since the market in Austin is so insane.
Laura accepted for membership.
Eric: The other day, someone wanted to smoke a cigarette in here. It's right next to the kitchen. My proposal is not to allow any smoking at all of anything that can produce gas, including e-cigarettes. Does not include personal rooms if the door is closed.
Andy P: Not a sticking point, but I generally think of e-cigarettes as fundamentally different from tobacco, because it does not produce vapor.
Eric: E-cigarettes are new. We don't know what could be happen with them. Would like it to be equal. There's food in here.
Gatlin: Smoking of illicit drugs is not allowed here. Please don't smoke near my bedroom; it makes me wheeze.
Jesse: E-cigarettes are new, but I think they'll be legislated.
Nolan: I don't want us to give labor or no-show anyone as a punishment.
Meghan/Jessica: We can wait to see if it becomes an issue and then discuss consequences if we need to.
Andy P: I feel like we're trying to make this a broad rule just because there will be complaints. I know there are at least two people who smoke e-cigarettes. I think people should be cognizant of the fact that people who are not here at the meeting might be uncomfortable with it.
Meghan: We all have apartments that we can go to if we need to smoke.
Eric: If we're going to tell people that they can't smoke cigarettes, should be the same with e-cigarettes. I've talked to people who smoke them. We've got to be equal to everybody. I think everyone will be okay with this.
Molly: There are sometimes kids. it's a pretty public space. I think it's our responsibility to keep everyone in the common spaces as comfortable as possible, and I think that implies no smoking.
Abi: Our program is called Supportive Services for Veteran Families. Every client I've worked with has been totally different. Homeless looks different for every single person. I have a lot of coop experience; I think I have a pretty good sense of who would be a good fit for a coop. It could be helpful for me to have general things that you look for in a member of the coop. Every week we have orientations for veterans. There are 2/3 veteran specialists (case managers). I work specifically with the housing aspect. Even when someone is in stable housing, we're still working with them very closely to make sure they're working towards self-sufficiency. If there is an issue with paying rent and such, you can interface with the case manager. It could be a really great option; it's not only inexpensive rent but also a community.
Donny: I would expect that Hannah bring a proposal so that Caritas would have a virtual slot at about the level of an associate.
Marilyn: We're very interested in having families with children.
Eric: Veterans can have challenges.
Abi: I'd need to use my judgment to decide who would be a good fit.
Meghan: I'm coming on as food buyer. Your rent is due by the 8th. Most people pay the food with their rent. Everyone who has paid by the 8th is part of the food program for the month. If you haven't paid by the 8th and haven't got in touch with me, then you're not part of the food program for the month. Everything purchased with food buyer money will have little stars next to it. It'll be a bit more separated and better organized. Our budget was just split in half, but we've also increased in numbers. For the first month I'm doing the bare minimum. I'm still trying to figure out how it will work.
Donny: CHEA board decided that, because our bylaws say that we need to have a general membership meeting, we're going to have it at La Reunion on Saturday, March 1. We want to have a large party/bakeoff. We'll have coordination between the events coordinators of the two houses.
Jesse: We have a birthday that's coming up. I hope it won't conflict with the gmm.
Donny: It will probably be several weeks after the gmm. There will be some official business. Will probably be selecting a community rep. Our board needs to have one or two community reps (it's not really clear; will be fixed).
Marilyn: We should think of people who could be of service, such as an attorney or an accountant or someone who works for the city.
Eric: I need ideas. Trying to do a fundraiser, for the coop and the surrounding community. I need help but can't give labor. If anyone has a truck and would like to be of use for purchasing a new fridge, I want to do that asap. Anyone who knows how to write proposals; when I go to, say, HEB, I want to be sure that what we're sending them is correct.