Community Living Committee Minutes
February 11, 2021
Members Present: Mya Lewis (for Victor Armstrong), Katherine Boeck, Allison Dodson, Kerri Eaker, Joshua Gettinger, Aldea LaParr, Virginia Knowlton Marcus, Ryan Rotundo, James Stephenson
Members Absent: Rhonda Cox, Brendon Hildreth, Senator Mujtaba Mohammed, Peggy Terhune, Sandra Terrell
Staff Present: David Ingram, JoAnn Toomey, Yadira Vasquez, Talley Wells, Philip Woodward
Guests Present: Christina Dupuch, Jennifer Kelly, Susan McLean, Michelle Merritt, Janet Price-Ferrell
Introduction: Ryan Rotundo welcomed the committee and did an icebreaker focused on people who inspire each member.
MOTION: Allison Dodson made a motion to approve the August Community Living Committee minutes, and Mya Lewis seconded them. The motion was approved by unanimous vote.
Fiscal Update: Yadira Vasquez provided the fiscal update.
Making Alternatives to Guardianship a Reality in North Carolina
Linda Kendall Fields of UNC Cares provided an update. She said the initiative is looking for more self-advocate involvement, and anyone who knows a self-advocate interested in this initiative should contact her. Linda said the initiative has made significant inroads regarding Collective Impact and said, “We are reshaping guardianship training across the state.” Linda showed a draft of the first Supported Decision-Making module to the committee and said it was expected to be ready in March. Linda also said she will facilitate a panel of individuals whose rights were restored at a national conference.
MOTION: Joshua Gettinger made a motion to approve continuation funding to the UNC School of Social Work for the Making Alternatives to Guardianship a Reality in North Carolina initiative in an amount up to $100,000 per year with required minimum of 25% non-federal matching funds ($33,333), for Year 2 (of 3) from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022. Aldea LaParr seconded the motion. The motion was approved by unanimous vote.
Justice: Release, Reentry and Reintegration
Vicki Smith of the Alliance of Disability Advocates provided an update. Vicki said that as many as 75% of ex-prisoners find themselves back in the criminal justice system within the first year. She said people getting released from prison in North Carolina will receive $20 and a bus ticket; if they have no home, then they end up in an unfamiliar place. She added that federal CARES money can house people in a hotel temporarily. She pointed out that the Council approved an initiative model that had staff going and meeting with people with I/DD in the prison system, but this was not possible because of the COVID-19 pandemic, so the Alliance had to modify its approach.
Vicki said that two weeks prior to this meeting, they received their first referral but did not receive much notice before the individual’s release date. She said the first individual was referred to them 36 hours prior to release after 38 years in prison. However, she noted that the ideal discharge process would be to notify the Alliance 90 days prior to release, giving them time to reconnect with family and friends prior to their release. Vicki said her staff is focused on streamlining their interaction and establishing routine monthly interactions. Joshua Gettinger asked about vaccinating the staff involved in this initiative to let them enter the prison system as soon as possible because this initiative is a crucial project.
MOTION: Allison Dodson made a motion to approve a 3-month, no-cost extension to the Alliance of Disability Advocates for Year 1 (of 3) for the Justice: Release, Reentry and Reintegration initiative, extending the end date from June 30, 2021 to September 30, 2021. James Stephenson seconded the motion. The motion was approved by unanimous vote.
RFA Discussion / Other Updates:
The Unmet Needs Initiative: A Coordinated Campaign to Impact the Registry of Unmet Needs
Talley Wells described what NCCDD wants to accomplish with the initiative that this Request for Applications (RFA) will describe. Talley said he hopes the applicant that wins this grant award will be able to start in October 2021, and the applicant will use the foundational work that Christina Dupuch has done as part of the initial research. One member asked if Christina is looking at all areas that affect a person’s life, and Kerri Eaker replied yes, this is part of her data collection. She added that some people assume that anyone who has I/DD is getting their needs met, but getting needs met does not automatically happen if a person is not in the system of services.
MOTION: Aldea LaParr made a motion for staff of the Council to have authority to draft the RFA regarding A Coordinated Campaign to Impact the Registry of Unmet Needs initiative. Request for permission to release the RFA will occur at the May 14, 2021 Council meeting. Allison Dodson seconded the motion. The motion was approved by unanimous vote. Virginia Knowlton Marcus recused herself from voting on this motion.
Supported Living: A How-to Guidebook RFA
Philip Woodward provided an update on the RFA process and how the Application Review Committee will meet to review and discuss the applications received and make a recommendation for the Council to vote on at its May meeting.
I/DD Peer Support Curriculum
David Ingram said the NCCDD has a contract with Kelly Friedlander of Community Bridges, Inc. to start on March 1st.
Fair, Affordable Housing
Philip Woodward provided an update on the research he has done and the meetings he has participated in related to fair, affordable housing. Philip shared how up to 25 million Americans could be affected by the looming eviction crisis and the information for renters that he found on the Disability Rights North Carolina website and how NCCDD’s website now has a link to it. He also mentioned his participation in the Olmstead Plan Stakeholder Advisory Housing Committee meetings, his research of the Rental Assistance Program that is part of the Key Targeting program, and an update on what Charlotte is doing to ensure that affordable housing remains available in its city.
Talley Wells provided a brief COVID-19 update and said he would share more during his report on Friday morning. He said there were seven presentations about the COVID-19 vaccine that more than 400 people attended, and NCCDD gathered about 100 questions and comments to bring to DHHS. He mentioned discussions with DHHS about people with I/DD, including people in congregate settings or two people with I/DD living together, who are not included in Phase 1 being included in Phase 4. He added that Phase 3 includes teachers and childcare providers and Phase 4 includes the full I/DD community not yet vaccinated.
Mya Lewis made a motion to adjourn, and Virginia Knowlton Marcus seconded the motion. The meeting was adjourned at 5:05 p.m.