Steering Committee Minutes
Village of Hempstead Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative (ESPRI) Committee Update
March 29, 2017 – April 25, 2017
Workforce Development Committee:
The committee was able to do a preliminary SWOT analysis. Members talked about existing businesses in Hempstead. The conversation led to the discussion of the business council to include sustainable businesses from the surrounding areas. Members talked about doing a field trip to Huntington Resource Center with the economic development committee to see how it works and if the model fits this initiative.
Members talked about the importance of proving training to everybody because if they do not get a job in the village they can still get a jobs somewhere else. Committee members discussed areas of job training opportunities. Members mentioned that we must include young people in the process.
Members further stressed the need to have a mental health component to any job training.
Members also added the importance of educating the community on public policy as it relates to poverty.
Social Support Committee:
Members talked about the need to find out what type of services exist in Hempstead. Members also discussed addressing the issues affecting the homeless and the working poor. The group talked about having their recommendations address the needs of the homeless and working poor. Members will look into a Two-Gen model poverty reduction.
Committee co-chairs talked about the need of committees to co-mingle with each other in order to stay connected and know what is happening in the other committees.
Members also talked about Salvation Army providing housing for about 35 men who are recently released from jail.
During the meeting, it was also added that sex- offenders have far less resources available to them than other offenders do. Members talked about how it has become harder for ex-offenders to move up the ladder with the TASC test (formerly known as GED). It was added that most ex-offenders take the test at least 3 times before obtaining a passing grade. It was also mentioned the importance of starting counselling for any type trauma at an early age. Members also discussed possible collaboration with the Bar Association and Law Enforcement to provide mentorship and workshops on decision making for youth. Members also talked about creating innovative ways to inform the community. The committee agreed on hosting a focus group for ex-offenders.
They talked about the importance of early intervention. Additionally, they talked about the various organizations that can provide after school programs to underserved communities. The committee added that these particular organizations provide the funding so the school district would not use their monies to fund these programs. Members also talked about removing the stigma from mental health.
Members also talked about the safe passage program at both the middle and high school. It was added that both schools need people to walk the kids from the school to their homes. Members also spoke about “Network for Youth Success” as an after school model program. Members added violence and gang activity to the SWOT analysis as a threat to the community’s safety.
The school district had already reached out to Bethpage to do financial literacy with the students. Members started the conversation about the SWOT analysis, Craig Fligstein explained the importance to do a SWOT analysis as a way narrow the scope of work that has to be done. Members talked about the power of population density and its importance as a way to drive economic development.
They also talked about the various issues of training individuals properly and the right time while holding the community accountable. Craig reminded committee members that the program(s) the committee recommends it would have to include upward mobility. Members talked about having one central location where people can go to obtain information and referrals.
Members added the importance of local leadership to feed into the job-training section. The committee conducted a preliminary SWOT analysis. These were some of the findings: the committee found strengths in the various social support agencies, downtown revitalization, infrastructure, transportation hub.
The weaknesses and threats were competing personal agendas, politics, little business sustainability, transparency, perception and housing.
Committee members discussed different poverty reduction models and how they can be implemented into the anti-poverty initiative. Members talked about the importance of inter-generational models to reduce poverty and bring together old and young people. They also talked about resiliency model as a way to address the needs of those living in poverty.
Members also spoke about the lack of specialty doctors in the Village of Hempstead.
Members further explained that it was necessary to follow up on common themes such as access to existing community resources.
The group will look into committee members will look at health asset mapping, health programs being pilot in the Hempstead area and the “healthy steps” program at NUMC.
Committee members talked about common themes. Some of the themes were: youth council compose of businesses, young professionals and community leaders. The group also spoke about work-study program for high school students and vocational schools. Members also spoke about employability in the Village of Hempstead and importance of developing soft skills. It was added that we must include young people in the process. The group also spoke about internship skills set, future job development, creation and the employability of village residents.
The committee completed the SWOT analysis and handed out some data related to public education and other educational resources available in Hempstead. Committee members looked at existing educational programs.