People Present: Diane Schwabe, Diana Borrero-Lowe, Cathy Sandstrom, Charles Palm, Sharon BarlowPalm, Scott Smith, Blanca Gerard, Betty Van Gheluwe
- Action Items from this Meeting:
- Diana will follow up with Edwards Nursery
- Blanca will check on the budgeting program and get back with Diana
- Sharon will check on room availability in May for a celebration event
- Diana will contact Family Support Volunteers to see if they would like to assist with planning the celebration with Romel, BUUF congregation and support groups
- Diana will check with Romel to see if he is comfortable with having a celebration*
- Team members who have expenses are to submit them using the reimbursement process.
- Diane will talk with Joan about the quilt fundraiser.
- Cathy opened the meeting with a reading. The agenda was reviewed and agreed upon.
- Diana gave an update regarding how Romel is
doing. Since Romel’s return from Tacoma
he has been doing the following:
- Attending his medical, counseling, legal and dental appointments. He received word that his braces will be able to be removed in approximately 4 months.
- Received eyeglasses
- Resuming English language classes through the Learning Lab two nights a week
- Participated in the march at the State House regarding trans issues
- Volunteering on Mondays at the Corpus Christi House
- Becoming active with the Rainbow Coalition
- Going on fun activities with members of the congregation
- Riding his bike
- Routinely in contact with his family in Honduras
- The following team reports were given.
- Volunteers being aligned to help with transportation when Romel isn’t able to ride his bike to appointments and classes; also with translation of documents from Honduras.
- Diana will follow up with Edwards Nursery regarding their openness to give Romel work when he is able to do so legally.
- In order to ensure that Romel is able to live independently after he is able to work, it was discussed that getting budgeting guidance in Spanish could be helpful. Blanca will check on a budgeting program that she has experience with and get back with Diana.
- After being released from detention in Tacoma, Romel checked in with ICE on Feb. 25th. His next check in appointment is April 14th. At this next check in appointment he will probably receive some form of monitoring (either ankle or phone)
- Romel’s Master Hearing was scheduled in Tacoma on March 3rd. He did not have to attend this hearing rather his lawyer is working on getting the venue changed to Boise so his hearings will be with the judge in Salt Lake City.
- Romel has explained to his lawyer the legal system in Honduras and has given him the contact information of the lawyer in Honduras who is working on obtaining police records and possible expungement, if needed.
- Diana has received a bill for $250 from the lawyer in Honduras for work being performed there and will investigate getting the lawyer paid with Romel’s legal funds.
- With individual contributions, events, a Go Fund Me campaign, grant writing, and the Special Appeal, Rachel sent a report today that there has been over $50,000 collected. Considering this information, at this time the fundraising team won’t be scheduling any new fundraising events.
- Diane will talk with Joan Williams about what is the best way to proceed with the quilt that her group made for the Asylum Seeker Hosting Program.
- Sue sent a financial report that was distributed to the team. She had information from a report that was run on 2/10/20 and estimated that we have approximately $40,315. In this report she estimated expenses high and needed to clarify if the Go Fund Me dollars have been included in the report. (The Go Fund Me dollars would account for the difference between the financial report and the fundraising report.) Sue will work with Rachel on these clarifications when there is more time toward the end of April. Sue does encourage that expenses be submitted so we can have an accurate account of expenses in order to know the status of the finances.
- Family Support Team
- Scott and Wanda have begun working on documenting our process of hosting an asylum seeker by coordinating discussions with people involved. Scott has taken the lead in writing our story in detail and has sent it to Debra Smith for review. This report will assist other organizations that are considering hosting an asylum seeker.
- As suggested by Rev. Sara, discussion on hosting a celebration for Romel, the BUUF congregation and support organizations occurred. Sharon and Betty agreed to work on the planning committee. Diana will check with Romel to be sure he is comfortable with a celebration.* She will also send a request to the Family Support volunteers to see if there are others who would like to assist with planning the celebration. Sharon will check dates with the office to determine if there are open days in May for the celebration.
- Betty invited team members to the Social Justice Retreat on Saturday March 7th from 10am to 2pm at BUUF.
- The team discussed the format and frequency of future Asylum Seeker Hosting Program Core Team meetings. It was decided that for the near future we would meet monthly with the format being reports from the support teams and any other agenda items that arise between meetings.
- Items discussed but tabled at the meeting include discontinuing the GoFundMe page and Romel’s stipend amount. Future discussions of these items will likely occur outside of the core team meeting
- Cathy closed the meeting with a reading. The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday April 16th at 5:30pm in the Balazs room. Due to the health concerns, if the team would like to meet in a larger room, we will discuss it at the next meeting.
* Diana reports that Romel is comfortable with having a celebration.