Asylum Seeker Hosting Program Meeting Minutes, 7/12/19

People Present:  Diana Borrero-Lowe, Diane Schwabe, Sue Langley, Diane Hinds, Peggy Lynne, Sarah Cox, Susie Hardy, Pam Lazenby, Sharon BarlowPalm, Elizabeth Greene, Gary Wyke, Debra Smith, Wanda Jennings, Cathy Sandstrom, Betty Van Gheluwe

Action Items from this Meeting:

  1. Sarah Cox will work with Tess to write the informational email being sent to the congregation on August 11th
  2. Susie Hardy and Cathy Sandstrom will usher at the 8/18/18 BUUF 10:00am Service
  3. Gary Wyke and Diana BorreroLowe will usher at the 8/25/19 BUUF 10:00am Service
  4. Dian Schwabe will create Sandwich Boards for the ushers and others to wear and advertise the Asylum Seeker Hosting Program Q/A sessions on 8/18 and 8/25
  5. Sarah Cox and Susie Hardy will facilitate 8/18 Question and Answer Session in the Balazs Room after the church service
  6. Betty Van Gheluwe and Elizabeth Greene will facilitate 8/25 Question and Answer Session in the Channing Room after the church service
  7. Debra Smith and Wanda Jennings will staff the Asylum Seeker Hosting Program Information Table at the Sept. 21st Immigration Celebration Day at BUUF from 9:30am to 12:00 noon
  8. Peggy Lynne and Jeannie Peterson will staff the Asylum Seeker Hosting Program Information Table at the Sept. 21st Immigration Celebration Day at BUUF from 12:00 noon to 2:30pm
  9. Team leaders of the 4 support teams will present at the August meeting an initial action plan on how their team will meet the team’s responsibilities
  10. Cathy will talk with Dottie about vetting additional people who are interested in providing housing for an asylum seeker
  11. Elizabeth Greene and Sarah Cox will follow up with the organizers of the Healing Our Future Conference that is being held at BUUF on August 25th to see about promoting the Asylum Seeker Hosting Program at the conference
  • Introductions were made, lighting of the chalice occurred and the agenda was reviewed.
  • The current status of the Asylum Seeker Hosting Program was reviewed.  Handouts that were distributed were 1) FAQs for Congregational/Group Sponsorship Asylum Seekers Project, 2) Proposed Asylum Seeker Hosting Program budget, 3) Action and Communication plans for Phase 1 (Support-building prior to receiving an asylum seeker) of the Asylum Seeker Hosting Program, 4) Team members contact information, 5) Description of the 4 support teams of Fundraising, Community outreach, Family support and Financial, including current chairs, members and responsibilities. Below is a summary of the highlights of the discussion.

Milestone: By September 2019 determine that there is enough interest among the congregation to move forward with the Asylum Seeker Hosting Program.

Steps Completed:

  1. Met with the Coalition to discuss the Congregational Asylum Seeker Sponsorship Project
  2. Identify Co-Leaders
  3. Identify Core Team
  4. Held an initial informational meeting with members from BUUF
  5. Develop budgets
  6. Develop marketing materials
  7. Develop a program action plan for Phase 1
  8. Develop a communication action plan for Phase 1
  9. Identify a Legal Sponsor
  10. Identify housing
  11. Begin vetting process for the legal sponsor and housing
  12. Identify leaders for 4 Support Teams (Fundraising/Communication, Financial, Community and Family Support)
  13. Announce through the BUUF Thursday Bulletin, Order of Service, Newsletter
  14. Set up an informational table after Sunday Service from June – August (this has started)

Steps Being Worked On:

  1. Post on Facebook
  2. Post on the BUUF Website
  3. Host an Asylum Seeker Hosting Program Informational Event
  4. Complete the vetting process
  5. Send Informational Email to BUUF database on Aug. 11th
  6. Hold Q/A Sessions after Sunday Service on Aug. 18th and Aug. 25th
  7. To determine congregation interest send out a survey to congregation – Open on Sept. 1st and Close on Sept. 15th
  8. Information and Fundraising Table at the Immigration Celebration Day on Sept. 21st             

Elizabeth Greene mentioned about promoting the Asylum Seeker Hosting Program at the Healing Our Future Conference that is being held at BUUF on August 25th.  She and Sarah will inquire about this.

  • Thank you to the following people who volunteered for assignments to communicate the Asylum Seeker Hosting Program. 
    • Co-Leader of the Fundraising/Communication  Support Team = Pam Lazenby
    • Write the informational email being sent to the congregation on August 11th = Sarah Cox
    • Usher for the 8/18/19 BUUF 10:00am Service = Susie Hardy and Cathy Sandstrom
    • Usher for the 8/25/19 BUUF 10:00am Service = Gary Wyke and Diana BorreroLowe
    • Create Q/A Asylum Seeker Hosting Program advertising Sandwich Boards for the Ushers and others to wear on 8/18 and 8/25 = Diane Schwabe
    • Facilitate 8/18 Question and Answer Session in the Balazs Room after the church service =Sarah Cox and Susie Hardy
    • Facilitate 8/25 Question and Answer Session in the Channing Room after the church service = Betty Van Gheluwe and Elizabeth Greene
    • Staff the Asylum Seeker Hosting Program Information Table at the Sept. 21st Immigration Celebration Day at BUUF from 9:30am to 12:00 noon = Debra Smith and Wanda Jennings
    • Staff the Asylum Seeker Hosting Program Information Table at the Sept. 21st Immigration Celebration Day at BUUF from 12:00 noon to 2:30pm = Peggy Lynne and Jeannie Peterson
  • Four Asylum Seeker Hosting Program Support Teams have been developed.  Their responsibilities, team members and contact information were distributed (see below). Each team will develop an initial action plan to meet the team responsibilities to be presented at the August meeting.

Asylum Seeker Hosting Program Support Teams (Still in the process of recruiting interest in teams)

  1. Family Support
    1. Team Leaders:   Diana Borrero-Lowe and Gary Wyke
    2. Responsibilities:
      1. Driving and accompanying
      2. Coaching (budgeting, transportation, community orientation)
      3. Language and interpretation
      4. Home set-up
      5. School (if children involved)
    3. Team members:  Cathy Sandstrom, Sarah Cox, Dick Knapp, Diane Schwabe, Gina Hundt, Will Emerson-Paige, Gem Emerson-Paige, Joan Williams, Ed Pack, Diane Hinds, Peggy Lynne, Lisa McLeary
  2. Community
    1. Team Leaders: Sarah Cox and Elizabeth Greene
    2. Responsibilities
      1. Healthcare (physical, mental, dental) – Identify resources and facilitate financial relationships and appointments
      2. Legal Services
      3. Interfaith Outreach
    3. Team members: Jill Chrisman (SW@Refugee Clinic), Abby Davids (MD@Refugee Clinic), Alan Herzfeld (Attorney), Cathy Sandstrom, Betty Van Ghelwue, Scott Smith, Mark Zimmerer, Becky Groff, Jeannie Peterson, Diane Hinds, Helen Hendricks (health issues), Peggy Lynne
  3. Fundraising and Communication
    1. Team Leaders: Wanda Jennings and Pam Lazenby
    2. Responsibilities
      1. Fundraising – Pledges, Donations, Events, Grant Writing, Go-Fund-Me, etc.
        (Rob Ham would like to help with grant writing but not necessarily be a team member.)
      2. Communications/Marketing – Internal and External (Coordinate and work with Tess to develop and push materials and on-line presence)
    3. Team Members: Sharon Rockwood, Eileen Oldag, Tom Neale, Anne-Marie and Mark Bussolini, Debra Smith, Sarah Cox, Rick Groff, Valerie Duffy, Sharon BarlowPalm
  4. Financial
    • Team Leader: Sue Langley
    • Responsibilities:
      • Budgeting
      • Work with fundraising to assure adequate cash flow
      • Manage disbursement of funds
    • Team members: Dick Knapp, Monica Daggett, Tom von Alten
  • Pam Lazenby and Sharon BarlowPalm expressed an interest in housing an asylum seeker family.  Cathy will ask Dottie to vet each of them for future needs that may arise.
  • There will be an Asylum Seeker Hosting Program Wine and Cheese Informational Event on Wednesday Sept. 4th from 7-9pm.  We will be inviting people who sign up at the Sunday information tables as having an interest in the program.  If there are additional people that the group feels should be invited please let Cathy or Betty know.  We are in the initial stages of planning this event and received good feedback from the group. 
  • The next meeting is scheduled for Friday August 23rd at 4:15pm at BUUF.