The Eau Claire County Poverty Summit is a safe, respectful and welcoming community conversation. People from all kinds of backgrounds and experiences have come together to participate, collaborate, join an Action Team, and make a difference.

 

Each Action Team created a Project Charter Statement. This statement identifies the issue the team has chosen to address, explains why it is a problem, and tells what the team proposes to do to help solve the problem.

From their Project Charter Statement, each team also created an initial Action Plan with specific goals and timelines.

Poverty Summit Action Teams welcome new members! Do you have a passion for one of these projects? Email the team co-chair or Clear Vision Eau Claire.

 

NINE ACTION TEAM PLANS


PROJECT CHARTER STATEMENT —

April 2017 — We, the ACCESS TO RESOURCES Action Team, believe that lack of physical access to resources, awareness of resources and eligibility for resources are serious problems and contribute to barriers to services, lower quality of life, and  increased poverty in the Greater Chippewa Valley community.

We care about this problem because informing families and individuals and encouraging equity and access creates a strong, inclusive community.

We propose to create a better platform for finding and accessing resources.

We believe that this will help solve the problem by breaking down silos and barriers to accessing resources. In order to implement this solution we intend to establish one-to-one meetings with transportation providers in the Chippewa Valley to determine gaps and barriers to service and opportunities for increased access.

ACTION PLAN — April 2017

CO-CHAIR:     Leah Langby

MONTHLY MEETING:     2nd Monday, 6:00 pm  (contact co-chair for location)

MAY 2017 UPDATE:    Progress toward “next major accomplishment” by June 30: Team is completing one-to-one meetings with transportation providers in the Chippewa Valley to identify gaps in service and/or eligibility. Team is  looking for trends, gaps, needs, opportunities to collaborate. Next step is to pull all transportation providers together.

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PROJECT CHARTER STATEMENT —

April 2017 — We, the EDUCATION ACCESS Action Team, believe that the lack of awareness of the education system resources is a serious problem and contributes to lack of access and under-utilization in the Eau Claire County community.

We care about this problem because this negatively impacts students and we believe all students have the right to succeed.

We propose to create a network to assist parents and students in navigating the educational system and community resources.

We believe that this will help solve the problem by connecting parents and students to resources to help them succeed. In order to implement this solution we intend to connect to resources, the school district, and potential volunteers.

ACTION PLAN — April 2017

CO-CHAIRS:     Gail Halmstad  and  Ashley St. Aubin-Clark

MONTHLY MEETING:     3rd Tuesday, 6:30 pm  (contact co-chair for location)

MAY 2017 UPDATE:    Progress toward “next major accomplishment” by June 30: Team developed a to-do list of tasks related to creating electronic and graphic tools, building a network of volunteers, and distributing information. Team’s goal is to help parents/students navigate the education system and they are looking for volunteers willing to serve as “navigators.” If you are interested, contact co-chairs Gail or Ashley. They hope to use website/email/Facebook opportunities to publicize and promote, but want people and processes in place to keep these tools updated.

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PROJECT CHARTER STATEMENT —

April 2017 — We, the FOOD INSECURITY Action Team, believe that access to and affordability of food particularly in the Dells Neighborhood within the Longfellow School District, is a serious problem and contributes to food insecurity, poor diets and nutrition for children and adults, and an increase in health concerns for children and adults in the community.

We care about this problem because we believe everyone deserves access to food, and a well fed community will be stronger and healthier, saving on health care costs and, more importantly, saving lives.

We propose to conduct a meeting within the Dells Neighborhood to gain local perspective on food insecurity, and to expand upon the current meal and produce programs that exist through Feed My People Food Bank. We believe that this will help solve the problem by inspiring local support and excitement, and giving families more opportunities to find affordable and healthy food choices closer to home.

In order to implement this solution we intend to identify local champions who care about this issue and can help us identify barriers in setting up a successful program, reach out to local churches and businesses who may be able to help us supply food and volunteers, and talk to Feed My People Food Bank to learn more about their existing programs, and what we can do to make them even more successful.

ACTION PLAN — April 2017

CO-CHAIRS:     Kevin Kline  and  Eric Vanden Heuvel

MONTHLY MEETING:     email co-chair

MAY 2017 UPDATE:    Progress toward “next major accomplishment” by June 30: Team has had good success in connecting with local champions from churches, schools, Feed My People & Community Table, and EC City Council. They will collaborate with these champions to schedule a “neighborhood food insecurity” meeting in early June.

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PROJECT CHARTER STATEMENT —

April, 2017 — We, the HOUSING Action Team, believe that the lack of affordable housing is a serious problem and contributes to housing insecurity and homelessness in the Eau Claire community. This issue is significant because lack of secure shelter:

  • Makes it difficult for an adult to  maintain a job, contribute to society, and be an all-around productive citizen
  • Impedes child development (potentially permanently) and interferes with success in school

Not only are we concerned for the individuals affected, but also recognize that housing insecurity exacerbates the effects of poverty, and that having a population of impaired or unproductive citizens drains resources from our community at large.

Therefore, we plan to identify a way to increase the availability of affordable housing and implement it. Specifically, we would like to pursue three courses of action to complete our charter statement and move towards implementation.

  1. Research the Rochester model that resulted in a partnership between public and private entities that developed mixed income housing; then translate how this model could be used to improve Eau Claire housing.
  2. Have a housing summit at which the right players (business leaders, city council members, etc) are all at the table discussing how to solve this problem.
  3. Work with municipal and county government on developing ordinances or zoning or other mechanisms to encourage mixed income housing and/or an increase in the number of less expensive housing options.

If we need funds to accomplish our project, we have discussed:

  • Going back to the sponsors of the Poverty Summit for additional support
  • Finding a sponsor whose interests align
  • Writing a grant proposal

ACTION PLAN — April 2017

CO-CHAIR:     Joe Schmitz

MONTHLY MEETING:     email co-chair

MAY 2017 UPDATE:    Progress toward “next major accomplishment” by June 30: Clear Vision is helping this team identify and recruit key community resources and schedule a team meeting.

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PROJECT CHARTER STATEMENT —

April 2017 — We, the INCARCERATION TRANSITION Action Team, believe the difficulty of returning as a citizen from the Eau Claire County Jail without a plan for re-entry is a serious problem and contributes to an inability to find housing, search for employment, and locate resources critical for their daily lives in the Eau Claire community.

We care about this problem because this issue directly impacts the safety of the community and the returning citizens.

We propose to advocate for a re-entry coordinator in the Eau Claire County Jail who will work with the inmates to create a detailed plan for return to their community.

We believe that this will help solve the problem by assisting returning citizens to gain access to the resources necessary to become successful members of their community therefore reducing recidivism.

In order to implement this solution, we intend to: research specific needs of returning citizens; identify and evaluate existing programs that provide resources; research existing re-entry models outside of Eau Claire County.

By sharing the results of our efforts with key stakeholders, we hope to gain support for a position of a re-entry coordinator in the Eau Claire County Jail.

ACTION PLAN — April 2017

CO-CHAIRS:    Stacey Acuña  and  Elizabeth Vieira

MONTHLY MEETING:     3rd Wednesday, 3-5:00 pm    (contact co-chair for location)

MAY 2017 UPDATE:    Progress toward “next major accomplishment” by June 30: Team continues to focus on formerly incarcerated citizens and intends to hold a listening session with formerly incarcerated people recruited from the recovery community. A part of their plan – creating a re-entry coordinator position for Eau Claire County – is already underway through the efforts of other entities. The team plans to watch for opportunities to add their perspective and influence to that initiative. They continue to conduct one-to-one meetings and review results of a survey conducted by UW-Eau Claire students.

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PROJECT CHARTER STATEMENT —

April 2017 — We, the INCOME & JOB SKILLS Action Team, believe that the lack of a step and bridge benefit program is a serious problem and contributes to underemployment, lack of upward mobility, and workforce (skill) shortages in the Eau Claire community.

We care about this problem because it limits potential of employees AND employers.

We propose to increase public awareness of step program availability and bridge funding where needed.

We believe that this will help solve the problem by increasing funding for workforce training and other sources (communication with legislators).

In order to implement this solution, we intend to: partner with local business and community leaders to bring resources and information directly to the people who need it most.

ACTION PLAN — April 2017

CO-CHAIR:     Jessica Oleson-Bue

MONTHLY MEETING:     email co-chair

MAY 2017 UPDATE:    Progress toward “next major accomplishment” by June 30: Team is working on a resource list, with eligibility information, and received good information from UW Extension. In a new time-sensitive development, the team is focusing on new Wisconsin legislation that would create a pilot program to connect homeless with job opportunities. Assembly Bill 237  passed 05/02/2017 and has been sent to the Senate. This team will monitor the bill’s progress and may advocate for Eau Claire County to be considered as a pilot municipality. Their target for this pilot program would be homeless adults with children, in Eau Claire County.

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PROJECT CHARTER STATEMENT —

April 2017 — We the KIDS FIRST–EAU CLAIRE Action Team, believe that lack of positive parental role models and support systems for families of low income is a serious problem that contributes to families struggling with meeting the day-to-day needs of children and impairs their reaching their full, life-long potential.

We care about this problem because families are the foundation of our community and children are our future. Without adequate support, adverse childhood experiences negatively impact children for a lifetime. Additional burdensome costs to families and the community include needs related to heath, human services support, education, and criminal justice system intervention.

We propose to empower community members to support and nurture families in need by establishing an evidence-informed Parent-to-Parent Mentoring Program.

This will help address the challenges families are facing by reaching out without the barrier of stigma and empowering parents and caregivers to provide the best possible environment for children.

ACTION PLAN — April 2017

CO-CHAIRS:     Joe Luginbill  and  Kitty Rahl

MONTHLY MEETING:     2nd Thursday, 5:30-7 pm  (contact co-chair for location)

MAY 2017 UPDATE:    Progress toward “next major accomplishment” by June 30: Team has divided into small groups that are reviewing: demographic information; poverty level parameters to define their target; current parenting models; implementation strategies of other programs to identify best practices; community support networks. They will report out at next team meeting and use findings to begin developing a parent-to-parent resource system.

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PROJECT CHARTER STATEMENT —

April 2017 — We, the MENTAL HEALTH Access Team, believe that there is a lack of communication amongst Mental Health Action teams in the Eau Claire/Chippewa Valley area, along with a lack of infrastructure to combine/redistribute resources.

This is a serious issue that contributes to economic insecurity, lack of access to mental healthcare, and an increase in time required to access mental health treatment/resources in the Eau Claire community.

We care about this problem because it does not fulfill the requirement of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (article 25) in regard to access to healthcare.

We propose to defragment the existing mental health service system, build connections amongst mental health service providers, and create an inventory of current mental health services available. We believe that this will help solve the problem by uniting community members and preventing continuous redundancy and gaps amongst action teams.

In order to implement this solution we intend to organize a room of several representatives in order to discuss what is being done all round Eau Claire/Chippewa Valley area, eventually creating educational programs that will increase providers for mental health care in the Eau Claire area.

ACTION PLAN — April 2017

CO-CHAIRS:     Jake Johnston  and  Tom Wirth

MONTHLY MEETING:     1st Wednesday, 7:30 am  (contact co-chair for location)

MAY 2017 UPDATE:    Progress toward “next major accomplishment” by June 30: Team is very sensitive to not duplicating efforts. They have connected with Eau Claire Healthy Communities Mental Health Access Team and found a similar focus. Both teams will collaborate to host a “jamborette” of mental health services representatives to identify gaps in local mental health services. The original jamborette scheduled for May 31 is cancelled and will be rescheduled as a joint initiative.

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PROJECT CHARTER STATEMENT —

April 2017 — Myths about poverty prevent us from identifying the root causes of poverty. Stigma about people living in poverty divides our community. Those of us who struggle may feel too ashamed to seek needed resources, while those of us who are financially comfortable may be unable or unwilling to recognize poverty when we see it.

We believe we can unite our community and uproot poverty by telling the truth about what it’s like to be poor in Eau Claire.

We will coordinate a creative media campaign to combat myths and stereotypes by telling true stories about people living in poverty. We will also collaborate with other Poverty summit Teams to help them shape their public messages in ways that reinforce our goal of telling the truth to uproot poverty.

ACTION PLAN — April 2017

CO-CHAIRS:     Sadie Dupont  and  Kasey Grams

MONTHLY MEETING:     3rd Thursday, 5-7:00 pm  (contact co-chair for location)

MAY 2017 UPDATE:    Progress toward “next major accomplishment” by June 30: Team members are reaching out to people identified in their power map and finding a lot of good connections. They have created a list of standard interview questions to use in one-to-one meetings for spotting issues and hearing stories.

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