Saturday, December 24, 2016

Conversation with Jennielynn Holmes, Catholic Charities Homeless Program Director


This afternoon, over hot chocolate at Holy Roast, I talked with Jennielynn Holmes.  She asked for the meeting, but I was as eager as she was, to see if we could come up with good ideas on how to expand communication on the topic of homelessness in Santa Rosa.

The first question she asked was whether she was right in feeling some tension between Homeless Action and Catholic Charities, and between the homeless community and the Homeless Collective.  I said both were true, for the same reason - lack of communication.  Recognizing that everyone was meeting separately on Monday mornings, we agreed that every effort had to be explored to overcome this barrier.  

One of our ideas was the publication of a monthly newsletter, providing her an opportunity to update the community on improvements and challenges.  Another was to adjust meeting times to better accommodate participation in multiple meetings.  We agreed to encourage the Homeless Collective to ensure that significant operational changes, and suggested City Council recommendations, be shared publicly before adoption.

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