DSNA Meeting Minutes: August 2023 Meeting Minutes

Minutes Date

Call to order 7:05PM

Attendance/Scar Story: Share a scar story, if you like.

Karen Greene, Christy Stewart, Nicholas McCullough (with Adelita Grijalva), Faff Riederer, Tim Hagyard, Sky Jacobs, Ezra Roall, Keith Bentele (SIROW) Lisa Scoblink, Splinter Collective (Ronan, Berenice, Tania), Natasha Winnik, Mark Goehring, Abra Bentley

Changes/approval of previous month’s minutes: Approved

Treasurer’s report nothing new

Announcements (external and internal) Karen: Show and Tell- a BIG FAT BOOK of notes from Citizens’ Advisory Meeting, and TEP came up with new plans never discussed before. We MUST keep up with them and their attempts to put a powerline through our neighborhood; Karen: Should we start having in-person meetings at least quarterly. Natasha: Drachman and Stone Market wants to get a liquor license; should we vote against it? I personally don’t think we need another store at that location.


Meeting about Estevan Park (5 min) Faffs: Ward 1 is hosting a meeting this Saturday to vision and imagine what we want to do with that park. Splinter Collective: Bernice: We have been working with the City of Tucson about direct services, clean restrooms, Nov. 22 we entered a contract with Ward 1 to continue this collaboration. We want a park that is safe for housed and unhoused people alike. Three goals: Community engagement, beautification and safety and the third is infrastructure that addresses public health. We are looking for local artists to paint murals on restrooms and the wall with the rugby painting (SW corner), and we would like a community garden with a focus on sustainability. Natasha: would like to see a Ramada that provides shade. Karen has been talking to the group that makes houses out of pallets… would the back by the railway be a good place for those houses… they have funding, but they are getting pushback, and that might be a good place. Splinter Collective: it is important to see community engagement and support.

Gabe Grateron from Central Barrio Development - discuss potential development project at 941 N. Stone. There will be a meeting at 6:00 on site this Wednesday.

Keith Bentele (keithb@arizona.edu) - U of A - SIROW - Sharing results of most recent survey on Needs Assessment of Adults Experiencing Homelessness in Tucson. Most of my research is qualitative, and focused on houselessness in Tucson. Big Picture: affordable housing is a national problem. 11,000,000 renters are extremely vulnerable, only having about 3.7 million units available. (33 units per 100 families available, in Tucson, numbers are worse 24 units per family) Increase in demand for indoor space, and declining supply. In Tucson about 51% are spending more than half of income on rent. Rent has gone up 35-45% in past three years, while incomes have gone up 5%. Average rents per unit size varies. Affordability of homes has decreased substantially. Thus homelessness has increased dramatically in the past three years. Extremely current data, 12% of renters are behind on rent (housing insecurity) Very bad news, in spite of low unemployment, because of fixed incomes and rising rents. Total eviction filings in Pima County, averaging 1,000 evictions a month (other people have to leave without formal eviction) impacting people of color and poverty. 2018 compared with 2023 numbers, huge increase of homelessness. A pitch for City of Tucson needs assessment released last week (interviewed 389 persons experiencing homelessness interviewed) The numbers are massively underestimated because of the reality and complexity of homelessness. 28% of the people interviewed were over 55 years old, which is an alarming trend. People of color (except Asian) are overrepresented as well as LGBTQA. Many causes to homelessness, therefore we need a variety of solutions to address needs. 40% have less that $50, 37% have no monthly income. Rental and utility support are the greatest expressed needs. Tucson needs about 26,000 new housing units, approximately 15,000 on the waitlist. Affordable housing is the most efficient way to reduce poverty beyond sending people money, reducing medical, psychological, law enforcement costs. There is a lack of landlords who will accept our vouchers, which means people cannot find housing after waiting for years for a voucher. (Only 5000 vouchers in the City of Tucson) Lisa is outraged that “couch surfing” does not count as homelessness, so they are not eligible for HMIS services. A couple thousand people will need total care for the rest of their lives, which is a different issue. We need an extremely broad spectrum of addressing this problem, such as changing building codes, allowing house-sharing, tiny houses, and incentivising affordable housing. Right now we need emergency housing in the midterm; the less time that people spend homeless, the more likely they will be able to support themselves in the future. Keith sees a lot of engagement and openness to progressive solutions, and therefore there is hope.

11th Ave Housing Project (POSSIBLE VOTE) No new information 10th Ave and 1st St dangerous traffic situation Abra did contact the City and they will change the Yield signs to Stop signs. Sky thinks that they will put Stop signs on First because of the bike route. The ideal thing would be to Keep Yield signs on 10th Ave with Stop signs on 1st St. Natasha says that there are microloans available for small projects which did not get funding. Perhaps we can ask Living Streets Alliance to create a visual roundabout. Faffs will check with City to find out who we need to talk to about the situation (possibly Gabriela)

Voted to add a question of liquor license (S/W corner Drachman/Stone gas station). Natasha proposed writing a neighborhood letter against it being granted. Approved. Faffs will write letter.

Reports from the field

DNARC (Downtown Neighborhoods and Residents Committee) No reports Downtown Links Karen they have figured out the water situation in the Stone Ave underpass; they cannot request No Horns until the construction is completed.

Dunbar Coalition no report

HFAC (Historic Fourth Avenue Coalition): Natasha Rented the old bicycle shop and have a Night Market, and have been doing night classes, and offering low-cost rent for spaces. On Sundays they have a “free” market for food, art supplies etc. We have talked about getting showers and clean clothes from Community On Wheels. Karen: Caridad Kitchen has City showers available. Maybe they would be a good contact.

Stone/Speedway The City is in the works to purchase the property for affordable housing (has been added to Thrive in the ‘05 pot of money)

WAMO (Warehouse Arts Management Organization) No report

For the good of the cause - The basins are happy… with our first real rain this summer!!!! Maybe meet in person in September, at Originate.

Adjourn 8:25PM