Ithaca Sanctuary Alliance, Meeting Minutes, March 22, 2022

Elizabeth Schneider

Sat, Mar 26, 2022 9:23 am
Ithaca Sanctuary Alliance (ithacasanctuaryalliance@...)To:you (Bcc) + 1 more Details
Hi Everyone--Minutes are pasted below and always available in our shared Google drive.  Please take special note of the action items, as well as the support rotation schedule, which, as we discussed, beginning in April will entail getting a check to Drucila in time for it to clear in her account so that she can grocery shop.  Peace, Michael

ISA Meeting Minutes 3-22-22

First Baptist Church:

  • Drucila & Sanctuary Updates (Kristen)

Still no work permit; opened AFCU account and signed up for individual financial literacy consultation; Jessie’s pre-K application has been submitted; another round of roach control is needed at FCCI–will happen during the spring break for the daycare

The new Sanctuary Agreement is signed w/ June 1 as the provisional move-out date, depending on when the work permit arrives.  Drucila is focusing on the following transition priorities: 1) financial planning; 2) transportation (bus esp.); 3) grocery shopping ; 4) working on improving legal/technical English proficiency

ACTION ITEM: ISA Members who have the time and interest to work on this kind of English–leases, contracts, job benefits, instruction manuals, etc.

Two new volunteers, Angela Brody and Nanda Cortes–Nanda will be taking Drucila and Jessie to the library next week.

Linda Y. reminded us that all volunteers working directly with Drucila and Jessie (especially) need to go through the screening–she will send screening applications to Angela, Nanda, and Ellie

Anna S. noted that Jessie may have a pretty strong cat allergy, so be careful about that if you have Drucila and Jessie over and you have cats.

Kristen noted that Jessie (and then Drucila) became quite ill with a stomach bug this week and Drucila needed help.  We need to put together a list of contacts of people who can help out in an emergency.  Linda Yetter will reach out to create a list for such help both while Drucila is still living at FCC and afterward.

ACTION ITEM: if you or anyone in your congregation wants to do this, let Linda know (if such a person has not been screened yet that will have to happen).

Grocery Shopping: There was a thoughtful discussion about how best to facilitate allowing Drucila to shop for her own groceries, important for budgeting and independence.  A pre-paid debit card is a possibility but Mary H. noted that there have been some hacking issues with such cards that were given to local refugee families.  It was decided that beginning the week after next, the responsible parties from the support congregation each week will send or give Drucila a check for $150 to deposit in her new checking account, with sufficient advance time so that she can use her debit card to pay for groceries each week.  As has been the case from the beginning, if any support congregation would like reimbursement a reimbursement form is available at the FCCI office.  In any case, Drucila should keep all receipts.

  • Transition Team Updates

The transition team priority has been finances: checks, budgeting, generally keeping track of expenses.  Had an amusing conversation about generational differences in how this happens.

Ellie shared that Barbara suggests we work more assertively internally with our congregations and networks in looking for someone who would host Drucila and Jessie in their home.  There is likely a match out there–we just need to find it.

Kristen noted that a family in Cayuga Heights is interested in partnering with Habitat for Humanity to convert their garage into housing for refugees.  Would not be completed in time for Drucila but she might be interested in helping, and this could be something more people could do.

Drucila has been asked to talk to a  couple of Spanish classes at the Montessori School and will be paid for her time

  • Partnering with new fiduciary umbrella (Center for Transformative Action) (Bill F.)

Bill spoke with Anke Wessels at CTA: ISA would be a “project” under their umbrella.  We would need to apply.  Board meets every 4th Wed. and the application is on-line. CTA is looking to support projects that offer a good story–some concern that our work just isn’t big or public enough.  Anke suggested that we might approach IWR to affiliate.  Mary H. will inquire about that.

There was some discussion about whether the legal status of a sanctuary guest would make CTA wary of supporting us.  The public nature of sanctuary obviates that legal issue

  • Spring fundraiser (Nancy W.)

ISA will partner with FCCI’s youth ministries on the hanging baskets sale again, splitting the proceeds this year.  Likely to raise c. $1000.  Flyers coming in early April, sale May 9, pick-up on May 18.

Anna S. announced Open Doors English’s spring fundraiser– “Taste of Istanbul” take-out on Apr. 30.  Please spread the word and support!  ODE have been fantastic partners.

Note from Michael: we should think about other fundraising possibilities for late spring/summer, especially if we imagine that we will host another sanctuary guest fairly soon after Drucila leaves.

  • Begin discussion of next steps for ISA after Drucila leaves sanctuary

We ran out of time for this discussion, but it will be a priority for April.  Questions to consider in the meantime:

  • Are we ready (financially, emotionally, organizationally) to host another sanctuary guest (or guests) in 2022 after Drucila and Jessie move out?  This includes having new people ready to take on new leadership positions, including, potentially, coordination of the ISA itself.

  • To what extent have we been able to expand the circle of active supporters of sanctuary within our congregations (and make sanctuary work a prominent part of what our congregations do)?

  • Are any other congregations besides FCCI considering becoming sanctuary churches themselves?

Rotation Schedule
Mar. 27 T v’O
Apr. 3 St. Catherine’s
Apr. 17  St. Paul’s/Forest Home
Apr. 24 FCC
May 1 First Baptist
May 8 T v’O
May 15 St. Catherine’s
May 29 St. Pauls/Forest Home


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