January Minutes-General Membership Meeting
MINUTES OF A REGULAR MEETING OF THE GENERAL MEMBERSHIP
January 10, 2018
7:03PM – 7:59PM EDT
A meeting of the General Membership of LSIA, a Maryland Nonprofit Corporation (“LSIA”), was held on January 10, 2018 at 7:03PM EDT in the Media Center at Lindale Elementary School.
Executive Board Members Present:
Ken Glendenning (Senior Advisor)
Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 7:03PM and Kevin Plessner recorded the minutes.
Kevin reported that LSIA has 474 members.
Our local police spoke to the general membership. The police officer reported that LSIA is by far the largest community association that he’s seen when it comes to our meeting attendance.
The police officer asked that we make sure that we lock our vehicles.
There was a fake threat at Lindale Middle School by a student recently. This is why there was a large police presence at the school.
The police caught the two men who were committing robberies in the community. Both have been locked up.
There were incidents at the hotels in the past month, including a drug distribution case. There was a man who was drunk in his car and sleeping for more than 30 minutes. A citizen called in the report and the police investigated, finding forty (40) “micro bags” of crack/cocaine (6 grams), a number of marijuana bags (44 grams) and an oxycodone pill. The man blew into a breathalyzer, recording 0.16 at the station.
There was also a citizen robbery at the Exxon on Camp Meade Rd. (not the gas station itself). It appears that this occurred because someone owed someone else some money.
The crimes listed above are all that occurred in our community in the last month. This rate of crimes is much better than in our neighboring communities.
The police officer explained that a call to the police is never considered a “nuisance call” and that we should always call in any suspicious activity. Even if there is no problem, the police want to be able to identify people. The calls really help the police.
The police have had an increased presence at the Linthicum light rail station at the Royal Farms.
Mario Berninzoni from the Arundel House of Hope (hereinafter “AHH”) spoke the general membership.
The Arundel House of Hope runs shelters at churches and there are over 70 churches involved. AHH operates at 3 sites per week and services about 100 homeless people per night.
There is still a greater need than AHH can provide and they need to turn people away each night. Each church can service 30-35 people, depending on the church.
AHH also has a transitional housing program wherein a homeless person can stay in the house for up to 2 years.
AHH also has permanent housing that runs like a group home. There are separate houses for men and women.
AHH has a day center that provides showers, access to mail, internet, phone, staff, etc. These centers offer basic needs for people who need it.
AHH holds NA meetings, AA meetings and bible studies—anything that will help support people in their recovery.
AHH is able to help people get insured through the Affordable Care Act, which means that homeless people are able to receive treatment prior to needing to go into the emergency room every time.
AHH has other programs and the speaker shared some success stories from program participants.
Homelessness is an issue in Anne Arundel County. How we deal with the homeless is different in different areas but it exists everywhere.
Once people are housed for a period of time, many then have something to lose and they become comfortable in that setting. They are then able to change their behaviors in order to be able to stay housed.
There are between 400-700 homeless people in Anne Arundel County at any one time. The homeless are pocketed in Northern AA County (Glen Burnie, Brooklyn Park, Linthicum, etc.) and Annapolis City. They are usually close to shopping centers.
AHH recommends not to give money to the homeless. If nobody gave them money, they would not be panhandling. You can give them bottles of water, granola bars, etc. If they are truly homeless, they will appreciate it.
AHH will provide money to get things like work boots, records from the MVA, etc. AHH makes sure that recipients provide receipts for the expenses and they will make sure that the task gets done.
Another issue that is occurring in the homeless population is the opioid crisis.
AHH does not provide tents because they don’t think that tents are appropriate housing.
Mental health is a huge issue with homelessness. Homeless people typically have either a mental health issue or a substance abuse issue, and most often both. Mental health can lead to a substance abuse issue and a substance abuse issue can lead to a mental health issue.
There are a number of homeless people with mental health issues that don’t want to take their medication.
There have been two (2) families in the Albrecht House at St. John’s Lutheran Church. The first family successfully completed the program and the mother is now working. She is planning on buying a house. The second family is currently in the house.
AHH gets funding from HUD, the VA, the County, mental health agencies and churches (from the 70 member churches). AHH is part of the combined Maryland and federal campaign.
There is a fund raising event on February 11 at La Fontaine Blue. AHH usually raises about $50,000 at this event. Sandy Hartzell is the co-chair for the organization.
AHH has a Facebook page. AHH can use all of the volunteers that they can get.
Anne Arundel County is in need of affordable housing. 80% of people who come to Arundel House of Hope are Anne Arundel County residents.
The AHH veterans program is a partnership between AHH and the VA. Veterans who are eligible will be placed in transitional housing. They can stay for up to 2 years. Most stay for about 12-18 months. The goal is to get them permanently housed via employment and to work through health issues. This is one of the most successful programs because the federal government has put a lot of money into housing veterans. The criteria to be eligible are honorable discharge, homelessness and a certain time in service period.
If homeless people are in the community and not causing problems then the police will leave them alone unless there is a complaint. Police will do a welfare check and ask them how there are doing. If they become an issue, the police will ask them to move and go to another location. They do not find housing, they just move from one spot to another. You can call the police to come and check a homeless person out to make sure they are okay and not doing anything illegal. If you are insistent to make them move, the police will ask them to leave and will evict them. People can only camp out on property with permission from the land owner.
Sandy Hartzell, chairman of the AHH fundraising event, spoke to the general membership. Tickets are $45 per person. If you buy ten or more tickets or from Sandy directly, they will be $40. AHH is also accepting items for auction during the event.
Suzzie reported that notice letters will be sent to affected residents to vote on whether they want speed bumps on W. Maple Rd. LSIA has scheduled a meeting for affected residents to discuss and vote on this issue.
LSIA Board member Dan Woomer is meeting with Senator Van Hollen about MAGLEV tomorrow.
Councilman Pete Smith reported that the suboxone clinic is under investigation and the police have had surveillance on it. The County law office is issuing an injunction to make sure that the clinic ceases operation. The clinic only had a total of about 4-5 patients up to now. The clinic has petitioned that they are not a “state licensed medical facility” and therefore are not subject to the zoning laws that effect state licensed medical facilities. The County disagrees with the clinic’s assessment for a number of reasons. The County is taking the clinic to court and have vowed to fight it until they cease operations. The landlord is responsible for the violations in his building.
Councilman Smith is developing small area plans for certain communities, including one for Linthicum. The community will be involved in this plan and Councilman Smith will advocate for our wishes.
LSIA member Brenda reported that the Board of Education has as position statement on their website opposing the MAGLEV.
There being no further business to come before the meeting, the meeting was adjourned at 7:59PM EDT.