Meeting Date: Monday, June 6, 2016

Present:  Deborah Worden, Assistant Director, Action Toward Independence

               Carl S. Berkowitz, President, RCLS Board of Trustees  

               Matt Pfisterer, Director, Middletown Thrall Library

               Joann Hargabus, Director of Services – Action Toward Independence, (ATI)                          

               Karrie Williamson, Senior Librarian, Otisville Correctional Facility

               Dan Hulse, RCLS Development Officer & COSAG Chair     

Absent:  Linda Aumick, Board President – Action Toward Independence

  Ashley Knox, President & CEO, Go Beyond Greatness, Inc.

              Terri Thal, NYS Perinatal Association & Not-for Profit Consultant

              Mimi Vilord, President & CEO, Rockland County United Way

              Grace Riario, RCLS Public Services Consultant & Outreach Coordinator

              Margaret McDowell, Gardiner Senior Resource Committee

              Josie Longstreet, Statewide Systems Advocate, Independent Living Inc.             

              Laura LaSusa, Employment Services Coordinator, OrangeWorks- (now retired)

Meeting location: Ramapo Catskill Library System – Middletown, NY.

Chair Dan Hulse called the meeting to order at 10:15 am.  Introductions were made around the table. 

Carl Berkowitz made a motion to accept the minutes of the November 9, 2015 meeting as submitted.  Matt Pfisterer seconded.  Motion passed.

RCLS Reports:  2016 Outreach Grants progress – Chair Dan Hulse reported for Grace Riario on the two programs that are taking place since being chosen to receive the 2016 award.

     Sensory Storytime at New City Library has a number of community partner organizations from the Rockland County area that is helping this program to grow in popularity.  The Sensory Storytime has already been offered six times since September 2015. 

     Literacy Through Photography at the Haverstraw King’s Daughters Public Library will offer four 1.5-hour workshops through June 20.  The library has partnered with local schools to promote the program.  Marketing materials have been made available in English and Spanish.  A reception will be hosted on Saturday, June 25th, where the community will have the opportunity to enjoy the children’s work.

     Dan Hulse reported that the 2017 Outreach Grant information and Requests For Proposals (RFPs) will go out to all RCLS member libraries at the end of July 2016.  COSAG will choose the 2017 grant awardees at the next meeting held in October.  The applications will be emailed to the subcommittee for review prior to the fall COSAG meeting.  The committee is looking forward to reviewing the grant application submissions in the fall.

     RCLS has also applied once again for the Workforce Develop Grant through the State of New York.  This grant was approved on June 1st.  RCLS will continue to provide Workforce Development workshops and Counseling Sessions hosted at the member libraries.  The grant period is from Fall 2016 – Spring 2019.  Deborah Worden and Joanne Hargabus of Action Toward Independence offered to provide trainings to complement the career sessions.

     55+ Resource Guide – Draft copies of the updated 2016 edition of the Guide were distributed to the council members.  They were asked to review it for any errors, additions or omissions and to let Grace Riario know of any changes by June 20.  It is hoped that this publication will be printed and ready for distribution before the end of the summer.  Upon initial perusal of the draft document, the committee noticed the following:

Page 6 – Deborah Worden recommended changes to the listings for Independent Living Centers (ILCs).  She would like the Middletown telephone number (845-343-4284) for Action Toward Independence listed.  Also include Ulster County’s ILC – Resource Center for Accessible Living; 727 Ulster Avenue, Kingston, New York 12401; (845)-331-0541;

And, the listing for Sunshine Adult Daycare in Monticello needs a phone number – (845) 513-5459.

Page 11 – Sunshine of Sullivan County- list in back of book and Orange County in back of book.

Page 20 – Deborah Worden is going to be forwarding to Grace a listing of Transportation opportunities in Sullivan County to be included in the guide.

List H.E.A.P. under “Heating Assistance” on Pages 26 & 29.

There are no listings for ARC’s – Association for Retarded Citizens

Deborah Worden will supply a list of all Congregate Meal Sites for Sullivan County.

Page 25 – Under Orange County organizations; Action Toward Independence is not listed under “Disability Services”.

Page 26 – put a space between Jewish Family Services and Legal Aid Society

Deborah Worden will supply more information for the listing of Legal Services of the Hudson Valley.

There is no Suicide Prevention Hotline under National Listings.

Reports from Council Members:

Matt Pfisterer updated the council on a meeting recently held regarding the Warming Station in Middletown that is located at St. Paul’s Methodist Church.  Matt attended this meeting with City Alderman Jerry Kleiner.  There was an 18% decrease in the number of people using the Warming Station this past winter.  This was partially due to the warm winter experienced in the Northeast.  However, there was an increase in young people with opioid problems.  The capacity for the Warming Station in Middletown is 30 beds/cots per evening.  The Salvation Army on West Main Street is discussing the possibility of creating a daytime meeting/drop-in center and taking over the evening meal served at the Warming Center.

     At Middletown Thrall Library, there have been six (6) Narcan emergencies since 2012.  Five (5) of these have been effective.  Matt Pfisterer has a security staff that is trained in Narcan use.

Deborah Worden reported that Action Toward Independence is waiting to learn the status of three (3) grant applications that the agency has submitted.  These grants are: a) OASAS  – New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services.  A request to stay open for seven (7) days a week.  b) Wounded Warriors for service dogs and c) Governor Cuomo’s Non-Profit Improvement Grant for facilities renovations and improvements.

Joanne Hargabus explained Action Toward Independence’s Lenny Loan Fund.  This program provides loans of $250 to people that are interest-free and can be paid back in $10 increments. 

     H.E.A.P. in Sullivan County.  Action Toward Independence (ATI) processed over 100 applications this past winter.  The agency also served as a daytime warming station.  From this activity, many people attending learned more about the breadth of services provided by ATI. 

     Deborah Worden and Joanne Hargabus offered the Parenting classes provided by ATI to Kerry Williamson for those inmates re-entering the community upon their release from prison.

Carl Berkowitz explained to the council that the Ramapo Catskill Library System Board of Trustees is always interested in what COSAG is doing.

Kerry Williamson reported that she runs a competitive Summer Reading Program at Otisville Correctional Facility with 13 houses; 50 inmates each.  Participating inmates must read and review books from the prison collection and interloan books throughout the summer.  An ice cream party is held for the winning group.  This program has proven to be very popular.

     The inmates are also looking forward to the return of book discussion groups.  Grace Riario will be going to the prison to conduct a book discussion during the summer.  These programs are also very popular and well-attended. 

     Carl Berkowitz’ son, Drew has received his doctoral degree in media literacy.  Carl offered for Kerry Williamson to have his son volunteer to address the inmate population on graphic novels.             

Meeting adjourned at 11:50 am.

Council member’s preferred date for the next meeting is Thursday, October 20, 2016 in Middletown.

Minutes Author: Matt Pfisterer
Committee: COSAG