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[00:00:01]

YOU READY FOR US TO GET STARTED?

[CALL TO ORDER]

OKAY, GREAT.

WELL, GOOD MORNING EVERYONE.

I'M ALLISON ALTAR AND I AM CHAIR OF THE AUDIT AND FINANCE COMMITTEE.

IT IS NINE THIRTY SIX.

I'M GONNA CALL THIS MEETING TO ORDER ON DECEMBER 13TH.

UM, WE ARE GOING TO HAVE, UM, COUNCIL MEMBER TOVO KELLY AND FUENTES VIRTUAL WITH US THIS MORNING, AND COUNCIL MEMBER POOL WILL NOT BE IN ATTENDANCE.

UM, CO COUNCIL MEMBER HARPER MADISON HAD WANTED TO ATTEND FOR, UM, THE COLD WEATHER SHELTERS, UM, BUT IS UNDER THE WEATHER HERSELF THIS MORNING, SO WILL NOT, UM, BE JOINING US EVEN VIRTUALLY.

[Public Communication: General]

UM, WE ARE GOING TO START WITH PUBLIC COMMUNICATIONS.

WE HAVE ONE SPEAKER, MS. GREENBERG, IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO COME UP HERE, YOU'LL HAVE THREE MINUTES.

CHAIR AL ALTER, AND MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE.

MY NAME IS BETSY GREENBERG AND I'M A MEMBER OF THE ETHICS REVIEW COMMISSION IN JULY, THE COMMISSION PASSED TWO RESOLUTIONS.

I ATTENDED YOUR MEETING IN NOVEMBER AND ASKED YOU TO CONSIDER THE RESOLUTIONS, AND I AM HERE TODAY TO ASK AGAIN.

THE RESOLUTIONS RECOMMEND CHANGES TO SECTION TWO DASH SEVEN OF THE CITY CODE.

IN PARTICULAR, THE PARTS OF THE CODE THAT DESCRIBE WHAT IS REQUIRED TO BE LISTED ON THE STATEMENT OF FINANCIAL INTEREST.

AS COUNCIL MEMBERS, ONE OF YOUR IMPORTANT RESPONSIBILITIES IS MAKING DECISIONS ABOUT LAND USE.

AND MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC NEED TO BE ASSURED THAT THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL MEMBERS DO NOT HAVE CONFLICTS OF INTEREST WHEN MAKING THESE DECISIONS.

SO THE PURPOSE OF THE FIRST RESOLUTION IS TO REQUIRE THAT INTEREST IN REAL PROPERTY BE IDENTIFIED EVEN WHEN PROPERTY IS HELD BY A CORPORATION PARTNERSHIP OR OTHER ENTITY IN WHICH THE OFFICIAL OWNS A SUBSTANTIAL INTEREST AS DEFINED IN THE CODE.

CURRENTLY, THE MAYOR AND OR COUNCIL MEMBERS HAVE INTERESTS IN LIMITED PARTNERSHIPS, BUT THERE'S NO DISCLOSURE ABOUT WHAT THESE ENTITIES OWN.

SO THIS CODE CHANGE WOULD IMPROVE TRANSPARENCY.

THE SECOND RESOLUTION WOULD FURTHER IMPROVE TRANSPARENCY BY REQUIRING THE CITY CLERK TO POST TO THE CITY'S WEBSITE THE FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE FORMS FILED BY ELECTED OFFICIALS AS WELL AS CANDIDATES FOR ELECTED OFFICE.

CURRENTLY, THE FORMS ARE AVAILABLE, BUT ONLY WITH THE PUBLIC INFORMATION REQUEST, WHICH MEANS IT CAN TAKE WEEKS TO OBTAIN INFORMATION.

I EMAILED THIS COMMITTEE ASKING FOR THE ETHICS REVIEW COMMISSION RESOLUTIONS TO BE CONSIDERED.

I WAS IGNORED, SO I CAME IN PERSON IN NOVEMBER AND AGAIN TODAY.

IF YOU ARE IN FAVOR OF TRANSPARENCY, PLEASE TALK ABOUT PUTTING THESE CODE CHANGES ON A FUTURE AGENDA WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS TODAY.

I LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU AT YOUR NEXT MEETING.

UH, THANK YOU.

AND A SPECIAL THANKS TO, UM, COUNCIL MEMBER TOVO FOR HER MANY, MANY, MANY YEARS OF SERVICE.

THANK YOU, MS. GREENBERG.

OKAY,

[1. Approve the minutes of the Audit and Finance Committee meeting of November 21, 2022.]

OUR, UM, NEXT ITEM IS ITEM NUMBER ONE, THE MINUTES.

DO I HAVE A MOTION TO APPROVE THE MINUTES? COUNCIL MEMBER KELLY MAKES THAT MOTION.

IT'S SECONDED BY COUNCIL MEMBER TOK.

ALL THOSE IN FAVOR OF APPROVING THE MINUTES THAT IS UNANIMOUS ON THE DIAS AND VIRTUAL DIAS.

THANK YOU.

[2. Presentation and discussion of the Cold Weather Shelters and Hot Weather Cooling Centers Audit.]

UM, WE WILL NOW MOVE TO ITEM NUMBER TWO, WHICH IS PRESENTATION AND DISCUSSION OF THE COLD WEATHER SHELTERS AND HOT WEATHER COOLING CENTERS.

AUDIT IS THE MANAGER OF THIS PROJECT AND HE IS ACTUALLY ONLINE WITH US TODAY CUZ HE'S NOT FEELING GREAT.

UM, BUT HENRY KAMA WAS THE LEAD ON THIS PROJECT AND WE'LL BE MAKING THE PRESENTATION THIS MORNING.

THANK YOU.

UH, GOOD MORNING.

MY NAME IS HENRY KAMA AND I WAS THE LEAD AUDITOR FOR THIS AUDIT.

THE OBJECTIVE OF THE AUDIT WAS, DOES THE CITY EFFECTIVELY PROVIDE EMERGENCY SHELTERS TO ENSURE ITS RESIDENTS RECEIVE NECESSARY SERVICES DURING COLD WEATHER AND HEAT EMERGENCIES? THIS AUDIT FOCUSED SPECIFICALLY IN COLD WEATHER SHELTERS AND HEAT EMERGENCY SCHOOLING CENTERS.

WE DID NOT LOOK AT SHELTERS FOR DECLARED DISASTERS LIKE FLOODS, WILDFIRES, WINTER STORM, OR HURRICANE EVACUATIONS, ET CETERA.

WE ALSO DID NOT LOOK AT HOMELESS SHELTERS AND ANIMAL SHELTERS.

THE CITY ESTABLISHED TEMPERATURE THRESHOLDS AND WEATHER SITUATIONS THAT TRIGGER THE NEED TO ACTIVATE COLD WEATHER SHELTERS AND HEAT EMERGENCY COOLING CENTERS WHEN THE TEMPERATURE IS EXPECTED TO BE AT OR BELOW 35 DEGREES

[00:05:01]

WITH THE RAIN OR HIGH WINDS, OR ANYTIME THE TEMPERATURE IS EXPECTED TO BE AT OR BELOW 32 DEGREES.

REGARDLESS, CITY STAFF ARE REQUIRED TO ACTIVATE COLD WEATHER SHELTERS THIS YEAR.

OVER THE COLD WEATHER SHELTERS HAVE BEEN OPENED IN PAD RECREATION CENTERS WHEN THE NATIONAL WEATHER, WHEN THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICES ISSUES AND EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNING ADVISORY FOR TRAVIS COUNTY, CITY STAFF ARE SUPPOSED TO ACTIVATE COOLING CENTERS.

THE CITY MAINLY USES RECREATION CENTERS, SENIOR CENTERS, AND LIBRARIES AS COOLING CENTERS.

OUR FIRST FINDING IS THAT THE CITY DID NOT CONSISTENTLY OPEN COLD WEATHER SHELTERS WHEN THE FORECASTED AND OBSERVED TEMPERATURES MADE THE ESTABLISHED COLD WEATHER SHELTERING THRESHOLDS.

AS A RESULT, VULNERABLE RESIDENTS MAY HAVE FACED INCREASED RISKS FROM FREEZING AND SUB FREEZING TEMPERATURES.

UH, FROM JANUARY THROUGH MARCH, 2022, THE CITY OPENED COLD WEATHER SHELTERS ON 17 NIGHTS.

HOWEVER, WE FOUND THERE WERE AT LEAST FOUR ADDITIONAL NIGHTS THAT ARE SHOWN ON THIS SLIDE IN WHICH THE CITY SHOULD HAVE OPENED SHELTERS BUT DID NOT.

ON TWO OF THESE NIGHTS, JANUARY 3RD AND FEBRUARY 27TH, THE FORECASTED OBSERVED TEMPERATURES WHERE IN THE TWENTIES, THIS WAS WELL BELOW THE CITY'S ESTABLISHED COLD WEATHER TRIGGERS.

WE DID NOT IDENTIFY SIMILAR ISSUES WITH THE CITY'S HEAT EMERGENCY SCHOOLING CENTERS.

OUR SECOND FINDING RE RELATES TO OVERSIGHT PROVIDED BY THE CITY, THE CITY'S COLD WEATHER SHELTERS AND EXTREME HEAT COOLING CENTERS ACTIVITIES INCLUDE MULTIPLE DEPARTMENTS LIKE HOMELAND SECURITY AND EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT, PAR, A P H A P D, AND THE AUSTIN PUBLIC LIBRARY.

WE FOUND THAT THERE WERE, THERE WAS NOT SIGN, UH, SUFFICIENT OVERSIGHT OVER THE COLD WEATHER SHELTERS AND EXTREME HEAT CALLING CENTER ACTIVITIES.

WE SAW THIS IN DIFFERENT WAYS THAT I WILL TALK ABOUT IN THE NEXT FEW SLIDES.

THE FIRST ONE, THE CITY'S PLANS ARE OUTDATED AND DO NOT REFLECT CURRENT SHELTER OPERATIONS AND RESPONSIBILITIES.

BOTH THE COLD WEATHER SHELTER OPERATIONS PLAN AND THE SPECIAL OPERATIONS PLAN FOR HEAT EMERGENCIES ARE SUPPOSED TO BE REVIEWED AND UPDATED ANNUALLY, BUT THIS HAS NOT BEEN DONE CONSISTENTLY.

THE COLD WEATHER PLAN WAS LAST UPDATED IN 2019, AND THE SPECIAL OPERATIONS PLAN FOR HEAT EMERGENCIES WAS LAST UPDATED IN 2020.

SINCE THAT TIME, MANY CHANGES TO THE OPERATIONS WERE MADE IN RESPONSE TO THE PANDEMIC.

UH, FOR EXAMPLE, BEFORE THE PANDEMIC, THE CITY RELIED ON MULTIPLE EXTERNAL PARTNERS LIKE AMERICAN RED CROSS, LOCAL NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS AND FAITH-BASED GROUPS TO RUN REGISTRATION SITES AND PROVIDE SHELTER SPACE, STAFFING AND SUPPLIES.

DUE TO THE PANDEMIC.

MANY OF THESE ENTITIES HAVE REASSESSED THEIR COMMITMENT TO THE CITY.

AS A RESULT, CITY DEPARTMENTS AND STAFF HAVE CHANGED THEIR OPERATIONS TO FILL THESE GAPS.

ALL THESE CHANGES ARE NOT REFLECTED IN THE CURRENT PLANS.

SECOND ONE, THERE IS NO PROCESS TO ENSURE SHELTERS ARE ADEQUATELY STAFFED.

WHILE THE PLANS INDICATE THAT EXTERNAL PARTNERS WILL PROVIDE STAFF FOR THE SHELTERS, THE SHELTERS HAVE PRIMARILY BEEN STAFFED BY PART EMPLOYEES AND VOLUNTEERS FROM OTHER CITY DEPARTMENTS.

STAFF STATED THAT IT HAS BEEN DIFFICULT TO GET ENOUGH VOLUNTEERS AND SHELTERS OFTEN LACK SECURITY AND MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS.

THERE IS NO CLEAR PRO PROCESS TO REQUEST FOR VOLUNTEERS FROM DEPART DEPARTMENTS.

ALSO, THE COLD WEATHER SHELTER PLAN DOES NOT ASSIGN THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR STAFFING OF THESE SHELTERS.

THERE IS NO PROCESS TO ENSURE SHELTER STAFF A PROPER TRAIN.

WE FOUND THAT THERE IS NO PERSON OR DEPARTMENT RESPONSIBLE FOR TRAINING STAFF TO WORK AT THE CITY'S SHELTERS.

WITHOUT PROPER TRAINING, EMPLOYEES MAY NOT ALWAYS BE EQUIPPED TO HANDLE THE COMPLEXITIES OF WORKING WITH SHELTER GUESTS, INCLUDING PEOPLE EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS.

THIS MAY POSE A

[00:10:01]

SAFETY RISK FOR SHELTER GUESTS AND STAFF.

WE SURVEYED STAFF WHO WORKED DURING A RECENT CALLED WEATHER SHELTER EVENT AND FOUNDED THAT 57 OF THE RESPONDENTS SAID THEY DID NOT RECEIVE RELEVANT TRAINING IN ADVANCE.

UH, WHILE SOME PAD STAFF INDICATED THEY RECEIVED THE TRAINING, THEY NOTED THAT THE TRAINING WAS HIGH LEVEL AND DID NOT COVER THE SPECIFICS OF HOW TO OPERATE COLD WEATHER.

THE SHELTERS, FOR EXAMPLE, THEY DID NOT RECEIVE TRAINING ON HOW TO WORK WITH PEOPLE EXPERIENCING MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES OR HOW TO PERFORM VARIOUS TASKS LIKE ADMINISTERING COVID TESTS.

46 OF THE RESPONDENTS, UH, INDICATED THAT THEY DID NOT RECEIVE INFORMATION ABOUT SHELTER PROCEDURES AND HOW TO PERFORM THEIR ROLES.

EXPENDITURES FOR COLD WEATHER SHELTER OPERATIONS ARE NOT CONSISTENTLY TRACKED, AND WE TRIED TO DETERMINE HOW MUCH THE CITY SPENDS ON COLD WEATHER SHELTERS, BUT COULD NOT BECAUSE EXPENDITURES ARE NOT CONSISTENTLY TRACKED.

PAR AND A P H HAVE THEIR OWN DEDICATED, UH, BUDGET CODES.

FOR COLD WEATHER SHELTERS.

MUNICIPAL COLD WOULD ONLY PROVIDE, UH, SOME E EXPENSES.

POLICE TRACKED THE EXPENDITURES BUT DID NOT DIFFERENTIATE BETWEEN TYPES OF SHELTER.

ACTIVITIES LIKE HURRICANE EVACUATION COMPARED CODE WEATHER SHELTERS WITHOUT CLEAR TRACKING, THE CITY CAN'T DETERMINE THE COSTS FOR OPERATING, UH, CODE WEATHER SHELTERS AND MAY FIND IT HARD TO, UH, BUDGET FOR FUTURE EXPENSES.

CURRENT SHELTERS ARE NOT EQUIPPED FOR EXTENUATING CIRCUMSTANCES.

AS NOTED BEFORE, THE CITY RELIES ON PAD FACILITIES TO PROVIDE OLD WEATHER SHELTERING.

HOWEVER, THESE FI FACILITIES MAY NOT BE APPROPRIATE SHELTERS FOR EXTENUATING CIRCUMSTANCES.

FOR EXAMPLE, NOT ALL PAD FACILITIES HAVE BACKUP GENERATORS OR SHOW US IN THE EVENT OF A POWER OUTAGE OR PROLONG THE NEED FOR SHELTERING LIKE THE WEATHER TURNS AND STAYS COLD FOR LONG, EXPECTED LONGER TIMES THAN EXPECTED.

THE PLANS DON'T SAY WHAT SHOULD BE DONE.

WHILE THIS ISSUE DOES NOT AFFECT COOLING CENTERS, THE PLAN, UH, SAYS THERE COULD BE A NEED FOR AN OVERNIGHT COOLING SHELTER.

IN THE EVENT OF AN OVERNIGHT COOLING SHELTER.

THE LACK OF RESILIENCE COULD BE AN ISSUE AS WELL.

THE FISCAL YEAR 2023 BUDGET INCLUDED 1.2 MILLION, UH, DOLLARS FOR AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH TO CONTRACT OUT THE CALLED A SHELTER WITH OPERATIONS.

IF A CONTRACTOR IS HIRED, THE CITY PLANS WILL STILL NEED TO NEED TO BE UPDATED.

MANAGEMENT INDICATED THAT UNTIL THE OPERATIONS ARE CONTRACTED OUT, THE CITY STILL PLANS TO RESPOND AS NEEDED.

THE POT POTENTIAL, THIS POTENTIAL CHANGE IN OPERATION OF THE CITY'S OLD WEATHER SHELTERS DOES NOT APPLY APPLIED HEAT EMERGENCY POLLING CENTERS.

WE ISSUED, UH, THREE RECOMMENDATIONS TO ADDRESS THE ISSUES NOTED IN THIS AUDIT.

THE FIRST ONE ADDRESSES ISSUES RELATING TO OVERSIGHT AND MONITORING ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES, STAFFING THE SO THE SHELTERS TRAINING STAFF, AND CONSISTENCY IN OPENING THE SHELTERS.

MANAGEMENT CONCURRED WITH THIS RECOMMENDATION IMPLEMENTATION TIMELINE IS DECEMBER, 2022 THROUGH FEBRUARY, 2023.

THE SECOND RE RECOMMENDATION RELATES TO ENSURING THAT ALL CLIENTS ARE OUT, UH, UPDATED.

AGAIN, MANAGEMENT CONCURRED WITH THIS, UH, RECOMMENDATION IMPLEMENTATION TIMELINE IS OCTOBER, 2023.

THE THIRD ONE RELATES TO SERVICES THAT SHOULD BE PROVIDED AT THE SHELTERS AND ENSURING THAT CITY HAS PROVISIONS FOR EXTENUATING CIRCUMSTANCES.

UH, ONCE AGAIN, MANAGEMENT CONCURRED WITH THIS RECOMMENDATION AND IMPLEMENTATION TIMELINE IS OCTOBER, 2023 FOR ALL WEATHER SH UH, SHELTER PLANS.

THIS CONCLUDES MY PRESENTATION, AND WE WILL BE HAPPY TO ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS THAT YOU MAY HAVE.

THANK YOU.

UM, I BELIEVE WE HAVE A PRESENTATION FROM STAFF IN RESPONSE TO THE AUDIT BEFORE WE TAKE QUESTIONS.

GOOD MORNING.

GOOD MORNING, MAYOR PROTO AND COMMITTEE MEMBERS.

[00:15:01]

VERONICA SIO, ASSISTANT CITY MANAGER.

UH, WE HAVE A MULTIPLE DEPARTMENTS HERE TO RESPOND, UH, BUT WE'RE GONNA HAVE JUAN OR ORTIZ, OUR DIRECTOR OF HESSAM, WALK THROUGH THE PRESENTATION AND THEN WE'LL BE AVAILABLE TO ANSWER QUESTIONS AS THEREBY.

THANK YOU, JUAN.

GOOD MORNING.

UH, COUNCIL MEMBER, UH, JUAN ORTIZ.

I'M THE DIRECTOR FOR HESSAM AND I'LL BE WALKING US THROUGH THE, UH, THE, THE RESPONSE TO THE EMERGENCY SHELTER DANGEROUS TEMPERATURES AUDIT.

UM, BEFORE WE SPECIFICALLY COVER THE, UM, OUR RESPONSE TO THE RECOMMENDATIONS.

AND ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE WANTED TO POINT OUT SPECIFICALLY IS THAT THERE ARE TWO DIFFERENT TYPES OF, OF SHELTERS.

ONE THAT WE CALL THE COLD WEATHER SHELTER, WHICH IS PRIMARILY SERVING INDIVIDUALS, UH, EITHER ON HOUSE AND IT'S INTENDED TO BE AN OVERNIGHT OF, UM, UH, SITUATION, UH, WHERE THE TEMPERATURES ARE THAT MEET SPECIFIC CRITERIA.

AND WE WANNA MAKE SURE THAT PEOPLE HAVE A WARM PLACE TO STAY OVERNIGHT, A SAFE PLACE.

AND THEN, UH, IN THE MORNING, UH, GENERALLY OPEN, UH, FOR THE FOLKS TO, UH, YOU KNOW, IF, IF NECESSARY, UH, BE ABLE TO ACCESS OTHER CITY FACILITIES LIKE PUBLIC COLLABORATORS OR PARK AND RECREATION DEPARTMENT FACILITIES.

THE OTHER IS THE EMERGENCY DISASTER SHELTERS.

THIS IS, UH, A, A DISASTER SHELTER THAT IS OPEN WHEN WE ACTUALLY HAVE A DISASTER THAT'S IMPACTING THE COMMUNITY AND IT SERVES TO TAKE CARE OF, UH, THE POPULATION WHEN, UH, THAT IS DISPLACED FROM THE HOMES.

AND WE WHERE WE HAVE WIDESPREAD EMERGENCY.

AND THAT IS REALLY MORE SOMETHING HAPPENED, UH, AT, AT THE EVENT OF A DISASTER WHERE WE MAY HAVE VER VERY LITTLE TO NO WARNING IN ADVANCE OR AS PART OF THE RESPONSE PROCESS AFTER WE HAVE A DISASTER.

AND THE, THE DURATION AND THE LOCATIONS ARE DETERMINED BASED ON WHAT THE DISASTER, UM, UH, ASSESSMENT IS.

THE IS DETERMINED AND WHERE WE IDENTIFY THE NEED AND DETERMINE WHAT THE NEED IS FOR THE POPULATION.

SO, UH, THE, THE MAIN DIFFERENCE IS THE COLD WEATHER SHELTERS.

WE CAN PRE, WE CAN LOOK AT THE TEMPERATURES, WE CAN, WE CAN PREDICT THEM, AND WE KNOW EXACTLY WHICH ONES GONNA BE GONNA OPEN THE EMERGENCY DISASTER SHELTERS.

UH, IT'S REALLY MORE OF A RESPONSE TO AN EMERGENCY SITUATION.

THE RECOMMENDATION TO ENSURE THAT THE CITY'S COLD WEATHER SHELTERS OPERATIONS ARE EFFECT EFFECTIVELY MANAGED.

UM, THE FIRST ONE WAS ASSIGNED THE OVERALL OWNERSHIP OF THE, OF THE CITY'S COLD WEATHER SHELTER ACTIVITIES ARE, UM, AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH HAS, HAS BEEN, UM, HAS THE OWNERSHIP OF THE COAL WEATHER SHELTERS BECAUSE THESE ARE, HAVE THE PRIMARY PURPOSE TO PROTECT THE UNSHELTERED HOMELESS AND ARE PRIMARILY USED BY PEOPLE EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS DURING EX EXTREME COLD WEATHER CONDITIONS.

UH, THIS IS SOMETHING THAT WE ARE, UM, UM, A PROPOSED IMPLEMENTATION IS ACTUALLY DECEMBER OF 22.

WITH THIS IS IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE OTHER EFFORTS THAT ARE ALREADY ON THE WAY TO LOOK AT HOW WE CAN, UH, IMPROVE OUR RESPONDS, UH, IN, IN THIS, UM, UH, IN THIS AREA OF NEED TO, TO OUR COMMUNITY.

UM, LETTER B, UH, CLARIFY AND, AND COMMUNICATE THE ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF EACH GROUP AND ENTITY INVOLVED IN THE CITY'S COLD WEATHER SHELTER ACTIVITIES.

UH, THESE ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES WILL BE ESTABLISHED IN DEFINE AND ASSIGN WITH CLEAR TRIGGERS AND ACTIVATION INFORMATION.

THE COLD WEATHER SHELTER PLAN WILL INCLUDE CITY STAFF REQUIRED TO ACTIVATE AND RUN THE, UH, THESE FACILITIES AS WELL AS AN O AN OPTION FOR COMMUNITY PARTNERS AND CONTRACTORS TO SUPPLEMENT A COLD WEATHER SHELTER TO ENSURE A CLEAR AND TR AND TRANSPARENT PROCESS.

UH, AS YOU ALL KNOW, COUNCIL AUTHORIZE PUBLIC HEALTH TO NEGOTIATE AND EXECUTE AN AGREEMENT FOR 1.2 MILLION WITH A CONTRACTOR TO OPERATE COLD WEATHER SHELTERS.

UH, THE CITY WILL RELY ON PART FACILITIES WITH HYBRID CITY STAFF AND CONTRACT VENDOR SUPPORT TO OPERATE COLD WEATHER SHELTERS DURING THE EARLY PART OF THIS SEASON.

2023.

ONCE THE CONTRACTOR, UH, BEGINS, UH, AN EVA EVALUATION WILL BE NEEDED TO DETERMINE IF THE FUNDING AND THE CONTRACT SCOPE ARE PROPERLY ALIGNED WITH PRO PRO PROGRAMMATIC GOALS TO INCLUDE FULLY OUTSOURCING SERVICES TO A TURNKEY VENDOR.

OUR PROPOSED, UH, IMPLEMENTATION OF THE, OF THE ENTIRE PROCESS IS FEBRUARY OF 23.

THIS WILL ALLOW US TO HAVE THE VENDOR IN PLACE AND, AND, AND

[00:20:01]

FOR THEM TO SHADOW OUR EFFORTS IF WE HAVE ACTIVATIONS THIS YEAR, AND BE ABLE TO BETTER DETERMINE WHAT THAT, UH, GAP ANALYSIS WILL BE AND MAKE SURE THAT THE PLANS ARE SET UP A ACCORDINGLY.

LETTER C, ENSURE CITY, CITY OPERATED SHELTERS ARE ADEQUATELY STAFFED AND THAT STAFF ARE PROPERLY TRAINED.

UM, SEVERAL KEY DEPARTMENT EMPLOYEES STAFF COLDWELL SHELTERS, WHILE OTHER DEPARTMENT EMPLOYEES VOLUNTEER TO WORK AT COLDWELL SHELTERS NEEDED STAFF AT COLD WEATHER SHELTERS SHOULD BE IN INDIVIDUALS WHO HAVE TRAINING OR EXPERIENCE WORKING WITH VULNERABLE POPULATIONS, INCLUDING PEOPLE EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS.

STAFF WILL CONTINUE TO IDENTIFY STAFF THAT MEET MINIMAL REQUIREMENTS AS WELL AS STAFF WHO ARE INTERESTED IN SUPPORTING COLD-WEATHER SHELTERS.

WHEN THE NEED ARISES, CITY VOLUNTEERS AND CONTRACTOR STAFF WILL RECEIVE TRAINING PRIOR TO STAFFING COLD-WEATHER SHELTERS.

OUR IMPLEMENTATION DATE IS, IS, UH, FEBRUARY OF 23 AS WELL.

LETTER D, ENSURE THE CITY'S SHELTER RELATED EXPENSES ARE TRACKED, UH, RESPONSES.

A ACTUALLY A A REPORTING CODE HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED TO HELP TRACK STAFF TIME AND OTHER EXPENSES WHEN COLD WEATHER SHELTERS ARE ACTIVATED.

AND THIS TASK HAS BEEN COMPLETED.

LETTER E IMPLEMENT A MONITORING AND ACCOUNTABILITY PROCESS TO ENSURE THAT COLD WEATHER SHELTERS ARE CONSISTENTLY OPEN ACCORDING TO ESTABLISHED WEATHER CONDITIONS AND EVENTS, AND THAT EACH GROUP ENTITY FULFILLS THEIR ASSIGN ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES.

STAFF RESPONSE, UH, FOR THE UPCOMING COLD WEATHER SEASON, COLD WEATHER ACTIVATIONS SHALL BE DETERMINED PRIMARILY BY US IN PUBLIC HEALTH, RELYING ON DATA CONVENED BY, UH, HEK FROM THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE.

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SHALL BE THE OFFICIAL WEATHER RESOURCE AND THE CAMP MAYBERRY.

WE WEATHER STATION WILL BE THE OFFICIAL LOCATION USED TO DETERMINE COLD, WHETHER SHELTER ACTIVATIONS FOR PEOPLE EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS IN FUTURE YEARS.

THE COLD WEATHER SHELTER VENDOR MAY BE CHARGED WITH TRACKING THE WEATHER FORECAST AND ACTIVATING, UH, COLD WEATHER SHELTERS.

UH, PUBLIC HEALTH IN CONJUNCTION WITH HES AND OTHER DE UH, PARTNER DEPARTMENTS HAVE ALREADY UPDATED THE COLD WEATHER SHELTER ACTIVATION CRITERIA TO INCLUDE CONSIDERATION FOR WINDSHIELD FACTORS.

COLD WEATHER SHELTERS SERVING PEOPLE EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS ARE ACTIVATED WHEN THE FOLLOWING OVERNIGHT TEMPERATURES, THRESHOLDS THRESHOLDS ARE MET 32 DEGREES OR BELOW AND DRY, OR WE HAVE 35 DEGREES AND BELOW AND WET.

UH, THE KEY FACTOR THERE IS, UH, WHETHER WE HAVE PRECIPITATION IN THE FORECAST OR NOT.

IN ADDITION, 35 DEGREES WITH A WINDSHIELD FACTOR THAT DROPS THE TEMPERATURE TO 32 DEGREES OR LOWER AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH.

IN, IN COLLABORATION WITH HES WILL MAINTAIN A RECORD OF WHEN COLD WEATHER SHELTERS ARE OPEN.

OUR PROPORTION IMPLEMENTATION IS A DATE IS JANUARY OF 23.

THE NEXT RECOMMENDATION IS IN ORDER TO, UH, RECOMMENDATION NUMBER TWO IN ORDER TO ENSURE THAT THE CITY IS COLD WEATHER, SHELTER, OPERATIONS PLAN AND SPECIAL OPERATIONS PLAN FOR HEAT AND EMERGENCIES REFLECT CURRENT IMPLEMENTATIONS, OPERATIONAL RESOURCES AND ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES.

THE DIRECTOR OF THE OFFICE OF HOMELESS SECURITY AND EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT SHOW WORK TO, WITH APPLICABLE STAKEHOLDERS TO UPDATE THE PLAN AT THE MINIMUM.

AT THE MINIMUM, THE PLAN SHOULD REFLECT THE VARIOUS ENTITIES CURRENTLY INVOLVED IN THE CITY'S COLD WEATHER, EMERGENCY SHELTER, AND HEAT EMERGENCY OPERATIONS, AND DEFINE THEIR RESPECTIVE ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES.

REFLECT THE POTENTIAL SHELTER FACILITIES INCLUDE THEIR ACTIVATION HIERARCHY, THIS RECOMMENDATION, HE, UH, WHILE KESEM CONDUCTS ANNUAL REVIEWS OF THE COLD WEATHER SHELTER PLANS BY NOVEMBER AND THE SPECIAL OPERATIONS PLAN FOR HEAT EMERGENCIES IN MAY.

UM, THE, THE REVIEWS, UH, THE REVIEWS ARE ANNUALLY AND HEON RECOGNIZES THAT WE NEED TO IMPROVE THE, THE MANNER IN WHICH, UH, THIS IS BEING DOCUMENTED.

UH, THAT, THAT THE REVIEW HAS BEEN COM CONDUCTED.

THE COLD WEATHER SHELTER OPERATIONS PLAN WILL BE UPDATED BY OCTOBER 23 WITH CLEAR ROADS AND RESPONSIBILITIES FOR PARTNER DEPARTMENTS AND SUPPORTING AGENCIES AND FACTORING AND THE NEW VENDOR SELECTED TO PROVIDE COLD WEATHER SERVICES.

THE COLD WEATHER SHELTER PLAN WILL BE UPDATED WITH LOCATIONS FOR POTENTIAL SHELTER FACILITIES TO INCLUDE AN ACTIVATION HIERARCHY THAT EXPLAINS HOW THE, HOW AND WHEN EACH FACILITY IS ACTIVATED.

HESSON WILL MAINTAIN THE PLAN AND WILL COLLABORATE WITH PUBLIC HEALTH, AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH, AND OTHER INVOLVED DEPARTMENTS TO CONDUCT ANNUAL REVIEWS.

[00:25:01]

HESSON WILL UPDATE PROCEDURES TO INCORPORATE PROPER DOCUMENTATION OF PLAN REVIEWS AND UPDATE ONCE THE THIRD VENDOR CONTRACTOR IS ON BOARD.

OUR PROPOSED IMPLEMENTATION DATE IS, WILL BE OCTOBER 23.

IN ORDER TO ENSURE THAT THIS ALSO INCLUDES NOT ONLY THE COLD WEATHER SHELTERS, BUT THE SPECIAL OPERATIONS FOR HEAT EMERGENCIES AS WELL, TO ENSURE THAT THE CITY EFFECTIVELY, UH, RECOMMENDATION NUMBER THREE TO ENSURE THAT THE CITY EFFECTIVELY PROVIDES NECESSARY SERVICES IN THE COLD WEATHER SHELTERS.

THE CITY MANAGER SHOULD DETERMINE WHICH SERVICES WILL BE PROVIDED TO SHELTERS AND HAVE PROVISIONS FOR EXTENUATING CIRCUMSTANCES LIKE POWER FAILURES AND EXTENDED LENGTH OF STAY.

UH, WE CONCUR THE COLD WEATHER SHELTER PLAN WILL IDENTIFY THE SERVICES PROVIDED IN COLD WEATHER SHELTERS AND INCLUDE PROVISIONS FOR CIRCUMSTANCES THAT MIGHT EXTEND THE EXTENDED LENGTH OF STAYS.

CURRENTLY, COLD WEATHER SHELTERS ARE DESIGNED TO PROVIDE BASIC SERVICES OVERNIGHT, A PLACE TO SLEEP ACCESS TO TOILETS, SINKS, NOT SHOWERS, LIMITED MEALS AND ACCESS TO, UH, CHARGE ELECTRONIC DEVICES, INCLUDING CERTAIN MEDICAL EQUIPMENT.

THESE SERVICES COULD EXPAND OVERNIGHT BASED ON THE VENDOR'S FUTURE CAPABILITIES.

THE CITY WILL CONVENE A GROUP TO ESTABLISH PROTOCOLS BETWEEN STAKEHOLDER DEPARTMENTS AND COMMUNITY PARTNERS FOR SCENARIOS INVOLVING EXTENDED LENGTH OF STAY AND OVERFLOW CONTINGENCIES.

THE CITY WILL ASSESS THE ADDITIONAL RESOURCES NEEDED FOR SUCH AN, UH, AN EVENT INCLUDING NEW, INCLUDING USING EMERGENCY CONTRACT AND NON-CITY RESOURCES TO SUPPLEMENT WHAT THE CITY CAN PROVIDE.

ALL CITY FACILITIES HAVE CONTINUITY PLANS IN THE EVENT OF AN EMERGENCY LIKE POWER FAILURE AT THEIR FACILITIES.

FOR CITY FACILITIES THAT MAY SERVE AS A COLD WEATHER SHELTER, A GAP ANALYSIS WILL BE PERFORMED.

STAFF WILL IDENTIFY POTENTIAL MITIGATION PROJECTS THAT WILL FURTHER HARDEN CITY FACILITIES TO INCLUDE INCORPORATING THE CITY'S CLIMATE RESILIENCY AND ADAPTATION PLAN FOR CITY ASSETS AND OPERATIONS, AND THE CITY'S RESILIENCY STRATEGY CURRENTLY IN DEVELOPMENT TO INCREASE RESILIENCY IN CITY OWNED FACILITIES AND IMPROVE OUR ABILITY TO RESPOND IN AN EMERGENCY.

OUR PROPOSED IMPLEMENT IMPLEMENTATION DATE IS SET AT OCTOBER 23RD, EXCUSE MEOC, OCTOBER OF 2023.

THAT'S THE END OF THE, UH, RECOMMENDATIONS AND STAFF IS HERE.

UH, AND, AND TO ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS.

THANK YOU, MR. ORTIZ'S.

UM, COLLEAGUES WHO HAS QUESTIONS? COUNCIL MEMBER TOVO, AND THEN COUNCIL MEMBER FUENTES.

I HAVE QUITE A FEW, UM, SO I'LL ASK A FEW AND THEN MAYBE YOU CAN COME BACK AROUND SECOND, ON A SECOND HERE.

UM, THANK YOU DIRECTOR R ORTIZ FOR THE RESPONSE.

I'M NOT SURE THAT I'M UNDERSTANDING HOW WE GOT TO THIS POSITION, THOUGH, WHERE ONE OF OUR VERY TRUSTED PARTNERS, UM, DOESN'T APPEAR TO BE INVOLVED IN THE, IN THE STAFFING.

AND, YOU KNOW, I SEE ON PAGE 12 THAT YOU CONDUCT REVIEWS EVERY YEAR TO PLAN FOR THE COLD WEATHER, BUT IT, IT WOULD SEEM LIKE AT THAT POINT IT BECAME CLEAR THAT YOU WEREN'T GOING TO GET THE VOLUNTEERS THAT YOU NEEDED FROM THAT EXTERNAL ORGANIZATION.

SO I HAVE A, I HAVE A VARIETY OF QUESTIONS RELATED TO THAT.

UM, TO START WITH, I GUESS, AUDITOR, UH, DID YOU INTERVIEW THE AMERICAN RED CROSS FOR THIS AUDIT? YES.

COUNCIL MEMBERS, WE DID.

AND SO, YOU KNOW, I, BACK WHEN WE WERE DOING THE AUDIT OF THE WINTER STORM RESPONSE, SOMEONE WHO HAS BEEN A VOLUNTEER FOR A LONG TIME IN EMERGENCY OPERATIONS MENTIONED THAT SOME OF THE MEETINGS THAT TYPICALLY TAKE PLACE WITH THE CITY TO PLAN FOR THESE KINDS OF EVENTS HADN'T BEEN HAPPENING AS REGULARLY AS THEY HAD IN THE PAST.

UM, DID YOU, DID YOU TALK WITH THE AMERICAN RED CROSS ABOUT WHETHER THOSE PLANNING EFFORTS WERE GOING ON AS SCHEDULED? NO, WE DID NOT DISCUSS THAT.

DID THEY, UM, DID THEY INDICATE WHAT THEIR COMMUNICATION HAD BEEN LIKE WITH THE CITY AS FAR AS, I MEAN, DID THEY, DID THEY LET THE CITY KNOW CLEARLY THAT THEY WERE GOING I'M, I'M SORRY, COUNCIL MEMBER TOBO, UH, YOU'RE COMING IN AND OUT AND, UH, WAS THAT QUESTION ADDRESSED TO, UH, TO HENRY OR TO MYSELF? I THINK WE MIGHT HAVE LOST HER COUNCIL.

MA R TOVA,

[00:30:01]

ARE YOU THERE? UM, I'M GONNA SUGGEST THAT WE GO ON TO COUNCIL MEMBER FUENTES, AND WE'LL COME BACK TO THAT.

THANK YOU.

AND DIRECTOR ORTIZ, I CAN YOU FORWARD US YOUR POWERPOINT THAT YOU JUST PRESENTED? I DON'T SEE IT ON THE, ON THE ONLINE WEBPAGE.

I DIDN'T SEE IT IN THE EMAIL IN THE BACKUP, BUT I WANNA MAKE SURE I HAVE THAT TO, TO CROSS REFERENCE.

UM, YOU COLLEAGUES, I WANNA DRAW YOUR ATTENTION TO THE FACT THAT DURING THE BUDGET, THIS YEAR'S BUDGET PROCESS, WE PASSED AN AMENDMENT, A BUDGET WRITER, EXCUSE ME, A BUDGET WRITER THAT I BROUGHT FORWARD THAT WAS CENTERED AROUND OUR COLD WEATHER SHELTER PLAN.

AND SPECIFICALLY IT ASKED FOR AN UPDATE FROM THE CITY MANAGER TO PROVIDE TO COUNSEL WITH AN INITIAL STATUS REPORT OF THE EMERGENCY SHELTER PLAN.

UM, IN THAT DIRECTION, WHAT WE ASKED, AND IT WAS BUILT UPON ANOTHER ITEM, A RESOLUTION THAT COUNSEL PASSED BACK IN JULY OF 28, UH, JULY 28TH, 2022, THE BUDGET RIDER THAT WE PASSED ASKED FOR A PLAN TO INCLUDE COMMUNITY INPUT THAT SHOULD BE INFORMED BY FRONTLINE VOLUNTEERS WITH EXPERIENCE AND OUTREACH AND RESPONSE EFFORTS.

IT ALSO ASKED THE MANAGER TO INCREASE THE AVAILABILITY OF SHELTERS OUTSIDE OF CITY-OWNED FACILITIES BY EXPLORING COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS.

AND IT ALSO, YOU KNOW, I'M NOT GONNA READ IT VERBATIM, BUT IT ALSO ASKED FOR THE TRAINING PIECE TO ALSO BE INCORPORATED.

SO THAT BUDGET WRITER ASKED FOR AN UPDATE TO THE EMERGENCY SHELTER RESPONSE PLAN BY NOVEMBER 1ST OF THIS YEAR.

WE OBVIOUSLY DIDN'T GET IT.

AND IN THIS AUDIT REPORT WE'RE FINDING THAT WE STILL DON'T HAVE, UH, AN UPDATE THAT'S READY TO GO.

UH, IN FACT, THE IMPLEMENTATION DATE OF, AND I'M HAPPY TO SEE SOME PROGRESS, AT LEAST KNOWING THAT AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH WILL BE IN CHARGE OF, OF ACTIVATING THE SHELTERS.

UM, BUT IT STILL SAYS IMPLEMENTATION JANUARY, 2023.

UM, I'M CONCERNED THAT IN JANUARY AND FEBRUARY WE'LL HAVE SOME EXTREME WEATHER EVENTS, UM, AS HISTORY HAS SHOWN.

THANK YOU FOR PROVIDING THE DATES OF THE, OF LAST YEAR'S EXTREME WEATHER EVENTS WHEN WE DID NOT HAVE SHELTERS.

DO YOU WANNA PUNCTUATE THAT THOSE DATES WERE IN JANUARY OR FEBRUARY OF EARLIER THIS YEAR.

AND SO I'M JUST A LITTLE CONCERNED AS TO HOW WE GOT HERE WITH THIS REPORT, AND IT SEEMS LIKE THERE'S BEEN NOT SIGNIFICANT PROGRESS MADE.

SO, DIRECTOR OR ORTIZ, CAN YOU TALK US THROUGH, AND I DON'T KNOW IF THIS QUESTION'S FOR YOU OR FOR, UM, DIRECTOR STIR UP, BUT BASED ON THE PREVIOUS COUNCIL RESOLUTION THAT WAS ADOPTED IN JULY, THE BUDGET WRITER THAT COUNCIL ALSO ADOPTED, THAT ASKED FOR AN EMERGENCY SHELTER RESPONSE PLAN TO BE UPDATED AND PROVIDED AHEAD OF THIS YEAR'S WINTER SEASON, UM, WHAT, WHAT WERE THE CONTRIBUTING FACTORS THAT, THAT LED TO THIS DELAY? WELL, LET ME, UM, UH, I'LL START, UH, WITH A RESPONSE AND I'LL ASK MY, UM, MY PARTNERS TO, UH, COVER AT ANY ADDITIONAL INFORMATION THAT I MAY, MAY NOT HAVE IN, IN FRONT OF ME.

UM, I, I WANNA MAKE SURE THAT THE COUNCIL IS, IS AWARE THAT WE ARE, UH, WE DO HAVE A COLDWELL SHELTER PROGRAM IN PLACE AND STAFF ACTUALLY THAT IS, UM, MEETING, UM, UM, AND WORKING IN THIS EFFORT.

AND THE, WHAT THE RECOMME, WHAT THE AUDIT FOUND IN RECOMMENDATION NUMBER TWO IS THAT WE HAVE IN AN INCONSISTENT HOW WE DETERMINE, UH, THAT, HOW THAT REVIEW IS CONDUCTED AND DOCUMENTED WHILE, UM, UH, THE PLAN IS REVIEWED.

SOMETIMES IT IS NOT UPDATED CUZ STAFF FEELS THAT THERE RE REALLY IS NO NEED TO UPDATE IT, BUT WE ARE GOING TO BE MAKING SOME, UH, CHANGES IN THAT PROCEDURE AND TO ENSURE THAT WE DOCUMENT NOT ONLY THE PLAN UPDATE, BUT ALSO THE REVIEW PROCESS.

WE ALSO KNOW THAT, UH, IN THE FY 23 BUDGET PROCESS, THERE WAS FUNDING THAT WAS MADE AVAILABLE FOR PUBLIC HEALTH TO GO OUT AND PURSUE A A VENDOR.

THAT PROCESS IS STILL ONGOING.

AND I CAN TELL YOU THAT WE MET THROUGHOUT THE YEAR LEADING UP TO THIS POINT TO ENSURE THAT NOT ONLY WAS THERE GONNA BE A VENDOR IN PLACE, BUT ALSO THAT WE HAVE A CONTINGENCY IN THE EVENT THAT THE VENDOR WAS NOT READY TO, TO, UH, TO ACTIVATE.

AND STAFF IS READY TO ACTIVATE COLD WEATHER SHELTERS AT THE, THE LOCATIONS THAT HAVE BEEN, UH, IDENTIFIED.

UM, UH, AND WE ARE READY TO DO THAT.

IN ADDITION TO THAT, UM, WELL, AS PART OF THE WINTER STORM URI AUDIT AND, UH, WINTER, WINTER STORM JURY AFTER ACTION REPORT STAFF HAS IDENTIFIED, UH, AND PRE-STAGE SHELTER SUPPLIES AND NINE SEPARATE SHELTER LOCATIONS TO ENSURE NOT ONLY DO WE HAVE SHELTER SUPPLIES FOR WHOLE WEATHERS, BUT ALSO SHELTER SUPPLIES.

IN THE EVENT THERE WAS, THERE

[00:35:01]

WAS ANOTHER DISASTER AND ANY TIME OF THE YEAR, AND WE CAN ACTIVATE THOSE FACILITIES.

AND WE'RE WORKING TO MEET OUR GOAL OF, OF HAVING A, A SHELTER LOCATION IN EVERY DISTRICT.

UH, AND, AND, AND EXPANDING ON THAT, WE ARE WORKING WITH, UH, OUR, UH, UM, VOLUNTEER AGENCIES THAT WORK IN THIS, UH, IN, IN THIS AREA, LIKE THE AMERICAN RED CROSS AND THE AUSTIN DISASTER RELIEF THAT WORK, JUST TO MENTION TWO OF SEVERAL, UH, BUT SOME OF THESE AGENCIES, UM, UM, HAVE, UH, LIMITATIONS AS WELL.

AND SOME, UH, IN YEARS PAST THE AMERICAN WEAR CROSS HAS, HAS BEEN A GREAT PARTNER IN PROVIDING US SUPPLIES, UH, BUT NOT NECESSARILY THE STAFF FOR COLDWELL SHELTER ACTIVATIONS, BUT, UH, THEY HAVE BEEN, UH, A, A PARTNER AND, AND WE'RE VERY GRATEFUL FOR WHAT THEY'RE DOING AND OTHER, UH, OR ORGANIZATIONS ARE STEPPING UP AND, UH, AND WE ARE ADAPTING TO THE CHANGES THAT THE PANDEMIC HAS REQUIRED US TO MAKE.

UM, UH, DIRECTOR ADRIAN, UH, ANYTHING ELSE THAT I'M MIGHT HAVE MISSED? GOOD MORNING.

THANK YOU, DIRECTOR ORTIZ.

UM, NO, I, I I THINK YOU COVERED IT QUITE WELL.

UM, AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH WORKS ON THEIR STANDING STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES ANNUALLY, AND ADMITTEDLY WE NEED TO DO A BETTER JOB OF UPDATING THE WRITTEN PLAN, BUT THE TEAM DOES MEET WITH COMMUNITY PARTNERS TO MAKE SURE THAT WE ARE READY FOR COLD WEATHER SHELTERING.

THAT'S WHY YOU SEE THE UPDATED RECOMMENDATIONS TO INCLUDE WINDSHIELD FACTOR, UM, FOR THE THRESHOLD.

SO WE ARE CONSTANTLY LOOKING AT THE CONDITIONS, UM, AND BETTER WAYS TO IMPROVE SHELTERING.

WE'VE MET AS A TEAM INTERNALLY TO PREPARE FOR THE SOLICITATION THAT DIRECTOR ORTIZ MENTIONED.

IT WAS A GROUP EFFORT.

UM, WE SUCCESSFULLY WERE ABLE TO HAVE A VENDOR IN PLACE, AND NOW IT IS A PROCESS WITH STAKEHOLDERS TO MAKE SURE THAT WE ARE TAKING INFORMATION THAT WE HEARD FROM THE COMMUNITY, BUT ALSO FROM OUR, UM, INTERNAL SUBJECT MATTER EXPERTS TO MAKE SURE THAT THE SCOPE OF WORK REFLECTS THE LEVEL OF SERVICES THAT OUR COMMUNITY HAS COME TO EXPECT.

AND THEN ALSO, UM, THE PLAN THAT DIRECTOR ORTIZ SPOKE ABOUT, UM, BECAUSE WITH THAT SOLICITATION, THERE'S A CAP ON THE NUMBER OF INDIVIDUALS THAT THE VENDOR WILL BE ABLE TO SERVE.

AND WE'RE WORKING COLLECTIVELY TO BE ABLE TO, WHEN WE GET TO PERSON 201 THAT NEEDS A PLACE TO STAY DURING A COLD WEATHER SHELTER ACTIVATION, THE CITY IS PLANNING TO BE ABLE TO UP STAND UP THOSE ADDITIONAL RESOURCES.

THANK YOU.

I I APPRECIATE THAT FEEDBACK.

I JUST HAVE ONE, ONE FURTHER QUESTION.

UM, BASED ON THE SOLICITATION, THE SOLICITATION AND THE VENDOR IS, WILL THAT, AND I MAY HAVE MISSED THIS, I GUESS IN THE PRESENTATION, IS THAT ALREADY IN PLACE? SO SHOULD THERE BE A COLD WEATHER, EXTREME WEATHER EVENT, LET'S SAY IN TWO WEEKS FROM NOW, THAT VENDOR IS GONNA HAVE PEOPLE IN PLACE THAT ARE TRAINED AND READY TO RESPOND AT OUR EMERGENCY SHELTERS? WE HAVE A TARGET DATE OF CONTRACT EXECUTION FOR THE END OF THIS WEEK.

UM, WE HAVE BEEN IN CONVERSATIONS WITH THE VENDOR AND, UH, PROVIDED THAT THESE, THIS LAST PHASE OF NEGOTIATIONS GO WELL, THEY ARE CONFIDENT THAT THEY WILL BE ABLE TO HAVE THE STAFFING IN PLACE FOR ANY ACTIVATIONS THAT TAKE PLACE.

OKAY.

AND, AND ALSO, UH, WE, WE DO REALIZE THAT THERE'S GONNA BE A LITTLE BIT OF A LEARNING CURVE, UH, AS WE BRING THE NEW VENDOR ON BOARD.

AND, AND, AND, AND WHY WE'RE GIVEN A PROPOSED, UH, IMPLEMENTATION PLAN DATE IS TO ALLOW US TO CAPTURE THOSE LESSONS LEARNED AND ALLOW US THE OPPORTUNITY TO MODIFY THE PLAN THAT WE HAVE IN PLACE TODAY TO, UH, BE ABLE TO ADAPT WHAT, WHAT THE IMPACTS ARE GONNA BE FROM THE, UH, UH, THE VENDOR THAT WAS IDENTIFIED THROUGH THE SOLICITATION.

UH, UH, ALSO WE HAVE, UH, HERE ON, UM, AVAILABLE IS DIANA GRAY THAT MAY HAVE SOME ADDITIONAL INFORMATION TO PROVIDE.

THANK YOU, JUAN.

UM, COUNCIL MEMBER FUENTEZ, I WANTED TO, UM, TO RESPOND TO ONE OF THE QUESTIONS YOU ASKED, UH, PARTICULARLY ABOUT THE DIRECTION THAT WAS GIVEN IN LATE JULY REGARDING SHELTER PLANNING.

UM, AS YOU LIKELY RECALL, THAT DIRECTION CAME ACCOMPANIED, UH, UH, WITH THE APPROVAL OF THE EMERGENCY SHELTER CONTRACTS FOR THE ARCH AND SOUTHBRIDGE SHELTERS.

AND SO THE DIRECTION, UM, UH, UH, TO THE CITY MANAGER WAS THAT WE ENGAGE IN AN ASSESSMENT OF OUR OVERALL SHELTERING SYSTEM, NOT JUST COLD FOR WEATHER, UH, UH, EVENTS, UH, AND COME UP WITH AT LEAST A VISION, UM,

[00:40:01]

FOR FUTURE ACTIVITIES IN OUR SYSTEM.

SO THE DIRECTION AND THE SORT OF INTENT OF THIS AUDIT AND THAT PLANNING ARE CERTAINLY RELATED, BUT THEY ARE SEPARATE, UM, EFFORTS.

UH, WE HAVE ALREADY STARTED THE, THE COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT EFFORT, UH, ON THAT TRACK.

AND WE ARE WORKING WITH TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE CONSULTANTS, UH, PROVIDED BY HUD VERY CLOSELY WITH ECHO ON THAT IT WILL BE A SEVERAL MONTH PROCESS, UH, BECAUSE WE DO WANNA DO IT RIGHT AND REALLY THINK COMPREHENSIVELY ABOUT OUR SYSTEM.

THE TI SPECIFIC TIMELINE THAT WAS COMMUNICATED TO US WITH THE DIRECTION WAS THAT THAT ASSESSMENT WAS TO BE COMPLETE BEFORE THE EMERGENCY CONTRACTS FOR THE ART OR SOUTH BRIDGE WERE RECOMPETE.

AND SO THAT IS WHAT WE ARE TARGETING, UH, AND WILL CO CONTINUE TO UPDATE COUNCIL ALONG THE WAY.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU.

UH, COUNCIL MEMBER KELLY, AND THEN WE'LL GO BACK TO COUNCIL MEMBER TOVO, AND THEN I HAVE SOME QUESTIONS.

THANK YOU.

UM, AND THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR PRESENTING THIS REPORT TO US TODAY.

UM, I HAVE A COUPLE QUESTIONS ABOUT ENSURING THAT THE EXPENSES ARE PROPERLY TRACKED, AND I WAS JUST WONDERING, UM, DIRECTOR ORTIZ, WHAT WA WHAT DID YOU ALL IDENTIFY AS THE BARRIER TO ENSURING THAT THAT WAS HAPPENING IN THE FIRST PLACE? WAS IT SIMPLY A CODING ISSUE? UM, BECAUSE IT SOUNDED LIKE DURING THE PRESENTATION THAT YOU CREATED A CODE SPECIFICALLY FOR TRACKING THE EXPENSES.

I DIDN'T KNOW IF THERE WAS ANYTHING ELSE THAT WAS INVOLVED IN THAT.

UM, BASICALLY THAT WAS, IT, IT IT, IT WAS A, A, A CODING ISSUE.

UH, IN, UH, A WHILE IN INDIVIDUALLY WE MIGHT HAVE BEEN TRACKING, UH, SOME COSTS.

UH, WE DID NOT REALLY HAVE VISIBILITY, UH, AS TO WHAT THE OVERALL DEPARTMENTS WERE TRACKING AS FAR AS COSTS.

BUT THIS CHANGE, UH, UH, WELL, UH, IT'S A SIMPLE CHANGE AND HONESTLY, I DON'T KNOW WHY IT DIDN'T OCCUR TO US EARLIER.

UH, UH, YOU KNOW, IT WILL ALLOW US TO BETTER TRACK THOSE COSTS AND WHAT DEPARTMENTS ARE ACTUALLY SPENDING IN SUPPORT OF THIS, UH, UH, OF THIS, UH, OF THIS MISSION THAT, UH, PREVIOUSLY PRIOR TO THIS FISCAL YEAR WAS NOT, UM, WAS NOT BUDGETED IN DEPARTMENTS ANYWHERE.

SO DEPARTMENTS WERE BASICALLY TAKING IT OUT OF OPERATING FUNDS.

UH, BUT NOW, UH, UM, I, I THINK IT'S A LESSON LEARNED AND, AND I THINK THE AUDIT, UH, REALLY SHINED THE LIGHT THE WAY IT SHOULD.

AND, UH, WE, WE ARE GONNA MAKE THAT CHANGE, AND I THINK IT'S GONNA HELP US SO WE CAN BETTER REPORT TO COUNCIL, UH, WHAT WE'RE SPENDING IN SUPPORT OF THIS MISSION.

AND I, I APPRECIATE THAT EXPLANATION VERY MUCH SO, BECAUSE WITH THE ACCURATE TRACKING OF THE EXPENSES, IT'LL HELP COUNCIL, ESPECIALLY DURING FUTURE BUDGET SESSIONS, REALLY BE ABLE TO GO BACK AND LOOK AND SEE WHERE WE WANT TO PUT RESOURCES IN THE FORM OF FUNDING SO THAT WE CAN HELP SUPPORT THIS.

I THINK IT'S A REALLY IMPORTANT GOAL TO HAVE COUNCIL, UM, INVOLVED IN THAT.

AND THEN ALSO JUST BEING GOOD STEWARDS OF THE TAXPAYERS MONEY AND MAKING SURE THAT WE'RE SPENDING AS EFFECTIVELY AND EFFICIENTLY AS POSSIBLE.

SO THAT'S ALL I HAD.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU.

UM, BEFORE I GO TO COUNCIL MEMBER TOVO, SO YOU'VE CHANGED HOW YOU CODE IT, BUT HAS THERE BEEN ANY CHANGE TO WHAT HAPPENS, SAY FOR PARD WHO'S GETTING NEXT TO NO MONEY FOR THIS, BUT HAS TO PUT A LOT OF RESOURCES INTO THIS, IN THIS PROCESS? UM, UM, UH, THEY CAN, THEY CAN CODE IT, BUT THAT DOESN'T REALLY HELP THEM.

UH, I, UM, I THINK BY CODING, IT, IT, IT WILL ALLOW US TO IDENTIFY WHAT THE COSTS ARE AND, AND BE ABLE TO BETTER, UH, MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FUTURE BUDGET, UM, UM, UM, UM, YEARS AND, AND BE ABLE TO HAVE A BETTER IDEA AS TO WHAT, WHAT IS NECESSARY TO BUDGET FOR, UH, AND, AND SUPPORT OF THIS, UH, THIS EFFORT IN FUTURE YEARS.

OKAY.

UM, I'M GONNA ASK THAT, AND, AND, AND, UM, MS. NIA, MAYBE YOU CAN HELP MAKE THIS HAPPEN, UM, THAT IT SAYS IN YOUR RESPONSE THAT YOU'RE GONNA ALLOW FOR MITIGATION REQUEST TO HAPPEN DURING THE BUDGET.

I WOULD LIKE US, UM, YOU KNOW, AS PART OF OUR Q AND A OR INFORMATION THAT WE RE RECEIVE, THAT WE ARE VERY CLEARLY TOLD WHAT REQUESTS FOR MITIGATION WERE MADE AND WHICH ONES ARE GRANTED IN THE BUDGET.

UM, I'M NOT, WED THAT IT BEING COUNCIL BUDGET Q AND A, BUT IN SOME FORMAT SO THAT IT'S VERY TRANSPARENT TO US IN THE BUDGET PROCESS WHERE THERE MAY BE GAPS IN, IN ADDRESSING, UM, THE REQUESTS NOW THAT WE WILL HAVE THE DATA, UM, FOLLOWING THIS CHANGE.

ABSOLUTELY.

WE CAN CERTAINLY PROVIDE THAT AND TO, UM, TO SU SUPPORT WHAT JUAN IS SAYING, TO BE VERY CLEAR, WE ARE COMMUNICATING WITH OUR DEPARTMENTS THAT WE WILL FUND THEM AND MAKE SURE THAT THEY HAVE THE FUNDING THEY NEED TO PROVIDE THE SERVICES.

WE'RE JUST TRYING TO GET A BETTER IDEA OF WHAT THAT AMOUNT IS TO BUDGET.

BUT IN THE MEANTIME, ABSOLUTELY ANY MITIGATION COSTS, WE, WE, UH, CAN CERTAINLY BE TRANSPARENT AND SHARE THOSE WITH COUNSEL, BUT WILL THEY BE RETRO?

[00:45:01]

SO, SO I JUST WANNA BE CLEAR, WHAT I WAS ASKING WAS, YOU KNOW, THEY'RE GONNA TRACK THIS AND THEN THEY'RE GONNA SAY, WE NEED TO COVER THESE COSTS.

UM, WE HAVE HAD A HISTORY WITH RESPECT TO HOUSTON, FOR INSTANCE, WHERE THERE HAVE BEEN REQUESTS FOR THINGS TO BE FUNDED AND THEY WEREN'T FUNDED, AND THEN WE NEVER KNEW THOSE REQUESTS WERE THERE, SO WE DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT A PARTICULAR NEED.

AND SO WHAT I'M SAYING IS I WANNA MAKE SURE THAT THAT NEED IS VERY TRANSPARENT, BETTER IS IF YOU FUNDED ALL, AND I DON'T HAVE TO KNOW THAT THERE ARE ANY GAPS.

UM, BUT I JUST WANNA BE CLEAR ON THAT, BUT IT STILL DOESN'T ADDRESS WHAT HAPPENS THIS YEAR.

IF WE HAVE A LOT OF COLD DAYS, AGAIN, AS WE'VE HAD IN MULTIPLE YEARS, WHERE, YOU KNOW, PAR IS USING ITS FACILITIES, IT'S USING ITS STAFF.

I MEAN, THE CLEAR LESSON FROM THIS, YOU ASSIGNED IT TO APH, BUT THE WORK IS BEING DONE BY PAR IN A LOT OF THESE CASES AND THEY HAVE LIMITED RESOURCES AS IT IS, AND NOW THEY'RE BEING ASKED TO DO ALL THE SHELTERING WITH NO ACCOMMODATIONS FOR THAT, SO THEY CAN CONTINUE WITH THE REST OF THEIR PROGRAMMING.

SO YES, WE WILL BE TRANSPARENT IN THOSE REQUESTS, AND I TO TAKE IT A STEP FURTHER, UH, OR DISCUSS IT IN A DIFFERENT WAY, AND, UH, JUAN MENTIONED THIS IN HIS PRESENTATION, BUT EARLY ON IN THIS YEAR, WE STARTED MEETING AS A CROSS, UH, CITY TEAM.

I GUESS WE STARTED THOSE MEETINGS IN, UH, FEBRUARY OF LAST YEAR, MAYBE MARCH.

AND, UH, ASSISTANT CITY MANAGER, HAYDEN HOWARD, HAS LED THAT THE EFFORT, THAT TEAM OF DIRECTORS SO THAT WE CAN HAVE THESE CONVERSATIONS, THIS GROUP MEETS REGULARLY.

UM, I BELIEVE THEY'RE MEETING MONTHLY, IS THAT CORRECT? AND HAVING, BRINGING THOSE REQUESTS TO THE TABLE, BRINGING THOSE NEEDS TO THE TABLE SO THAT WE'RE VERY WELL AWARE AND THAT WE'RE NOT PUTTING ANY OF OUR DEPARTMENTS IN A POSITION OF NOT BEING ABLE TO STAFF OR RESOURCE, UH, THE NEEDS THAT ARE, THAT THEY'RE, THAT THEY'RE, UH, SEEING.

WE ALSO IN TRYING TO, UH, LOOK AT OUR, UH, AT OUR STRATEGY AND UPDATING OUR PLANS, WE WANNA MAKE SURE THAT WE ARE TRANSPARENT AND FORTHCOMING ON WITH THOSE NEEDS ARE, IT'S ABSOLUTELY A PRIORITY.

THANK YOU.

UH, COUNCIL MEMBER TOVA, IF YOU'RE THERE.

I AM SORRY ABOUT THAT, AND I WASN'T ABLE TO HEAR THE RESPONSE.

I DON'T WANNA TAKE US BACKWARDS, SO IF, IF THIS QUESTION GOT ANSWERED, UM, JUST LET ME KNOW AND I'LL CATCH UP ON THE TAPE.

BUT I'M, I'M SUPER, I APPRECIATE HEARING ABOUT WHAT'S GONNA HAPPEN IN THE FUTURE, BUT IT'S NOT CLEAR TO ME WHAT, WHAT'S HAPPENED.

UM, YOU KNOW, WHAT HAPPENED TO CREATE THE SITUATION THAT THE AUDIT DISCOVERED, AND IT SEEMS TO ME, AS OTHERS HAVE MENTIONED, THE BURDEN ON ON, AND THE AUDIT MENTIONS REALLY CLEARLY THE BURDEN ON ON HAS FALLEN TO THE PARKS DEPARTMENT TO STAFF THESE, I'M REALLY STRUCK BY THE COMMENTS THAT INDIVIDUAL PARKS DEPARTMENT STAFF MADE ABOUT, YOU KNOW, ABOUT, UM, THE IMPACT THAT THAT HAS HAD ON THEM.

I ALSO, I ALSO UNDERSTAND THAT THAT MEANS THAT THOSE STAFF, YOU KNOW, THEN NEED TO TAKE TIME AND, AND, UM, HOURS AWAY FROM THEIR OTHER KEY RESPONSIBILITIES, BECAUSE THIS HAS NOT BEEN DESCRIBED AS ONE OF THEIR KEY RESPONSIBILITIES AS ONE OF THE EMPLOYEES WHO WAS QUOTED IN THE AUDIT MADE REALLY CLEAR.

I'M ALSO CONCERNED BECAUSE WE'VE HAD A MULTI-DECADE RELATIONSHIP WITH THE AMERICAN RED CROSS, AND I, I'M NOT CLEAR ON ON WHAT THE COMMUNICATION HAS BEEN HERE, DID THEY? AND I, I WAS STARTING TO SAY, AND I'M NOT SURE IF YOU WERE ABLE TO HEAR ME ON THIS, BUT IN THE, IN THE DAYS AFTER THE WINTER STORM WHEN WE WERE TALKING ABOUT THE WINTER STORM AUDIT, ONE INDIVIDUAL WHO HAD BEEN A VOLUNTEER FOR A LONG, LONG TIME INDICATED THAT THERE, THE COMMUNICATION HAD REALLY BROKEN DOWN PRIOR TO, UM, THE STORM, AND THAT THERE WERE NOT THE KIND OF REGULAR MEETINGS THAT HAD BEEN HAPPENING IN THE PAST.

SO MY QUESTION WAS TO THE AUDITOR, AND I'LL CATCH UP ON THAT RESPONSE ON, I DO WANNA ASK DIRECTOR ORTIZ, AT WHAT POINT DID YOU REALIZE IN YOUR PRE-PLANNING IN THE FALL, DID YOU REALIZE THAT YOU WERE NOT GOING TO HAVE PARTICIPATION FROM THE AMERICAN RED CROSS IN HELPING STAFF THESE WINTER WEATHER SHELTERS? AND, AND WHAT DID YOU DO NEXT TO MAKE SURE THAT THEY WOULD BE ADEQUATELY STAFFED? BECAUSE I DON'T, I DON'T REMEMBER SEEING ANY CALLS THAT WENT OUT TO CITY STAFF GENERALLY TO ASK THEM, YOU KNOW, IF THEY WOULD BE INTERESTED IN SIGNING UP TO BE VOLUNTEERS AND RECEIVE THAT TRAINING.

I DON'T REMEMBER SEEING ANY, ANY CALLS IN THE COMMUNITY SOLICITING VOLUNTEERS.

AND, YOU KNOW, PART OF, PART OF WHAT WHAT I HAVE OBSERVED IN THE LAST FEW YEARS IS, YOU KNOW, JUST, UM, AS POTENTIAL, I MEAN, WE, WE ARE LOOKING AT THE GAPS AFTER THEY'RE OCCURRING, BUT THESE ARE, THESE ARE PART OF THE WORK THAT, THAT YOUR DEPARTMENT DOES DAY IN AND DAY OUT TO MAKE SURE THAT WE'RE PREPARED FOR, FOR EMERGENCIES.

AND I UNDERSTAND THE PANDEMIC WAS GOING ON, BUT TO WHAT EXTENT DID YOU, DID YOU KNOW THAT OUR TRADITIONAL PARTNER OF, OF MULTIPLE DECADES WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO STAFF? AND DID YOU, DID YOU TRY TO COMMUN RECRUIT OTHER COMMUNITY PARTNERS? DID YOU TRY TO RECRUIT OTHER CITY STAFF? UH, COUNCIL MEMBER TOVO, UM, JUST WANNA MAKE

[00:50:01]

SURE THAT WE'RE, UM, SPEAKING ABOUT THE SAME TYPE OF SHELTER.

UM, THE, THE AUDIT WAS ON COLD WEATHER SHELTERS, AND, UH, THESE ARE, LIKE I I MENTIONED PRIMARILY PERSONS THAT, UM, UM, OUTHOUSE POPULATION IN OUR COMMUNITY.

SO THEY HAVE A PLACE TO STAY OVERNIGHT.

TRADITIONALLY, THE AMERICAN RED CROSS IN THIS TYPE OF SHELTER HAS, UH, PROVIDED SUPPLIES, BUT HAS NOT PROVIDED, UH, STAFF.

THAT IS WHAT'S, UH, THAT'S, THAT IS MY UNDERSTANDING.

UM, I HEARD YOU SAY THAT EARLIER, DR.

DR.

ORTIZ, IT WAS THE AUDIT.

THE AUDIT WAS SAYING THAT SOME OF THE EXTERNAL PARTNERS THAT HAD IN THE PASTERS WERE NOT ABLE TO PROVIDE VOLUNTEERS.

AND SO PERHAPS IT'S NOT THE AMERICAN RED CROSS THAT THE AUDIT WAS REFERRING TO.

CORRECT.

PERHAPS THEY WERE REFERRING TO CHURCHES AND THINGS.

AND, AND SO IF, SO, I APOLOGIZE, BUT WHAT, WHAT THE PLAN SAYS ON PAGE FIVE, IN LOOKING AT THAT CHART, IT SAYS THAT THE PLAN REQUIREMENTS WERE THAT NONPROFIT AND FAITH-BASED ORGANIZATIONS ARE THE PRIMARY SHELTER PROVIDERS, AND THAT WHEN CITY FACILITIES ARE USED FOR COLD WEATHER SHELTERS, THEY'RE STAFFED BY LOCAL NONPROFITS IN THE AMERICAN RED CROSS.

SO THAT'S WHAT I WAS REFERRING TO.

IT SOUNDS LIKE THE PLAN IN THE PAST HAS BEEN TO STAFF THEM THROUGH THE AMERICAN RED CROSS VOLUNTEERS AND THROUGH NONPROFITS.

I HEAR WHAT YOU'RE SAYING THAT THAT'S, IT SOUNDS LIKE MAYBE THAT HASN'T BEEN THE PRACTICE, BUT COULD YOU, COULD YOU HELP ME UNDERSTAND THE DISCREPANCY? I, I HEAR WHAT YOU'RE SAYING THAT THEY TYPICALLY, THAT THE AMERICAN RED CROSS TYPICALLY PROVIDES JUST, UM, MATERIALS, BUT THE P BUT THE PLAN SAYS CLEARLY THAT THEY'RE STAFFED BY THE RED CROSS AND THE LOCAL NONPROFITS.

IF I MAY, UM, COUNCIL MEMBER TOVO, PRE COVID, UM, THE CITY HAD A GOOD RELATIONSHIP WITH, UM, SHELTER PROVIDERS, CHURCHES AND FAITH FAITHS, ORGANIZATIONS WHO WERE REALLY THE FRONTLINE IN HELPING US PROVIDE OVERNIGHT SHELTER DURING, UH, FOR COLD WEATHER.

ONCE THE PANDEMIC HIT, THAT CHANGED EVERYTHING.

UM, OUR SHELTER PROVIDERS FRONT STEPS, YOU KNOW, WAS ONE OF THE BIGGEST PLAYERS AT THE ARCH BECAUSE OF THE REDUCED CAPACITY AND THE IMPACTS ON STAFFING.

THAT'S REALLY WHAT CHANGED THE DYNAMIC.

THE SAME WITH THE HOUSES OF WORSHIP.

UM, PEOPLE, UH, BEING AFRAID TO PUT THEIR CONGREGANTS AT RISK IN 2019.

YOU KNOW, THERE WASN'T A LOT THAT WE KNEW ABOUT COVID.

AND THEN IN SUBSEQUENT YEARS, YOU KNOW, PEOPLE GETTING VACCINATED AND THE RISKS OF BEING IN, UM, CONGREGATE SHELTER OPERATIONS BECAME VERY CLEAR TO FOLKS.

AND SO NOW THAT WE'RE PAST COVID, WE'RE AT A STAGE WHERE WE ARE RE-ENGAGING THOSE PARTNERS.

IT'S KINDA LIKE CHURCH ATTENDANCE, RIGHT? DURING COVID, EVERYBODY WENT ONLINE.

CHURCHES ARE OPEN BACK NOW, AND, YOU KNOW, PASTORS ARE, ARE, ARE WORKING HARD TO REFILL THOSE SEATS BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE USED TO A DIFFERENT PROCESS IN THE DYNAMIC.

AND SO NOW IT'S REALLY ABOUT REESTABLISHING THOSE RELATIONSHIPS WITH COMMUNITY PARTNERS.

UM, A P H, UH, WITH HELP FROM HSD IS GOING TO WORK WITH THE VENDOR TO HELP CREATE THOSE RELATIONSHIPS IN COMMUNITY SO THAT WE, WE CAN HAVE OTHER FACILITIES ASIDE FROM PART AS WELL AS, UM, OTHER VOLUNTEERS WHO FEEL SAFE AND COMFORTABLE WITH TRAINING TO ONCE AGAIN SUPPORT THOSE EFFORTS.

SO IT REALLY WAS THAT SHIFT THAT HAPPENED WITH COVID, UM, THAT CAUSED US TO HAVE A DISRUPTION IN OUR VOLUNTEER BASE AND ACCESS TO COMMUNITY FACILITIES.

I, THAT MAKES A LOT OF SENSE TO ME.

THANK YOU, DIRECTOR STEWART.

AND I, I CAN UNDERSTAND THAT COMPLETELY.

I THINK WHAT, WHAT IS MAYBE RELEVANT FOR FUTURE, FOR FUTURE PREPAREDNESS IS UNDERSTANDING WHAT THE COMMUNICATION WAS LIKE, BECAUSE CLEARLY SOME OF THOSE, YOU KNOW, THAT GAP WAS SOMETHING WE COULD ANTICIPATE.

AND SO DIRECTOR ORTIZ, CAN YOU, CAN YOU HELP US SHARE HOW OFTEN YOU'RE MEETING WITH EXTERNAL PARTNERS OR WHAT YOUR, WHAT YOU'RE MEETING AND COMMUNICATION WITH THOSE EXTERNAL PARTNERS IN THE COMMUNITY TO HELP, TO HELP UNDERSTAND WHAT THEIR CAPACITY COULD BE IN THE FUTURE? BECAUSE IT SEEMS LIKE THAT, YOU KNOW, AGAIN, IT SEEMS LIKE THAT IS SOMETHING CERTAINLY IN, IN THE FALL, UM, THAT COULD HAVE BEEN ANTICIPATED SINCE MOST OF THE CHURCHES WERE CLOSED AND, AND OTHER THINGS.

HOW ARE, HOW ARE, I GUESS, TO LOOK FORWARD, HOW ARE YOU GOING TO IMPROVE YOUR COMMUNICATION WITH THOSE EXTERNAL PARTNERS TO BE SURE THAT, THAT YOU FULLY UNDERSTAND WHAT THEIR CAPACITY COULD BE AND HOW THAT MAY BE CHANGING BASED ON, YOU KNOW, A MYRIAD OF FACTORS, COUNCILOR METOVA, THAT THAT'S REALLY, UH, THE ESSENCE? THAT'S A REALLY GOOD QUESTION.

AND WHAT WE'RE DOING IS WE'RE REENGAGING

[00:55:01]

LIKE, UH, DIRECTOR STIR, UH, INDICATED WITH ALL OF OUR PARTNERS.

UH, WE ARE, I SPECIFICALLY DIRECTLY MEET WITH, UH, SOME OF THEM IN PERSON, BUT MY STAFF, MY TEAM IS MEETING WITH THEM, UH, PRETTY MUCH AT A MONTHLY BASIS IN, IN, IN DIFFERENT FACETS.

UH, THE TWO MAIN, UH, AGENCIES IN THE AREA OF SHELTERING OUTSIDE OF WEATHER SHELTERING, UH, IS THE AMERICAN RED CROSS AND THE, UH, UH, AUSTIN DISASTER RELIEF NETWORK.

UH, AND, AND I SPECIFICALLY MEET WITH THEM, UH, ON, ON, UH, UM, UH, THREE TO FOUR TIMES A YEAR IN PERSON TO ENSURE THAT WE ARE CONTINUING ON THOSE EFFORTS.

THAT'S IN ADDITION TO ADDITIONAL, UH, MONTHLY MEETINGS THAT ARE TAKING PLACE IN DIFFERENT SUBJECT AREAS.

UH, JUST LIKE, UH, THE VOLUNTEER AGENCIES THAT SUPPORTED COLD WEATHER SHELTERING.

WE ALSO SAW THAT IN THE OTHER DISASTER, UH, EMERGENCY DISASTER RELATED TOP SHELTERING, THAT SOME OF THESE VOLUNTEER AGENCIES, THEIR VOLUNTEERS WERE AT HIGH RISK.

AND THEY, AND SO WE WENT TO A, UH, IF YOU RECALL, WE WENT TO A NON-COATING, SHE SHELTERING STRATEGY THAT DURING HURRICANE LAURA, WE PRIMARILY, UH, UH, PUT THOSE EVACUEE, UH, UH, FROM THE COAST AND HOTELS, UH, AND, AND THAT WAS NOT JUST AUSTIN, IT WAS ACROSS THE STATE AND REALLY ACROSS THE COUNTRY.

SO NOW THAT WE'RE COMING OUT OF THE PANDEMIC, WE ARE REENGAGING AND WE'LL BE MEETING WITH THEM.

UH, I'VE HAD SEVERAL MEETINGS WITH THEM.

I'VE EVEN, UH, UH, TAKEN SOME OF THEM AND TO TOUR, UH, SOME OF OUR, THE NEW SHELTERING FACILITIES THAT WE HAVE TO ENSURE THAT WE REESTABLISH THOSE CONNECTIONS.

BUT THEY ARE ALSO GONNA NEED TO BUILD THEIR VOLUNTEER FORCE YEAH.

BECAUSE THEY'RE SUFFERING FROM THAT AS WELL.

AND, UM, UH, AND WE'RE HERE TO, TO HELP THEM TO, TO, TO DO JUST THAT.

UH, AS ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE HAD TO DO, WE HAD TO THINK OUTSIDE OF THE BOX, AND WE CREATED THE DISASTER RESERVES PROGRAM TO HELP ALLEVIATE SOME OF THOSE EFFORTS.

UH, AND, AND THANK YOU TO COUNCIL AND FY 23, UH, PROVIDED SOME FUNDING THAT ALLOWS US SOME MORE FLEXIBILITY IN THE CITY TO BE ABLE TO RESPOND TO URGENT SITUATIONS, UH, WHETHER IT'S A SHELTERING OR AN APARTMENT COMPLEX WITHOUT WATER, UH, TO BE ABLE TO LESSEN THE IMPACT OF THOSE DISASTERS.

BUT I WILL TELL YOU, IT'S NOT THE FOLLOWING SOLUTION.

WE REALLY NEED THOSE, UH, VOLUNTEER AGENCIES TO BUILD THEIR VOLUNTEER, UH, NUMBERS UP AGAIN, SO THAT WE ARE, UH, AS PREPARED AS WE POSSIBLY CAN BE.

THAT IS GONNA BE THE CHALLENGE, NOT JUST FOR AUSTIN, BUT TO MANY OTHER CITIES ACROSS THE COUNTRY.

I APPRECIATE THAT RESPONSE.

THANK YOU.

AND YOU MENTIONED SOME SUBJECT AREAS.

I, I HOPE THAT, UM, MEETING WITH INTEGRAL CARE AND OTHERS WHO ARE PROVIDING MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT AS PART OF THAT, BECAUSE THAT WILL, THAT, THAT ALSO RUNS THROUGH THE AUDIT AS A, AS A PRIMARY NEED IN, IN ALL OF THESE SHELTERS.

AND MY GUESS IS THAT VOLUNTEERS WOULD BE MORE LIKELY TO, TO ASSIST IF THEY FEEL LIKE THEY'LL HAVE SOMEBODY PROVIDING, UM, THAT LEVEL OF CARE.

ARE YOU DONE WITH YOUR QUESTIONS, COUNCIL MARTO? UM, YEAH.

I MEAN, IF ANYBODY ON THAT CALL, AND I DON'T KNOW IF THAT'S DIRECTOR STIR OR DIRECTOR ORTIZ OR DIANA GRAY, CAN, CAN LET ME KNOW WHETHER INTEGRAL CARE IS A AND, AND OTHERS ARE A PRIMARY PART OF THESE CONVERSATIONS, SO THAT, SO THAT THAT SUPPORT EXISTS IN THE WINTER OF WEATHER SHELTERS.

UM, COUNCIL MEMBER, I WOULD SAY THAT, YOU KNOW, AND I THINK IT IS IMPORTANT, AND ONE OF THE COMPLEXITIES HERE IS THAT WE ARE, FOR THIS, UH, LOOKING BACK AT THE AUDIT AUDIT, WE'RE LOOKING AT HISTORICAL OPERATIONS, AND THIS YEAR WE ARE ANTICIPATING SOMETHING OF AN, A HYBRID MODEL, RIGHT? BECAUSE WE'RE JUST GETTING OUR VENDOR IN PLACE.

BUT THE R F P FOR THE TURNKEY SERVICES FOR THE VENDOR DID, UM, INCLUDE, UH, A REQUEST TO HAVE SOME BEHAVIORAL HEALTH SUPPORTS, UH, OR, AND, AND, OR WELL-TRAINED, UH, FRONTLINE STAFF ON SITE, UH, AT THE SHELTER.

SO THAT'S CERTAINLY PART OF THE CONVERSATION.

AND I WILL ALSO SAY THAT, UM, AND I THINK AS DIRECTOR STEWART REFERENCED AROUND THE COLD WEATHER SHELTER, UM, WE ARE PREPARED, WE'VE BEEN FOCUSED ON, ON, ON, YOU KNOW, GETTING TO THE POINT OF, UM, OF EXECUTING THE CONTRACT WITH THIS VENDOR.

BUT WE AND OTHER, YOU KNOW, UH, PARTS OF A A P H, EXCUSE ME, PARTICIPATE REGULARLY.

THERE'S A CRISIS COMMITTEE AND SHELTER COMMITTEE WITHIN THE HOMELESS RESPONSE SYSTEM LEADERSHIP COUNCIL THAT

[01:00:01]

WE'RE INVOLVED IN AND DO ANTICIPATE STEPPING UP TO WORK ARM IN ARM WITH THE VENDOR TO HELP KIND OF EXPAND THAT NETWORK OF COMMUNITY-BASED SUPPORT, UH, IN THE, IN THE COMING MONTHS AND YEARS.

THAT'S TERRIFIC.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THAT RESPONSE.

UM, I WONDER, GO AHEAD, MS. MCNEELY.

GO AHEAD.

IT'S KIMBERLY MCNELEY.

I JUST WANTED TO ADD, WHEN WE WERE TALKING ABOUT THE FUNDING ISSUE THAT THE PARKS AND RECREATION DEPARTMENT DOES RECEIVE $16,000 IN FUNDING AND THE PRIMARY EXPENSES, BECAUSE WE'RE A HOST SITE, THE PRIMARY EXPENSES ARE THE STAFFING AND THE UTILITIES THAT ARE ASSOCIATED WITH THAT.

BUT I DO WANT EVERYONE TO KNOW THAT OUR SISTER DEPARTMENTS THAT ARE ONLINE HERE ARE ALSO SUPPORTING THOSE EFFORTS.

SO THEY'RE PAYING FOR COTS, THEY'RE PAYING FOR BLANKETS, ANY SORT OF MEALS THAT MIGHT BE SERVED, ANY SORT OF SNACKS, SECURITY IS PAID FOR OUTSIDE OF THE PARKS AND RECREATION DEPARTMENTS.

SO I JUST WANTED TO GIVE YOU ASSURANCES THAT WHILE WE'RE TRACKING OUR COSTS, THERE ARE OTHER INDIVIDUALS, UH, OTHER INDIVIDUAL DEPARTMENTS THAT ARE ABSOLUTELY SUPPORTING THE EFFORT, JUST SO THAT, UH, YOU HAD A CLEARER PICTURE OF EXPENSES RELATED TO THE PARKS AND RECREATION DEPARTMENT.

DO YOU THINK THAT $16,000 COMES ANYWHERE CLOSE TO THE COSTS OF STAFFING? I MEAN, IT'S, I DON'T KNOW HOW MANY NIGHTS IT WAS, 21 DAYS THAT WERE UNDER COLD.

YEAH.

UM, SO I BELIEVE THAT THOSE 21 DAYS THAT WE ARE TALKING ABOUT, WERE ALSO PART OF, UM, A, A EMERGENCY, A LOCAL EMERGENCY RESPONSE.

AND WHEN WE HAVE A LOCAL EMERGENCY RESPONSE, WE'RE ABLE TO, UH, RECOVER OUR COSTS THROUGH FE FEMA EXPENSES AND THOSE SUCH SUCH THINGS.

SO WHEN WE'RE TALKING ABOUT AN EMERGENCY RESPONSE, THERE'S ANOTHER FUNDING SOURCE.

UM, ON A TYPICAL, FOR A TYPICAL YEAR OF RESPONSES, I WILL RUN THE NUMBERS, BUT I BELIEVE THAT 16,000 IS, IS FAIRLY SUFFICIENT, BUT I'LL NEED TO RUN THE NUMBERS.

UM, JUST TO MAKE SURE THAT I CAN CONFIRM THAT WHEN WE HAVE A LONGER E ELONGATED EVENT, THEN THERE'S ANOTHER FUNDING SOURCE THAT WE'RE ABLE TO, UM, TO UTILIZE, UH, THROUGH ADHESIVE.

OKAY.

I THINK IT WOULD BE REALLY HELPFUL TO GET CLARITY ON THOSE NUMBERS CUZ JUST RUNNING MATH OF HAVING THE NUMBERS OF PEOPLE OVERNIGHT, IF THEY WERE NOT DOING PART IT, IT JUST DOESN'T, IT DOESN'T RING, UM, LIKE THE RIGHT AMOUNT TO ME.

SO I WOULD LOVE TO SEE THOSE NUMBERS.

UM, MR. UP, YOU MENTIONED EARLIER, YOU, YOU SPOKE ABOUT THE CONTRACT, UM, THAT YOU'RE NEGOTIATING, I BELIEVE IT'S WITH THE URBAN LEAGUE TO, TO CARRY OUT THE COLD WEATHER SHELTER SUPPORT.

UM, CAN YOU CLARIFY, I KNOW IT'S NOT SIGNED YET, BUT WHEN YOU ANTICIPATE THAT GOING INTO EFFECT, THE TARGET DAY FOR EXECUTION IS THE 15TH OF THIS MONTH, BUT ACKNOWLEDGING THAT THE TEAM INTERNALLY IS STILL, UH, REFINING THE STATEMENT OF WORK, UM, AND THE, THE VENDOR URBAN LEAGUE HASN'T HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO REVIEW YET.

SO WE MAY NEED TO BUILD IN SOME DAYS FOR THEIR REVIEW PROCESS, BUT THE GOAL IS TO HAVE IT EXECUTED BY DECEMBER 15TH.

OKAY.

BUT WE OFTEN HAVE A CONTRACT EXECUTED AND THEY DON'T START WORK TILL MUCH LATER.

SO I'M, I'M JUST TRYING TO UNDERSTAND CUZ WE HAVE THE COLD WEATHER'S COMING IN JANUARY AND FEBRUARY, AND WHAT I'M NOT HAVING A CLEAR SENSE OF GIVEN THIS CONTRACT IS NOT TOTALLY IN EFFECT IS, YOU KNOW, WILL WE BE COVERED IF THERE'S COLD WEATHER IN JANUARY IN FEBRUARY, AND WHO'S DOING IT AND WHAT ARE THE PLANS? SO, SO MY UNDERSTANDING THAT AT THE MOMENT OF EXECUTION THAT THEY HAVE BEEN PREPARING AND THEY WILL BE IN A POSITION TO PROVIDE STAFFING SUPPORT AND SECURITY FOR THREE SITES.

UM, AND BECAUSE WE'RE WORKING THIS HYBRID MODEL THAT, UM, MY COLLEAGUES TALKED ABOUT EARLIER, THERE STILL WILL BE SOME CITY SUPPORT WITH, UM, REGISTRATION AND THE EMBARKATION SITE AND COORDINATING TRANSPORTATION FOR, UM, GUESTS IN NEED.

BUT AS FAR AS THE STAFFING FOR THE THREE LOCATIONS AND TO PROVIDE SECURITY FOR THE THREE LOCATIONS, THEY HAVE INDICATED TO ME THAT THEY WILL BE READY TO GO UPON EXECUTION.

AND, AND IF I CAN ASK THAT AS WELL, IF TONIGHT WE HAVE TO OPEN UP COLDWELL SHELTERS, WE ARE GOING TO BE IMPLEMENTING OUR PLAN THAT WE HAVE IN PLACE.

SO, UH, UH, SO EITHER WAY WE'RE, WE'VE MOVED ON TO ENSURE THAT WE HAVE A CONTRACT IN PLA IN PLACE, UH, BUT WE ALSO, AS A BACKUP, WE CONTINUED OUR, OUR, OUR PLANNING EFFORTS TO ENSURE THAT WE'RE READY.

I, IN THE EVENT THAT THERE WERE ANY DELAYS.

OKAY.

AND, AND UNDER NORMAL CIRCUMSTANCES, IS THREE THE NUMBER OF SHELTERS THAT WE'VE BEEN HAVING IN PLACE FOR THE COLD WEATHER NIGHTS OR IS THAT YES, TRADITIONALLY, UM, UH, THE NUMBER HAD BEEN, UH, LESS THAN, UH, 200, UH,

[01:05:01]

A GUESS AT THESE FACILITIES.

UH, THE THREE FACILITIES ACTUALLY HAVE A CAPACITY OF 280, BUT, UH, THE CONTRACT, UH, IS, IS