Consumer Council Corner: Fall Update

Communication, Meeting Attendance Key Issues for Council During New Year

CynthiaBy Cynthia Price, Consumer Council President

Editor’s note: Cynthia Price is a ShelterCare consumer and survivor of two brain surgeries for a pituitary tumor. She grew up in Stockton, Calif., and has lived in Seattle and Portland. After moving to Eugene to enroll in the agency’s Uhlhorn Program nearly a decade ago, she has been an active council member, previously holding positions as secretary and treasurer. She was recently elected to her second term as council president for the 2015-16 fiscal year.

I write this after quite a successful meeting of the ShelterCare Consumer Council where we filled the conference room to overflowing! I so appreciate everyone who came, and I hope that next month will see even more participation! With the input of those in attendance, I’ve been able to cement at least a few of the goals on which the Consumer Council and I should focus our energies in the coming months.

One of the things we were able to share was an example of the Consumer Council’s old brochure, which was put together at least five years ago and needs to be updated. This brochure helps us to inform the community and consumers about council activities while inspiring participation. Reworking and updating of the pamphlet will begin before our next meeting, and I hope to have a new version printed and distributed by the end of the fall quarter.

Another item was a reworked and simpler Consumer Council budget presentation thanks to Karen, the Controller for ShelterCare. Karen has been instrumental in helping council participants understand funds the group has available to use. We will also be adding some line items and redistributing allocations thanks to our budget having been doubled for this fiscal year! Thanks to that budget increase, I intend to meet with folks about establishing a quarterly get-together for program participants and staff members where we can have fun, socialize, and just catch up with one another throughout the year.

Of course, this wouldn’t be a list from me if it didn’t include the all-important: communication! Now that regular and effective communication between administration, board members, and the council has been established, I intend to concentrate on the program-level communications between consumers and staff, as well as administration and program staff. To that end, I hope to set up a time in which the Consumer Council officers can meet with program managers and staff members to establish some standard practice to support effective communication in both directions.

Further, we’ll be looking at organizing more classes and activities at ShelterCare’s Center for Programs and Development (499 W 4th Ave), which will be open to all ShelterCare Consumers. If you would like to contribute to this discussion, be sure to attend next month’s meeting, which will be held September 17, 2:00pm at the address noted above.

Again, I want to thank everyone who has helped in the past year, and offer a warm welcome to our new participants. I hope next month we’ll be welcoming even more!

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