Minutes - May 20, 2008

After the reading of, and acceptance of the minutes from the Tuesday, April 22nd meeting, President Joann Morton introduced Darren Scott, of the Albany Housing Authority.

Mr. Scott's topic was employment opportunities for residents and for minority and/or women owned businesses in connection with the approximately $20 million worth of housing renovation and construction projects they have underway in the South End.
Mr. Scott called attention to the presence of Kevin Grinwis of Omni Housing, which is partnering with Albany Housing Authority on these projects.

Next he introduced Ron Gardner, who has been working with them to help them meet their quotas for hiring minorities and women.
Ron reported they were at 15% of their 20% participation goal.
"Who can we contact regarding available opportunities?" asked Pres. Morton.
Ron Gardner himself is the main person to contact. (He can be reached at 436-1969 or 376-3333) Darren Scott can also be contacted at 641-7536.
Ron emphasized that he felt passionately about his work. Also, because most contracts require city and/or state certification requirements, he said those interested should contact him as soon as possible so he could guide them through a possibly lengthy process so they can qualify.

Next, a representative from the American Cancer Society said their "Road to Recovery" program needed volunteer drivers to drive the cancer patients to get their treatments.

Carolyn McLaughlin then introduced a segment discussing Horizon Center's criminal re-entry program, which has been in the South End for 25 years, and at their Elizabeth St. facility since 1985. Carolyn stated that she herself is on Horizon's board and believes in the program.
To counter community fears about living so close to a criminal population re-entering society, the director of the center as well as representatives of the State Parole Board emphasized the rigorous measures taken to insure security.

Finally, Paul Richer of Capital District Habitat for Humanity spoke of the 4 upcoming "Orientation Sessions" for anyone working to possibly purchase a Habitat home.

It was decided the next meeting of SENA would be Tuesday, June 24th, 2008.