February 14 2008 Ycabc Minutes

Yakima County Asset Building Coalition
Thursday, February 14, 2008
9:00 – 10:20 a.m.
Fireside Room, EPIC Place

Present: Tracy Fletcher ( NCAC), Sandra Aguilar (CCHS Catholic Charities Housing Services), Michelle Besso Northwest Justice Project), Sue Pitman (EPIC – Ways to Work), Tim Sullivan (United Way of Yakima County), Bill Stevens (AARP Tax Aide), TJ Mattingly (Triumph Treatment Services, LaSaundra Harris (Triumph PCAP), Matthew Solomon (EPIC), Madelyn Carlson (People for People/211), Carole Folsom Hill (Yakima Interfaith – LaCasa Hogar), David Gilbreath (Consumer Credit Counseling of Yakima County).

Chairman, Tracy Fletcher, called the meeting to order and introductions were made. Minutes from the last meeting and the EITC Sub-Committee meeting were distributed. Also distributed were hand-outs: IRS Fact Sheets, CyberTax 2008-012: Stimulus Payment and Impact, and information on free tax preparation.

Sue Pitman showed a logo she had from a previous program and was wondering what the members of the coalition felt about it. Carol Folsom-Hill asked that we look at some variations of the design and try to make the design more “asset building” friendly. Sue agreed and said she would work on it.

Flyers and brochures were distributed that have been passed out to Farm Workers Clinic employees, Northwest Community Action, WIC, area churches, etc. offering free tax preparation service. Bill Stevens shared that even those who are not required to file a tax return should do so in order to receive the federal stimulus payment coming this spring. It was agreed that some marketing is in order to get the word out to those people who may be unaware of this opportunity. Tracy suggested that we have an article put in the newspaper about the Asset Building Coalition and include this offer of tax preparation. The EITC committee will meet Thursday, February 21st at 10:30 a.m. to discuss strategies on getting the word out on this important matter.

The YCABC will need to agree on which grants they wish to seek, what we see our role as in the community and how we should proceed this next year. This will set our agenda for the year.

Matthew Solomon shared that it is too late to apply for the EITC grant. The next deadline is January 15, 2009. It was agreed on by the YCABC members present that an Individual Development Accounts (IDA) program would definitely be one of the goals for the coalition and since, as an example, the federal grant for an IDA program is quite complicated and needs to be thoroughly thought out before being submitted, a grant committee needs to be formed. This committee would also begin investigating and applying for grants that would further the coalitions goals. Matthew will send out invitations to YCABC members who have an interest in participating on the new grant committee.

Sue reported that she participated in a webinar put on by the Administration for Children and Families. The webinar was to inform and train interested agencies on what was expected of grant applicants applying for the Assets for Independence (AFI) grants. These grants are for IDA programs. The webinar discussed how the money is to be spent (85% for the savings accounts, 15% for administration); how each grantee is expected to have all matching funds committed before the grant can be submitted; and that the matching funds must be equal to the AFI monies and be used in exactly the same manner. Matching funds can be state or private funds, such as the C-Ted money, community foundations, and banks.

Planning is the key to success with the IDA programs. It was strongly urged to start with a smaller program and grow from there. EPIC, and Ways to Work, is applying for a planning grant from the Paul G. Allen Foundation. This grant, if accepted, will give the coalition a solid base to build on when applying for other asset building grants in the future. The Allen grant is due March 15th. The coalition is also planning on applying for the CTED grant this spring.

King County Asset Building Coalition Meeting Report
Tracy, Matthew, and Sue meet with representatives of the King County Asset Building Coalition (KCABC) in Seattle. Most of the discussion was on their EITC and IDA programs. KCABC is very excited about our efforts and has agreed to assist us by forwarding materials, program formation, and grant writing information.

June - Washington State Asset Building Conference.
The Washington Asset Building Coalition will be holding a conference June 4th and 5th, at the Yakima Convention Center. The cost will be $90 a person. Washington Mutual is the main sponsor of the event. More information will be sent out in March.

The next meeting of the YCABC will be held from 9:00 - 10:30 a.m. March 13th in the Fireside Room at the Jeld-Wen Center on the EPIC Place campus.

Meeting was adjourned at 10:20 am.

Respectfully submitted,

Ann Goebel
Administrative Assistant
EPIC Family Support Services