Brow November2010 by T4YX2I


									                                                                                     Rick Scott
                        State of Florida                                             Governor
                        Department of Children and Families
                                                                                     George H. Sheldon

DATE:           January 18, 2011

TO:             Members of the Broward Area Refugee Task Force

FROM:           Miriam Rosario, Refugee Services (RS)

SUBJECT:        November 18, 2010 Meeting Minutes

                Date:                    January 20, 2011
                Time:                    10:00 AM - 12:00 Noon
                Location:                Broward County Health Department
                                         Administration Auditorium
                                         780 SW 24 Street
                                         Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33315
                Contact:                 Miriam Rosario
                Office:                  (561) 837-5022
                Cell:                    (561) 459-6098

This task force has been active in the Broward area for many years. The participants are
representatives of various government agencies, private not-for-profit organizations and mutual
assistance associations. An average of about thirty to forty people attend these meetings on a regular
basis. The purpose of these meetings is to increase awareness of the refugee populations, share best
practices, build collaborations between agencies, spot trends in refugee populations, characteristics or
movements, help create good communication among service providers; get informed about upcoming
community events, request for proposals, training, workshops, conferences, etc., at the local, state and
national level; discuss refugee program service needs and possible solutions to meeting those needs.
Meeting participants also receive updates, information and clarification on new federal and state
regulations and policy changes pertaining to refugees.

If there are any issues that you would like to include in the agenda, please contact me at the above

                   I look forward to seeing you at the next meeting!

                       111 So Sapodilla Ave, West Palm Beach, Florida 33401

   Mission: Protect the Vulnerable, Promote Strong and Economically Self-Sufficient Families, and
                       Advance Personal and Family Recovery and Resiliency
Broward Refugee Task Force                                            November 18, 2010 Meeting Minutes


This meeting was held at Division of Driver Licenses (DDL), 3708 W. Oakland Park,
Lauderdale Lake, FL. Miriam Rosario, Community Liaison, represented the Department of
Children and Families (DCF) Refugee Services (RS) program office. Eighteen people were in
attendance. Miriam thanked Richard Schwable (DDL) for continuing to host this meeting.
Brief introductions were given by all participants.

Representatives from the Fort Lauderdale Police Department provided an overview and
distributed informational material on several of their program:

   Deputy Sandy Downf, provided information about the Homeless Outreach program. They
    will accept homeless with photo ID card documentation. The South, Central and North
    pick up points are for homeless individuals only. In Broward all the families with children
    must be referred for shelter by calling the Homeless Helpline 211 of Broward.

   Information was also provided regarding the Point In Time count. The Point-In-Time
    Homeless Count seeks to identify the number of homeless individuals and families in the
    county. The count takes place over a 24-hour period, when volunteers and social service
    agencies go into the community to account for all homeless individuals. The count is
    important since results are used to obtain funding for programs that support the homeless
    in our county. Bottom-line, a successful count benefits shelters, food pantries, treatment
    programs, social service agencies and the residents of Broward County. Training for the
    Homeless Count will be provided and volunteers will be taught the procedures for
    “Counting” homeless individuals & families on January 24 & 25, 2011. Pre-registration is
    requested. Volunteers may contact Liz Ortega @ (954) 357-6722 or email: for information regarding the training session.

   Captain Michael Gregory and acting Major for District 1 provided information regarding
    the new “Mark Wandall Traffic Safety Act.” The new law became effective July 1, 2010
    and for the City of Fort Lauderdale 30 days warning period began September 8, 2010.
    Violations to red light runners at designated intersections established a fine of $158 for
    each offense. The notification will be sent to the registered owner of the motor vehicle
    involved in the violation. Exceptional situations were also discussed. More information is
    available at

   Peggy Roddy, Police Aide presented information about Bicycle Registration. The cost of the
    initial registration is one dollar. If the decal becomes lost or stolen, it will cost an additional
    dollar to replace. They need to bring the bicycle, photo identification (expired id is accepted)
    and a dollar. The police officer may take into possession and impound any bicycle being
    operated without a registration on the streets roads, highways, alleys, sidewalks, or other
    rights of way. In response to the new issue brought up by a member of the task force

Broward Refugee Task Force                                           November 18, 2010 Meeting Minutes

    regarding refugees ridding been stop due to bicycle not been register; Ms. Roddy stated it is
    unlikely they would be stopped just for the bicycle violation. Victims who have registered
    their bike but were stolen, maybe able to get a replacement if the stolen bike is reported to the
    FFPD. Ms. Roddy offered to visit the refugee services providers and coordinate registering all
    the bikes at their location.

 US Citizenship Immigration Services:
  Berta Cassidy, Community Relations Officer, reported on the USCIS final rule adjusting fees
  for immigration applications and petitions. The final rule will increase overall fees by a
  weighted average of about 10 percent, but will not increase the fee for the naturalization
  application. The new fees will go into effect on November 23, 2010. The USCIS website is
  the best place for details on the new fees. A new Fee Waiver Form has been developed to
  streamline the process. Ms. Cassidy stated that the Haitian Temporary Protective Status
  (TPS) application period ends on January 18, 2011.

   Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle:
    Richard C. Schwable, Field Services Manager discussed the idea of proposing to the Florida
    legislature regarding the issuance of Temporary Photo ID and the Driver License. The Photo
    ID and the Driver License can be issued for a one year on a temporary basis. This will help
    the new arrivals with enough time to obtain benefits such as Work Permit. He offered to draft
    a letter. The meeting attendees agreed to participate and sign the letter.

   Department of Health:
    Laura Smith, State Refugee Health Coordinator provided information regarding the new
    Health Care Guide for Florida’s Refugees. The guide was created by the Florida Department
    of Health and is now available in English, Spanish and Creole. For additional information

   Refugee Student Academic Enrichment Services/Refugee School Impact Grant (RSIG):
    The RSIG is now called the Refugee Student Academic Enrichment Services Grant which
    DCF applied for and was granted. The grant required eligibility documentation and the funds
    were reduced by half from previous years. RS/DCF decided to apply and is planning to
    implement the program in collaboration with local school districts in various locations and
    negotiations are underway.

   Refugee Advisory Panel:
    Walaa Wahba, the Chair of the Broward Refugee Advisory Panel (BRAP) provided an update
    regarding their meetings. He thanked refugee service providers for referring nominees for
    Panel membership. Walaa urged meeting participants to nominate more candidates and is
    looking forward to an increased number of participants in the Panel. The Panel will meet to
    discuss issues of local concern and interest to refugees. RAP serves as a valuable resource to
    local the BRTF and refugee services providers and to RS. The Panel members are interested
    in attending refugee service providers’ orientation sessions in order to recruit additional

   Haitian Community Response Team (HCRT):

Broward Refugee Task Force                                        November 18, 2010 Meeting Minutes

    Pat Kramer, Circuit 17 Program Director, Substance Abuse & Mental Health Program Office,
    Department of Children and Families provided an update regarding the HCRT. The program
    is funded by an Emergency Federal Grant to support the Haitian nationals who had been
    affected by the January 12, 2010 earthquake. Among some of the services to be provided
    include counseling and short term treatment, case management, and information and referral.
    The grant is available in Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and Broward counties. In Broward
    Minority Development & Empowerment, Inc. is waiting for the federal funds to start the

   Social Security Administration: SSA representative was not present.

 Adult Education:
  Jaime Fonseca, Project RENEW provided information regarding their ESOL program. Their
  North campus is vigorously recruiting additional students, specially reaching out to the
  Haitian population in the Margate, Pompano and Tamara communities. They have prepared
  materials in Creole and are requesting the BRTF to share and pass the information.

   Employability Status Assistance:
    The program will provide services in Broward from the Youth Co-Op locations. They had
    lost some staff; however, all services will continue with Christine Reis, Program Director
    overseeing the Broward operations. The telephone number will remain the same.

   Child Care:
    Shirley Thomas, Family Central provided information regarding their child program. They
    have 11 open slots available for refugees seeking Employment services at the Youth Co-Op,

   Haitian Family Services (HFS): Sounedy Amedee, Program Coordinator reported on the
    open house event of their new location. They have moved to the third floor of their current
    address in Delray Beach. They will be incorporating new services in the new location such as
    legal services to individuals who are not eligible for RS/DCF services. They will continue
    with their Radio Outreach Talk Show. They broadcast weekly to the Haitian community and
    invited the USCIS and RAP representatives to attend their radio show. They will be offering
    parenting skills, domestic violence training and case management to Haitian families in Palm
    Beach and by appointments only in Broward.

   Employment:
    Youth Co-Op staff were not present as they had an employer open house scheduled for today.

   Refugee Youth and Family Services: Representative was not present.

   The RS program is still holding conversation with ORR and HHS regarding the budget issue.
    RS plans to send staff to DC to present its case for RS believes the refugee population in
    Florida is undercounted, resulting in lesser funds allocated to the state. Mr. Ruiz will keep
    everyone abreast of the outcome.

Broward Refugee Task Force                                         November 18, 2010 Meeting Minutes

 The Florida 2011 Refugee Services Consultation will be held in Orlando from February 23-
  25, 2011. Prominent speakers, resettlement agencies and representatives of the Refugee
  Advisory Panels throughout the state have been invited to attend. The RS Consultation will
  provide all participants with an opportunity to attend presentations on subjects of interest,
  hear from key leaders in refugee resettlement and services, share best practices, discuss the
  work that we do with refugees, assess where we are, and focus on how to move forward,
  particularly in view of the budget reductions we have experienced and the continuing difficult
  economic climate. Participants were encouraged to register for the Consultation as soon as
  possible. It was announced that refugee artists will be able to display their work at the event.
  All were invited to provide suggestions to the Consultation either with topics to cover,
  speakers, and to identify refugee artists and their artistic work.

 Cuban Family Reunification Program:
  On October 27, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced changes to the
  Cuban Family Reunification Program that will make spouses and unmarried minor children
  of Lawful Permanent Residents in the United States ineligible for the program which
  provides medical assistance and other benefits to individuals arriving from Cuba to reunite
  with their families in the U.S. Under the reunification program, family members arriving in
  the United States can receive health screenings, employment assistance, English language and
  vocational training, child care assistance, health care benefits and other services provided by
  DCF’s Refugee Services program. These services help Cuban families reunite successfully
  and also ease the burden on the local public healthcare system and community and by
  preparing newly-arrived refugees for a productive and successful future. Discussion regarding
  concerns due to the change in policy and efforts to advocate through the action taken by
  Hiram Ruiz, Director of Refugee Services and the Department of Children and Families was

   Crisis Intervention Training:
    Discussion took place regarding the forthcoming Crisis Intervention Training. Members of
    the BRTF have expressed interest in participating in the training. More information about
    this training will be provided as it becomes available.

   United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Photo Exhibit:
    The UNHCR World Tour Photo Exhibition, "Invisible in the City: Lives of the Urban
    Refugees” has toured Geneva, Milan and New York. The City of Fort Lauderdale is proud to
    host this extraordinary photo exhibition depicting the plight of the urban refugees. Fort
    Lauderdale is the only host city for the 50-piece exhibit in South Florida during the limited
    U.S. tour. The event will be from January 10-15, 2011. The opening night is January 10,
    2011. The location is ArtServe 1350 E. Sunrise Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale. If you are
    interested in attending the opening night, please RSVP by contacting Donald Karney
    III at (954) 494-9901 or email at"

    This event is being sponsored by the Florida Department of Children and Families, UNHCR,
    City of Fort Lauderdale, ArtServe, and Broward Human Trafficking Coalition.

Broward Refugee Task Force                                    November 18, 2010 Meeting Minutes

The next Broward RTF meeting locations are listed below. The meeting time is 10:00 a.m. to
12:00 Noon.

  Date                  Location                           Contact person & Phone #
  January 20, 2011      Broward County Health Department   Marie McMillan/954-467-4700
                        Administration Auditorium
                        780 SW 24 Street,
                        Fort Lauderdale, FL 33315

  March 17, 2011        Youth Co-Op, Inc.                  SharonLewin//954-961-1542

  May 19, 2011          BSO                                TBA


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