[Adopted 5-5-1992 (§§ 2-120 to 2-122 of the 1988 Code)]
Under the authority of legislation enacted by the commonwealth, Chapter 382 of the Acts of 1991, there is hereby created a Hunger/Homeless Commission for the City of Lowell.
The Hunger/Homeless Commission will direct a comprehensive local response to the needs of the homeless and hungry. This Commission will act as a City-wide clearing house for information to assist local agencies, groups and individuals in securing appropriate services. In accordance with the Hunger/Homeless Task Force, the following guiding principles are hereby set forth:
To promote services and other activities that are preventative rather than reactive.
To promote services and other activities that are coordinated rather than fragmented and that result in improved accessibility.
To encourage innovative responses to the needs of the hungry and homeless.
To generate activities that improve opportunities for all individuals impacted by homelessness and hunger.
To promote services and other activities that are comprehensive and oriented to the needs of the homeless and hungry.
The Hunger/Homeless Commission shall be comprised of the following offices, disciplines and interests: the City Manager or designee, shelters, food pantries, religious, health care, subsidized housing, University of Massachusetts, education, minority community, business community, mental health, and housing development.
The following shall be ex officio members of the Commission: the Mayor or designee, a member of the City Council or designee, and a member of the School Committee or designee.
All members shall be initially appointed for a term of two years. If any appointed member fails to attend 1/2 of the scheduled meetings during a calendar year, the City Manager shall take appropriate action to appoint a replacement.
Vacancies on the Commission shall be filled no later than 60 days after a vacancy occurs. If a vacancy occurs prior to the expiration of a member's term, an appointment shall be made for the remainder of that term.
All Commission members shall believe in and support the special interests of the hungry and homeless and must have a willingness to work on behalf of the entire City of Lowell in this endeavor. Every effort shall be made to appoint Commission members who reside in the City of Lowell; however, nonresidents must be affiliated with a City of Lowell agency.
The powers and duties of the Hunger/Homeless Commission shall include the following. The Commission shall:
Review and make recommendations regarding the City of Lowell's allocation of resources affecting the hungry and homeless.
Act as a catalyst in mobilizing and coordinating other efforts within the City aimed at responding to the needs of the hungry and homeless.
Act as an advocate with regard to state and federal policies which impact on the City's hungry and homeless.
Mobilize and coordinate resources available to the Hunger/Homeless Commission members and organizations they may represent, to develop joint projects to respond to the needs of the hungry and homeless.
Enlist the cooperation of various racial, religious and ethnic groups, civic and community organizations, labor organizations, fraternal and benevolent organizations, and other groups and organizations to further support the shelters, food pantries and other human service providers.
Raise and direct funds to support the projects and priorities of the Hunger/Homeless Commission and accept money, gifts and services for these purposes.
Encourage input for the creation of specific opportunities for the hungry and homeless to provide their perspectives on their lives and community issues.
Conduct an annual census to assist the Hunger/Homeless Commission in monitoring the overall situation in the City of Lowell.