The Participant Leadership Forum (PLF) convened on Thursday, June 21 at Inspiration Cafe for its monthly meeting.  New PLF Co-Chairs Johnnie K. and Muriel V. were in attendance, as well as alternate chair Lacey H. and nine other Inspiration Corporation participants and three staff people.

The meeting was moved from Inspiration Cafe to suite 209 due to noise issues related to Thursday dinner preparations in the cafe.

Welcome & Introductions

Johnnie and Muriel introduced themselves to the PLF as new co-chairs and winners of the last election.  They discussed their goals in chairing the PLF and both pledged to represent the needs of Inspiration Corporation’s participants.


Johnnie K. led a discussion on health and cleanliness related to the ice bin at the refreshment station at the Inspiration Cafe.  Recent use of the station by participants and non-participants outside of meal times has raised concerns.  The PLF requested that signs be added to the Inspiration Cafe bathrooms and the refreshment station reminding participants to wash their hands.  The issue of non-participants using the cafe facilities will be discussed with the milieu managers at an upcoming meeting.

New Email/Voice Mail Address

Muriel V. made the PLF aware that in order to make the PLF more open and accessible to all Inspiration Corporation participants the new co-chairs have created a new email address and voicemail number that participants can use to express concerns, issues, and ideas directly to the PLF.  Flyers with contact information will be hung around the cafe within the coming week.  Participants are invited to continue using the anonymous suggestion box as a means of communication, as well.

In addition, Johnnie and Muriel plan to conduct one-on-one interviews with participants over the coming month to assess common unmet needs among the cafe population.  Chief Program Officer Jennifer requested that data on participant issues be shared with program staff to improve service provision at Inspiration Corporation.

Ideas & Suggestions

Johnnie and Muriel announced their intent to use the information gathered about unmet participant needs to inform a PLF fundraising activity.  The forum plans to attempt to address some unmet needs in the cafe by fundraising among alumni and former participants.  The discussion will continue in the next meeting.

Upcoming Meetings
  • Co-Chair Meeting – July 19
  • Next PLF Meeting – July 26

 The mission of the Participant Leadership Forum is to encourage and support individuals affected by homelessness and poverty to make a positive difference in their lives through dialogue and advocacy.