Monthly Archives: July 2011

Network Governance Update

The Network’s Governance Workgroup has been hard at work over the last few months, acting under the Leadership Council’s charge  to make recommendations for change that are consistent with the clarified Network structure and the Network’s next phase of growth and sustainability.  Special thanks to Governance Workgroup members David Gadaire, Peg Keller, Charlie Knight, Andrea Miller, Liz Sullivan and Lynne Wallace for their incredible time and commitment to the Network.

Governance Workgroup

 The following information (presentation, Network structure diagram) had been previously posted under the April 27 Leadership Council minutes.  These attachments provide information regarding the membership of the Governance Workgroup, identifies two strategic planning sessions held with the Steering Committee and Governance recommendations made to the Steering Committee and Leadership Council.   On April 27 the Leadership Council approved the recommendations as presented and sanctioned the Governance Workgroup to continue its efforts to inform and guide the Network governance, priorities and goals for the upcoming year(s).

Below please find meeting minutes from May 8 through July 1 with attached relevant documents.

Governance Workgroup Minutes

May 8 2011

Attending:  David Gadaire, Lynne Wallace, Charlie Knight, Peg Keller, Liz Sullivan

Excused:  Andrea Miller

Criterion/ Letters of Support WMNEH:

Peg distributed a draft outlining the process, submission requirements and management team review criterion to respond to requests for letters of support. Discussion regarding what the funding source potentially requires for letters of support, the meaningfulness of Network support letters, the potential of fueling competition among providers, the desired outcome to build upon regional collaboration, the participation in the Network of  those providers requesting support letters and the practical considerations at each point in the process resulted in the recommendation to present the draft criterion at Steering Committee and seek the Committee’s preference as to issue support letters as:

  • Selective letters of support, or
  • “Blanket” letters of support for all applicants

Peg will email the Criterion to the Governance Workgroup and it is recommended that the Steering Committee receive it in advance of Tuesday’s meeting.  The criterion cannot be finalized until the decision is made whether letters will be selective or generic.

Committees:

Lynne will get in touch with Pamela for an update regarding the current committees. All current committees, chairs, membership and frequency of meetings will require further review. Each committee will have an established statement of purpose.   It is recommended that the chairs function as chairs on the committees and that the role of the Director of Regional Coordination  is to support, facilitate, record and maintain minutes, present (along with the Regional Analyst) pertinent data and ensure communication regarding the work of the committee as warranted within the Network.  The following committees were identified:

Programmatic:

Individual Services

Family Services

Functional:

Resource Development

Finance

Planning and Evaluation

Steering Committee

Consumer Advisory Committee

Community Engagement

Community Engagement:

It is recommended that the Community Engagement Committee be reviewed further and redefined with an established goal/purpose.  The following Community Engagement Committee work and responsibilities could focus on:

  • recruit and nominate potential Leadership Council members  to the Steering Committee
  • assist in identifying speakers for Leadership Council meetings
  • establish Speakers Bureau to promote mission of Network and inform the public
  • prepare orientation and educational materials for Leadership Council and the greater community
  • assist in the marketing of the message and website development

Consumer Advisory Committee:

Charlie and Peg agreed to take the lead on establishing this committee with the recommendation that the three CoC’s identify two people (one representing individuals and the other families) who have been impacted by homelessness. (committee recognizes need for new name, but the proposed Community Advisory Committee could get confusing and may not clearly convey the composition… )

Job descriptions:

Governance reviewed the original Scope of Services, the feedback from Pamela regarding the role of Director of Regional Coordination and the current MOU with UWPV.  A draft job description will be distributed to Governance with a request for feedback (reply to all) in order to have as complete a draft as possible to present to Steering Committee on May 17.

Lynne provided copies of the MOU with the UWPV; she will seek input from Suzanne regarding the Regional Analyst position and will provide copies of the original Scope of Services for our next meeting (date TBD.)

Resource Development:

Tabled

Governance Workgroup Minutes

May 25

Attending:  Peg Keller, Andrea Miller, Charlie Knight, Lynne Wallace, Liz Sullivan

Excused:  David Gadaire

Following a robust discussion at the May 17 Steering Committee, the Governance Workgroup met on May 25 to finalize recommendations to the Steering Committee.

From the May 17 Steering Committee discussion, we reviewed:

  • Criterion:  letters of support  – the consensus was to have selective letters rather than generic;  Peg  revised the draft incorporating the feedback from Andrea and the SC meeting discussion   (see attachment)
  • Director of Regional Coordination Job description:  the Steering Committee discussed the draft:
    •  there was consensus to accept the proposed changes submitted by Andrea;
    • it was noted by Joanne and Jane that frequently the title of the position is either referenced as Director of Regional Coordination or Regional Coordinator – it is recommended that there be consistency and only one title should be used;
    • format of the job description – we used the original format for the tasks and added a paragraph detailing type of position and direct report.  As Andrea noted, the DRC tasks do fall into four domains:  Coordination, Communication, Project Management and Administration.  It is recommended that the job description includes domains and that the job description format should be consistent for staff positions.
    • the Governance Workgroup recommends that the Management Team identify an evaluation process to include specific goals, objectives and work deliverables for the staff positions in light of the new fiscal year, the need for updated MOU’s and the ICHH funding ending on June 30
    • Regional Analyst:  we reviewed available information from Suzanne discussed the role and function of data analysis within the Network
  • Governance Workgroup presented recommendations to the Steering Committees May17 and reviewed the list of functional and programmatic committees;
    • there was agreement that Finance is distinct from Resource Development and that the Community Engagement Committee should be fully engaged;
    • there was discussion regarding speakers at Leadership Council and gathering the statewide advocacy groups representatives together in the early fall for a presentation;
    • regarding infrastructure, it was agreed that committees should be established via Steering Committee and that a natural flow is the development of Workgroups within the committees to address specific concerns (i.e., the committees should not disband or change course without full Steering Committee review)
    • The Steering Committee also endorsed the development of two additional Workgroups:
        •  SAMHSA Best Practices Learning Community Workgroup (Andrea); and
        •  Housing Production Workgroup, with Dave C. as liaison.
    • Lynne will request that Pamela forward the list of all current committees, composition and stated purpose for further review

Next meeting:  Monday June 6  9:30 – 11:30 AM CareerPoint

Governance Workgroup Minutes

June 6, 2011

 

Attending:  David Gadaire, Lynne Wallace, Andrea Miller, Peg Keller, Liz Sullivan

Excused:     Charlie Knight

1.) Posting Minutes

 A blog posting draft of the Governance Workgroup minutes from February 27 forward on was distributed to the Committee prior to today’s meeting.  It was agreed to post:

  • using the introduction
  • inserting the April 27 Leadership Council presentation
  • Andrea’s  Network Diagram and Overlapping Spheres of Influence and
  • narrative minute summaries from May 8 and May 25 meetings

Andrea will update the draft and get in touch with Charlie to discuss our request that he be responsible for posting on the blog.

2.) Job Descriptions

  • Director of Regional Coordination:  The final draft job description will be presented to the Steering Committee on June 16.  The responsibilities will be organized under four domains:  Coordination, Communication, Project Management and Administration. In addition, the DRC job description will include the draft qualifications reviewed by the Committee today. The Governance Workgroup recommends that the Management Team proceed with establishing an evaluation process on a bi-annual schedule.

Regional Analyst:  The job description was reviewed in the context of the original Western MA grant application to the ICHH. In light of the fact that the ICHH grant funding extension ends on June 30 and that funding beyond that date is available only for the DRC position, it is recommended by Governance to the Steering Committee that the position cease as it is currently exists, as of that date.

If the Data Committee convenes prior to June 30 to discuss the Network’s data collection and evaluation needs (i.e., revisiting what we need to measure, how we get the data, etc.) then efforts can be made to look for funding. The Governance Workgroup recommends that the Data Committee then present their recommendations to the Steering Committee. Governance Workgroup members felt it was unfair to continue to articulate work expectations for current staff, when in fact, no future funding has been secured.

3.) Criterion/ WMNEH Letters of Support

Andrea distributed by email a final draft of the Request for Letter of Support from the Western MA Network to End Homelessness in a PDF format that can be completed and submitted electronically.  Andrea added that a project overview could be included in the body of the email when submitting the request.  The Committee will recommend this final draft to the Steering Committee on June 16.

4.) Committees

Lynne received the current Network committee information from Pamela.  The consensus of the Governance Workgroup is to recommend to the Steering Committee that Governance convene a meeting of current committee chairs. The agenda would be to revisit the purpose, role and function of each committee within the Network and hear a brief summary of its work.  The goal would be to establish solid charges for each committee and action plans moving forward.

After this meeting, Governance would recommend Core Network committees to the Steering Committee. It is acknowledged that there may be a need to establish ad hoc working groups to focus on specific topics.  There is concern that the DRC effectiveness could become compromised with too many ad hoc working committees. It is our recommendation that the core committees identified by the Governance Workgroup and approved by the Steering Committee be the primary responsibility of the DRC for facilitation and minute taking. If and when the Steering Committee identifies the need for ad hoc Working Groups, chairs of those groups should be identified, as well as minute takers. The Working Group chairs would then report back to the DRC. Minutes would be posted on the blog. Attendance at the Working Group meetings by the DRC would be optional, depending upon time availability.

It is recommended that the chairs of the Core Committees function as chairs (set the agenda, facilitate the meetings) and that the DRC role is to support, help facilitate, record and maintain minutes, present  pertinent data and ensure communication regarding the work of the Core committees as warranted within the Network.

 Outline for Recommendations to Steering Committee June 16

  • Governance Workgroup members felt their meeting minutes should be posted on the blog for transparency purposes;  Charlie will be responsible for posting (Liz and Charlie)
  • Final draft job description for the DRC will be presented (David or Liz)
  • Finalizing Data analyst job description will be postponed until the Data Committee convenes and has a discussion about needs moving forward. Recommendation is to convene the Data Committee prior to June 30 (Lynne and Andrea)
  • Final draft of the Request for Letter of Support process and criterion will be presented (Peg and Andrea)
  • Seek approval from the Steering Committee to engage the Network Core committees to convene and discuss their role and purpose within the Network, committee leadership, composition and meeting frequency
  • Governance Workgroup recommends that the Steering Committee approve Management

Committee responsibility or suggest another methodology for staff performance

evaluation and establish a process for that to occur

 

Governance Workgroup Minutes

July 1, 2011

 

 

Attending:  Lynne Wallace, Andrea Miller, Peg Keller, Charlie Knight, Liz Sullivan

Excused:     David Gadaire

1.) Posting of minutes: 

  • In light of the discussion at Steering Committee regarding the WMNEH Committees and Workgroups, Governance has identified itself as a workgroup.  The recommendation to post minutes on the blog will be made at the July 12 Steering Committee.  A draft of the blog posting has been circulated for review within the Governance Workgroup. Pending the decision of the Steering Committee, Liz will forward minutes to Charlie for posting; Andrea will provide the Network Diagram and Overlapping Spheres of Influence.

 

2.) Job Descriptions

  • Director of Regional Coordination:  The final draft will be presented to the Steering Committee on July 12. The Governance Workgroup recommends that the Management Team proceed with establishing an evaluation process on a bi-annual schedule.

Regional Analyst – Data and Evaluation:  The job description was reviewed in the context of the original Western MA grant application to the ICHH. The ICHH grant funding extension ended on June 30 and the Regional Analyst position is no longer funded.  It was not possible to re-convene the Data Committee in June. The Governance Workgroup proposes establishing a Data and Evaluation Committee. It is recommended that this committee be facilitated and coordinated by the DRC convening representatives from all four counties. It is proposed that the committee composition include the three Continua of Care HMIS staff along with individuals involved with the region’s SAMSHA grants.   It is important to review the Network’s data collection and evaluation needs (i.e., revisiting what we need to measure, how we get the data, HEARTH performance measures, etc)  to continue our data evaluation and  inform our efforts to secure funding for future data analysis.

3.) Criterion/ WMNEH Letters of Support

 Andrea distributed by email a final draft of the Request for Letter of Support from the Western MA Network to End Homelessness in a PDF format that can be completed and submitted electronically.  Andrea added that a project overview could be included in the body of the email when submitting the request.  The Committee will recommend the final draft to the Steering Committee on July 12.

4.) Committees:  as discussed in our June meeting, there is concern that the DRC effectiveness could become compromised with too many ad hoc working committees. It is our recommendation that the core committees identified by the Governance Workgroup and approved by the Steering Committee be the primary responsibility of the DRC for facilitation and minute taking. If and when the Steering Committee identifies the need for Workgroups, chairs of those groups should be identified, as well as minute takers. The Workgroup chairs would then report back to the DRC. Minutes would be posted on the blog. Attendance at the Workgroup meetings by the DRC would be optional, depending upon time availability.

It is recommended that the chairs of the Core Committees function as chairs (set the agenda, facilitate the meetings) and that the DRC role is to support, help facilitate, record and maintain minutes, present  pertinent data and ensure communication regarding the work of the Core committees as warranted within the Network.

Lynne received the current Network committee information from Pamela.  After review and discussion, the Governance Workgroup will propose the following core committees and workgroups to the Steering Committee along with a diagram prepared by Andrea that represents the process of continuous quality improvement generated by committee/workgroup infrastructure:

Steering Committee:  as was approved at Leadership Council April 27

Individual Services Committee: continues, with Discharge Planning as a Workgroup

Family Services:  continues

Community Engagement: continue with additional representation from Leadership Council

Resource Development:  recommend that this is a priority for the DRC to facilitate; reviewed preliminary composition to be discussed at Steering Committee July 12 and presented at Leadership Council

Finance Committee:  further discussion proposed for Steering Committee

Data and Evaluation Committee:  see #2

Peer Advisory Committee: to be established – Charlie Knight and Peg Keller to convene and facilitate

Workgroups:

  • SAMSHA Community of Practice
  • Housing Sex Offenders
  • Housing Resources
  • Discharge Planning
  • Discharge Planning Funding Collaboration
  • Governance

5.) The Network:  it is critical to position the Network within the context of federal and state vision and policy.   We discussed the emphasis on the current federal initiatives to end homelessness for everyone by ending:

  • Chronic individual homelessness within five years
  • Veterans’ homelessness within five years
  • Family homelessness within ten years

It is proposed that further discussion take place at Steering Committee on July 12.

Outline for Recommendations to Steering Committee July 12

  • Governance Workgroup members felt their meeting minutes should be posted on the blog for transparency purposes;  Charlie will be responsible for posting (Liz and Charlie)
  • Seek approval from the Steering Committee regarding core committee and workgroups as identified, follow-up with to engaging core committee chairs to discuss their role and purpose within the Network, committee leadership, composition and meeting frequency, etc.
  • Governance Workgroup recommends that the Steering Committee approve Management

Team composition:  WMNEH Chair, Vice-Chair, conveners of the Continua of Care      non-voting member, DRC.  Given the updated job description and new fiscal year, it is recommended that the Management Group establish process for performance evaluation

Leadership Council Agenda possibilities:

  • Tornado relief
  • Resource Development Committee
  • Core Committees

Next Governance Workgroup meeting:  TBD

New York Times: Out of Poverty, Family Style

New York Times:  Out of Poverty, Family-Style

July 14, 2011, 9:15 pm

By DAVID BORNSTEIN

Shortly after Candace Keshwar immigrated from Trinidad to Boston in 2002, her life took a difficult turn. Her dream had been to go to college and have a career where she could help others. But her first daughter was born with cerebral palsy and Keshwar spent the next seven years caring for her at home. She grew isolated. Her husband worked in construction, but jobs were sporadic, and the family relied on government assistance. “It was a real dark space for me,” Keshwar said. “I kept thinking, ‘This cannot be my life. I know I have the potential to do so much more.’

A turning point came when Keshwar was asked to join a group of families who had self-organized as part of an initiative that helps people in low-income communities achieve their goals. Called the Family Independence Initiative (FII), its approach is radically different from the American social service model. Although it is still quite small — working with a few hundred families — its results are so striking that the White House has taken notice. What FII does is create a structure for families that encourages the sense of control, desire for self-determination, and mutual support that have characterized the collective rise out of poverty for countless communities in American history.

FII is not a “program” in a traditional sense. It doesn’t seek to implement changes, but to elicit them from others. It was launched as a research project by Maurice Lim Miller in Oakland in 2001. Lim Miller, whose mother was an immigrant from Mexico who worked multiple jobs to support her children, had previously spent 22 years building Asian Neighborhood Design, a youth development and job training program, for which he was honored by President Clinton during the 1999 State of the Union address.

Click here to read the full New York Times article.

ICHH Grant Complete: Final Reports

The Interagency Council on Housing and Homelessness’  3-1/2 month grant to the Network to serve homeless and at-risk families came to a close on June 30, 2011.  The $150,000 grant prevented or diverted homelessness for 50 families across Western Massachusetts, and supported network coordination and data analysis for the grant period.  With ICHH support, the Network enabled families to stay or become housed and continued to develop coordination and collaboration across the region.  Thank you, ICHH!

To read an overview of Network development during this grant period, please click here.

To review the number of families served, please click here.

To obtain a breakdown of the average cost per innovation, please click here.

Notice of Public Meeting on EA and HomeBase- 7/25, Boston

The Patrick-Murray Administration is poised to implement an exciting reform on August 1, 2011 to prevent and end family homelessness. Undersecretary Tina Brooks of the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) will hold a public information session on the initiative. The session will include details on how families can access housing supports and emergency shelter in this new system, as well as information on implementation and operations.

The meeting will be held at DHCD offices located at 100 Cambridge St., Boston, MA 02114 on Monday, July 25th from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.  The meeting will take place on the 2nd Floor, Conference Rooms B, C, and D. Those who wish to attend must RSVP to Marta Henriquez at marta.henriquez@state.ma.us in order to be registered with security. All guests must present photo identification to enter the building.