Veterans Committee Meeting Minutes – 6/6/18

Veterans Committee Meeting Minutes – June 6, 2018

In attendance: Grechar Aquino, Friends of the Homeless, Heather Cahillane, Soldier, Steve Connor, Veterans Services, Craig Deraway, SoldierOn, Janice Humason, FOH, Gerry McCafferty, City of Springfield, Digno Ortiz, FOH, Lizzy Ortiz, Mercy Medical Center, Katherine Person, Veterans, Inc., Kate Sweetster-Owens, HUD-VASH, Stephanie Tonelli, FOH, Alison Wilson-Pierce, HUD VASH

 
Update on Non-VA Eligible HUD VASH vouchers:

Great news!  Thanks to Steve Connors’ and others’ assistance, there are now 11 HUD-VASH vouchers available through the Northampton Housing Authority for non-VA eligible veterans.  This will allow housing for some of the most long-term, chronically homeless people in Hampden County and the Three County region.  Very exciting progress.  Veterans will likely be housed over the summer.
It is possible that Northampton Housing Authority (NHA) could have additional vouchers to release to non-VA eligible veterans.  Gerry also relayed her understanding that another 5,000 HUD-VASH vouchers will be released this summer.
Built for Zero campaign:
Gerry updated all on the Built for Zero campaign, a learning community to support the effort to end homelessness for chronically homeless individuals and veterans. They have periodic gatherings through the year and Kate Sweetster-Owens is part of the local team attending the next one in Detroit.  They will focus on ending veteran homelessness which has just become more possible with the availability of non-VA eligible vouchers.
Homelessness Resource Fair – June 14:
Pamela reported on the upcoming Resource Fair next week, Thurs., 6/14 9 am – 12:30 pm at Holyoke Community College, Kittredge Center, Room 301-303. Roughly 200 people are attending with 60 organizations tabling and 8 workshops.  Thanks to the providers in the room for leading the Veterans Services workshop (twice!) during the day.  If you haven’t already, please email Pamela at pschwartz77@gmail.com if you plan to attend.
FY19 State Budget Update:
The FY19 State Budget is now in the Conference Committee.  Pamela reviewed the key provisions impacting individual homelessness as summarized in CHAPA’s attached summary. Representative Steve Kulik from our region is on the Committee and Pamela will be reaching out to summarize Network priorities.
Next meeting date:  because the usual first Wed. is July 4th, and Pamela is away the following week, the Network will convene as part of the monthly case-conferencing meeting on:
 
Wed., August 1
2 pm – 2:30 pm (case conferencing to follow 2:30-3:30 pm)
Friends of the Homeless
755 Worthington Street, Springfield
 
The next regular veterans case conferencing meeting will take place on Wed. July 11.