Hampden County Individual Services Committee Meeting Minutes

Hampden County Individual Services Committee Meeting Minutes
October 23, 2018

In attendance: Grechar Aquino, FOH/CSO, Olivia Bernstein, MHA, Nichole Bodiford, FOH/CSO, Fina Fulla-Kay, City of Springfield, Jessica Dorman, Mercy Medical Center, Fina Fulla-Kay, City of Springfield, Sarah Hills, Eliot CHS, Janice Humason, FOH/CSO, Sarah  Hills, Eliot CHS,  Todd, Koniezhny, Viability, Jay Levy, Eliot CHS, Sara Lopes, FOH/CSO, Jennifer Lucca, Samaratin Inn, Gerry McCafferty, City of Springfield, Lizzy Ortiz, Mercy Medical Center, Herschelle Reaves, BHN,  Denise Rivera, FOH/CSO, David Rodriguez, Viability, Christina Ruest, FOH/CSO, Pamela Schwartz, Network, Antonia Stewart, FOH/CSO, Paul Thomas, Reentry Services, Stephanie Tonelli, FOH/CSO, Catherine Torres, FOH/CSO, Kathleen West, Eliot CHS, Lynn White, Viability 

Committee FY19 Work Plan Discussion
Gerry provided the project work plan that was developed by the Hampden County CoC team at the last Built for Zero conference in Detroit several weeks Please see attached for the detailed breakdown of goals and outcome measures.  INCREDIBLY IMPRESSIVE WORK.

The stated goal for Hampden County is to reduce the number of chronically homeless individuals to 50 by February, 2019.  Ambitious! And possible.

3 immediate decisions/action steps:

  1. Every 2 weeks the case conferencing meeting will be largely devoted to troubleshooting housing barriers for individuals who have vouchers who are looking for units.
  2. A workshop for voucher holders – Friday, 11/2, 11:30 am – 12:30 pm, FOH – to assist individuals on how to conduct a housing search, e.g., how to present, what to ask/not ask, what to disclose/not disclose, etc.
  3. Weekly phone call with the Built for Zero team – Gerry, Jess, Janice and Kate- to assess progress in each area

Additionally, a “mini-diversion project” is underway with Dennis at the front door of FOH to conduct a trial run of asking individuals some key questions to facilitate quicker targeting of their needs and appropriate direction.  More on that to come.

The Committee agreed that Hampden County’s Built for Zero Project Plan – click here –  will serve as its work plan.

The Committee also agreed that the Network role in relation to this work plan included:

  1. Convening this committee for its regular monthly meeting and providing a vehicle for group review of progress on its goals
  2. Providing trainings in service of the work plan, (e.g., how to run an awesome shelter, diversion, trauma informed care and racial equity and homelessness)
  3. Providing a communication vehicle to the larger community and elected officials around this work

Network training updates

Remember to register for How to Run an Awesome Shelter, Tuesday, 12/18 9 am – 4 pm, HCC.  Pamela will send out a targeted email on this as well. Please register here.

There is a tentative agreement to sponsor a 3-part racial equity training offered by Marc Dones who was formerly of T4 and co-authored the SPARC report on racial equity and homelessness.  We are looking at March 7 as the first installment with the subsequent two to be offered in late April and early June. Capacity for 100 people.  All must commit to all 3 trainings.  Stay tuned for a whole lot more.

Holyoke planning

Gerry shared the good progress in Holyoke, including a meeting hosted by Alicia Zoeller, Community Development Director, that included police, DPW, public health nurse, Gerry as CoC support and all the primary providers. There was discussion around the need for greater outreach to unsheltered people and the new permanent supportive housing underway through Viability (funded by Hampden CoC) – 1 person has been housed and 3 more are in process (ultimately funded to house 6 individuals). There was also the very start of discussion around a winter shelter in Holyoke.  Having everyone around the table was a terrific start.  More conversation to follow.

Next meeting date: Tuesday, Nov. 20, 1 pm