Hampden County Individual Services Minutes – 5/21/19

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In attendance: Grechar Aquino, Friends of the Homeless/CSO, Lynn Conway, SMOC, Jess Dorman, Mercy Medical Center, Fina Fulla-Kay, City of Springfield, Janice Humason, FOH/CSO, Mark Jachym, FOH/CSO, Nichole King, FOH/CSO, Jen Lucca, Samaratin Inn, Gerry McCafferty, City of Springfield, Bill Miller, FOH/CSO, Gerson Nivak, Viability, Lizzy Ortiz, Mercy Medical Center, Emmanuel Owusu, Dept of Veteran Services, John Paglier, Mercy Medical Center, Denise Rivera-Nunez, FOH/CSO, Laura Robertson, Pamela Schwartz, Network, Dennis Sheehan, FOH/CSO, Stephanie Tonelli, FOH/CSO, Catherine Torres, FOH/CSO, Kathy West, Eliot Services, Chris Zabik, DMH

Built for Zero Advisor Eddie Turner: We had the pleasure of hosting Eddie Turner, an advisor from the Built for Zero Campaign, based in Atlanta, whose job it is to support communities around the country that are close to ending veteran and individual chronic homelessness, and to help them reach that end-goal. Hampden County is making great strides in ending Veteran homelessness (roughly 16 Veterans on its by-name list), so Eddie began the day meeting with the Veterans’ providers and then joined us at our Individual Services meeting to offer his expertise on chronic homelessness as well. 


I highly recommend looking at the slide presentation here (note: the Veteran committee slides are also in this link, appearing first, and either check them out, too – interesting! – or keep going until you hit the start of the presentation on chronic homelessness). The presentation as a whole offers a great summary of the approach that is applicable across our region, as well as an interesting look at Hampden County’s current data. 


The group discussed the barriers chronically homeless individuals face to getting housed and what can be done to get past these barriers.  The current by-name list has 63 chronically homeless individuals on it.  The group committed to moving 13 people into housing over the next 5 weeks, by July 1, bringing the by-name list number down to 50.

The case-conferencing committee will continue to meet weekly and we will all take stock together at our next Hampden County Committee meeting on Tuesday, July 16, 1 pm, Friends of the Homeless (we are not meeting in June due to the Resource Fair on June 10).