Author Archives: Pamela Schwartz

Family Services Committee Meeting Minutes – 9/18/18

Family Services Committee Meeting
September 18, 2018
 
In attendance: Shelley Benoit, BHN, Melissa Blisset, Square One, Lynnanne Brown, Elizabeth Freeman Center, Portia Bullock?, NEFWC, Ellen Broadhurst, Chicopee Public Schools, Hillary Cronin, VA HUD VASH, Anthia Elliott, BHN, Fran Lemay, Greenfield Family Inn/ServiceNet, Heather Marshall, Elizabeth Freeman House, Pamela Schwartz, Network, Janna Teatrault, Community Action, Melissa White, Valley Opportunity Council
DHCD data review – click here
We reviewed the data provided by DHCD and confirmed our continued need for greater clarity, e.g., to include the transfer number in the number of entries and exits does not provide us with meaningful data.  We also agreed it would be useful to understand:
  • among the number of EA applicants, how many were diverted, and within that number, how many used RAFT, how many used HomeBASE
  • on the data sheet that details “where client went upon exit” the first box says “emergency shelter” – need to clarify that
We also agreed that once Donna has returned (10/1), we will ask for her placement numbers to be added to the monthly report.
Network earmark update
Pamela shared the Network Steering Committee conversation regarding the allocation of the Network earmark of $125,000.  The current proposal is to allocate $25,000 to training needs for the Network focused on a range of skills and practices, including trauma-informed care, how to run a housing oriented shelter, and cultural competency.  The remainder would be allocated to flexible funds to assist with prevention and rapid rehousing, including landlord mitigation funds (e.g., repairs, etc.) to encourage renting to tenants. The Committee unanimously supported this proposal.
Family Services Committee work plan
The Network Steering Committee also requested that the Network committees consider its goals and broad work plan for this fiscal year.  After discussion, the group recommended these broad goals:
  • relationship building and information sharing (supports motivation and positive energy in the work)
  • legislative advocacy – a unified voice and opportunity to meet with legislators
  • professional development through Network sponsored trainings
We agreed to further brainstorm outcome measures related to # of legislative meetings and legislative outcomes and # of people attending trainings, broken down by agency type and sub-region so we can best assess Network reach and impact.
Network Legislative Meeting: November 16, 1-3 pm, Greenfield Community College
The Network is hosting a legislative meeting to introduce the 5 new legislators in the Upper Valley.  It will be regionwide, including all Western MA legislators and local officials and Network partners.  Stay tuned for additional info but mark your calendars for now!
Next meeting dates/times
Our previous meeting time of 1 pm on Tuesday permanently conflicts with Hampden County’s individual case conferencing meetings which precludes Gerry McCafferty, the Hampden CoC liaison, from ever attending these meetings.  All agreed that it was no problem (and for some, even preferred!) to move the time to at least afford the opportunity for her to join us.
In general, we will move our meeting time to 11 am-12:30 pm but due to a conflict in October, for the October meeting we will meet from 12 noon-1:30 pm.
So our upcoming meeting schedule is:
 
Tues., 10/9, 12 noon – 1:30 pm
Tues., 11/13, 11 am – 12:30 pm
Tues., 12/11, 11 am – 12:30 pm
Note: Unfortunately, the Holyoke Public Library is not available, but HCC’s Frost Room 309 is.  So our meetings will take place there.

Three County Individual Services Meeting Minutes – 9/17/18

Three County Individual Services Meeting
9/17/18
 

In attendance:  Elizabeth Bienz, ServiceNet, Sam Cunningham, ServiceNet, Eleanor Dodson, ServiceNet, Jen Glover, Life Path, Lisa Goldsmith, DIAL/SELF, Erin Forbush, ServiceNet, Chris Hughes, ServiceNet, Andy Klatka, Eliot CHS-Homeless Services, Jay Levy, Eliot Services, Katie Miernecki, ServiceNet, Danielle McColgan, CHD, Star Mott, ServiceNet, Nikki Riello, Hilltown CDC, Pamela Schwartz, Network, Kate Shapiro, DMH, Michael Trembley, ServiceNet, Hayley Wood, Easthampton Council on Aging, John Wren, ServiceNet, Chris Zabik, DMH

Coordinated Entry Update
Erin Forbush provided an update regarding weekly Coordinated Entry meetings.  They are taking place at 1 pm every Monday at this ServiceNet location (296 Nonutuck Street).  Every week there is a meeting to discuss individual clients and best housing matches. In the last 2 months there have been no vacancies, largely as a result of ServiceNet’s shift in its HUD contracts for Permanent Supportive Housing.

There are 2 contracts that are in transition, 1 for 15 beds that ends as of Jan. 2019 and the other for 45 beds that ends as of July 2019.  In Northampton, this impacts 38 Hawley Street (12 units) and Pleasant Street (1 unit).  ServiceNet is working diligently with individuals impacted to ensure they are re-housed as needed.  Meanwhile, the Three County CoC has posted an RFP for these housing funds to be administered by another agency.

Network earmark update
Pamela shared the Network Steering Committee conversation regarding the allocation of the Network earmark of $125,000.  The current proposal is to allocate $25,000 to training needs for the Network focused on a range of skills and practices, including trauma-informed care, how to run a housing oriented shelter, and cultural competency.  The remainder would be allocated to flexible funds to assist with prevention and rapid rehousing, including landlord mitigation funds (e.g., repairs, etc.) to encourage renting to tenants. The Committee unanimously supported this proposal.  Members especially noted the need for training on harm reduction and trauma-informed care.  The lack of racial and ethnic diversity in our own group was also noted and the group agreed it would be extremely valuable to allocate resources for training around our cultural competency.  We distributed the newly produced data around race and ethnicity within the region’s homeless population, noting the disproportionate representation of people of color (click here for the report ).

Network Legislative Meeting: November 16, 1-3 pm, Greenfield Community College
The Network is hosting a legislative meeting to introduce the 5 new legislators in the Upper Valley.  It will be region-wide, including all Western MA legislators and local officials and Network partners.  Stay tuned for additional info but mark your calendars for now!

Upcoming training on Overcoming Tenant Screening Barriers
This training is taking place on October 4, 9:30-11:30 am at HCC.  Pamela will send a reminder notice just to this group attending in order to provide an opportunity for more 3 County CoC attendance.

Next meeting date:
Monday, October 15
1 pm – 2:30 pm
ServiceNet
296 Nonotuck Street, Florence

 

 

Racial Disparities and Homelessness – CoC Reports

The Hampden County and Three County CoC’s  issued reports on Racial Disparities and Homelessness, per HUD’s request. Please take the time to review this important information. The Network Committees will also provide additional opportunities to discuss the findings.

Hampden County CoC Race and Ethnicity Analysis

Three County CoC Race and Ethnicity Analysis

Powerful piece on poverty, employment and homelessness

Matthew Desmond, author of the widely acclaimed book Evicted, has just authored an important article that appears in the New York Times titled: Americans Want to Believe Jobs are the Solution to Poverty. They’re not.  While the story is based in New Jersey, it applies here in Massachusetts and across the country.  And it captures with an extraordinary combination of data and heart the monumental challenge and the system change work we need to do to meet it.

Let’s do a Network read and bring the findings and analysis and solutions into the work that lies ahead.