Springfield/Hampden County Funding Opportunities for Homeless Service Providers

There are several open funding opportunities for Springfield-Hampden County providers, as described below.

Opportunities Related to the EOHHS RFR

The Springfield-Hampden County Continuum of Care, through its fiscal agency the City of Springfield, has released two Requests for Proposals, seeking organizations to carry out homelessness prevention/rapid rehousing activities. The CoC’s funding of these activities is contingent on the CoC being awarded funds in response to its application to the Commonwealth’s recent RFR. The CoC RFPs were released Feb. 8, 2016, and responses are due back to the City of Springfield Office of Procurement March 4, 2016 by 2 pm.

  1. Administration of Flexible Funds for Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Rehousing  The CoC seeks one to three experienced agencies to administer flexible funds for homelessness prevention and rapid rehousing. The agencies will serve as a pass-through for these funds, and there is no funding available for staff. Agencies will receive 5% of funds awarded for administrative costs related to administration of the program, Agencies must have a plan to cover/provide intake for the flexible funds in Chicopee, Holyoke, Westfield and Springfield, as well as for victims of domestic violence–this can be done through partnerships with other agencies that will serve as Intake Agencies.
  2. Homeless Youth Initiative The CoC seeks one to three experienced agencies to operate housing stabilization, homelessness diversion and rapid rehousing for youth aged 18-24. The specific activities the CoC seeks are: employment of a Youth Stabilization Specialist; administration of flexible funds to prevent youth homelessness; operation of a Kinship Care program; employment of a Youth Rehousing Specialist, and operation of a rapid rehousing program for youth.

Springfield Emergency Solutions Grant Program

The City of Springfield has released a Request for Proposals seeking providers to operate activities under the federal Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) program. Eligible activities include homelessness prevention, rapid rehousing, outreach services and operating support for existing emergency shelter. ESG funds are provided to the City to serve Springfield residents. This RFP was released February 1, 2016 and responses are due back to the Office of Housing, 1600 E. Columbus Ave., Springfield, on March 1, 2016 by noon. The RFP may be picked up in the City of Springfield Office of Housing, or may be obtained by email by a request to Gerry McCafferty.

 

President Obama’s FY17 Housing Budget Request

A federal budget update from the National Low-Income Housing Coalition:

FY17 Request Goes Bold to End Family Homelessness

President Barack Obama’s FY17 budget request seeks a long-overdue, significant investment in federal efforts to end homelessness for all families by 2020. For FY17, HUD is asking Congress to provide $88 million for 10,000 new housing choice vouchers for homeless families with children, funding for 25,000 new permanent supportive housing units, and funds to provide 8,000 families with rapid rehousing assistance. In addition, HUD announced a legislative proposal where it will seek $11 billion in mandatory spending over the next 10 years to serve a total of 550,000 families with additional vouchers, permanent supportive housing, and rapid rehousing assistance.

For the ten-year $11 billion Homeless Assistance for Families program, which would be run through HUD’s Continuum of Care framework in partnership with local public housing agencies, HUD estimates approximately 20% of the funds will be used to support rapid rehousing, and 80% of the funds will support housing choice vouchers.

The request, which relays the President’s FY17 budget priorities to Congress, would also provide increases to ensure the renewal of assistance provided by the housing choice voucher, project-based rental assistance, Section 202 Housing for the Elderly, and Housing for Persons with Disabilities programs. Of these programs, the request would only expand the number of people assisted by the voucher program, with the $88 million for 10,000 new vouchers for homeless families for children, plus $7 million for a Tribal HUD-VA Supportive Housing (VASH) program to serve homeless or at risk of homeless Native American veterans living in and around designated tribal areas. There are no funds in the request to expand the number of new units in the Section 811 or Section 202 programs.

For public housing agencies, the request would increase funding for public housing operating subsidies from FY16’s $4.5 billion to $4.569 billion in FY17, would increase capital funds from FY16’s $1.9 billion to $1.865 billion in FY17, and significantly increases voucher administrative fees from FY16’s $1.650 billion to $2.077 billion in FY17. HUD intends to “fully fund” administrative fees under a new fee formula that HUD plans to implement for calendar year 2017. The budget also proposes a new $15 million housing choice voucher Mobility Counseling Demonstration program to help families with housing vouchers move and stay in areas of opportunity.

Again, the President seeks $50 million in funding for the Rental Assistance Demonstration, which currently allows PHAs to change the subsidy platform of their public housing to either project-based rental assistance or project-based vouchers but does not provide any additional public funds. The request also seeks to make Section 202 Project Rental Assistance Contract (PRAC) owners eligible to convert their subsidy stream under RAD. The request also seeks new RAD language to ensure residents’ right to continue their tenancy, by imposing the demonstration’s prohibition on rescreening or termination of residents during redevelopment efforts, on Rent Supplement, Rental Assistance Payment, and Mod Rehab properties that convert under RAD.

The President’s request seeks an increase for HUD’s Fair Housing Initiatives Program, from FY16’s $40 million to $46 million in FY17. The FHIP program provides funding to state and local governments and to public and private nonprofit organizations that administer programs to prevent or eliminate discriminatory housing practices through enforcement, education, and outreach.

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Amherst One-Stop Resource Center Open!

Amherst  Community Connections has opened a One-Stop Resource Center.

Walk-ins welcome Monday-Friday, 8 am – 11 am
121 N. Pleasant Street, Amherst (next to the Downtown Post Office)

Services:

  • Free food, free use of computer, printer copier, telephone and free bus passes for those eligible
  • Friendly and knowledgeable staff (one-on-one service)
  • Assistance with housing, employment, food stamps, cell phone application, legal services and more

For appointment, contact ACC 413-345-0737 or ACCinAmherst@gmail.com

The service is free and confidential. Income eligibility may apply.

Click here for the flyer.

Individual Services Meeting Minutes – 2/4/16

Individual Services Meeting
February 4, 2016

In attendance: Jesus Arce, City of Springfield, Elizabeth Bienz, ServiceNet, Carl Cignoni, Hampshire County Sheriff’s Office/DOC Office of Re-Entry, Steve Connor, Veterans Services, Toni Dolan, Veteran Services, Ezzell Floranina, Amherst Community Connections, Erin Forbush, ServiceNet, Jen Glover, Franklin County Home Care Corporation, Hwei-Ling Greeney, Amherst Community Connections, Emily Koplar, Catholic Charities, Peg Keller, City of Northampton, Charlie Knight, former consumer/Rainville, Jay Levy, Eliot CHS-Homeless Services, Gerry McCafferty, City of Springfield, Dave McClosky, Open Pantry, Katie Miernecki, ServiceNet, Dave Modzelewski, Network, Laura Saponare, Catholic Charities, Pamela Schwartz, Network, Lynn White, HRU

Point in Time Count Update (preliminary results from 1/27 count)
Unsheltered count (thanks to Jay Levy for these preliminary numbers):

Three County:
Leverett: 1 (chronic); Amherst, 6 (4 chronic); Hadley, 3 (chronic), Northampton, 5 (3 chronic); Greenfield, 9 (3 chronic),

Hampden County:
Holyoke, 12 (5 chronic); Chicopee 3 (chronic); Westfield, 4 (1 chronic); West Springfield, 3 (1 chronic), Southwick, 0

Gerry also added Springfield number: 13, including 1 under 18

Total unsheltered count is 35 – similar numbers to 2012-2014 (2015 down b/c count occurred when bitterly cold)

Sheltered count decreased relative to last year.
Total count for Hampden County: 277 people

Not seeing much of a difference from previous years – between 266 and 277 since 2012

But it was notable that almost no shelter was full, i.e., there is the capacity to shelter the unsheltered. Also the numbers in transitional housing are down.

On veterans: last year 38 veterans, this year down to 21, a testimony to the outreach work going on.   No unsheltered veterans were identified in Hampden County; one in Three County.

Chronically homeless numbers are going down, another reflection of the successful work in housing some of the hardest-to-house quicker.

The number of unsheltered homeless people in Holyoke (12) suggest the need to consider a Permanent Supportive Housing project in Holyoke. More to discuss.

Jen Glover, Franklin County Home Care Corporation, on elder homelessness:

FCHC is changing name to Life Path as of March 1.

Jen has been the supportive housing coordinator for 9 years. Provides support services to all residents of PSH (a total of 100 units) through a partnership with Greenfield Housing Authority. She works with tenants to meet emergency needs (through various funding pools) and to maximize public benefits and to do whatever it takes to prevent homelessness. In 9 years, there has only been one eviction.

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