Training on Addiction Treatment in Military; Veterans Committee Meeting Postponed

Due to a conflict with an upcoming training, the Network’s Veterans Committee is rescheduling its Jan. 30 meeting to Friday, Feb. 27, 9 am, at the Northampton Senior Center.

The upcoming training registration closes today for “Military 101: What every addiction clinician needs to know,” Friday, 1/30, 8 am – 4:00 pm, Westfield State University.  More details and how to register are available here.

Leadership Council Meeting Minutes – 1/21/15

Leadership Council Meeting
January 21, 2015

In attendance: Mary Jane Bacon, Senator Rosenberg’s office, Tim Brennan, Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, Kathryn Buckley-Brawner, Catholic Charities, Bonnie Caldwell, DHCD, Dave Christopolis, Hilltown CDC, Patrica Crosby, Franklin Regional Employment Board, Ken Demers, BerkshireWorks, Linda Dunlavy, Franklin Regional Council of Governments, Doreen Fadus, Mercy Medical Center, Judge Robert Fields, Western MA Housing Court, Brad Gordon, Berkshire Regional Housing Authority, Jennifer Hohn, North Adams Housing Authority, Lori Ingraham, Easthampton Savings Bank, Mary Reardon Johnson, YWCA, Nat Karns, Berkshire Regional Planning Commission, Peg Keller, City of Northampton, Charlie Knight, consumer, Gerry McCafferty, City of Springfield, Diana McLean, City of Westfield, Bill Miller, Friends of the Homeless, Dave Modzelewski, Network, Andrew Morehouse, Food Bank of Western Mass., Jerry Ray, Mental Health Association, Megan Rhodes, Franklin Regional Council of Governments, Carmen Rivera, Home City Housing, George Ryan, Hampden County Regional Employment Board, Jay Sacchetti, ServiceNet, Pamela Schwartz, Network, Matt Simmonds, Simtech Consulting, Robin Sherman, Franklin County Regional Housing and Redevelopment Authority, Linda Stacy, United Way of Franklin County, Lynne Wallace, HAPHousing, Jennifer Wuest, Behavioral Health Network,

Minutes of 10/23/14 Leadership Council meeting:
Robin noted that the minutes inaccurately named two states as having the “right to shelter.” However, MA is the only state; New York City, not New York State, also has the right to shelter.  See corrected minutes here.

Motion to approve: Charlie Knight
Seconded: Tim Brennan
All in favor: unanimous

New Network Vice-Chair: Doreen Fadus, Mercy Medical Center:

The Network Steering Committee reached out to Doreen to ask her to serve as the Network vice-chair, replacing Lynne Wallace (after he many years of extraordinary service as chair and then vice chair). We all expressed our appreciation for Doreen’s willingness to serve in this capacity – the Network is extremely fortunate to have her!

Motion in support of Doreen Fadus as vice-chair of the Network: Mary Reardon Johnson
Seconded: Charlie Knight
All in favor: unanimous

Charlie seconded the motion

Administration Update:

Pamela noted the Baker Administration has given very public attention to the family homelessness crisis and his stated intention to explore new solutions. He has also made explicit mention of “regional networks” as part of the solution, an intriguing possibility for our ongoing efforts.

Secure Jobs Celebration – 2/6/15:

Pamela reminded everyone that our upcoming second annual Secure Jobs Celebration is taking place on Friday, 2/6, 10 am – 11:30 am, Kittredge Center, Holyoke Community College. This will be a celebration of all of our workforce development efforts for homeless families and individuals. 18 legislators, several mayors, DHCD Undersecretary and many more will be attending. Come if you can!

Legislative Priorities Discussion for FY16

Pamela referred to the draft of legislative priorities that is based on Network committee recommendations (click here). Continue reading

Secure Jobs Advisory Committee Meeting Minutes – 1/20/15

Secure Jobs Advisory Committee Meeting Minutes
January 20, 2015

In attendance: Toni Bator, HAP, Bud Delphin, CareerPoint, Ken Demers, BerkshireWorks, Harry Duschene, NEFWC, Donna Harris, Franklin Hampshire Career Center, Lisa Lapierre, Secure Jobs/CPM, Melissa Mateus, Springfield Partners, Bill Mulholland, Berkshire Community College, Konrad Rogowski, FutureWorks, George Ryan, Hampden County Regional Employment Board, Pamela Schwartz, Network, Robin Sherman, Franklin County Regional Housing and Redevelopment Authority

Monthly Report Review and Discussion – please click here and here to review.

This last month has seen an excellent increase in enrollments (now up to 82 out of goal of 100 for year). This is due to a refining of systems, above all CPM (Lisa and Cindy) providing initial intake and assessments and arranging day care before referring to CareerPoint cohort or FutureWorks.

It was noted that clients referred to FutureWorks are having some challenges with follow-through. CPM and FutureWorks are looking at this together now to better understand and attempt some problem-solving.

CPM and HAP are holding a “rally” for Secure Jobs enrollees who have not yet been placed (and other possible recruits as determined by housing stabilization workers). This will take place this Friday, 1/23, at CHD. They will provide child care, lunch, bus passes, a gift card rally and abundant information about the Secure Jobs program. In the afternoon, they will host a jobs fair with 8 businesses attending, a very exciting innovation.

We discussed the low number of referrals in Franklin County. This is due in part because a high percentage of homeless families living in Greenfield motels are from out of the area (approx. 40 out of 55 families) and intend to move back to their communities of origin. Lisa is in close contact with Charity of FCRHRA and Fran of ServiceNet to explore other alternatives. Robin suggested reaching out to Dial/SELF.

Ken of BerkshireWorks reported good progress enrolling participants in Berkshire County. The CPM outreach staff is attending housing court with other Berkshire advocates and connecting to possible clients who are facing the threat of eviction.

Update on 2/6 Secure Jobs Celebration

We have 18 legislators from the region committed to attending; DHCD Undersecretary Kornegay, Deputy Secretary Kirk of the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development. We are honoring 10 businesses and have 4 participant speakers. With 2 weeks to go, the demand will be great around event and material preparations. Pamela thanked everyone in advance for their partnership in making this a great success.


Review of Secure Jobs Web Pages

Andrea Miller, retained as part of the DHCD grant to develop our web pages, shared her design for initial feedback.  Everyone thanked Andrea for her fantastic work! Some feedback included:

  • Success stories page (Pamela will provide through her work with program participants for 2/6)
  • Photos (Pamela will help facilitate with Lisa and Toni assistance)
  • Testimonials from businesses (to be collected via 2/6 event)
  • Agreed on business page to limit named businesses to those being honored (Pamela will provide)
  • Agreed to revisit funders page to review what level of detail is necessary (e.g., funding amounts are confusing – do we need them?)
  • Agreed to revisit the listing of providers on the map (a little confusing and possibly overwhelming) but instead to put a list of all partners on the page

Connections Project

We discussed this new RFP – see for more information. We agreed that the project’s ambition and the relatively low dollar amount ($125K for each of 3 years or for a total of 3 years?! Important need to clarify!) make this a challenging project at the outset. It was also noted that these funds could not be used to expand an existing program. Robin proposed that the best strategy would be to pick a target population and zero in on a particular need. It was agreed that this is a useful direction. We also agreed that it is not enough money to do this as a 4 county project

The webinar on the RFP is 1/28 and Lisa and Toni will attend. We will take stock after more is learned and decide how best to proceed.

Next meeting date: Wed., 2/10, 3:30-5:00, HCC