Meanwhile, the Mass. Coalition for the Homeless offers this state budget update and action alert regarding funding for unaccompanied youth:
The Senate Ways and Means budget that was released on Wednesday did not include funding for unaccompanied youth and the youth commission’s efforts. Senator Clark will be filing the same amendment that Rep. O’Day filed in the House to try to secure $500,000 to fund a count, staff the commission, and implement demonstration projects. Below is Rep. O’Day’s amendment, which ultimately was included in the House’s Consolidated Amendment I for $150,000.
Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Meeting Minutes
May 15, 2013
In attendance: Shannon Barry, Springfield Public Schools, Lisa Goldsmith, Dial/SELF, Kim Majewski, Gandara Center, Jean Rogers, CHD, Tyler Rousseau, Springfield School of Social Work, Pamela Schwartz, Network coordinator
Review of homeless youth resource sheet:
Made minor edits
Agreed on content
Pamela will post on blog
Focus group survey update:
Kim shared outcomes from intern Leila’s survey work. (Note: Leila was great but agency demands resulted in less than 5 hours/week. For future reference, should ensure intern is more clearly allocated to this committee.)
Distributed youth homelessness survey. Initial goal was 10 participants. 11 completed: Dial/SELF youth participants provided 7 surveys. SHINE youth participants provided 4 surveys.
- Question #11 – “currently in school?” need to add an explicit opportunity to say “no”
- Questions #17 and #19 – percentages don’t align of “ever being in foster care” vis-à-vis “ever living in a group home or residential program” – could be confusion around interpreting the distinction between foster care and home/residential program
Participants at Dial/SELF and SHINE were very comfortable completing the survey.
Reflections on findings:
thought more kids would have been working instead of going to school; surprised at number of kids in school, taking college courses (Dial/SELF offers a stipend, so less pressure to get a job, so school is a more viable option; in SHINE, offers support and food/lodging, so again, more alternatives).
Interesting to note “no children” among any participants. Analysis: if with a partner, program can’t accommodate partners. Also, if over 18, would seek EA.
Kim will send Tyler raw data. Tyler will collate and create data summary/presentation in the next couple of weeks. Thank you, Tyler!
Lisa Goldsmith reported on MA Commission on Unaccompanied Youth. Not yet publicly released (some internal finalizing issues). Next commission meeting scheduled for 5/29.
State budget update: House budget included funds for unaccompanied homeless youth pilot account, for demonstration projects and to support staffing of the special commission. Awaiting Senate budget to be released today. Stay tuned for legislative updates.
Other program updates:
Great Barrington trying to start warming shelter out there. Lisa will provide contact info and Network can follow-up.
Gandara Center and Dial/SELF is participating in the Aging-Out forum at Boston College on 6/11.
Next meeting: 6/20, 1:30-2:45 pm, Northampton Senior Center.
Family Services Committee
May 14, 2013
In attendance: Jane Banks, Center for Human Development, Shannon Barry, Springfield Public Schools, Tana Bloom, FCRHRA, Bonnie Caldwell, HAP, Charity Day, Franklin County Regional Housing and Redevelopment Authority, Harry Duchesne, New England Farm Worker Council, Toni Hochstadt, Community Action, Steve Huntley, Valley Opportunity Council, Wendy Kane, Community Legal Aid, Faith Lafayette, Fran Lemay, Greenfield Family Inn, Jane Lindfors, DTA Domestic Violence Unit, Jordana O’Connell, Holyoke Public Schools, Donna Nadeau, DHCD, Stephen Plummer, Springfield Partners for Community Action, Jim Reis, HAP, Pamela Schwartz, Network coordinator, Kate Shapiro, Tenancy Preservation Project, Rachel Trant, DCF, Lauren Voyer, HAPHousing
Emergency Housing Assistance:
No placements since last meeting, April 23. DHCD doing more placements with presumptive eligibility; staff having success in finding friends or family as alternatives. HAP out of RAFT funds since last Monday.
Motel Task Force: meeting this Thursday. Still Beverage Fund dollars for supplies and to assist with first/last month rent. Currently 230 families in hotels, staying about level for the last few weeks. Seeing a lot of transfers out to Worcester (some shelter openings there; aiming to transfer only families with non-school age children to minimize disruption).
For Families stating in Chicopee Quality Inn next month.
More medical care in motels through Health Care for the Homeless.
Franklin County: currently 10 motel families. Working with City of Greenfield to have a summer meals program and offering summer camps.
RAFT funds for FY13 Franklin, Hampshire and Hampden Counties are spent (presumably Berkshire County, too, although not present at the meeting).
Community Action ESG funds: $59,000 remaining for families. Available in Hampden (except Springfield), Franklin and Hampshire. Must be pledged by 6/30. Have to be below 30% of area median income; have to have a summary process summons to court; has to be a household member with a disability or history of homelessness or history of domestic violence. Up to 6 months of rental arrears not to exceed $4K in any situation; for unsubsidized tenants, can include utility arrears.
Now responding to next year’s ESG. In total have allocated $140,000, a big cut from last year. Reduced amount for subsidized households to $2,000. Criteria still includesl the summons, below 30% AMI, and now also feeling or attempting to flee DV within the last 30 days, but no other eligibility criteria. Targeting subsidized households.
Hampden County state ESG – majority for individuals but also funds for families. Catholic Charities will submit RFR; YWCA, HAP, Open Door will also participate for families. Emphasis on DV.
State Budget update:
Updated committee on Leadership Council discussion re: changing EA regulation to allow for eligibility if at imminent risk of staying in a place unfit for human habitation.
Agreed that we will await the Senate budget to learn if they incorporated the Leadership Council’s recommendation to allow for the use of RAFT funds to fill this safety net need.
If the RAFT alternative is adopted, committee members expressed hope that with it would come a mandated referral to RAFT by DHCD. A desire for some “teeth” in the reliance on this resource.
Farewell and Thanks to Jim Reis
As Jim approached his last day at HAP (5/24), we all raised our glasses to toast his incredible work and contribution to preventing and ending homelessness in Western Mass. and to the Network in particular. We are forever grateful and wish him well in retirement. Thank you, Jim. We will miss you!
Next meeting: Tuesday, June 11, 1:00-2:30 pm, NEFWC, 225 High Street, Holyoke
Click here for Apri, 2013 Progress Report.
Secure Jobs Connect Advisory Committee
May 13, 2013
In attendance: Debbie Bellucci, Springfield Technical Community College, Sara Chaganti, Brandeis University, Bud Delphin, Career Point, Ken Demers, Corporation for Public Management/NEFWC, David Gadaire, CareerPoint, Joanne Glier, DTA, Steve Huntley, Valley Opportunity Council, Lisa Lapierre, Secure Jobs Connect program director, Darlene Morse, SJC/Career Point, Bill Mulholland, Berkshire Community College, George Ryan, Hampden County REB, Pamela Schwartz, Network coordinator, Robin Sherman, Franklin County Regional Housing and Redevelopment Authority, State Representative Aaron Vega, Glenn Walulak, Savers
Reviewed Monthly Progress Report (click here):
Referrals: 231 referrals thus far (as many as hoping to get for entire project). Speaks to need (heightened anxiety based on HomeBASE ending) and excellent participation of HomeBASE agencies. The number of referrals has put stress on the system and adaptations have been made, e.g., shifted from individual appointments to group assessments to help narrow the pool, conserve resources and focus on those who are greatest candidates. Still a backlog on clients waiting to be seen (roughly 130).
Enrollments: beginning to catch up (# of referrals put them behind). Enrolled 35 parents into the project, meeting project’s monthly goal but falling 12% short of the project’s YTD goal.
Placements: still relatively low, partly a function of late start, partly a function of time lag between training and placement. Trainings and certification processes are taking longer than anticipated. Another factor is matching participant with best long-term employment, i.e., can require passing up immediate job opportunity that is very low-paying for a better job prospect that may require more training/time to reach employment. Group agreed that the best measure is successful placements (as opposed to exclusive focus on meeting target goals).
Special kudos to participating business partners: City of Holyoke, Habit OPCO, Holyoke Community College, Monroe Staffing, Savers
Referrals in Franklin/Hampshire/Berkshire:
Franklin County – 6-8
Berkshire County – 4
1 placement so far
On target for 10% participation from these counties
Robin Sherman raised the question of forward-looking data: 6-12 months down the road, will we know whether families are better off. Even more meaningful is the 5 year view since for many families it can take that long to move from homelessness to self-sufficiency. The question is: what does it take for families to reach self-sufficiency?
Representative Aaron Vega: concern that increased wages will cost families public assistance, creating disincentive to work. Goes to long-term policy goals of program – how do we account for these barriers.
Raises question of legislative action around these barriers. Also we should look at ways we can use private funds to intervene when obstacles arise. We should collect data on how/why SJC participants drop out of the program, i.e., document the barriers such as job loss resulting from missing work due to a sick child, transportation challenges, loss of child care voucher or other public assistance. This can inform our policy interventions.
A telling anecdote: One participant had a great job offer but the store was open until 9:30 pm and the bus she needed to take to get home stops running at 7:00 pm. Impossible to say yes. Will document this transportation problem. Point raised that ultimately in this region a person needs a car to get to work. Question raised as to whether we consider creating a pool of funds to support the purchase of a functional car.
Vast majority of families need a tremendous amount of support, a lot of case management. Mental health issues, other barriers. Hardest piece is supporting the families over extended periods of time.
Discussion of where program participants are in training. Examples include:
certified medical assistants
precision machinist training
Preparing individuals for workforce with job readiness training, doing resumes individually, other basic skills training. SJC is run like a job – must sign in, call in if can’t show up, etc.
Discussed if/how it’s possible to engage employers in this process to create some latitude for employees when circumstances arise beyond their control vs. actions that indicate lack of commitment. Recognized employer has a bottom line and can’t really afford to deal with the complexities these individuals may face. Also recognized that for this reason the non-profit, mission-driven sector may be in a better position to provide some flexibility. SJC program is reaching out to non-profits for employment opportunities as well.
Discussed business outreach:
Agreed that introductory letter does not need to make special mention of working with the homeless population (avoid biases); that it is sufficient to describe the program as “income eligible”
Agreed we need to come at business development from 2 angles: (1) explicitly trying to find matches for people within the program, e.g., medical, clerical, machinist, etc. and (2) growing the pool of employers in absolute terms, not based on specific individual searches (since you can’t know the next client’s background).
SJC is networking with the Holyoke Chamber of Commerce, speaking about SJC at HR roundtables, such as AIM (Associated Industries of Mass.).
Rep. Vega suggested reaching out to city economic development offices since businesses that have received TIFs (tax breaks) are required to hire locally. Agreed we would reach out as follows:
Holyoke and Chicopee: CareerPoint (ongoing)
Northampton – Network (Pamela) will contact
Greenfield – Robin Sherman/Greenfield Housing Task Force (will use that vehicle to connect with Mayor about this)
Pittsfield – Jay Sacchetti
Springfield – Pamela will reach out to Gerry
Next meeting: June 11, 3:30-4:45 pm
Northampton location preferred. Will check on Franklin/Hampshire Career Center since senior center closes too early to use.
On Thursday, May 2, the Leadership Council of the Western Massachusetts Network to End Homelessness voted by overwhelming majority to support the following positions in the Senate budget debate:
- Change the RAFT budget language to permit use of funds to pay for emergency accommodations for families at imminent risk of homelessness for a maximum of 7 nights. Funds could be used for this purpose without a prior determination that the family will be eligible for either Emergency Assistance or RAFT.
- Funds used to pay for emergency accommodations will not reduce a family’s maximum RAFT allocation (currently at $4,000).
- Increase the RAFT appropriation by $500,000 to account for the projected cost of emergency accommodations.
3. Fully fund the Tenancy Preservation Program to ensure adequate homelessness prevention services to disabled tenants.
The Leadership Council will continue to discuss and advocate on additional issues impacting homelessness (e.g., MRVP and HomeBASE programs), but was able to gain organizational clarity on these positions right now.
We are encouraging all Network partners to advocate for the positions outlined above. Please contact Senate leaders and members of the Senate Ways and Means Committee:
Senate President Therese Murray, 617-722-1500, Therese.Murray@masenate.go
Senate Majority Leader Stan Rosenberg, 617-722-1532, Stan.Rosenberg@masenate.gov
Chair, Senate Ways and Means: Senator Stephen Brewer: 617-722-1540, Stephen.Brewer@masenate.gov
Senator Gail Candaras: 617-722-1291 Gale.Candaras@masenate.gov
Senator Ben Downing: 617-722-1625 Benjamin.Downing@masenate.gov
Senator Michael Knapik, 617-722-1415, Michael.Knapik@masenate.gov
Individual Services Meeting Minutes
April 25, 2013
In attendance: Carl Cignoni, Hampshire County Corrections/DOC Re-Entry Services, Shannon Fahey, DOC Re-entry, Peg Keller, City of Northampton, Jay Levy, Eliot CHS-Homeless Services, Dave Modzelewski, Network housing coordinator, Kevin Noonan, Craig’s Doors, Pamela Schwartz, network coordinator, Wanda Rolon, ServiceNet, Sally J. Van Wright, Hampden County Sheriff’s Department, Rebekah Wilder, Craig’s Place
FY14 Budget Considerations for Individual Homelessness:
Tenancy Preservation Program: vital services for preserving tenancies for people with disabilities. Extremely effective.
Increase shelter bed rate to $30/night: extremely important to allow for our area shelters to continue to provide necessary services. Very important in view of state emphasis on family homelessness. Decrease in funding on individual side imperils sufficient shelter/housing programs for individuals – providers will not be able to continue to provide housing without funding stream.
Kevin Noonan made a motion to support amendments to fully fund TPP and increase bed rate to $30/night
Seconded: Carl Cignoni
All those in favor: unanimous
Pamela will communicate via email re: Senate process and timing for advocacy.
Emergency shelter update
Easthampton annex closed. Cot shelter closes 5/1. Has been full. Moving people to Grove St as beds open. Working to place people. But many will be going back out to streets.
Craig’s Doors. 22 beds. Were full as of 2 nights ago. Last night 6 open beds (warm night?).
At Craig’s Doors, women population has fluctuated, sometimes 2, sometimes 10. Declined at Northampton cot shelter due to the 6 additional beds available at Craig’s Doors for women.
Craig’s Doors saw approximately 30 women total, most stayed less than 30 days, but not necessarily consecutive.
Samaritan Inn also has new beds for women. Friends of the Homeless also improved setting for homeless women. Overall very improved situation for women.
Working with individuals to get them into specific housing programs, e.g., Rescue Mission. Aiming to get into a month-to-month rental unit so can move into program more easily when opening occurs.
Hampshire County Corrections: about 4 people per month being released who are homeless. Refer to Grove St or cot shelter. Also intermittently refer to Craig’s Doors, Samaritan, and Greenfield. If veteran, no wait to go to Soldier On.
A couple of successful referrals to Samaratin Inn from Craig’s Doors.
Peg Keller: Business development forum: big concern is panhandling. Removing some benches. Trying to change culture of giving, emphasize Happy Frog, more cards at the register.
Berkshires: successful season with new cot shelter. Good network. Pamela will reach out.
Pamela reported out on work group to house people with sex offense histories. In continuing conversation with HAP. Staff turnover there requiring some delay in implementing new policy (trial basis of leasing to a level 1 or 2 sex offender). Will keep people posted.
Wed., 6/26, 10-11:30, Northampton Senior Center
Leadership Council Meeting
April 24, 2013
In attendance: Jim Ayres, United Way of Hampshire County, Mary Jane Bacon, Office of Senator Rosenberg, Jane Banks, Center for Human Development, Tim Beaudry, Office of Mayor Alex Morse, Kathryn Buckley-Brawner, Catholic Charities, Dave Christopolis, Hilltown Community Development Corporation, Steve Como, Soldier On, Michael DeChiara, United Way of Pioneer Valley, Rose Evans, DHCD Associate Director of Division of Housing Stabilization Doreen Fadus, Health Care for the Homeless, Paul Fitzsimons, DCF, Harry Duschene, Judge Rob Fields, Western Mass. Housing Court, Paul Gage, Family Life Center, Peter Gagliardi, HAPHousing, Joanne Glier, DTA, Brad Gordon, Berkshire County Regional Housing Authority, Jennifer Hohn, City of North Adams, Mary Reardon Johnson, YWCA of Western Mass., Nat Karns, Berkshire Regional Planning Commission, Peg Keller, City of Northampton, Charlie Knight, former consumer, Ann Lentini, Domus, Jay Levy, Eliot CHS-Homeless Services, Bill Messner, Holyoke Community College, Andrea Miller, data analyst, Bill Miller, Friends of the Homeless, Peter Miller, City of Westfield, Dave Modzelewski, Network housing coordinator, Andrew Morehouse, Food Bank of esternJerry Ray, Mental Health Association, Jim Reis, HAPHousing,George Ryan, Hampden County Regional Employment Board, Jay Sacchetti, ServiceNet, Pamela Schwartz, Network coordinator, Linda Stacy, United Way of Franklin County, Lynne Wallace, Network co-chair and Dietz&Co. Architects, Pam Wells, Springfield Housing Authority
Motion to approve January 24, 2013 meeting minutes: Charlie Knight moved. Jay Levy seconded.
All in favor, with one abstention (Andrew Morehouse).
Fireman Foundation (Secure Jobs Connect): program well underway since kick-off of 3/5/13. 28 individuals enrolled in program; 6 placed in jobs (2 pending). Also now looking at new funding opportunity through Commonwealth Corporation.
SAMHSA/MissionWest (clinical services for chronically homeless individuals with dual diagnoses of mental health/substance abuse): In year 2. Meeting goals. Network contribution via Andrea Miller as data analyst who has created HOT – Housing Options Tool – an online tool for matching homeless individuals with housing units/services. Very exciting innovation. Will be launched mid-May.
Six Point Creative: Lynne reported on initial efforts with this branding/marketing firm that are being donated pro bono to assist the Network with its own branding and sustainability efforts. An initial meeting was held a couple of weeks ago with brainstorming and information collection. We will keep LC posted as the process unfolds.
High End Utilization Program: Doreen Fadus of Mercy Medical Center’s Health Care for the Homeless reported out on this grant to reduce ER use by high end users. Serving 40 individuals thus far and making a significant impact.
Continuum of Care Update:
Dave Christopolis, coordinator of the Three county CoC and executive director of the Hilltown Community Development Corporation, provided an update about efforts to better connect the CoCs – the federal funding resource for homelessness programs in the region – with Network efforts. The CoCs distribute close to $4 million/year to fund homelessness programs. Believes it is both possible and wise to build collaboration so that both Network and HUD needs are met simultaneously with minimum duplication of meetings and efforts. Hopes to leverage HUD funding to serve the Network and coordinate systems. Will put out survey to Network participants to explore potential for coordinated system of governance and will report back to Leadership Council for further discussion.
Rose Evans, DHCD Associate Director of Division of Housing Stabilization
The Leadership Council welcomed Rose to her new position and to the Network. Rose expressed her thanks for being with us and for the Network’s great work. Rose is overseeing all the shelter operations for individuals and families and works closely with DHCD Undersecretary Aaron Gornstein. She looks forward to meeting individually with Network partners and learning more about individual homelessness issues (she worked for decades on the family side with Center for Human Development).
Discussion of information sharing system across programs to maximize services to homeless individuals. Rose shared that there is ongoing work to build a coordinated intake and integrated data warehouse. Andrea Miller is part of that effort. Will keep us informed as the system develops.
FY 14 Budget discussion:
Pamela reviewed the Mass. Coalition for the Homeless and CHAPA legislative priorities in the House budget process. At the time of meeting, the House was taking votes on the housing amendments, so there was some confusion about the value of an LC vote in support of or against particular House amendments. Regardless, it was clear that our discussion could inform our actions on the Senate side.
Discussion focused primarily on the issue of the House amendment to change the EA regulation to allow families to become eligible for EA if they are at imminent risk of sleeping in a place not fit for human habitation. The Family Services Committee, which met the previous day, voted unanimously to recommend that the LC support this amendment.
There was extensive discussion about this amendment, focusing on the issue of whether this amendment was the most effective way to address the universal concern that families stay safe and sheltered. Peter Gagliardi of HAP pointed out that HAP’s discretionary contribution of motel money to families falling through the safety net (since October, they have temporarily housed in motels 55 families at a cost of $19,000) may be a more cost-effective use of funds overall than placing these families into the EA system where the costs rise so quickly over a longer period of time. Peter noted that a better course may be to focus on amending RAFT regulations to permit RAFT funds to be used for these families caught in emergency situations.
Bill Messner moved to adopt the Family Services Committee recommendation to support the House budget amendment as stated above (to change the EA regulation to allow for eligibility if at imminent risk of sleeping in a place not fit for human habitation). Charlie Knight seconded.
In favor: 4
There was agreement that a sub-committee would meet and discuss alternative amendment language to push in the Senate. Pamela will facilitate this meeting ASAP.
Pamela will also provide an updated list of Network priorities to LC members in advance of the Senate debate to facilitate LC members’ participation on behalf of the Network.
There was also discussion of the House amendment to increase the individual shelter bed rate to $30/night. Bill Miller pointed out that this increase would benefit many shelters in the region, including in Boston, Westfield and Springfield, as well as shelters across the state; that this increase is vital to being able to continue to provide sufficient emergency shelter and housing services to homeless individuals. The LC did not have an opportunity to vote on this amendment but Pamela will follow-up via email to clarify the Network’s position on this and other issues we discussed (e.g., increased funding for the Tenancy Preservation Program)
Network Membership Dues Discussion:
The FY 13 and FY 14 Network budgets were distributed for review (see attached). As of now, as of 7/1/13, the Network has no guaranteed funding. Foundation and other funding pursuits are underway, and one of them for LC consideration is membership dues. Lynne shared her extensive research about possible models from similar organizations and offered these models for consideration (see attached).
Motion made to move forward to accept concept of membership dues and develop details of application for the Network: Jerry Ray
Seconded: Charlie Knight
All in favor: unanimous
Absentions: Joanne Glier, Paul Fitzsimmons
General discussion points:
Need to consider how to address municipalities.
Consider relying on some fixed percentage of an organization’s budget.
Must create development committee to address other 75% of budget fundraising needs!
Next meeting date: Thursday, July 25, 10 am – 12 noon, Franklin County, location to be confirmed.
Family Services Meeting Minutes
April 23, 2013
In attendance: Tana Bloom, Franklin County Regional Housing and Redevelopment Authority, Bonnie Caldwell, HAP, Marcia Crutchfield, HAP, Ken Demers, New England Farm Workers’ Council, Faith Lafayette, DPH FOR Families, Lisa Lapierre, Secure Jobs Connect (CPM), Fran Lemay, Greenfield Family Inn, Jane Lindfors, DTA – domestic violence unit, Ashley McGurn, FOR Families, Lynn Minella, WomanShelter/Companeras, Donna Nadeau, DHCD, Lizzy Ortiz, City of Springfield, Stephen Plummer, Springfield Partners for Community Action, Jim Reis, HAP, Pamela Schwartz, Network coordinator, Kate Shapiro, Mental Health Association
Emergency Housing Assistance:
Since last meeting of 3/12, housed 9 families for a total of 37 nights at a total cost of $2,500. To date: placed total of 55 families at a cost of $19,000.
Approximately 45% of a families temporarily palced at motel become EA eligible post placement.
Approximately 45% of families that are not EA eliglbe are RAFT eligible.
Approximately 10% of families who are RAFT eligible have an unknown outcome or are not successful in locating an apartment (mostly due to lack of income).
FY 14 budget update/advocacy:
House is currently debating budget amendments. We must weigh in immediately in order to participate in this process.
House Amendment re: change in EA regulation to allow for EA eligibility when families are at “imminent risk of staying in a place not meant for human habitation.” This amendment would address the need outlined above for emergency housing and allow families to be sheltered without HAP’s voluntary emergency assistance.
Committee unanimously endorsed support of this amendment and recommended Network Leadership Council vote in support as well.
Reviewed remainder of Mass. Coalition for the Homeless and CHAPA suggested amendments.
Discussed HomeBASE amendment and complexity of continuing this subsidy without sufficient case management and stabilization services. Families need more stabilization assistance! Rep. Rushing’s amendment to extend subsidy from 24-36 months is confusing because it includes 5 different components. Committee members expressed mixed feelings about the straight extension of the subsidy from 24 to 36 months. But support for other elements, e.g., allow EA shelter access; allow access to RAFT.
Committee expressed unanimous support for the following amendments: additional funding for MRVPs, Tenancy Preservation Program, HCECs, Transportation for Students Experiencing Homelessness. Also unanimous support for Unaccompanied Homeless youth bill (support survey; demonstration projects; funding of Commission) and for amendment to provide an $80/month transportation allowance through the TAFDC line item for certain TAFDC participants (those in approved work activities).
FY 13 budget update: HAP provided $200,000 to spend by end of June to increase stabilization for families with HomeBASE subsidies. In new agreement with VOC and FutureWorks and (continuing with CareerPoint) to provide training/job search services. Families are required to participate in order to continue to receive subsidy. This funding is part of the push around the imminent ending of HomeBASE subsidies.
Motel family numbers: down to 230 families in Western Mass. hotels. Concern over leveling of decline due to ending of distribution of MRVP subsidies.
Secure Jobs Connect (Fireman Foundation): 188 referrals. 28 individuals enrolled; 6 employed; 2 pending job offers. Going well.
Motel task force continuing. Health Care for the Homeless is providing health care services at the Econo-Lodge in Chicopee, which will also include educational symposiums. New intern starting from Springfield School of Social Work. Will be looking at clinical work to support families to help them become successful. Liberty Mutual will hopefully award another $7,000 to support supplies around this effort.
Square One hired new staff to coordinate Mom Squad, Zulma Torres. She can be reached at 413-858-3164.
DHCD, DCF, HAP met to try to work out communication challenges with DCF. Making progress, providing contact info within each agency. Will continuing working on this.
DHCD hiring 5 new people, one based out here.
Greater Boston Legal Services provided a comprehensive hand-out on new domestic violence law that went into effect 4/1/13 that provides new housing rights for victims of domestic violence. HAP will pull together a more condensed version, also in Spanish and will make available to all.
Next meeting: Tuesday, May 14, 9:30 am – 11:00 am, Northampton Senior Center
Community Consortium Meeting Minutes
April 22, 2013
In attendance: Steve Como, Soldier On, Nicole Gagne, Community Health Link, Bob Guerino, MassHealth, David Modzelewski, Network housing coordinator, Jerry Ray, Mental Health Association, Pamela Schwartz, Network coordinator, Julianne Siegfried, UMass, David Smelson, UMass, Jennifer Wuest, Behavioral Health Network, Chris Zabik, DMH
For Year 2, We are at 51% of annual goal; 80% of month to date goal.
6 month follow-up over 85%; over 80% discharge.
Over 83% of those enrolled in year 1 are housed; 77% in year 2 housed.
Also looked at related statistics (housing stability, social consequences).
Most popular drug of choice is marijuana, second is heroine, then cocaine.
# of days used has increased, but data broken down by specific drug of choice, including 12 month marker as well. Decrease in use of marijuana. Others not much of a change or slight increase.
This info raises question of whether there is something more we can do clinically with this. Uncertain whether or not that is possible.
Jennifer Wuest reminded that we also must keep in mind the under-reporting of use at the early time in the relationship.
Bob Guerino raised question of impact of legalization of marijuana. Agreed that assessment should change to incorporate questions regarding whether marijuana is being used for medical purposes.
Agreed to consider changing time to have Heather on the calls in order to maximize her input.
SAMHSA bi-annual update due in a week and a half. Partners stay tuned for emails with inquiries.
Community Health Link:
Interviewing a peer for Mission and Veterans program. Enrolling another person; have some housing slots available.
Housed another person in the last week. At 85% of goal. Ok with assessments. Finally officially hired people to do case management. Will hope to move vouchers along more quickly.
Behavioral Health Network:
Hired peer support specialist (in orientation today). Interviewing for a clinical case manager. About 4 people to be screened and enrolled. They all have housing units available (shelter plus care and Springfield Housing Authority).
Pamela, Dave and Andrea met on HOT. Andrea and Dave are working on collecting data from vendors and they are responding. Springfield is working on collective intake process for individuals; Network will coordinate to maximize impact of HOT.
Agreed that we will use CC meetings as opportunity for case managers to relay any feedback around the program, what could be done differently or better. Will create room for that at all future meetings.
Next meeting date: Pamela will schedule by email to allow for working with Heather’s schedule.
From Enterprise Community Partners:
Please sign your organization onto a letter urging the House and Senate Appropriations Committees to allocate the highest possible level of funding to the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) Subcommittees in fiscal year (FY) 2014.
The THUD subcommittee allocation, called the 302(b), will determine how much funding is available in FY 2014 for federal affordable housing, community development, and transportation programs that benefit low- to moderate-income households.
More than 1,500 organizations have already signed onto this letter, which closes next Tuesday, April 30. The same letter for FY 2013 generated over 1,700 signatories, and we need your help to surpass last year’s effort!
You can view the letter here.
Please contact Zack Johnson at zjohnson@enterprisecommunity.