We are posting weekly updates regarding the number of homeless families in DHCD-funded hotels/motels, by CoC and community. Updates are received from MA DHCD on Wednesday and posted by Friday.
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Leadership Council Meeting Minutes
February 26, 2014
In attendance: Jim Ayer, United Way of Hampshire County, Father Stan Aksamit, Our Lady of Peace Parish, Mary Jane Bacon, Office of Senator Rosenberg, Peter Gagliardi, HAPHousing, Joanne Glier, DTA, Clare Higgins, Community Action, Steve Huntley, Valley Opportunity Council, Peg Keller, City of Northampton, Bill Miller, Friends of the Homeless, George Ryan, Hampden County Regional Employment Board, Lynne Wallace, HAPHousing, Jennifer Wuest, Behavioral Health Network
The singular agenda item for this meeting was discussion and decision making around the Network’s legislative priorities for the FY15 state budget.
Note: Implicit in the discussion (although never voted on) was Network support for CHAPA recommendations for FY15.
We began by reviewing each Network committee’s recommendations:
Individual Services Committee recommendation: endorsement of the increase in the Homeless Individuals Line-Item 7004-0102. Click here for more information.
This proposed budget item would increase this line item by $8 million (to $48.5m) and make all shelters’ nightly unit rates not lower than the State average unit rate of $32/unit.
Friends of the Homeless would see a $350,000 budget increase with this change (currently at $25/unit). Samaratin Inn and ServiceNet shelters would also see an increase. This proposal has the support of a broad coalition of shelters from across the state.
Discussion: all agreed on the region’s need for this additional investment. Mary raised the issue of why our region is not demanding parity in relation to the Eastern part of the state. Bill explained that legislators are recommending this approach as the best strategy to get us closer to that goal. All agreed that the real solution lies in putting the system out to bid and creating a uniform rate, but acknowledged that reprocurement will not be happening this year (or likely in the immediate future).
Mary Reardon Johnson: moved to adopt Committee’s recommendation to support the Housing Individuals Line Item 7004-0102.
Steve Huntley: seconded
Vote: All in favor with Joanne Glier abstaining.
HUD has announced funding to provide permanent housing, services to low-income people with disabilities. Applications due May 5, 2014. Click to see the NOFA.
A first look at our regional Point In Time Count data reveals that:
- Street homelessness among individuals continued to decline.
- Homelessness among sheltered individuals remained relatively stable.
- Family homelessness increased; almost 60% of homeless families in Western MA were staying in DHCD-funded hotels/motels.
Download the Regional PIT Preliminary Report for an overview of 2014 data. In the coming weeks we will be issuing more detailed reports, including data related to chronic homeless status and veteran status; 3- and 5-year trends; and community snapshots.