Economic Justice for DV and Sexual Assault Survivors Summit: June 8

An announcement from MA Rural and Sexual Domestic Violence Project:

We are excited to announce that registration is now open for our upcoming summit, “Economic Justice for Survivors: Exploring Strategies that Work,” on Wednesday, June 8, 2016 in Northampton, MA. This is an all day summit for advocates, activists, and other community stakeholders to explore innovative ideas for advancing economic empowerment for rural survivors of domestic and sexual violence.  Guest speakers include Jill Davies, Deputy Director of Greater Hartford Legal Aid and Director of the Building Comprehensive Solutions to Domestic Violence Initiative; and Nicole Castillo, Domestic and Sexual Violence Program Coordinator at the Newton Wellesley Hospital and the National Advisor to Millennial Issues at BeVisible Latina, the first social networking and career building site for Latinas by Latinas.

There will be two sessions of concurrent workshops, which include:

  1. Money School: Rethinking Financial Independence Programs for Survivors – Elizabeth Freeman Center
  2. Voices of Survivors: Building the Foundation for Economic Empowerment – Montague Institute for New Directions (MIND)
  3. Accessing Public Benefits for Survivors – Community Legal Aid
  4. Repairing and Protecting Credit and Consumer Rights – Northwestern District Attorney’s Office
  5. Strategies for Protecting Survivors’ Housing Rights – Community Legal Aid
  6. Creating Career Pathways in Rural Massachusetts: Understanding the Role of Workforce Development Partners in the Region – Franklin/Hampshire Regional Employment Board, Franklin Hampshire Career Center, and Harmon Personnel Services
  7. Making the Most of Education’s Promise: Helping Survivors Access the Supports Needed for College Success – Greenfield Community College

An inspiring closing session will be presented by JAC Patrissi and guests.  JAC is the Administrative Director of the Behavioral Health Network and co-author with Lundy Bancroft of Should I Stay or Should I Go? A Guide to Knowing if your Relationship Can – and Should – Be Saved.

Plan to join us at the Smith College Conference Center in Northampton on June 8 from 8:30-4:00.  The Summit is offered free of charge and we will provide a continental breakfast and lunch, as well as parking passes.

Click here for the Summit flyer and  registration information.   Please indicate your first and second workshop choices on the registration form.   The deadline to register is June 1, but space is limited, so we recommend that you register early.  Also, given the emphasis on rural communities, priority will be given to participants from these areas.  You will be notified by June 2nd if you have been accepted.

Please share this information with your colleagues and networks!

If you are Deaf or hard of hearing, or are a person with a disability who would like accommodation, please contact Barbara Russell at by May 20, 2016.

Sponsors for this program include the Massachusetts Rural Domestic and Sexual Violence Project of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Jane Doe Inc., and the Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance.

Thank you and we look forward to seeing you!

Barbara Russell and Amy Waldman



Barbara Russell, Program Coordinator and Amy Waldman, Project Director

MA Rural Domestic and Sexual Violence Project

Massachusetts Department of Public Health

23 Service Center Rd.

Northampton, MA 01060

413-586-7525 x3133


Leadership Council Meeting Minutes – 4/28/16

Leadership Council Meeting
April 26, 2016

In attendance: Mary Jane Bacon, Office of Senate Preisdent Rosenberg, Kathryn Buckley-Brawner, Catholic Charities, Dave Christopolis, Hilltown CDC, Ben Cluff, DPH, Steve Como, Soldier On, Patricia Crosby, Franklin Regional Employment Board, Sylvia DeHaas-Philips, United Way of Pioneer Valley, Ken Demers, BerkshireWorks, Dawn DiStefano, Square One, Doreen Fadus, Mercy Medical Center, Lisa Goldsmith, DIAL/SELF, Brad Gordon, Berkshire Regional Housing Authority, Clare Higgins, Community Action, Steve Huntley, Valley Opportunity Council, Peg Keller, City of Northampton, Charlie Knight, Rainville, Joanne LaCour, DTA, Faith Lafayette, DPH FOR Families, Gerry McCafferty, City of Springfield, Peter Miller, City of Westfield, Dave Modzelewski, Network, Andrew Morehouse Food Bank of Western MA, Fran Pheeney, Franklin Regional Housing and Redevelopment Authority, Megan Rhodes, Franklin Regional Council of Governments, George Ryan, Hampden County Regional Employment Board, Jay Sacchetti, ServiceNet, Pamela Schwartz, Network, Jim Seney, Veterans Administration, Linn Torto, MA ICHH

Review of Jan. 20, 2016 Meeting Minutes: (click here)

Moved to approve: Charlie Knight
Seconded: Jane Banks
All in favor: unanimous
abstention: Joanne LaCour

Budget Update: (click here)
Sylvia deHaas-Phillips reviewed the budget. Sylvia noted that revenue beyond state funding is at $26,000, i.e., state funding is critical to the Network’s continuity.

Review of Network FY17 budget priorities

Pamela reviewed the Network budget priorities in relation to the House adoption of the State budget just last night.

Secure Jobs: The House funded Secure Jobs at $500K, one quarter of the $2 million needed to keep the program fully functional statewide. The Governor funded the program at $750K, so even the “larger” number is less than half of what is needed. What does this mean, especially when the program has demonstrated such success and directly correlates to preventing returns to homelessness. The group agreed we need to approach our legislators and Administration officials to better understand their thinking.   How does the Fireman Foundation’s commitment interface with state government limits response. We will explore these questions with Linn Torto.

Mary Jane Bacon suggested that we pay attention to the lobbying representation on the program; that we must ensure the broad representation (beyond career centers) in our presence with legislators.   Pamela will follow-up with Mary Jane to gain any additional insight from their senate budget analyst.

We also agreed that it would be useful to look at the “home” for Secure Jobs and support a conversation about the best agency fit for the program, e.g., DTA where other employment programs exist. We will raise this with Linn Torto as well for additional feedback.

Increase individual shelter unit rate to $30/night : did not pass in House or Governor’s budget. Will continue advocacy in Senate.

Expand HomeBASE eligibility to include families in domestic violence or substance abuse programs: passed in House and Governor’s budget.

Expand RAFT to include individuals: did not pass in House or Governor’s budget.

Increase TPP to $975,000: did not pass in House.

Network earmark: passed in the House.

Pamela noted the tremendous support of Rep. Peter Kocot (lead sponsor) and Rep. Stephen Kulik in the passage of the Network earmark amendment. She also noted the great support of our Western MA delegation in general as supporters of Network priorities. We expressed our immense gratitude for our great delegation!

Pamela will compile a chart that lays out each priority and its status in each part of the budget process and send that to the Leadership Council.

Steering Committee/3 County CoC meeting and by-laws update:
Andrew informed the group that the Steering Committee and representatives of the Three County CoC are meeting on May 6 to discuss by-law revisions to address better representation of the 3 County CoC and overall process of decision making. All are welcome (9 am at Northampton Senior Center on May 6). The group will bring proposed by-law revisions to the next Leadership Council meeting in June.

Meeting with Senate President Rosenberg on May 13
Pamela reported that Senator Rosenberg has agreed to meet with members of the Network to have a general dialogue about both the Senate Housing Crisis report and Western MA needs. Each CoC has designated 5 people to attend this meeting (we agreed to keep the meeting small in order to maximize the potential for meaningful conversation). The group will report back at its June meeting. We expressed appreciation for Senator Rosenberg’s commitment to the Network and its goals.

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HUD CoC Tier 2 Awards

HUD has released the list of CoC Tier 2 awards; the full list for Massachusetts CoCs is here.

I’m happy to report that the Springfield/Hampden County CoC’s application was fully funded. All existing projects are renewed, and the CoC has the following new projects:

  • Catholic Charities Rapid Rehousing: $380,057
  • Gandara Rapid Rehousing for Young Adults 18-24: $169,319
  • Friends of the Homeless Coordinated Assessment: $250,000
  • CoC Planning Grant: $103,957

Great work everyone!