Family Services Committee Meeting Minutes – 5/8/18

Family Services Committee Meeting Minutes
May 8, 2018
 
In attendance:  Shelly Benoit, BHN, Joel Cox, PFC/NEFWC, Hillary Cronin, VA HUD VASH, Fran LeMay, ServiceNet (Greenfield Family Inn), Yeisie Matea, DCF, Heather Marshall, Elizabeth Freeman Center, Michelle Michaelian, BHN, Donna Nadeau, DHCD, Steve Plummer Springfield Partners, Jenni Pothier, MHA/TPP, Pamela Schwartz, Network, Tonya Sparks, Womanshelter, Janna Tetreault, Community Action, Janette Vigo, Way Finders, Melissa White, VOCpartnership of affordable housing owners and homeless shelters – started 2012-2013 – private multi-family units – DHCD 

DHCD Data Review:  We reviewed the monthly report provided by DHCD (thanks to Andrew and Donna) and we determined the following questions that Donna will  follow-up with Andrew to discuss (thank you, Donna!):
  • Is it possible to get the number entering and exiting shelter without the internal shelter transfers included (since with them, the number tells us nothing)
  • The number of families with DV history has stayed constant at 42 for the past 4 months.  What does that tell us about the data entry?
Homelessness Resource Fair Planning
 
The Resource Fair is taking place on June 14, 9:30-12:30, HCC, Kittredge Center.  We have received registration forms from 101 people so far.  We have 8 workshops planned and have the opportunity to repeat 4 of them.  We agreed with the other committee input so far to repeat: how the EA system works; career services; overcoming tenant screening barriers and the opioid epidemic’s intersection with homelessness.
Anyone interested in attending the Resource Fair or having table space can simply be advised to email me at pschwartz77@gmail.com (it’s not critical to complete the registration form).  Most important is to have names of who is attending and organizations who want to have table space.
New Lease for Homeless Families – presentation by Tom Plihcik, executive director
contact info: tplihcik@newleasehousing.org, 857-233-5821
Special thanks to Tom for making the trip from Eastern MA to share an overview of New Lease and its work in Western MA.  Below are some highlights from his talk and the discussion:
  • New Lease is a non-profit organization that came into existence as a pilot project, initially through the inspiration and funding of affordable housing development owners seeking a better system for ensuring stable tenancies and fewer vacancies.  It is now funded by a combination of state dollars through DHCD, owners’ contributions and other traditional fundraising efforts.It is housed at CHAPA offices in Boston with a staff of 3.
  • New Lease offers affordable housing owners a way to utilize preferences (as approved by HUD) – in this instance a homelessness preference as defined by EA – to fill vacancies.  It partners with EA shelters to create a waiting list so tenants are at the ready, pre-qualified, paper work complete, and ready to move in when a vacancy occurs.  Owners decide how many units to allocate to this preference – could be every one, could be every other, or ever 5 – completely up to the owner.  It is also possible to implement other preferences, e.g, elderly, veterans – as allowed by HUD – which New Lease can help facilitate as well.
  • New Lease now works within 50 buildings across the state – 9 larger affordable housing owners – and partners with 16 shelter providers. Biggest regions are Boston and Springfield.
  • In Western MA, New Lease has 8 properties in Springfield, Palmer, Greenfield and Pittsfield. Working to get one in Holyoke.  Tom will send us a more detailed list of buildings in our region.
  • They have been housing people since 2013. 98% retention rate. The success also fuels the challenge of gaining more units (with such high retention, moving families in requires adding more units).
  • The program also offers a “mitigation process” for families who are rejected from tenancies due to credit or landlord histories.  New Lease creates housing success for one-third of the families who first time “fail” in their applications (98% success rate). They work with the longest shelter stayers to get them housed.
  • New Lease works with the shelter stabilization workers over the 12 months but then continues to provide support as needed.  They have created a flexible fund to deal with tenancy crises, e.g., rent arrearages.  They have just hired a staff person devoted to stabilization services.
  • If we have any contacts with affordable housing owners, please relay to Tom. Always looking for new relationships to build.  This effort is all about partnerships!
Update on Resources for PR Evacuees: Catholic Charities has received additional housing funds targeted to house PR evacuees.  It has housed 94 families thus far and another 100 families in process.  Please contact Kathryn Buckley-Brawner at k.brawner@diospringfield.org or 413-433-1007 for additional information.
Next meeting date: We agreed to meet the week following the Resource Fair to debrief (as opposed to our usual 2nd Tuesday which would put us 2 days before the Resource Fair).  We will meet next on: Tues., June 19, 1 pm – 2:30 pm, Location TBD.

Career Services Meeting Minutes – 5/9/18

Career Services Meeting Minutes

May 9, 2018

In attendance: Bud Delphin, CareerPoint, Becca Guimond, STCC, Kermit Dunkelberg, HCC, Darlene Morse, HolyokeWorks, Maegan Pedemonti, Way Finders, Konrad Rogowski, FutureWorks, Pamela Schwartz, Network  

Legislative meeting debrief:   We reviewed the meeting the Committee convened with Senator Welch, Rep. Vega, Rep. Goldstein-Rose and the offices of Senator Hinds, Senator Lesser, and Rep. Mark.  All agreed it was a productive meeting and useful to present the ABE funding concerns (along with Secure Jobs and public transit) through a homelessness network lens.  Pamela will continue to update the group as the Senate Ways and Means budget is released on May 10 and all agreed to continue the advocacy on these issues through this budget process.

Homelessness Resource Fair planning:  The Resource Fair is taking place on Thursday, June 14, 9:30 am – 12:30 pm.  Career Services will do its workshop (likely twice due to demand).  The group agreed it will adapt/update the Powerpoint presentation used last year.  Pamela will reach out to Lisa and get everyone on the same email to discuss. The planning group will include: Lisa, Bud, Konrad, Maegan, Pam W and Kermit (all career centers, Secure Jobs and HCC)

Joanne will also discuss with DTA about whether someone can attend to share information about their employment support programs.

We agreed we would revisit the hand-out to ensure all updated information is available.

Announcements and updates:

MGM/STCC English Language training for PR evacuees: Info sessions on May 9, 10 and 11. Trainings from May 15 to May 31. See more information here in English and here in Spanish.

Martin Brower Job Fair: Wed., May 16, 1 pm – 3 pm, CareerPoint, 850 High Street, Holyoke

Available Jobs: associate drivers, yard jockeys; fueler/trailer washers; warehouse associates; diesel mechanic A; class A drivers

CareerPoint Job Fair: Thursday, May 31, 10 am – 12 pm, CareerPoint, 850 High Street, Holyoke. MasterCorp is recruiting for housekeeping and houseman positions for Oak n Spruce Resort and Jiminy Peak Resort.  Master Corp is Spanish speaking friendly, seeking qualified candidates with a concentration on evacuees from Puerto Rico. Each resort will provide transportation to and from the resort for employees.  For more information or transportation needs, please contact: Frank Martinez at fmartinez@careerpointma.org  or Robert Wojcik at rwojcik1@careerpointma.org

FutureWorks Job Fair: Monday, June 4, 4 pm – 7 pm, Basketball Hall of Fame. Check the website at www.futureworksjobs.org the week before to see the list of employers attending and types of positions available.  

National Emergency Grant for Evacuees is a resource offered through each Career Center in the region which includes employment support (job development, placement, ESOL) for people from Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands who were evacuated due to the hurricane. 

CareerPoint offers sessions every Wed. at 1 pm – contact Frank Martinez at fmartinez@careerpointma.org with questions

FutureWorks: Contact Maria Adorno, 413-858-2856, madorno@futureworksjobs.org or Richard Berrena at 413-858-2885, rberrena@futureworksjobs.org

Franklin Hampshire Career Center: Contact Lisa Lapierre at lisalapierre@fhcareers.org, 413-774-4361 x 332.

BerkshireWorks: Contact Pamela Wojrkowski at  pwojtkowski@berkshireworks.org, 413-499-2220 x183.

If you haven’t already, please be sure to register the Homelessness Resource Fair for Providers on Thurs., June 14, 9:30 am – 12:30 pm, by going to Registration Form.

Next meeting date:  Tuesday, June 19, 10:30 am – 11:30 am, Holyoke Public Library, 250 Chestnut Street.  We decided we will no longer meet at 3 pm!

Job Fairs; Resources for PR Evacuees

At our Career Services Committee meeting yesterday, the following job fair, resources and training information was provided and I wanted to make sure you were all aware:

MGM/STCC English Language training for PR evacuees: Info sessions on May 9, 10 and 11. Trainings from May 15 to May 31. For more information, click here for the English language flyer; and click here for the Spanish language flyer.

Martin Brower Job Fair: Wed., May 16, 1 pm – 3 pm, CareerPoint, 850 High Street, Holyoke. Available Jobs: associate drivers, yard jockeys; fueler/trailer washers; warehouse associates; diesel mechanic A; class A drivers

CareerPoint Job Fair: Thursday, May 31, 10 am – 12 pm, CareerPoint, 850 High Street, Holyoke. MasterCorp is recruiting for housekeeping and houseman positions for Oak n Spruce Resort and Jiminy Peak Resort.  Master Corp is Spanish speaking friendly, seeking qualified candidates with a concentration on evacuees from Puerto Rico. Each resort will provide transportation to and from the resort for employees.  For more information or transportation needs, please contact: Frank Martinez at fmartinez@careerpointma.org  or Robert Wojcik at rwojcik1@careerpointma.org

FutureWorks Job Fair: Monday, June 4, 4 pm – 7 pm, Basketball Hall of Fame. Check the website at www.futureworksjobs.org the week before to see the list of employers attending and types of positions available.  

National Emergency Grant for Evacuees is a resource offered through each Career Center in the region which includes employment support (job development, placement, ESOL) for people from Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands who were evacuated due to the hurricane. 

CareerPoint offers sessions every Wed. at 1 pm – contact Frank Martinez at fmartinez@careerpointma.org with questions

FutureWorks: Contact Maria Adorno, 413-858-2856, madorno@futureworksjobs.org or Richard Berrena at 413-858-2885, rberrena@futureworksjobs.org

Franklin Hampshire Career Center: Contact Lisa Lapierre at lisalapierre@fhcareers.org, 413-774-4361 x 332.

BerkshireWorks: Contact Pamela Wojrkowski at  pwojtkowski@berkshireworks.org, 413-499-2220 x183.

If you haven’t already, please be sure to register the Homelessness Resource Fair for Providers on Thurs., June 14, 9:30 am – 12:30 pm, by going to Registration Form.

Three County CoC Data Updates

Please see below this data report from Andrea Miller, Data Director for the Three County Continuum of Care:
Below are updates regarding our Point in Time Count and Housing Inventory Count:
1. Hurricane Maria Evacuees: We were finally able to gather some information on a majority, but not all, of the families who fled Hurricane Maria and were housed locally through FEMA/MEMA vouchers.  As a result we added 73 persons to our PIT Count. 
Interestingly, HUD guidance specifies that, when assessing a CoCs performance in reducing or ending homelessness, they take into consideration the impact of natural disasters, and don’t penalize the CoC increases to PIT Counts that result.
2. PIT Trends Dashboard: The 5 year trend dashboard that I distributed at the Board Meeting has been updated and is attached here.
3. PIT Wiki Page: I’ve updated our Annual Point in Time Count page at the Wiki with 2018 information.  This includes the 5 year trend report as well as our annual Community Point in Time Count interactive report.  You may customize this report for one or more communities and download it as a PDF using the download icon.
One last update…
4. HMIS Annual Report:  We submit our HMIS Annual Performance Report to HUD at the end of April, and I summarize much of the reported data in a brief annual report – also featuring highlights that occurred throughout the year.  The HMIS Annual Report is posted to the Wiki on the CoC Info page as well as attached here.