Category Archives: Meeting Minutes

image_pdfimage_print

150 Leaders Gathered to Combat Homelessness in Western Massachusetts

Over 150 leaders from across the four Western Massachusetts counties came together today to combat homelessness in the region and to learn from a newly released report by the Western Massachusetts Network to End Homelessness.

In a packed room at GreenfieldCommunity College, a dozen state legislators, including the five just elected from the Upper Pioneer Valley, two sheriffs, 7 mayors, 2 town administrators, 8housing authorities, state agency leaders, every community college, career center and major hospital in each county, and over 100 others across every sector showed up to find out what it will take to prevent and end homelessness inWestern Massachusetts.

“Today our region made an extraordinary demonstration of its commitment to end homelessness,” said Pamela Schwartz, Director of the Western Massachusetts Network to End Homelessness. “And today our Network shared some vital tools that will bring us all closer to making thatgoal a reality.”

The report found that since 2012 in Western Massachusetts:

  • Chronic homelessness declined 38 per cent
  • Veteran homelessness declined 24 per cent
  • Family homelessness remained level

Read more in the report here. 

Today was a big step forward to help us do even better tomorrow. See here for “What you can do next.”

Hampden County Individual Services Committee Meeting Minutes

Hampden County Individual Services Committee Meeting Minutes
October 23, 2018

In attendance: Grechar Aquino, FOH/CSO, Olivia Bernstein, MHA, Nichole Bodiford, FOH/CSO, Fina Fulla-Kay, City of Springfield, Jessica Dorman, Mercy Medical Center, Fina Fulla-Kay, City of Springfield, Sarah Hills, Eliot CHS, Janice Humason, FOH/CSO, Sarah  Hills, Eliot CHS,  Todd, Koniezhny, Viability, Jay Levy, Eliot CHS, Sara Lopes, FOH/CSO, Jennifer Lucca, Samaratin Inn, Gerry McCafferty, City of Springfield, Lizzy Ortiz, Mercy Medical Center, Herschelle Reaves, BHN,  Denise Rivera, FOH/CSO, David Rodriguez, Viability, Christina Ruest, FOH/CSO, Pamela Schwartz, Network, Antonia Stewart, FOH/CSO, Paul Thomas, Reentry Services, Stephanie Tonelli, FOH/CSO, Catherine Torres, FOH/CSO, Kathleen West, Eliot CHS, Lynn White, Viability 

Committee FY19 Work Plan Discussion
Gerry provided the project work plan that was developed by the Hampden County CoC team at the last Built for Zero conference in Detroit several weeks Please see attached for the detailed breakdown of goals and outcome measures.  INCREDIBLY IMPRESSIVE WORK.

The stated goal for Hampden County is to reduce the number of chronically homeless individuals to 50 by February, 2019.  Ambitious! And possible.

3 immediate decisions/action steps:

  1. Every 2 weeks the case conferencing meeting will be largely devoted to troubleshooting housing barriers for individuals who have vouchers who are looking for units.
  2. A workshop for voucher holders – Friday, 11/2, 11:30 am – 12:30 pm, FOH – to assist individuals on how to conduct a housing search, e.g., how to present, what to ask/not ask, what to disclose/not disclose, etc.
  3. Weekly phone call with the Built for Zero team – Gerry, Jess, Janice and Kate- to assess progress in each area

Additionally, a “mini-diversion project” is underway with Dennis at the front door of FOH to conduct a trial run of asking individuals some key questions to facilitate quicker targeting of their needs and appropriate direction.  More on that to come.

The Committee agreed that Hampden County’s Built for Zero Project Plan – click here –  will serve as its work plan.

The Committee also agreed that the Network role in relation to this work plan included:

  1. Convening this committee for its regular monthly meeting and providing a vehicle for group review of progress on its goals
  2. Providing trainings in service of the work plan, (e.g., how to run an awesome shelter, diversion, trauma informed care and racial equity and homelessness)
  3. Providing a communication vehicle to the larger community and elected officials around this work

Network training updates

Remember to register for How to Run an Awesome Shelter, Tuesday, 12/18 9 am – 4 pm, HCC.  Pamela will send out a targeted email on this as well. Please register here.

There is a tentative agreement to sponsor a 3-part racial equity training offered by Marc Dones who was formerly of T4 and co-authored the SPARC report on racial equity and homelessness.  We are looking at March 7 as the first installment with the subsequent two to be offered in late April and early June. Capacity for 100 people.  All must commit to all 3 trainings.  Stay tuned for a whole lot more.

Holyoke planning

Gerry shared the good progress in Holyoke, including a meeting hosted by Alicia Zoeller, Community Development Director, that included police, DPW, public health nurse, Gerry as CoC support and all the primary providers. There was discussion around the need for greater outreach to unsheltered people and the new permanent supportive housing underway through Viability (funded by Hampden CoC) – 1 person has been housed and 3 more are in process (ultimately funded to house 6 individuals). There was also the very start of discussion around a winter shelter in Holyoke.  Having everyone around the table was a terrific start.  More conversation to follow.

Next meeting date: Tuesday, Nov. 20, 1 pm 

Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Meeting Minutes – 10/17/18

Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Committee
Meeting Minutes – 10/17/18

In attendance: Jesus Arce, City of Springfield, Peter Cofoni, DCF, Emily English, Gandara Center, Rosemary Fiedler, HCC, Charlie Knight, Rainville, Ann Lentini, Domus, Inc., Gerry McCafferty, Hampden CoC, Rebecca Muller, Gandara Center, Rylee O’Brien, Mena Regan, CHD, Jean Rogers, CHD, Martha Sandoval, Baystate General Pediatrics, Pamela Schwartz,Network, Julie Vital, Baystate General Pediatrics

State youth funding:  Gerry and Lisa shared that they both received notice that youth grants will be announced on a call on Thursday morning (tomorrow) for Hampden and 3 County regions.  Both sub-regions applied for funds as part of the state funding allocated for youth housing and homelessness services provided in the FY19 project (grant applications in the $300,000 range).  The state envisions this funding to be renewed and hopefully increased over a 10 year period.  The money will be utilized for outreach, prevention, rapid rehousing and a winter shelter for youth and will pay for a range of staff, services and appropriate cash assistance for youth.

Building youth input: Gerry, Emily and Rebecca recently met with young leaders of Youth Voice, the leadership group at Gandara’s Impact Center, to introduce themselves and begin a dialogue with them about how best to structure a winter shelter.  It was a very productive conversation that included touching on points around how to support both privacy and safety (no doors but curtains or some kind of separation); ensuring it’s LGBTQ welcoming, making it low barrier (e.g., perhaps “damp” as opposed to a dry or wet shelter – behavior based).

On LGBTQ accessibility and awareness, Gerry hosted a training on working with transgender individuals for Hampden County providers. The trainer was Rev. Louis Mitchell, a transgender man with a history in the field of homelessness and recovery, including involvement in creating the nation’s first emergency shelter.  His bio is here: http://www.transfaithonline.org/engage/leadership/louis/  The training was a follow-up to a HUD webinar on the Equal Access Rule, which requires HUD-funded programs to provide equal access to all regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation.  An additional resource on this issue is  the Stonewall Center at UMass,which offers workshops (DIAL/SELF has used them with success).

Coordinated Entry update: MANY (Mid-Atlantic Network for Youth) hosted its 4th call yesterday where the focus was on how to use data.  The calls include leaders on youth homelessness from 5-7 communities.  It’s a great opportunity to exchange best practices and goals.

Discussion of ACO’s and connecting around homelessness.  We had a very lengthy and productive conversation around how Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) are structured in relationship to intersecting with patients facing homelessness.  Julie, Martha and Rylee of Baystate General Pediatrics helped us all understand better what hospitals/health care centers are now incentivized to do around asking about housing stability (reimbursement for each finding), how many patients are reporting their housing instability and the current gap in having a clear protocol in response to those reports.  We discussed the tremendous opportunity this poses for our Network as a whole for building into the system capacity to reach and serve these people. This will be a process!  And we spent some time laying the groundwork for the work that lies ahead.

Gerry will provide the cards produced that summarize youth services in Hampden County.  Pamela will add Julie, Martha and Rylee to the family services email list.  Pamela will reach out to Julie to connect with HNE director around the 12/17 training on “thinking like a system” to see if she can attend.  We will also reach out to other ACO’s to see how we can bring them into these conversations as well.

Network trainings:

Pamela reported on upcoming Network sponsored trainings – how to run an awesome shelter – 12/18; progressive engagement and diversion (1/2 day 1/31) and trauma informed care (1/2 day, 1/31).  All offered by OrgCode, a highly reputed consulting firm that works on system change within homelessness systems.  Email registration forms went out this morning.

We didn’t have the time to discuss the racial disparity analysis but will put that on the agenda for next meeting.

Next meeting dates:
Wed., Nov. 14, 9-10:30 am, Frost Building, Room 309

 

 

3 County Individual Services Meeting Minutes – 10/15/18

Three  County Individual Services Committee
Meeting Minutes –10/15/18

In attendance:  Elizabeth Bienz, ServiceNet, Steve Connor, Veterans Services, Sam Cunningham, ServiceNet, Erin Forbush, ServiceNet, Jen Glover, Life Path, Lisa Goldsmith, DIAL/SELF, Chris Hayes, ServiceNet, Andy Klatko, Eliot CHS-Homeless Services,  Peg Keller, City of Northampton, Brendan LaPlante, Eliot CHS-Homeless Services, Phyllis Lutsky, VA, Danielle McColgan, CHD, Katie Miernecki, ServiceNet, Kate Shapiro, DMH, t, Jack Tulloss, ServiceNet, Hayley Wood, Easthampton Council on  Aging, 

General Updates:

  • No new housing units available for coordinated entry purposes (at mostly a standstill due to turnover happening with Servicenet’s PSH units)
  • Northampton has new housing units in the pipeline (Peg Keller provided the update): Dial/SELF youth housing – 4 units; Lumberyard – 55 units; 82 Bridge Street, SRO, 16 new units; Village Hill – 12 units and 53 units
  • Winter shelter starting in region on 11/1 – Greenfield shelter in process, will include 12-14 beds; Berkshire shelter still looking to solidify funding but moving ahead

Committee Goals for FY19:
Pamela reported on the Steering Committee’s request for each Network committee to articulate its goals for the year.  We noted the turnover happening in 3 County CoC leadership – the Hilltown CDC is transition from the role and will be issuing an RFP for new administrators. Our initial brainstorm included:

  • Gain a better understanding of the 3 County CoC’s role in shaping the Coordinated Entry goals (i.e., the CoC’s own goals and requirements and how they inform this work)
  • Gain a better understanding of the data provided by the CoC (Pamela will bring a sampling of its reports to the next meeting)
  • Play an active role in the decision making around the new CoC lead – what is this group’s expectations of that entity and how can it help shape the partnership
  • Support the integration of data across systems so the Committee can have the best possible understanding of its homeless population

Network trainings:
Pamela reported on upcoming Network sponsored trainings – how to run an awesome shelter – 12/18; progressive engagement and diversion (1/2 day 1/31) and trauma informed care (1/2 day, 1/31).  All offered by OrgCode, a highly reputed consulting firm that works on system change within homelessness systems.  Stay tuned for email registration forms.

She also reported that the Network is sponsoring a “think like a systems training” for regional leaders on 12/17, also offered by OrgCode, which should provide an exciting foundation for all our work.

Finally, the Network is in conversation with another training group around a series of trainings on racial equity and homelessness in the Spring.  This should be a very exciting opportunity for our region.  Stay tuned!

Next meeting date:
Monday, November 19
1 pm – 2:30 pm
ServiceNet
296 Nonotuck Street, Florence

 

 

 

 

Family Services Committee Meeting Minutes – 10/9/18

Family Services Committee Meeting Minutes – 10/9/18

In attendance: Yoshi Bird, YWCA, Lynnann Brown, Elizabeth Freeman Center, Carla Chioda, Adams-Cheshire Schools, Emma Ciccarillo, YWCA, Joel Cox, NEFWC, Rose Flores, YWCA, Jessica Jacobs, Tenancy Preservation Project, Fran Lemay, ServiceNet, Heather Marshall, Elizabeth Freeman Center, Yeisie Mateo, DCF, Michelle Michaelian, BHN, Theresa Nicholson, CHD, Pamela Schwartz, Network, Janette Vigo, Way Finders

Discussion with Assistant Undersecretary Jane Banks re: re-procurement of family system:

Jane Banks was able to join us on the phone for a good portion of our meeting.  She reported that the Request for Information (RFI) for the family system re-procurement (slated for July, 2020) will be released end of November/early December with a couple months allowed for responding. She strongly encouraged the following:

  • consider how to build collaborations within the system with DV providers and mental health/substance use providers; how to make a system that responds to sexual assault survivors. Establish the relationships and connections “from the ground up.”
  • consider how to build more intensive, on-the-ground collaborations with state agency local offices, including DCF, DMH, DTA
  • consider how to build partnerships with legal advocates in a more effective way, to build relationships that are less adversarial and more collaboratively problem-solving, e.g., meet monthly with the advocacy community
  • consider how to build the stabilization process; how are we going to keep families housed; how to best use HomeBASE for that purpose (meeting with a family once-a-month is not sufficient – how do we connect with other stakeholders to strengthen the family; consider mobile outreach teams; consider stronger ties to workforce development)
  • consider a joint Network response to the RFI – strongly encouraged!
  • THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX – how do we make a system that works better for families!

The group discussed these ideas after the call and agreed that it should meet in smaller sub-groups around the particulars.  Janette will check back in with Lauren regarding the quarterly family providers meeting (next one happens to be 10/26 at Way Finders) and whether it makes sense to utilize that meeting to start this conversation.  Pamela will be back in touch regarding next steps, but we will aim for targeted meetings by topic, e.g., DV/sexual assault survivors; mental health/substance use providers; legal advocates.

Other announcements:

  • BHN’s Project FIT is ending at the end of this calendar year due to lack of funding.  Michelle will provide us with some summary data so we can learn from it (and also bring its success into the re-procurement conversations).
  • The Network is hosting its legislative gathering on Friday, November 16, 1 pm – 3 pm, Greenfield Community College.  State legislators, mayors, and other elected officials will be in attendance for a session on the “state of homelessness” in the region and our best practices to address it.  Please register here.
  • The Network is sponsoring trainings offered by OrgCode, a highly reputed training group on issues of homelessness.  On December 18, it will offer “how to run an awesome shelter” – stay tuned for a registration link but for now if you are a shelter provider, please mark your calendar for this all-day training!

Next meeting dates:
Tuesday, November 13, 11 am – 12:30 pm
Tuesday, December 11, 11 am – 12:30 pm
Location for both: HCC, Frost Building, Room 309

 

Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Meeting Minutes – 9/28/18

Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Meeting Minutes
September 28, 2018

In attendance: Emily English, Gandara Center, Rosemary Fiedler, HCC, Lisa Goldsmith, DIAL/SELF, Ann Lentini, Domus, Inc., Gerry McCafferty, Hampden County CoC, Rebecca Muller, GrantWorks, Lizzy Ortiz, Mercy Medical, Mena Regan, CHD, Pamela Schwartz, Network, Martha Sandoval, Baystate Pediatrics, Julie Vital, Baystate Pediatrics

Coordinated Entry goals review and discussion:

Our two CoC’s are participating in a year-long technical assistance learning collaborative offered by MANY (Mid-Atlantic Network for Youth) with web-based phone calls every 6 weeks.  There have been 3 calls so far. The focus now is on integrating Coordinated Entry into the youth homelessness system; that is, developing a single by-name list of homeless youth across each CoC, with each person assessed for their vulnerabilities and needs by a single assessment tool, with all providers using this same tool and this same by-name list.  The ultimate goal is to be able to best prioritize the available resources for the youth in need of them and to gain a thorough understanding of needs, gaps and how best to fill them.  Current participants in these calls across the two regions include Emily English, Gandara Center, Jean Rogers, CHD, Gerry McCafferty, City of Springfield/Hampden CoC, Lisa Goldsmith, DIAL/SELF.

Hampden County began its youth by-name list last Spring. They include people who are doubled-up or couch surfing (even though HUD doesn’t “count” them) as well as people in shelter or on the street; they are also collecting data on LGBTQ. They have begun to collect data and are identifying their gaps and determining how to collect in the future.  They are now on two national dashboards:

The MANY dashboard (includes only communities participating in this learning collaborative):

https://public.tableau.com/profile/margaret.woley#!/vizhome/CELCDashboard/CoordinatedEntryLearningCollaborativeDashboard

A Way Home America – includes all data on youth from across the country

http://www.awayhomeamerica.org/community-dashboard/

Hampden County’s goal over this period is to bring 5 new providers into the coordinated entry system, e.g., ROCA, YWCA, HCC, Baystate, Impact Center.  Gerry will schedule a training to orient providers on how to refer a youth into the system.

Three County CoC: It is also starting on collecting similar data with a goal to get on the national dashboards.  Additional goals include conducting an analysis of their current by-name list, integrating it into the weekly coordinated entry meetings occurring across the region, determining which agencies are doing assessments and conducting outreach to increase the number of providers participating.  DIAL/SELF, ServiceNet and Eliot CHS-Homeless services are leading partners in this effort with DIAL/SELF at the helm.

Youth Action Board: The Hampden County CoC has applied twice for HUD’s Youth Homelessness Demonstration Project (YHDP) but scored just out of range to get funded. Another round of funding will be made available this year and the CoC will try again. The biggest gap in the application is the lack of a Youth Action Board, a youth led group that is driving policies and procedures around addressing this challenge.

The group discussed the Impact Center (SAMHSA and DMH funded) which has a youth led advisory board called Youth Voice.  Click here for the flyer. Rebecca will reach out to initiate a meeting with them (with Gerry) to discuss if/how they would like to get more involved in state and federal youth homelessness work (e.g., the state funding coming soon as well as HUD funding). The data shows that the Impact Center has seen 130 “unique” youth in the first 5 months, about 20% of whom were considered housing unstable.  All agreed it would be great to support development of this group in order to gain their active participation in identifying gaps and challenges to meeting needs of at-risk youth, as well as developing their own leadership skills in the process.

Racial disparity analysis:  We began a discussion of the findings from the racial disparity analysis required by HUD but agreed we did not have enough time so will instead devote a substantial part of our next meeting to this issue.  Pamela will send out materials in advance.

Network FY19 Earmark: Pamela reported that the Network Steering Committee has made a proposal to DHCD for allocating its $125,000 earmark, which will include: (1) flexible funds for prevention and rapid re-housing (distributed 60-40% between Hampden and Three County CoC based on population), which will also include the opportunity to explore pilot funding strategies to engage more landlords with incentives or mitigation; and (2) training funds to support the professional development and system building across the region, relying on nationally recognized experts in the field.

Network Legislative Event:  The Steering Committee decided to host a legislative gathering on Friday, November 16, 1 pm – 3 pm, at Greenfield Community College (the Dining Commons) to meet the 5 new presumed legislators from the Upper Pioneer Valley (candidate Jo Comerford for State Senate, and for State Representative: Natalie Blais, Dan Carey, Mindy Domb and Lindsay Sabadosa).  It will also include other current Western MA legislators, the region’s mayors and other locally elected officials. All are welcome!  If you are interested in attending, register here.

Rapid re-housing training: Lisa and Emily shared an update on the MHSA training they helped lead on rapid re-housing for youth.  It was informative and supportive.  One take-away: stabilization needs for youth require more time than for the typical adult population, from 1.5-2 years as opposed to the standard 1 year. It was very useful to be together with other youth providers from across the state.

Next meeting dates/times:

Wed., 10/17 – 9 am – 10:30 am, Donahue Building, Room 340, HCC

Wed., 11/14, 9 am – 10:30 am, Frost Building, Room 309, HCC

Wed., 12/12, 9 am – 10:30 am, Frost Building, Room 301A, HCC

 

 

 

Hampden County Individual Services Meeting Minutes – 9/25/18

Hampden County Individual Services Committee
September 25, 2018

In attendance:  Grechar Aquino, FOH/CSO, Jesus Arce, City of Springfield, Olivia Bernstein, MHA, Jennifer Bisceglia, Dept. of Correction, Nichole Bodiford, FOH/CSO, Ashley Brehm, Way Finders, Steve Connor, Veterans Services, John Fisher, Way Finders, Fina Fulla-Kay, City of Springfield, Dave Havens, Mental Health Association, Sarah Hills, Eliot CHS Homeless Services, Janice Humason, Friends of the Homeless/CSO, Charlie Knight, Rainville, Jen Lucca, Samaratin Inn, Bill Miller, FOH/CSO, Lizzy Ortiz, Mercy Medical, John Paglier, Mercy Medical Center, Christine Ruest, FOH/CSO, Pamela Schwartz, Network, Dennis Sheehan, FOH/CSO, Denise Rivera, FOH/CSO, Paul Thomas, Dept. of Correction, Stephanie Tonelli, FOH/CSO, Kathy West, Eliot-CHS, Lynn White, Viability, Delphine Wray, FOH/CSO

RAFT available for individuals: Ashley Brehm of Way Finders presented on RAFT prevention benefits that are available this fiscal year to individuals facing eviction. Please contact Ashley for more details about program eligibility, etc. at abrehm@wayfindersma.org.

Welcome to Jen Bisceglia and Paul Thomas of Reentry Service Division, MA Dept. of Correction: Jen and Paul attended to begin to establish more active relationships with Western MA providers as part of their housing search efforts for people being released from prison.  While there are no state prisons in Western MA, Springfield is the third highest release destination (behind Boston and Cambridge). We will continue to connect on our rapid rehousing efforts and other housing options in the area.

Built for Zero Update: Gerry reported that the next Learning Collaborative is mid-October.  Attendees will return with “action items” and at our next meeting the committee will discuss and brainstorm how to make progress.

The monthly report was distributed (click here). At the end of August, the by-name list was at 93 individuals. That is now creeping upwards (July was 85; a year ago this month it was 62).  Contributing factors: people are kept on the list longer now before being removed; more people living on the streets have been housed which has created an internal “referral” loop that has more people seeking housing. Good news is that housing has been identified for 20 of these 93  individuals so we can anticipate good “exit” data next month.

 

Holyoke partnerships continue to grow, including ongoing meetings with Holyoke housing providers, health care providers and the police department. The Holyoke Housing Authority has also agreed to set aside 10-15 Section 8 vouchers for chronically homeless individuals – this is a great advance!  The CoC has also funded an additional 6 housing units for chronically homeless people.

 

A committee work plan for FY19:

Per the Network Steering Committee’s request, this committee discussed developing a work plan for FY19, including broad goals and strategies.  We had an initial brainstorm, building off of the Built for Zero campaign that is currently underway.  We agreed we would focus on the items raised in this discussion at our next month’s meeting.

 

A recap of Build for Zero’s broader goals: 

  • increase number of housing placements for chronically homeless people
  • increase the speed at which they happen
  • decreasing the inflow into homelessness

The overarching pursuit: how do we get more resources and how do we use them better

 

One upcoming resource is another round of mainstream vouchers being made available to housing authorities in October and January.  How do we get as many housing authorities as possible to apply for these vouchers across the region, including Amherst and Greenfield. Steve Connor agreed to reach out to these housing authorities to advocate for their acquisition of these vouchers. Committee members also noted the critical importance of support services alongside these vouchers in order for the housing to work.

 

The non-chronic homeless population: members noted the need to focus on this population as well, to better identify who they are, their experience of homelessness and their needs to get and stay stable.  Employment and income needs are a crucial part of this conversation.

 

CoC – ESG standards:  Gerry noted that the CoC will be launching a process to re-examine its ESG standards. Stay tuned for more.

 

Network earmark update: The Steering Committee met and has a proposal into DHCD for its $125,000 earmark which will include the creation of a flexible fund for prevention and rapid re-housing across the region as well as substantial training opportunities for our providers. The flexible fund will also include the opportunity to pilot the use of landlord mitigation and incentive funds to create housing options for difficult-to-house tenants (modeled on best practices in other parts of the country).  The proposed budget and Scope of Services are being reviewed by DHCD now.

 

Network Legislative event:  The Steering Committee decided to host a legislative gathering on Friday, November 16, 1 pm – 3 pm, at Greenfield Community College (the Dining Commons) to meet the 5 new presumed legislators from the Upper Pioneer Valley (candidate Jo Comerford for State Senate, and for State Representative: Natalie Blais, Dan Carey, Mindy Domb and Lindsay Sabadosa).  If you are interested in attending, register here.

 

Next meeting date: Tuesday, October 23, 1 pm – 2 pm, followed by case conferencing til 2:30 pm.

Family Services Committee Meeting Minutes – 9/18/18

Family Services Committee Meeting
September 18, 2018
 
In attendance: Shelley Benoit, BHN, Melissa Blisset, Square One, Lynnanne Brown, Elizabeth Freeman Center, Portia Bullock?, NEFWC, Ellen Broadhurst, Chicopee Public Schools, Hillary Cronin, VA HUD VASH, Anthia Elliott, BHN, Fran Lemay, Greenfield Family Inn/ServiceNet, Heather Marshall, Elizabeth Freeman House, Pamela Schwartz, Network, Janna Teatrault, Community Action, Melissa White, Valley Opportunity Council
DHCD data review – click here
We reviewed the data provided by DHCD and confirmed our continued need for greater clarity, e.g., to include the transfer number in the number of entries and exits does not provide us with meaningful data.  We also agreed it would be useful to understand:
  • among the number of EA applicants, how many were diverted, and within that number, how many used RAFT, how many used HomeBASE
  • on the data sheet that details “where client went upon exit” the first box says “emergency shelter” – need to clarify that
We also agreed that once Donna has returned (10/1), we will ask for her placement numbers to be added to the monthly report.
Network earmark update
Pamela shared the Network Steering Committee conversation regarding the allocation of the Network earmark of $125,000.  The current proposal is to allocate $25,000 to training needs for the Network focused on a range of skills and practices, including trauma-informed care, how to run a housing oriented shelter, and cultural competency.  The remainder would be allocated to flexible funds to assist with prevention and rapid rehousing, including landlord mitigation funds (e.g., repairs, etc.) to encourage renting to tenants. The Committee unanimously supported this proposal.
Family Services Committee work plan
The Network Steering Committee also requested that the Network committees consider its goals and broad work plan for this fiscal year.  After discussion, the group recommended these broad goals:
  • relationship building and information sharing (supports motivation and positive energy in the work)
  • legislative advocacy – a unified voice and opportunity to meet with legislators
  • professional development through Network sponsored trainings
We agreed to further brainstorm outcome measures related to # of legislative meetings and legislative outcomes and # of people attending trainings, broken down by agency type and sub-region so we can best assess Network reach and impact.
Network Legislative Meeting: November 16, 1-3 pm, Greenfield Community College
The Network is hosting a legislative meeting to introduce the 5 new legislators in the Upper Valley.  It will be regionwide, including all Western MA legislators and local officials and Network partners.  Stay tuned for additional info but mark your calendars for now!
Next meeting dates/times
Our previous meeting time of 1 pm on Tuesday permanently conflicts with Hampden County’s individual case conferencing meetings which precludes Gerry McCafferty, the Hampden CoC liaison, from ever attending these meetings.  All agreed that it was no problem (and for some, even preferred!) to move the time to at least afford the opportunity for her to join us.
In general, we will move our meeting time to 11 am-12:30 pm but due to a conflict in October, for the October meeting we will meet from 12 noon-1:30 pm.
So our upcoming meeting schedule is:
 
Tues., 10/9, 12 noon – 1:30 pm
Tues., 11/13, 11 am – 12:30 pm
Tues., 12/11, 11 am – 12:30 pm
Note: Unfortunately, the Holyoke Public Library is not available, but HCC’s Frost Room 309 is.  So our meetings will take place there.