Category Archives: Meeting Minutes

Seeking your input: Massachusetts Youth Count 2015

Massachusetts is conducting its second annual count of youth who are homeless or unstably housed.  The CoCs are coordinating the count, which will take place January 28–February 3, 2015.

It takes lots of contacts to reach youth throughout our region, especially since many youth do not access homeless service providers. To get to as many youth as possible, we need lots of partners.

Can you help us?

As a first step, please tell us what you know and what you might be willing to do. Start by filling out this survey, and then forward the survey to everyone you know who works with youth.

Also, if you are in Hampden County, connect with us for regular updates.  Visit our website and follow us on Twitter @HampdenYouth.

MHSA Annual Meeting to Honor Senator Rosenberg on December 2

The Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance (MHSA) has selected Senator Stan Rosenberg as an honoree at their 2014 Annual Meeting for his support of housing and programs assisting homeless men, women and children.  We share our pride and gratitude to the Senator!

The Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance (MHSA) cordially invites you to the
2014 MHSA Annual Meeting.

DATE: Tuesday, December 2, 2014

PLACE: Combined Jewish Philanthropies, 126 High St, 9th Floor, Boston, MA 02110. Please bring a photo ID to show at security.

TIME: 8:30 – 9:00 a.m., light breakfast & networking;

9:00 – 10:00 a.m., award presentations & speeches

The MHSA Annual Meeting is a time for us to reflect on the successes of the past year and look ahead at next steps toward our mission to end homelessness.

Buy your tickets today!




Work Group to House People with Sex Offense Histories – 11/19/14

Work Group to House People with Sex Offense Histories
November 19, 2014

In attendance: Patricia Bud, Hampden County Corrections, Joe Critelli, Hampden County Corrections, Richard Hendrick, social worker, Madeline Johnson, Hampden County Correction, Angel Recchia, Franklin Elder Services, Pamela Schwartz, Network

Review of 11/12/14 meeting with housing providers: HAP, Home City Housing, SMOC and Valley CDC answered our invitation to discuss housing policy for sex offenders. Executive or high level directors attended from each organization. From the work group the following members attended: Joe Critelli, Hampden County House of Corrections, Beatriz Fuentes, Hampden County Corrections intern, Ellie Harris, ServiceNet, Richard Hendrick, social worker, Madeline Johnson, Hampden County House of Corrections, Jay Levy, Eliot CHS-Homeless Services, Sgt. Anne McMahon, Northampton Police Department, Jay Sacchetti, ServiceNet, Pamela Schwartz, Network. Laurie Guidry was ill and could not attend. Our special guest Fred Smith, former program director of St. Francis House in Boston, made a special trip to Western Mass. to share his extensive experience in successfully housing people with sex offense histories. He was truly inspirational.

We discussed how this gathering, separate and apart from immediate outcomes, was a very significant step forward in engaging the broader housing community on this issue. We are grateful for their responsiveness. As a practical matter, most providers expressed the need for legislative change before they would feel comfortable housing people with sex offense histories. We offered specific, narrow criteria for consideration on a case-by-case basis. Some providers are taking it up with their board of directors, others are talking more internally and will let us know their thoughts after doing so. In general, the providers expressed concern about the already uphill battle they frequently face to locate affordable housing in communities.

Pamela will continue to follow-up with each provider separately to ascertain their positions and possible next steps.

We agreed at this meeting to explore in-depth (with Laurie’s guidance) possible legislative advocacy strategies and once we arrived at our strategy, we would invite the housing providers to join our efforts.

We also discussed pursuing the parallel strategy of engaging once again with faith leaders (we have contacts from our workshop of a couple years ago) to explore in more depth their partnership . Specifically, whether they would be willing to be part of their congregation’s education efforts on this issue and conduct outreach to congregational members who are property owners. The goal: expand housing options for sex offenders. We agreed that as part of this outreach, it would be very effective to bring the person who is seeking housing, to make that individual “real” and go past the label of sex offender.

We agreed we would explore both of these strategies – legislative advocacy and faith outreach – at our next meeting and we would plan that next meeting around Laurie Guidry’s availability. We will look at the week of 12/15. Pamela will survey Laurie for the date of Wed,. 12/17 at 11 am in Northampton but will pursue others if that does not work for her. Please stay tuned on the next meeting date!

Secure Jobs Advisory Committee Minutes – 11/18/14

Secure Jobs Advisory Committee
November 18, 2014

 In attendance: Toni Bator, HAPHousing, Debbie Bellucci, STCC, Bud Delphin, CareerPoint, Ken Demers, BerkshireWorks, Donna Harris, Franklin Hampshire Career Center, Sean Hemingway, CHD, Representative Peter Kocot, Lisa Lapierre, CPM, Konrad Rogowski , FutureWorks, George Ryan, Hampden County Regional Employment Board, Alyce Styles, Greenfield Community College, Donna White, Franklin Hampshire Career Center, Ken White, Holyoke Community College

Representative Peter Kocot provided a general update regarding the prospect of Chapter 9C cuts (due to automatic income tax reduction as of 1/1/15 and less than anticipated revenues). He said decisions should be made within the next 48 hours. He thinks the Secure Jobs funding will be preserved in whole or very large part.

Monthly Progress Report (Lisa Lapierre):

Click here for the November report. DHCD approved the contract amendment that adjusted our numbers served to more accurately reflect the program’s capacity. Our goals now are: 100 enrollments, 80 entered employed and 64 with year one job retention.

The program is making good progress on working out Hampden County kinks in the referral process and job retention data and follow-up. HAP is now having monthly review meetings with CareerPoint and FutureWorks to take stock of progress and troubleshoot. A “Secure Jobs Rally” was organized last week on 11/14 that included over 70 case managers from all housing providers – CHD, NEFWC and HAP – to foster a greater understanding of Secure Jobs and build energy around quality referrals. The results are immediate with a great increase in referrals. Great job to all the Secure Jobs organizers!

Franklin County Secure Jobs is starting off with Donna Harris of Franklin Hampshire Career Center doing intakes. Referrals are flowing from Franklin County Regional Housing and Redevelopment Authority with the support of Charity Day.

Berkshire County just hired a case manager at CPM, Barbara Villanova, who will start on 11/24. She has fabulous experience and she will be working closely with Ken Demers at BerkshireWorks.

Next up is a “Secure Jobs Expo” that will be aimed at prospective program participants and their families and will include offerings from Secure Jobs and child care partners. CHD is offering space in West Springfield for the event (thanks to Jane Banks!). This will hopefully take place before the December holidays.

After this trial event, the program will look at replication of the same in Franklin and Berkshire Counties.

Lisa shared that overall there is great communication among all the partners with increasingly improved results. Continue reading