Category Archives: Meeting Minutes

Training on Addiction Treatment in Military; Veterans Committee Meeting Postponed

Due to a conflict with an upcoming training, the Network’s Veterans Committee is rescheduling its Jan. 30 meeting to Friday, Feb. 27, 9 am, at the Northampton Senior Center.

The upcoming training registration closes today for “Military 101: What every addiction clinician needs to know,” Friday, 1/30, 8 am – 4:00 pm, Westfield State University.  More details and how to register are available here.

Leadership Council Meeting Minutes – 1/21/15

Leadership Council Meeting
January 21, 2015

In attendance: Mary Jane Bacon, Senator Rosenberg’s office, Tim Brennan, Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, Kathryn Buckley-Brawner, Catholic Charities, Bonnie Caldwell, DHCD, Dave Christopolis, Hilltown CDC, Patrica Crosby, Franklin Regional Employment Board, Ken Demers, BerkshireWorks, Linda Dunlavy, Franklin Regional Council of Governments, Doreen Fadus, Mercy Medical Center, Judge Robert Fields, Western MA Housing Court, Brad Gordon, Berkshire Regional Housing Authority, Jennifer Hohn, North Adams Housing Authority, Lori Ingraham, Easthampton Savings Bank, Mary Reardon Johnson, YWCA, Nat Karns, Berkshire Regional Planning Commission, Peg Keller, City of Northampton, Charlie Knight, consumer, Gerry McCafferty, City of Springfield, Diana McLean, City of Westfield, Bill Miller, Friends of the Homeless, Dave Modzelewski, Network, Andrew Morehouse, Food Bank of Western Mass., Jerry Ray, Mental Health Association, Megan Rhodes, Franklin Regional Council of Governments, Carmen Rivera, Home City Housing, George Ryan, Hampden County Regional Employment Board, Jay Sacchetti, ServiceNet, Pamela Schwartz, Network, Matt Simmonds, Simtech Consulting, Robin Sherman, Franklin County Regional Housing and Redevelopment Authority, Linda Stacy, United Way of Franklin County, Lynne Wallace, HAPHousing, Jennifer Wuest, Behavioral Health Network,

Minutes of 10/23/14 Leadership Council meeting:
Robin noted that the minutes inaccurately named two states as having the “right to shelter.” However, MA is the only state; New York City, not New York State, also has the right to shelter.  See corrected minutes here.

Motion to approve: Charlie Knight
Seconded: Tim Brennan
All in favor: unanimous

New Network Vice-Chair: Doreen Fadus, Mercy Medical Center:

The Network Steering Committee reached out to Doreen to ask her to serve as the Network vice-chair, replacing Lynne Wallace (after he many years of extraordinary service as chair and then vice chair). We all expressed our appreciation for Doreen’s willingness to serve in this capacity – the Network is extremely fortunate to have her!

Motion in support of Doreen Fadus as vice-chair of the Network: Mary Reardon Johnson
Seconded: Charlie Knight
All in favor: unanimous

Charlie seconded the motion

Administration Update:

Pamela noted the Baker Administration has given very public attention to the family homelessness crisis and his stated intention to explore new solutions. He has also made explicit mention of “regional networks” as part of the solution, an intriguing possibility for our ongoing efforts.

Secure Jobs Celebration – 2/6/15:

Pamela reminded everyone that our upcoming second annual Secure Jobs Celebration is taking place on Friday, 2/6, 10 am – 11:30 am, Kittredge Center, Holyoke Community College. This will be a celebration of all of our workforce development efforts for homeless families and individuals. 18 legislators, several mayors, DHCD Undersecretary and many more will be attending. Come if you can!

Legislative Priorities Discussion for FY16

Pamela referred to the draft of legislative priorities that is based on Network committee recommendations (click here). Continue reading

Secure Jobs Advisory Committee Meeting Minutes – 1/20/15

Secure Jobs Advisory Committee Meeting Minutes
January 20, 2015

In attendance: Toni Bator, HAP, Bud Delphin, CareerPoint, Ken Demers, BerkshireWorks, Harry Duschene, NEFWC, Donna Harris, Franklin Hampshire Career Center, Lisa Lapierre, Secure Jobs/CPM, Melissa Mateus, Springfield Partners, Bill Mulholland, Berkshire Community College, Konrad Rogowski, FutureWorks, George Ryan, Hampden County Regional Employment Board, Pamela Schwartz, Network, Robin Sherman, Franklin County Regional Housing and Redevelopment Authority

Monthly Report Review and Discussion – please click here and here to review.

This last month has seen an excellent increase in enrollments (now up to 82 out of goal of 100 for year). This is due to a refining of systems, above all CPM (Lisa and Cindy) providing initial intake and assessments and arranging day care before referring to CareerPoint cohort or FutureWorks.

It was noted that clients referred to FutureWorks are having some challenges with follow-through. CPM and FutureWorks are looking at this together now to better understand and attempt some problem-solving.

CPM and HAP are holding a “rally” for Secure Jobs enrollees who have not yet been placed (and other possible recruits as determined by housing stabilization workers). This will take place this Friday, 1/23, at CHD. They will provide child care, lunch, bus passes, a gift card rally and abundant information about the Secure Jobs program. In the afternoon, they will host a jobs fair with 8 businesses attending, a very exciting innovation.

We discussed the low number of referrals in Franklin County. This is due in part because a high percentage of homeless families living in Greenfield motels are from out of the area (approx. 40 out of 55 families) and intend to move back to their communities of origin. Lisa is in close contact with Charity of FCRHRA and Fran of ServiceNet to explore other alternatives. Robin suggested reaching out to Dial/SELF.

Ken of BerkshireWorks reported good progress enrolling participants in Berkshire County. The CPM outreach staff is attending housing court with other Berkshire advocates and connecting to possible clients who are facing the threat of eviction.

Update on 2/6 Secure Jobs Celebration

We have 18 legislators from the region committed to attending; DHCD Undersecretary Kornegay, Deputy Secretary Kirk of the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development. We are honoring 10 businesses and have 4 participant speakers. With 2 weeks to go, the demand will be great around event and material preparations. Pamela thanked everyone in advance for their partnership in making this a great success.

 

Review of Secure Jobs Web Pages

Andrea Miller, retained as part of the DHCD grant to develop our web pages, shared her design for initial feedback.  Everyone thanked Andrea for her fantastic work! Some feedback included:

  • Success stories page (Pamela will provide through her work with program participants for 2/6)
  • Photos (Pamela will help facilitate with Lisa and Toni assistance)
  • Testimonials from businesses (to be collected via 2/6 event)
  • Agreed on business page to limit named businesses to those being honored (Pamela will provide)
  • Agreed to revisit funders page to review what level of detail is necessary (e.g., funding amounts are confusing – do we need them?)
  • Agreed to revisit the listing of providers on the map (a little confusing and possibly overwhelming) but instead to put a list of all partners on the page

Connections Project

We discussed this new RFP – see http://www.heartlandalliance.org/ntjn/nceh-connections-project.html for more information. We agreed that the project’s ambition and the relatively low dollar amount ($125K for each of 3 years or for a total of 3 years?! Important need to clarify!) make this a challenging project at the outset. It was also noted that these funds could not be used to expand an existing program. Robin proposed that the best strategy would be to pick a target population and zero in on a particular need. It was agreed that this is a useful direction. We also agreed that it is not enough money to do this as a 4 county project

The webinar on the RFP is 1/28 and Lisa and Toni will attend. We will take stock after more is learned and decide how best to proceed.

Next meeting date: Wed., 2/10, 3:30-5:00, HCC

Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Meeting Minutes – 1/15/15

Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Committee Meeting Minutes
January 15, 2015

In attendance: Ellen Broadhurst, West Springfield Public Schools, Dave Christopolis, Hilltown CDC, Pamela Cook, Karen Cree, graduate student, WSPS, Gandara Center (SHINE program), Jill Fijal, Chicopee Public Schools, Lisa Goldsmith, Dial/SELF, Kim Majewski, Gandara Center, Jean Rogers, CHD, Teri Rutherford, Hilltown CDC, Pamela Schwartz, Network

Legislative update:

Congratulations to all for the passage of the unaccompanied homeless youth bill! Now our work will begin on the funding legislation, and Pamela is in touch with Mass. Coalition for the Homeless around that advocacy, so please stay tuned. The Network’s Leadership Council is meeting next week and will presumably approve our continuing advocacy on this issue.

The new youth bill also included permanent authorization for the Special Commission on Unaccompanied Homeless Youth (again, funding still needed), but this is a good development in terms of acknowledging the policy importance of this issue.

Review of Three County CoC Youth Count 2014 Analysis

Please click here to review. In sum: 59 youth surveyed. 39% staying Hampshire, 31% from Franklin, 31% from Berkshire.   42 unaccompanied adults, 12 parents with children, 3 under the age of 18. 70% non-Hispanic white; 20% identified as LGBTQ. 10 veterans.

Youth Survey/Point in Time Count Preparations

Online survey link now available: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/massyouth

Hampden County update:

Extensive outreach under way. Event at STCC on 2/2, 11:30-1:30, Building 13, Room 128, will provide pizza and drinks and service providers will be on hand as well to provide referrals, etc.

Also possible additional event at HCC, tentative date of 1/28, 11:30-1:30.

ROCA and Out Now are also holding events for their group members and participants. Will enlist “youth ambassadors” from these organizations to assist at events.

LGBT program 1/29, 4-6 pm, at Holyoke Public Library will also be a good outreach opportunity.

Using $10 Dunkin’ Donut gift cards as incentive for completing survey.

ROCA will be holding an event; Out Now will also be holding an event; transformation project – organization that works with first generations – 5 homeless youth – will provide survey and gift cards to them

Three County CoC: Franklin County: Lisa Goldsmith has reached out to everybody on the list from last year. Community Action and Dial/SELF will be biggest sources; also reached out to Recover Project and Center for New Americans.

Surveys will also be provided to homeless families in Greenfield (under age of 24). Right now the there is a total of 75 families in the hotels there.

Berkshire County – Dave is working with BCAC, the Reconnect Center, Family Life Support Center and the North Berkshire Community Coalition in North County and in South County, Construct, Railroad Street Youth Project.

Hampshire County: Eliot Services will (Brendon Eliot) will reach out to unsheltered youth. Rebecca Muller is reaching out to ServiceNet.

Jay Levy will be supervising street youth count across all counties through Eliot CHS-Homeless Services.

All agreed also useful to reach out to adult learning centers.

We discussed the challenge of sufficient resources to coordinate this survey/count, particularly for the Three County CoC where staff does not exist to assign to this project.   Use of volunteers (e.g., AmeriCorps) is helpful but there is the learning curve and relationship building that require time to maximize effectiveness. Resources for smaller organizations – e.g, those in more rural areas – is a constant challenge. Provide card with resources

Next meeting: Wed., Feb. 11, 10 am – 11:15 am, BHN, 417 Liberty Street, Springfield (immediately following Springfield school liaison meeting)

Announcement: Youth Legislative Forum, 2/13, 3:30-5:00, Palo Friere Charter School, Holyoke, 160 Lower Westfield Road, Holyoke. Opportunity for youth to get involved in legislative process. Spread word!