Family Services Committee Meeting Minutes
February 10, 2015
In attendance: Jane Banks, Center for Human Development, Shannon Barry, Springfield Public Schools, Loleta Collino, Springfield Housing Authority, Jenny Delmonte, TPP, Harry Duchesne, New England Farm Workers Council, Anthia Elliott, Safe Passage, Erin Forbush, Servicenet – Berkshires, Julia Guazzo CFCE Coordinated Family Community Engagement, Donna Harris, Franklin Hampshire Career Center, Sean Hemingway, CHD, Steve Huntley, VOC, Jill Fijal,Chicopee Public Schools, Fran Lemay, ServiceNet – Franklin County, Jane Lindfors, DTA Domestic Violence Unit, Heather Marshall, EFC, Jordana O’Connell, Holyoke Public Schools ,Lizzy Ortiz, City of Springfield, Dorothy Pink, VOC, Nelson Roman, Enlace de Familias, Laura Saponare, Catholic Charities, Pamela Schwartz, Network, Lauren Voyer, HAPHousing, Phyllis White, Franklin Hampshire Career Center
DHCD Update: Due to the snow storms and the continued shut-down of the Boston area, Bonnie Caldwell could not make it to this meeting. The central office is creating an emergency system to deal with shelter placement during this shut-down.
For Families update: Faith Lafayette could not attend but relayed the following update via email:
FOR Families has re-entered the Days/Holyoke to provide intensive outreach services, and the initial meeting took place with DHCD, DCF, NEFWC and CHD on 2/4/15. Referrals from that meeting total approximately 1/3 of the hotel population (as of 2/3/15 the total population was 36 families). The handful of remaining families at Days/Chicopee have been transferred across the street to QI/Chicopee and the remaining family at QI/WS has been transferred to the Holyoke Hotel/Holyoke. This leaves 7 active EA hotels in Western MA. At this time FF is providing outreach services to 6 of these, totaling 105 of the 256 hotel EA families.
Efforts to expand the new FF role is happening statewide, with the SE having just embarked, and 1 hotel in the NE operating similarly. This new role has allowed for more intensive family work to be conducted, resulting in increased coordination with DCF, medical and MH providers (local and out of region) as well as school systems. The coordination has supported family engagement with community providers, follow through with service plan goals, and management of truancy related issues to a much greater degree. FF continues to submit ADA requests and childcare referrals with and for families on our caseload.
Lauren Voyer noted that For Families’ focus on families at risk is working very well.
Secure Jobs update:
Pamela shared the Network congratulations on a successful event last Friday (2/6) when almost 20 legislators, 7 mayors and 150 others came together to celebrate the success of Secure Jobs and its program participants and business partners. We made an excellent case for continued funding next fiscal year.
In light of the media coverage around the placement of homeless families in Springfield, we discussed the situation. DHCD’s co-sheltering policy has also been a topic of public discussion and Lauren Voyer of HAPHousing ane Jane Banks of CHD offered their experience with the model. Continue reading