Category Archives: Family Services Committee

Family Services Meeting Minutes – 6/13/17

Family Services Committee Meeting Minutes
June 13, 2017
In attendance: Jane Banks, CHD, Shelly Benoit, BHN, Yoshi Bird, YWCA, Joel Cox, NEFWC, Hilary Cronin, VA HUD/VASH, Anthia Eliott, Safe Passage, Fran Lemay, ServiceNet, Jane Lindfors, DTA/DV Unit, Heather Marshall, Elizabeth Freeman Center, Luis Martinez, CHD, Yeisie Mateo, DCF, Michelle Michaelian, BHN, Donna Nadeau, DHCD, Steve Plummer, Springfield Partners, Jenni Pothier, Tenancy Preservation Project, Pamela Schwartz, Network, Janna Tetreault, Community Action, Janette Vigo, Way Finders, Mandy Winalski, Community Legal Aid

Family Homelessness Resource Fair Feedback Discussion:
See attached summary of attendees (based on sign-in sheet) and feedback provided at the event.  Overwhelmingly positive – great information, great energy, great way to meet people and discover resources –  with agreed upon suggestions for improvement:
  • more space
  • more time for break-outs
  •  bigger separation between break-out groups and main hall
  • break-out schedule more broadly posted (suggestion to have it posted on a big screen in the main room)
  • names and contact info of all participants provided in one hand-out
Additional comments from the meeting today:
Program staff really liked it; it was great to finally attach faces to names; great to feel the unity; impressed with breadth of experience and diversity of providers; so well set-up and professional (huge kudos once again to CHD)
HCC has offered to try to secure us the whole multi-purpose room with classrooms next year.  Advised to get them a date ASAP.
So the group decided first choice was: Thursday, June 7, 2018, 8:30-1:30, 4 classrooms allowing for 4 break-outs  to be repeated twice (with 45 minutes for each break-out group)
Second choice: Thurs., 7/14
[NOTE: since this meeting date, HCC reported that 7/7 is not available but 7/14 is, so the Fair date is confirmed for Thurs., July 14]
We celebrated this accomplishment with a toast and cake!  (Thanks again to Jane for providing).  And we had the bonus celebration of Janette’s birthday!
FY18 State Budget:
Pamela reported that the budget is now in Conference Committee where differences between the House and Senate budgets are being resolved.  The estimated revenue shortfall is appropriately concerning; unclear what will unfold, but it’s important to weigh in with the Committee.  Pamela will send a summary advocacy email early next week.
Homes for Families Visioning Day: 8/10, 9:30 am – 2:30 pm at Worcester Centrum.  A great and inspiring day.  Join if you can!  Jane will send out notice and Pamela will relay.
Next meeting dates:
Tuesday, July 11, 1-2:30 pm, CHD
Tuesday, Sept. 12, 9:30-11:00 am, Northampton Senior Center
Attachments area

Family Homelessness Resource Fair: A Great Success!

What an amazing morning!  45 providers from every sector and every county of Western Massachusetts came together today – housing and shelter providers, domestic violence service providers, mental health and substance use treatment providers, child care, health care and youth providers, veterans services, employment services, secondary and higher education providers and state agencies all under one roof at CHD.  Roughly 200 people attended!  You can get a sense of the crowd in the room from the pictures below. The room teemed with the excitement of people connecting, learning, and building relationships, all in service of our shared goal to support families in their efforts at greater housing stability.

The feedback has already been overwhelmingly positive: “This was amazing!” “What a great event!” “I learned so much.”  “Great information.”  And so much more of the same.

Special thanks to CHD (and Jane Banks) for their fiscal sponsorship of the event and provision of space and related supplies.  We could not have done it without them!

Thanks also to our additional planning partners at Way Finders (Janette Vigo) and Community Action of Franklin, Hampshire and North Quabbin (Janna Tetreault).  And finally thanks to every single Network partner who showed up to share or to learn or (mostly) do both.  It was a fine moment reflecting what this Network is all about: collaboration and coordination towards preventing and ending homelessness.

Congratulations to all!

Check out the coverage on Channel 22 here.

Family Homelessness Resource Fair for Providers: TOMORROW

The Family Homelessness Resource Fair for providers is taking place TOMORROW: Thursday, June 8, 9:30 am – 12 noon, 69 Capital Drive, West Springfield.   

43 providers are attending, bringing information on their services and who to contact if you need them. See the list below.

4 break-out sessions will take place:
10:00 am: How the  EA system works
10:30 am – Domestic Violence Interventions and Services
11:00 am: Veterans Services
11:30 am: Employment Services

Please join us!

Western Massachusetts Family Homelessness Resource Fair
June 8, 2017

Housing, Shelter, Stabilization and Prevention Providers:
Berkshire Regional Housing Authority, Berkshire County
Catholic Charities, Hampden County
Center for Human Development, Hampden and Hampshire Counties
Community Action of Franklin, Hampshire and North Quabbin
Franklin Regional Housing and Redevelopment Authority, Franklin County
New England Farm Workers Council, Hampden County
ServiceNet, Hampshire, Franklin and Berkshire Counties
Springfield Community Partners, Springfield
Springfield Housing Authority, Springfield
Tenancy Preservation Program, 4 Western Counties
Valley Opportunity Council, Holyoke and Chicopee
Way Finders, Hampden and  Hampshire Counties

Domestic Violence Providers:
Elizabeth Freeman House, Berkshire County
Safe Passage, Hampshire County
WomanShelter, Hampden County
YWCA of Western MA, Hampden County

Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Providers/Child Care Providers
DIAL/SELF, Franklin and Hampshire Counties
Gandara Center, Hampden County
Safety Zone – Center for Human Development, Hampden and Hampshire Counties
Start at Square One, Hampden County

Career Centers/Workforce Development:
BerkshireWorks, Berkshire County (based in Pittsfield)
CareerPoint, Hampden County (based in Holyoke)
Franklin/Hampshire Career Center, Franklin and Hampshire Counties, North Quabbin (based in Greenfield and Northampton)
FutureWorks, Hampden County (based in Springfield)
Secure Jobs Initiative, Hampden County

Holyoke Public Schools
Holyoke Community College
Springfield Technical Community College

Health Care:
Behavioral Health Network, Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin Counties
Clean Slate Centers, 4 Western counties
Eliot  CHS – Homeless Services, 4 Western counties
Springfield Health Services, Springfield
WIC – West Springfield

Center for New Americans – 4 Western Counties

Community Legal Aid, 4 Western Counties
Mass Fair Housing Center, 4 Western Counties
Central West Justice Center, 4 Western Counties

Post-Incarceration Services:
After Incarceration Support Services – Hampden County

Veterans Services
Soldier On, 4 Western Counties
VA Medical Center, 4 Western Counties
Veterans Services, Hampshire County
Veterans Inc, 4 Western Counties
Soldier On, 4 Western Counties


Family Homelessness Resource Fair: Thursday, June 8, 9:30 am – 12 noon

Please see the Media Advisory below and please join us!

Advisory: WMass Family Homelessness Resource Fair
Provider-to Provider Program to Focus on Preventing and Ending Homelessness

WEST SPRINGFIELD, MA – The Western Massachusetts Network to End Homelessness will host the Western Massachusetts Family Homelessness Resource Fair for Providers on Thursday, June 8, 2017, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon at Center for Human Development’s (CHD) Pace School Gymnasium, 69 Capital Drive, West Springfield. There is no admission charge and no registration is required.

This resource fair, organized by the Family Services Committee of the Western Massachusetts Network to End Homelessness and sponsored by CHD, offers a provider-to-provider sharing of resources to better assist families that are at risk of or are experiencing homelessness across the four counties of Western Massachusetts .  More than 40 providers of housing, child care, domestic violence, education, employment, mental health, substance use and more will be in attendance, coming from across the four counties of Western Massachusetts.

Four 20-minute breakout sessions will target specific topics, including:

  • 10:00 – State Emergency Assistance (EA) system: learn about the criteria for eligibility, diversion resources, shelter services and re-housing and stabilization programs
  • 10:30 – Domestic Violence Services: learn from domestic violence shelter providers how to access support and what it entails
  • 11:00 – Veterans Services: learn from veterans service providers how best to determine eligibility and what specialized resources are available
  • 11:30 – Employment Services: learn from each of the region’s career centers how to access employment support for families and what services entail

Providers interested in having space at a table to share their resources are invited to contact Pamela Schwartz at  An RSVP from attendees to Schwartz is appreciated but not required.

“This event is a great opportunity for providers to come to learn, get connected and discover opportunities to help families prevent and end homelessness,” according to Pamela Schwartz, Director of the Western Massachusetts Network to End Homelessness.  “All are welcome.”

Organizations providing information on their resources include: After Incarceration Support Services-Hampden County, Behavioral Health Network, Berkshire Regional Housing Authority, BerkshireWorks, CareerPoint, Catholic Charities, Center for Human Development, Center for Human Development, Center for New Americans, Central West Justice Center, Clean Slate Centers, Community Action of the Franklin, Hampshire, and North Quabbin Regions, Community Legal Aid, DIAL/SELF, Elizabeth Freeman Center, Franklin/Hampshire Career Center, Franklin Regional Housing and Redevelopment Authority, FutureWorks, Gandara Center, Holyoke Community College, Holyoke Public Schools, Mass. Fair Housing Center,  Mental Health Association, New England Farm Workers Council, Safe Passage, Safety Zone (CHD), Secure Jobs Initiative, ServiceNet, Soldier On, Springfield Housing Authority, Springfield Partners for Community Action, Springfield Technical Community College, Square One, Tenancy Preservation Program, Valley Opportunity Council, Veterans, Inc., Veterans Administration Medical Center, Way Finders, WIC – Chicopee, WIC – Springfield, WomanShelter