- Youth housing in Northampton: Thanks to the fundraising and planning of the Hampshire County Friends of the Homeless, 4 new youth housing units are now OPEN. DIAL/SELF is managing it. Click here for the application and click here for the brochure.
- Peg announced that a Northampton meeting on encampments – how best to assist and respond to all constituencies – is happening next week. Will keep the group posted.
- Shelter update from Friends of the Homeless in Springfield:
- Coordinated entry update: big progress with the fact that now all vulnerability assessments can get directly into ETO (the HMIS system that all DHCD and CoC funded programs use) which will afford better tracking and follow-up for all people assessed. There is still catch-up to do around previously completed assessments and this is in process.
Additionally, Network priorities also include ABE/ESOL funding – Amendment #176 to increase funding from $31 to $33 million – and Secure Jobs funding – Amendment #525 to increase funding from $650,000 to $1 million. Senator Welch is already a co-sponsor for both Amendments (call to thank!) and the others should be contact to request their co-sponsorship.Next meeting date: Tuesday, June 26, 1 pm, Friends of the Homeless, 755 Worthington Street.
3 County Individual Services Meeting Minutes – 5/11/18
(Thanks to Jay Levy for facilitating and note-taking in Pamela’s absence)
- ServiceNet: Grove Shelter is full; they are now down to only one person couching it, as opposed to 3 people due to the overflow from the COT shelter closing down for the season. Several folks were placed in housing from the COT shelter leaving about 7 people that remained homeless and potentially unsheltered in the Northampton area.
- Friends of the Homeless: April averaged 154 clients per night. Female numbers were unusually high. In May, numbers dropped significantly for both women and men.
Homelessness Resource Fair, Thurs., June 14, 9:30 am – 12:30 pm. Please be sure to register if attending – either by going to this Registration Form or emailing Pamela at email@example.com. Note that the interest in the workshop on chronically homeless individuals is as high as any other interest – people want to understand coordinated entry and how to serve this population!
FY19 Budget Updates:
- The Senate Ways and Means Committee released its budget last Thursday. The MA Coalition for the Homeless summarized the provisions that impact individuals:
- Increased funding for housing and services for unaccompanied youth and young adults from $675,000 in FY’18 to $3.3 million in FY’19
- Increased Residential Assistance for Families in Transition funding from $15 million in FY’18 to $18.5 million in FY’19, and allowing households without children to access up to $3 million
- For ABE/ESOL funding (a priority of the Career Services Committee : increased funding for $31 million but this is lower than the House budget and not up to the $34.5 million ABE Coalition ask). Urging Senators to support Senator Eldridge’s amendment for increased funding to $34.5 million.
Budget debate will happen next week (5/21) so now is the time to contact Senators to urge their support of these provisions.
- Next meeting date: Monday, June 11, DMH Haskell Building, 1-2:30 pm (Network meeting 2-2:30 pm)
The Network continued its experiment with merging meetings by joining the 3 County REACH meeting and conducting Network business for the last 30 minutes of it. All members of both the Hampden County and the 3 County region will stay on the Network’s singular individual services committee email list and receive each other’s meeting minutes as a way of staying connected and learning from each other.
Three County Individual Services Meeting Minutes – 4/9/11
In attendance: Charlyn Arnell, Eliot Services, Colin Blair, Eliot Services, Steve Connor, Veterans Services, Lillian Coleman, ACC, Sam Cunningham, ServiceNet, Lisa Goldsmith, DIAL/SELF, Erin Gorry, CHD, Hwei-Ling Greeney, ACC, John Hornik, Town of Amherst, Andy Klatka, Eliot Services, Jay Levy, Eliot Services, Anne Marie Martineau, DMH, Charles McDowell, DMH, Danielle McGolgan, CHD, Katie Miernecki, ServiceNet, Sue Moorman, VA, Brendan Plante, Eliot Services, Nikkie Riello, Hilltown CDC, Pamela Schwartz, Josh Wren, ServiceNet, Chris Zabik, DMH
Homelessness Resource Fair for Providers – June 14
Pamela provided an update on the second annual Homelessness Resource Fair for providers that is taking place on Thurs., June 14, 9:30 am – 12:30 pm at HCC. We reviewed Hampden County’s individual services meeting discussion around the workshop on chronically homeless individuals where it was confirmed that focusing on the definition of chronically homeless, why it matters and how the coordinated entry system works. Katie Miernecki volunteered to join the planning group (along with Janice Humason from FOH and Laura Robertson from Catholic Charities of Hampden County). Pamela will also reach out to Erin Forbush of ServiceNet to participate. The rise in the unsheltered population over the last 2 years was also noted; the opioid epidemic was discussed as a contributing factor.
Three County Point in Time Count data:
Jay and Pamela distributed the 2018 PIT data (click here) compiled by Andrea Miller, the 3 County HMIS director. It was noted that there is an overall 5% increase as compared to last year due to the rise in family homelessness while there is a small reduction among the other populations. The significant drop in the # of chronically homeless individuals since 2015 was due to the change in the definition of CH which made it more restrictive. We also noted the spike in youth homelessness in 2015 (60) as compared to subsequent years (in the 30’s), which was due to the rise that year in homeless families with young adult parents. It was also noted that the evacuees from Puerto Rico were not yet included in the count due to the challenge of acquiring the data.
Coordinated entry info sharing across sub-regions: Pamela shared that Hampden County was launching a “VI-SPDAT challenge for the month of April” – including prizes and all! – as a tool to increase the number of assessments and help cement the practice of competing assessments to everyone entering the system. While the 3 County tool is still in process of being integrated, this is one tool to keep in mind.
Pamela shared that at the last Hampden County Individual Services Committee Friends of the Homeless reported notably high occupancy at 172 individuals each night. It was noted that the Hartford seasonal shelter recently closed which may be a contributing factor.
Katie of ServiceNet reported the last month at the cot shelter saw 13 turn-aways (and the average has been 18-20), 10 due to capacity and 3 due to being under the influence.
Craig’s Doors just hired a new shelter manager so hopefully they will have the capacity to join us at these meetings soon.
Joining Hampden County Individual Services Meetings by Zoom
Pamela noted that it’s possible to join the Hampden County Individual Services meetings by Zoom (tried once at a veterans committee meeting with mixed success – will work on better connection). Pamela will send out a Zoom link in advance of the Hampden County meetings so people can join at a distance (makes more sense now that the Network portion is only 30 minutes).
For Three County meetings, due to the logistics of the meeting space, Pamela will relay updates from Hampden County.
Next meeting date: Monday, May 13, 1-2:30 pm, DMH Haskel Building.