Category Archives: Individual Services Committee

Hampden County Individual Services Meeting Minutes – 7/24/18

Individual Services Committee Meeting Minutes 
July 24, 2018
 

In Attendance:  Grechar Aquino, Friends of the Homeless, Jesus Arce, City of Springfield, Olivia Bernstein, Mental Health Association, Lynn Conway, PDPR/BSAS, Jessica Dorman, Mercy Medical, John Fisher, Way Finders, Fina Fulla-Kay, City of Springfield, Marvin Gonzalez, Eliot CHS, Dave Havens, Mental Health Association, Sarah Hills, Eliot CHS, Janice Humason, Friends of the Homeless, Hershelle Keaves, BHN, Todd Konlezhny, Lighthouse, Gerry McCafferty, City of Springfield, Lizzy Ortiz, Mercy Hospital, John Paglier, Mercy Hospital, Denise Rivera, Friends of the Homeless, Christina Ruest, Friends of the Homeless, Pamela Schwartz, Network, Dennis Sheehan, Stephanie Tonelli, Friends of the Homeless, Friends of the Homeless, Kathy West, Eliot CHS, Lynn White, Viaiblity, Kimberly Wiggins, BHN Mission West, Chris Zabik, DMH

Built for Zero Update (see attachment Chronic Report July 2018):
Gerry reviewed the Chronic Report with the group, noting that Hampden County just housed 10 people this past month, the highest since last December.  More than 20 individuals are in line to be housed imminently.
Total number of chronically homeless individuals is now at 84.   The data indicates that overall in-flow has exceeded out-flow but this is also a function of the by-name list becoming a more accurate representation of the number of CH homeless individuals in the county, e.g., added in the individuals at Annie’s Houses and Safe Havens. The number of housing placements over the months has varied widely, e.g., 2 in June, 10 in July.
The last Built for Zero conference in Detroit was productive. The Hampden County group decided on 3 things to focus on in the next 3 month period:
1. shortening the speed of referral within the system to husing
2. producing a list of landlords who house people with sex offense histories
3. housing VHA ineligible veterans with HUD VASH vouchers (just waiting on HUD approval to begin that process)
Shelter Inventory List:(see attachment)
The group reviewed the list and noted that the Samaratin Inn (on attachment as Greater Westfield Committee for Homeless) is constantly under-capacity.  The group agreed it would be useful to meet with Donna Nadeau to discuss this.  Pamela will include Gerry, Janice Humason, Sarah Hills and Lizzy Ortiz in an outreach email with Donna Nadeau on this topic.
FY19 State Budget Update:
Pamela reviewed the Conference Committee’s FY19 budget that was recently released and is now subject to the Governor’s review. Housing and homelessness programs did very well overall, including an increase in RAFT funding and the inclusion of funding for individuals in the RAFT program and $3.3 million in funding for youth services.
Note: since this meeting the FY19 budget has been finalized.  The funding outlined above stayed intact. For more information, please go to the Network blog – http://westernmasshousingfirst.org (and please subscribe to the blog where budget updates and other information are regularly posted!).
Network Training Workplan for FY19
Pamela reported on the Network Steering Committee’s decision per committee feedback to support the scheduling of targeted trainings over the course of the coming year, culminating in the Resource Fair in June.  Pamela sought this committee’s feedback on which of the trainings offered at the Resource Fair would be most useful to offer again with more time (and more opportunity to attend since there would be no other trainings offered alongside it).  Based on informal discussion and feedback, the group expressed interest in this order:
  • overcoming tenant screening barriers
  • homelessness and the opioid epidemic
  • domestic violence resources (NOTE: Gerry has arranged a training for the CoC on September 10 – will provide more details to the group shortly)
  • youth services
  • EA and HomeBASE for families
The group also expressed interest in focusing on landlord resources (how to locate landlords!), especially pertaining to housing people with sex offense histories.
Pamela encouraged people to contact her with any additional thoughts and she will provide another opportunity via a targeted email on this topic.
Next meeting date: Tuesday Aug 28, 1 pm, FOH.

Three County Individual Services Meeting Minutes – 6/11/18

Three County Individual Services Meeting Minutes
June 11, 2018
 
In attendance:  Colin Blair, Eliot Services, Steve Connor, Veterans Services, Jen Glover, Lifepath, Peg Keller, City of Northampton, Jay Levy, Eliot Services, Phyllis Lutsky, VA, Anne Marie Martineau, DMH, Danielle McColgan, CHD, Katie Miernecki, ServiceNet, Nikki Riello, Hilltown CDC, Kate Shapiro, DMH, 
Updates:
  • 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.
FY19 Budget Update:  Pamela reported the positive outcomes in the Senate budget and the Conference Committee is currently meeting to resolve differences between the House and Senate budgets.  Click here for the summary from CHAPA of recommendations to the Committee. The Conference Committee budget should be decided by the end of this week.
Homelessness Resource Fair: It’s happening!  June 14, 9 am, Kittredge Center, HCC.  The group discussed how the kinds of trainings being offered during this one day event can be offered in a more informal way throughout the year.  The group agreed that regular trainings would be valuable.  One idea was to offer a brown-bag lunch series on various topics. The group will continue to discuss this when it reconvenes.
Meeting schedule: The group decided to meet again in September in ServiceNet’s new building.  The next meeting date will be on Monday, September 17.  This will be a combined meeting of REACH, Coordinated Entry, and the Western MA Network to End Homelessness.

Hampden County Individual Services Minutes – 5/22/18

Hampden County Individual Services Meeting Minutes – 5/22/18
 
In attendance: Gechar Aquino, Friends of the Homeless, Olivia Bernstein, Mental Health Association, Jessica Dorman, Mercy Medical, Dave Havens, Mental Health Association, Sarah Hills, Eliot Services, Janice Humason, FOH, Nichole King, FOH, Todd Koniezhny, Jenifer Lucca, Samaritan Inn, Gerry McCafferty, City of Springfield, Digno Ortiz, FOH, John Pagliar, Mercy Medical, Herschelle Reeves, BHN, Keith Rhone, FOH, Denise Rivera, FOH, Laura Robertson, Catholic Charities, Christina Ruest, FOH, Pamela Schwartz, Network, Stephanie Tonelli, FOH, Kimberly Wiggins, BHN
 
 
Data Review:  We reviewed the Hampden County data produced as part of the Built for Zero campaign (click here ) that shows the in-flow vs. the out-flow and number of housing placements.  The group discussed the possible reasons for the increased in-flow in recent months, which included(1) the result of “word getting out” that entering the system leads to being housed – a consequence of “success” – so that people who have been chronically homeless are more willing to show up; and (2) better and more thorough outreach flowing from greater collaboration and community awareness.  The general sense was that the increased numbers were not a reflection of new people entering the region but a system better identifying who is there.
On the HMIS shelter data (click here), it was agreed that looking at this data monthly is useful in order to take stock as a group of the demand and any trends (while also recognizing that for FOH staff alone it is not so useful since it is largely their data).  It would be more useful if we could also look at it in relation to Hampshire County’s two shelters – Pamela will reach out to ServiceNet and Craig’s Doors (when in season) and continue to incorporate their shelter numbers in the review.
Gerry will adjust the spreadsheet so that we can see actual months (and probably show only 3-6 months as opposed to the whole year).
We agreed it would be most useful to look at the shelter numbers in relation to the housing numbers, i.e., are people coming into shelter being housed.
Resource Fair: Pamela reported that the Resource Fair has over 150 people registered to attend with 40 organizations tabling. People’s expressed interest in the workshop on housing chronically homeless individuals is high!  Please register if you haven’t already by going here: Registration Form
 
FY19 Budget Update: Pamela distributed information on the Senate budget amendments which are being debated this week.  Click here for CHAPA’s priority amendments.  Call/email your senator to ask for his/her support (on the Senate side, senators can sign-on to amendments up until the vote.  Find her your legislator here. If you are in Senator Rosenberg’s district, the other Western MA legislators have generously committed to representing your interests.  Call Senator Lesser, Senator Hinds or Senator Welch to request their co-sponsorship.
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 – 5/14/18

3 County Individual Services Meeting Minutes – 5/11/18
(Thanks to Jay Levy for facilitating and note-taking in Pamela’s absence)

Shelter Updates:

  • 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 pschwartz77@gmail.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)