Category Archives: Individual Services Committee

Individual Services Meeting Minutes – 4/3

Individual Services Meeting
April 3, 2012

In attendance:  Ben Cluff, DPH, Steve Connor, Veterans Services, Danielle DeBerry, ServiceNet, Christina Densmore, Arise for Social Justice, Susan Fortin, DMH, Hwei-Ling Greeney, Amherst Community Connections, Peg Keller, City of Northampton, Jay Levy, Eliot CHS – Homeless Services, Gerry McCafferty, City of Springfield, Patty McDonnell,  SMOC, Dave Modzelewski, Network, Lizzy Ortiz, City of Springfield, Wanda Rolon, ServiceNet, Laura Saponare, Catholic Charities, Pamela Schwartz, Network,

Critical Response Team update:  Jay Levy

2 year initiative to target the hardest to reach chronically homeless individuals, looking at vulnerability index, health care issues, previous history, current barriers, etc.

11 referrals thus far.  7 of them housed through a variety of housing options, e.g,. Safe Haven, MissionWest, Shelter Plus Care.

The CRT meetings occur after REACH meetings, drawing in necessary providers and state agency reps to address a particular individual’s situation.  It’s a model that works and is fundamentally based on bringing the right people around the table; flexibility around solutions (working with state agencies) and maximizing possible resources.

Coordinated Intake and Assessment discussion

Gerry McCafferty provided an update on where we are in this process.  Provided some context to the effort:  HUD’s concept of coordinated assessment is that we are screening people into programs, not out of them.  One of the concerns is that programs designed for the hardest to serve people are not serving those hardest to serve.  A consistent and coordinated assessment process would be a way to address this gap.

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Individual Services Meeting Minutes – 3/6/14; next meeting 4/3/14

Individual Services Committee Meeting
March 6, 2014

In attendance: Steve Connor, Veterans Services, Janice Humason, Friends of the Homeless, Gerry McCafferty, City of Springfield, Patty McDonnell, SMOC, Bill Miller, Friends of the Homeless, Dave Modzelewski, Network, Lizzy Ortiz , City of Springfield, Jerry Ray, Mental Health Association, Laura Saponare, Catholic Charities, Pamela Schwartz, Network, Rebekah Wilder, Craig’s Doors, Delphine Wray, Friends of the Homeless

Reviewed Point in Time count materials (produced by Andrea Miller – thank you!).  Click here to view.

Next report will be a trend analysis, comparing prior years and what is happening in MA and rest of the country; and then another report on sub-populations (chronically homeless, seriously mentally ill, substance abuse).

1,665 people homeless on the night of PIT.  4% unsheltered (on streets, very cold night).   67% in emergency shelter including motel system.  Open shelter capacity that night (people outside could have come in but chose not to). 28% in transitional housing.  47% families, 53% individuals.

Waiting for HMIS data on families in motels.

2013 v.2014 every category went up except for street count in Hampden County which meant overall count went down 6%.

Need to look more at Southwick, Easthampton and Palmer.

Unaccompanied youth count:  more analysis coming once state data returns.

Brainstorm on what else we want to know from PIT: On unsheltered count, whether individuals are the same year to year or new.  Bill Miller pointed out that its shelter sees 50% new, 50% returning.

Discussed relevance of housing turnover rates for new housing for homeless individuals.  Does not keep up with demand. Continue reading

Individual Services Meeting Minutes – 12/5/13

Individual Services Committee Meeting
December 5, 2013

In attendance:  Carl Cignoni, Hampshire Sheriff’s Office/DOC Re-entry, Pamela Cook, SHINE Gandara Center, Karen Dean, Hampden County Sheriff’s Department, Christina Denmore, ARISE, L. Viviana deJesus, Independent Contractor, Steve Flynn, VA, Janice Humason, Friends of the Homeless, Margaret Jordan, Human Resources Unlimited, Jay Levy, Eliot CHS,-Homeless Services, Jennifer Lucca, Samaritan Inn, Gerry McCafferty, City of Springfield, Patty McDonnell, SMOC, Bill Miller, Friends of the Homeless, Dave Modzelewski, Network, Lizzy Ortiz, City of Springfield, Jerry Ray, Mental Health Association, Pamela Schwartz, Network, Joe Schroeter, Eliot CHS, Rebeka Wilder, Craig’s Doors, Delphine Wray, Friends of the Homeless

Discussion of Springfield-based Maple Hill Rest Home closing 12/31, 19 very low-income people living there will be displaced.  More in-depth discussion around alternative housing will take place at Friends of Homeless provider meeting on Tuesday, 12/10.

Coordinated Intake and Assessment

HUD NOFA applications due 2/3.  Main application is for 2 years – scoring will bear on both FY2013 and FY2014.

Hampden County CoC – didn’t get bonus money last year (lost up to $1m last year after getting it for 5-6 years).  Because of sequestration there are no new funds, no bonus funds for FY13, unclear about FY14.  There may be the ability to create new projects by budget cuts in existing projects.

This application is strongly pushing the federal agenda (“Opening Doors”), specifically focused on ending chronic and veteran homelessness by 2015.
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Individual Services Meeting Minutes – 11/7/13

Individual Services Committee
Meeting Minutes
November 7, 2013

In attendance:  Carl Cignoni, Hampshire County Corrections/DOC Re-entry, Christina Densmore, ARISE, Jay Levy, Eliot CHS – Homeless Services, Kevin Noonan, Craig’s Doors, Gerry McCafferty, City of Springfield – Housing, Andrea Miller, Network data analyst, Bill Miller, Friends of the Homeless, Dave Modzelewski, Network housing coordinator, Claudia Phillips, Mercy Medical Center  Health Care for the Homeless, Pamela Schwartz, Network coordinator

Review of Housing Options Tool

Andrea shared the Housing Options Tool (HOT) in detail on the big screen (wall to be precise).  Thank you, Andrea.

Discussion that followed included:

  • Emphasized importance of tracking vacancies.  Andrea has hired a part-time assistant to facilitate the development of this piece of the tool.
  • Noted that we need to bring together the providers of Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) to discuss the issue of tracking vacancies in relation to wait list.  For this tool to function best we must close the lag time when a vacancy occurs.
  • Confirmed we need a designated staff person to maintain steady contact with providers, build outreach and use of tool, track vacancies, etc.
  • We must figure out how to prioritize within the wait lists, coupled with coordinated intake/assessment.  We need to blend the prioritization process into HOT.
  • Discussed CA CoC coordinated assessment tool (“Every Door Open”)

Looked at CA tool “Every Door Open” – Coordinated Assessment – where entire community is using same assessment tool, same data collection forms.

Gerry noted that in order for us to arrive at coordinated assessment, we must first establish common ideas about the criteria for transitional vs. permanent supportive housing.  We may have a system that makes it too “easy” to take less hard-to-house people into PSH. We must collectively look at how we’re using our resources and refine our process for making sure we’re making the best matches between individuals and housing options.  We need to standardize this!

We all agreed coordinated assessment is about “screening in” not “screening out.”

Next step:  Gerry will draft initial guidelines around screening for transitional vs. PSH.

We’re very focused on PSH while we also need standards for prevention, rapid re-housing.  Need to bring rapid re-housing providers into this conversation.  Rapid re-housing used to be a great tool but less so lately due to its limited funds and duration.  Fewer people are able to take advantage of it.  We may need to look at shifting resources so they are better utilized.

Andrea also shared the Vulnerability Index and Service Prioritization Decision Assistance Tool (VI-SPDAT), a “super tool” gaining steam as a best practice for use in screening and assessing persons who are homeless and may need supportive services or Housing First.  She will send it along for our review.

For our December meeting, we will review a broad outline on assessment and program standards.  Pamela will assist with targeted outreach to providers.

Discussion of how to better serve hard-to-serve homeless individuals:

How to ensure quick response to make sure they stay safe?  Who are we to call?

For example:  how to get a person who is willing to enter detox into detox ASAP to avoid further homelessness.  How to get people to the right kind of help?

How to address issue on a cold winter night?  We need triage to ensure people stay safe.

Christine of ARISE expressed deep concern that someone could die for failure to know where to find the help.  Everyone shared the same concern.

Discussed the need for a respite program for homeless people suffering from health crises.  Could the CoC be a resource for funding for that purpose?  Should we look into sobering centers, the non-medical model, a one to two week program.  Is a warming center possible?  We need another winter option to be made accessible.

Consider using the Network to push for the medical respite center; get hospital and business support to do a pilot.  Would it not be advantageous for the hospital to fund such a place instead of paying for intoxicated people in their emergency rooms?

ARISE wants to know:  who to call when the person in crisis comes into their doors.

Gerry will contact Health Care for the Homeless to discuss this further, as well as Baystate Medical Center.  Will report back as soon as additional information is obtained.

All affirmed our shared goals:  keep people safe; get them the help they need.

Next meeting:

Thursday, December 5
10:30-noon
Friends of the Homeless
755 Worthington Street, Springfield