Category Archives: Individual Services Committee

3 County Individual Services Meeting Minutes – 10/15/18

Three  County Individual Services Committee
Meeting Minutes –10/15/18

In attendance:  Elizabeth Bienz, ServiceNet, Steve Connor, Veterans Services, Sam Cunningham, ServiceNet, Erin Forbush, ServiceNet, Jen Glover, Life Path, Lisa Goldsmith, DIAL/SELF, Chris Hayes, ServiceNet, Andy Klatko, Eliot CHS-Homeless Services,  Peg Keller, City of Northampton, Brendan LaPlante, Eliot CHS-Homeless Services, Phyllis Lutsky, VA, Danielle McColgan, CHD, Katie Miernecki, ServiceNet, Kate Shapiro, DMH, t, Jack Tulloss, ServiceNet, Hayley Wood, Easthampton Council on  Aging, 

General Updates:

  • No new housing units available for coordinated entry purposes (at mostly a standstill due to turnover happening with Servicenet’s PSH units)
  • Northampton has new housing units in the pipeline (Peg Keller provided the update): Dial/SELF youth housing – 4 units; Lumberyard – 55 units; 82 Bridge Street, SRO, 16 new units; Village Hill – 12 units and 53 units
  • Winter shelter starting in region on 11/1 – Greenfield shelter in process, will include 12-14 beds; Berkshire shelter still looking to solidify funding but moving ahead

Committee Goals for FY19:
Pamela reported on the Steering Committee’s request for each Network committee to articulate its goals for the year.  We noted the turnover happening in 3 County CoC leadership – the Hilltown CDC is transition from the role and will be issuing an RFP for new administrators. Our initial brainstorm included:

  • Gain a better understanding of the 3 County CoC’s role in shaping the Coordinated Entry goals (i.e., the CoC’s own goals and requirements and how they inform this work)
  • Gain a better understanding of the data provided by the CoC (Pamela will bring a sampling of its reports to the next meeting)
  • Play an active role in the decision making around the new CoC lead – what is this group’s expectations of that entity and how can it help shape the partnership
  • Support the integration of data across systems so the Committee can have the best possible understanding of its homeless population

Network trainings:
Pamela reported on upcoming Network sponsored trainings – how to run an awesome shelter – 12/18; progressive engagement and diversion (1/2 day 1/31) and trauma informed care (1/2 day, 1/31).  All offered by OrgCode, a highly reputed consulting firm that works on system change within homelessness systems.  Stay tuned for email registration forms.

She also reported that the Network is sponsoring a “think like a systems training” for regional leaders on 12/17, also offered by OrgCode, which should provide an exciting foundation for all our work.

Finally, the Network is in conversation with another training group around a series of trainings on racial equity and homelessness in the Spring.  This should be a very exciting opportunity for our region.  Stay tuned!

Next meeting date:
Monday, November 19
1 pm – 2:30 pm
ServiceNet
296 Nonotuck Street, Florence

 

 

 

 

Hampden County Individual Services Meeting Minutes – 9/25/18

Hampden County Individual Services Committee
September 25, 2018

In attendance:  Grechar Aquino, FOH/CSO, Jesus Arce, City of Springfield, Olivia Bernstein, MHA, Jennifer Bisceglia, Dept. of Correction, Nichole Bodiford, FOH/CSO, Ashley Brehm, Way Finders, Steve Connor, Veterans Services, John Fisher, Way Finders, Fina Fulla-Kay, City of Springfield, Dave Havens, Mental Health Association, Sarah Hills, Eliot CHS Homeless Services, Janice Humason, Friends of the Homeless/CSO, Charlie Knight, Rainville, Jen Lucca, Samaratin Inn, Bill Miller, FOH/CSO, Lizzy Ortiz, Mercy Medical, John Paglier, Mercy Medical Center, Christine Ruest, FOH/CSO, Pamela Schwartz, Network, Dennis Sheehan, FOH/CSO, Denise Rivera, FOH/CSO, Paul Thomas, Dept. of Correction, Stephanie Tonelli, FOH/CSO, Kathy West, Eliot-CHS, Lynn White, Viability, Delphine Wray, FOH/CSO

RAFT available for individuals: Ashley Brehm of Way Finders presented on RAFT prevention benefits that are available this fiscal year to individuals facing eviction. Please contact Ashley for more details about program eligibility, etc. at abrehm@wayfindersma.org.

Welcome to Jen Bisceglia and Paul Thomas of Reentry Service Division, MA Dept. of Correction: Jen and Paul attended to begin to establish more active relationships with Western MA providers as part of their housing search efforts for people being released from prison.  While there are no state prisons in Western MA, Springfield is the third highest release destination (behind Boston and Cambridge). We will continue to connect on our rapid rehousing efforts and other housing options in the area.

Built for Zero Update: Gerry reported that the next Learning Collaborative is mid-October.  Attendees will return with “action items” and at our next meeting the committee will discuss and brainstorm how to make progress.

The monthly report was distributed (click here). At the end of August, the by-name list was at 93 individuals. That is now creeping upwards (July was 85; a year ago this month it was 62).  Contributing factors: people are kept on the list longer now before being removed; more people living on the streets have been housed which has created an internal “referral” loop that has more people seeking housing. Good news is that housing has been identified for 20 of these 93  individuals so we can anticipate good “exit” data next month.

 

Holyoke partnerships continue to grow, including ongoing meetings with Holyoke housing providers, health care providers and the police department. The Holyoke Housing Authority has also agreed to set aside 10-15 Section 8 vouchers for chronically homeless individuals – this is a great advance!  The CoC has also funded an additional 6 housing units for chronically homeless people.

 

A committee work plan for FY19:

Per the Network Steering Committee’s request, this committee discussed developing a work plan for FY19, including broad goals and strategies.  We had an initial brainstorm, building off of the Built for Zero campaign that is currently underway.  We agreed we would focus on the items raised in this discussion at our next month’s meeting.

 

A recap of Build for Zero’s broader goals: 

  • increase number of housing placements for chronically homeless people
  • increase the speed at which they happen
  • decreasing the inflow into homelessness

The overarching pursuit: how do we get more resources and how do we use them better

 

One upcoming resource is another round of mainstream vouchers being made available to housing authorities in October and January.  How do we get as many housing authorities as possible to apply for these vouchers across the region, including Amherst and Greenfield. Steve Connor agreed to reach out to these housing authorities to advocate for their acquisition of these vouchers. Committee members also noted the critical importance of support services alongside these vouchers in order for the housing to work.

 

The non-chronic homeless population: members noted the need to focus on this population as well, to better identify who they are, their experience of homelessness and their needs to get and stay stable.  Employment and income needs are a crucial part of this conversation.

 

CoC – ESG standards:  Gerry noted that the CoC will be launching a process to re-examine its ESG standards. Stay tuned for more.

 

Network earmark update: The Steering Committee met and has a proposal into DHCD for its $125,000 earmark which will include the creation of a flexible fund for prevention and rapid re-housing across the region as well as substantial training opportunities for our providers. The flexible fund will also include the opportunity to pilot the use of landlord mitigation and incentive funds to create housing options for difficult-to-house tenants (modeled on best practices in other parts of the country).  The proposed budget and Scope of Services are being reviewed by DHCD now.

 

Network Legislative event:  The Steering Committee decided to host a legislative gathering on Friday, November 16, 1 pm – 3 pm, at Greenfield Community College (the Dining Commons) to meet the 5 new presumed legislators from the Upper Pioneer Valley (candidate Jo Comerford for State Senate, and for State Representative: Natalie Blais, Dan Carey, Mindy Domb and Lindsay Sabadosa).  If you are interested in attending, register here.

 

Next meeting date: Tuesday, October 23, 1 pm – 2 pm, followed by case conferencing til 2:30 pm.

Three County Individual Services Meeting Minutes – 9/17/18

Three County Individual Services Meeting
9/17/18
 

In attendance:  Elizabeth Bienz, ServiceNet, Sam Cunningham, ServiceNet, Eleanor Dodson, ServiceNet, Jen Glover, Life Path, Lisa Goldsmith, DIAL/SELF, Erin Forbush, ServiceNet, Chris Hughes, ServiceNet, Andy Klatka, Eliot CHS-Homeless Services, Jay Levy, Eliot Services, Katie Miernecki, ServiceNet, Danielle McColgan, CHD, Star Mott, ServiceNet, Nikki Riello, Hilltown CDC, Pamela Schwartz, Network, Kate Shapiro, DMH, Michael Trembley, ServiceNet, Hayley Wood, Easthampton Council on Aging, John Wren, ServiceNet, Chris Zabik, DMH

Coordinated Entry Update
Erin Forbush provided an update regarding weekly Coordinated Entry meetings.  They are taking place at 1 pm every Monday at this ServiceNet location (296 Nonutuck Street).  Every week there is a meeting to discuss individual clients and best housing matches. In the last 2 months there have been no vacancies, largely as a result of ServiceNet’s shift in its HUD contracts for Permanent Supportive Housing.

There are 2 contracts that are in transition, 1 for 15 beds that ends as of Jan. 2019 and the other for 45 beds that ends as of July 2019.  In Northampton, this impacts 38 Hawley Street (12 units) and Pleasant Street (1 unit).  ServiceNet is working diligently with individuals impacted to ensure they are re-housed as needed.  Meanwhile, the Three County CoC has posted an RFP for these housing funds to be administered by another agency.

Network earmark update
Pamela shared the Network Steering Committee conversation regarding the allocation of the Network earmark of $125,000.  The current proposal is to allocate $25,000 to training needs for the Network focused on a range of skills and practices, including trauma-informed care, how to run a housing oriented shelter, and cultural competency.  The remainder would be allocated to flexible funds to assist with prevention and rapid rehousing, including landlord mitigation funds (e.g., repairs, etc.) to encourage renting to tenants. The Committee unanimously supported this proposal.  Members especially noted the need for training on harm reduction and trauma-informed care.  The lack of racial and ethnic diversity in our own group was also noted and the group agreed it would be extremely valuable to allocate resources for training around our cultural competency.  We distributed the newly produced data around race and ethnicity within the region’s homeless population, noting the disproportionate representation of people of color (click here for the report ).

Network Legislative Meeting: November 16, 1-3 pm, Greenfield Community College
The Network is hosting a legislative meeting to introduce the 5 new legislators in the Upper Valley.  It will be region-wide, including all Western MA legislators and local officials and Network partners.  Stay tuned for additional info but mark your calendars for now!

Upcoming training on Overcoming Tenant Screening Barriers
This training is taking place on October 4, 9:30-11:30 am at HCC.  Pamela will send a reminder notice just to this group attending in order to provide an opportunity for more 3 County CoC attendance.

Next meeting date:
Monday, October 15
1 pm – 2:30 pm
ServiceNet
296 Nonotuck Street, Florence

 

 

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.