Category Archives: Leadership Council

Leadership Council Meeting Minutes – 4/28/16

Leadership Council Meeting
April 26, 2016

In attendance: Mary Jane Bacon, Office of Senate Preisdent Rosenberg, Kathryn Buckley-Brawner, Catholic Charities, Dave Christopolis, Hilltown CDC, Ben Cluff, DPH, Steve Como, Soldier On, Patricia Crosby, Franklin Regional Employment Board, Sylvia DeHaas-Philips, United Way of Pioneer Valley, Ken Demers, BerkshireWorks, Dawn DiStefano, Square One, Doreen Fadus, Mercy Medical Center, Lisa Goldsmith, DIAL/SELF, Brad Gordon, Berkshire Regional Housing Authority, Clare Higgins, Community Action, Steve Huntley, Valley Opportunity Council, Peg Keller, City of Northampton, Charlie Knight, Rainville, Joanne LaCour, DTA, Faith Lafayette, DPH FOR Families, Gerry McCafferty, City of Springfield, Peter Miller, City of Westfield, Dave Modzelewski, Network, Andrew Morehouse Food Bank of Western MA, Fran Pheeney, Franklin Regional Housing and Redevelopment Authority, Megan Rhodes, Franklin Regional Council of Governments, George Ryan, Hampden County Regional Employment Board, Jay Sacchetti, ServiceNet, Pamela Schwartz, Network, Jim Seney, Veterans Administration, Linn Torto, MA ICHH

Review of Jan. 20, 2016 Meeting Minutes: (click here)

Moved to approve: Charlie Knight
Seconded: Jane Banks
All in favor: unanimous
abstention: Joanne LaCour

Budget Update: (click here)
Sylvia deHaas-Phillips reviewed the budget. Sylvia noted that revenue beyond state funding is at $26,000, i.e., state funding is critical to the Network’s continuity.

Review of Network FY17 budget priorities

Pamela reviewed the Network budget priorities in relation to the House adoption of the State budget just last night.

Secure Jobs: The House funded Secure Jobs at $500K, one quarter of the $2 million needed to keep the program fully functional statewide. The Governor funded the program at $750K, so even the “larger” number is less than half of what is needed. What does this mean, especially when the program has demonstrated such success and directly correlates to preventing returns to homelessness. The group agreed we need to approach our legislators and Administration officials to better understand their thinking.   How does the Fireman Foundation’s commitment interface with state government limits response. We will explore these questions with Linn Torto.

Mary Jane Bacon suggested that we pay attention to the lobbying representation on the program; that we must ensure the broad representation (beyond career centers) in our presence with legislators.   Pamela will follow-up with Mary Jane to gain any additional insight from their senate budget analyst.

We also agreed that it would be useful to look at the “home” for Secure Jobs and support a conversation about the best agency fit for the program, e.g., DTA where other employment programs exist. We will raise this with Linn Torto as well for additional feedback.

Increase individual shelter unit rate to $30/night : did not pass in House or Governor’s budget. Will continue advocacy in Senate.

Expand HomeBASE eligibility to include families in domestic violence or substance abuse programs: passed in House and Governor’s budget.

Expand RAFT to include individuals: did not pass in House or Governor’s budget.

Increase TPP to $975,000: did not pass in House.

Network earmark: passed in the House.

Pamela noted the tremendous support of Rep. Peter Kocot (lead sponsor) and Rep. Stephen Kulik in the passage of the Network earmark amendment. She also noted the great support of our Western MA delegation in general as supporters of Network priorities. We expressed our immense gratitude for our great delegation!

Pamela will compile a chart that lays out each priority and its status in each part of the budget process and send that to the Leadership Council.

Steering Committee/3 County CoC meeting and by-laws update:
Andrew informed the group that the Steering Committee and representatives of the Three County CoC are meeting on May 6 to discuss by-law revisions to address better representation of the 3 County CoC and overall process of decision making. All are welcome (9 am at Northampton Senior Center on May 6). The group will bring proposed by-law revisions to the next Leadership Council meeting in June.

Meeting with Senate President Rosenberg on May 13
Pamela reported that Senator Rosenberg has agreed to meet with members of the Network to have a general dialogue about both the Senate Housing Crisis report and Western MA needs. Each CoC has designated 5 people to attend this meeting (we agreed to keep the meeting small in order to maximize the potential for meaningful conversation). The group will report back at its June meeting. We expressed appreciation for Senator Rosenberg’s commitment to the Network and its goals.

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Leadership Council Meeting Minutes – 1/20/16

Leadership Council Meeting
January 20, 2016

In Attendance: Jane Banks, Center for Human Development, Dave Christopolis, Three County CoC/Hilltown CDC, Patricia Crosby, Franklin Hampshire Regional Employment Board, Sylvia deHaas-Philips, United Way of Pioneer Valley, Ken Demers, BerkshireWorks, Dawn DiStefano, Square One, Doreen Fadus, Mercy Medical Center Health Care for the Homeless, David Gadaire, CareerPoint, Lisa Goldsmith, DIAL/SELF, Brad Gordon, Berkshire County Regional Housing Authority, Clare Higgins, Community Action, Mike Hagmaier, Soldier On, Janice Humason, Friends of the Homeless, Peg Keller, City of Northampton, Charlie Knight, SCARF/Rainville, Ann Lentini, Domus Incorporated, Gerry McCafferty, City of Springfield, Bill Miller, Friends of the Homeless, Peter Miller, City of Westfield, Dave Modzelewski, Network REACH, Fran Pheeny, Franklin County Housing Redevelopment Authority, Jerry Ray, Mental Health Association, George Ryan, Hampden County Regional Employment Board, Jay Sacchetti, ServiceNet, Pamela Schwartz, Network, Jim Seney, VA Medical Center, Stephen Seplman, YWCA, Eric Shupin, CHAPA, Lynne Wallace, HAPHousing,

Leadership Council Meeting Minutes of 9/17/15:
Motion to approve: Charlie Knight
Seconded: Dave Modzelewski
Discussion: Pamela will correct a couple of attendee omission and spelling errors.
All in favor: unanimous
Opposed: none
Abstentions: none

Network Budget Update:
Sylvia deHaas-Philips distributed an updated budget (click here), which has not changed much since the last meeting. Everything is on track.

Network Survey:
Click here for compilation of Network results. Pamela summarized findings with group. Comments included:

Can we find out how many respondents were from each sub-region? Gerry suggested that this is possible with an upgrade of the Survey Monkey tool. Pamela will investigate.

We discussed the break down between good/excellent and moderate to excellent, all agreeing that there is a meaningful difference between “moderate” and “good/excellent.” With the current survey compilation, you can extract “moderate” by subtracting the total of good/excellent from the total “moderate-excellent” number.

EOHHS RFR update:
Pamela provided an update on MA Executive Office of Health and Human Services’ RFR to create a consortium to respond to people facing acute housing crisis. It was released on 12/29, bidders’ conference was 1/15 and proposals are due 2/2. A total of $900,000 is available statewide, which will fund 3-5 grants. Applicants must create a coordinated entry systems – “no wrong door” – and the grant will include flexible funds for prevention, diversion and rapid rehousing. The funds are intended to intervene further “upstream” in the prevention effort. Up to 25% of funds may pay for coordination of the system. Applicants may also apply for funding for unaccompanied homeless youth (ages 18-24); a total of $2 million is available statewide with up to 5 grants, including rural, urban and suburban. Qualified applicants include the Network, CoC’s, regional housing authorities, CAP agencies.

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Leadership Council Meeting Minutes – 9/17/15

Leadership Council Meeting Minutes
September 17, 2015

 In attendance: Father Stan Aksamit, Our Lady of Peace Parish, Dave Christopolis, Hilltown CDC, Ken Demers, BerkshireWorks, Lindsay Errichetto, Family Life Support System, David Gadaire, CareerPoint, Lisa Goldsmith, Dial/SELF, Clare Higgins, Community Action, Janice Humason, Friends of the Homeless, Charlie Knight, former housing consumer, Joanne LaCour, DTA, Jay Levy, Eliot CHS – Homeless Services, Gerry McCafferty, City of Springfield, Diana McLean, City of Westfield, Dave Modzelewski, Network, Michelle Morris, Berkshire Bank, Andrew Morehouse, Food Bank of Western MA, Jerry Ray, Mental Health Association, George Ryan, Hamdpen County Regional Employment Board, Pamela Schwartz, Network, Ben Scranton, Pioneer Valley Real Estate Group, Jim Seney, Veterans Administration Medical Center, Robin Sherman, Franklin County Regional Housing and Redevelopment Authority, Nancy Stoll, United Way of Berkshire County, Jenna Tetrault, Community Action, Lynne Wallace, HAPHousing,

Minutes of 6/4/15 Leadership Council meeting
Motion to approve: Charlie Knight
Seconded: Ken Demers
All in favor with abstentions from Joanne LaCour and Jim Seney

Network FY16 Budget Review
 No significant revisions since LC budget approval in June (based on receipt of the state earmark). The Network has received $6,400 thus far from Network partners in “sustaining contributions.”

FY16 State Budget Update on Housing/Homelessness Click here for information from Mass. Budget and Policy Center. Highlights for this fiscal year include: increase in MRVPs, increase in RAFT funding for prevention, restoration of HCEC funding to FY14 levels (Network priority), investment of $2 million in housing and services for unaccompanied homeless youth (Network priority), funding of Secure Jobs at $750,000 with instruction to use the Housing Stabilization Fund to ensure continuity of the program (Network priority).

Western MA Opening Doors Plan Update:
Pamela reported on the integration of the Plan in its committee work and the ongoing task of developing templates for data review and analysis. She also reported on the work that is taking place across committees around developing coordinated assessment tools, which is in keeping with HUD goals and requirements.

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Leadership Council Meeting Minutes – 6/4/15

Leadership Council Meeting
June 4, 2015

In attendance: Jim Ayres, United Way of Hampshire County, Jane Banks, Center for Human Development, Tim Brennan, Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, Kathy Buckley Brawner, Catholic Charities, Dave Christopolis, Hilltown CDC, Steve Como, Soldier On, Patricia Crosby, Franklin Hampshire Career Center, Sylvia deHaas-Phillips, United Way of Pioneer Valley, Ken Demers, BerkshireWorks, Doreen Fadus, Mercy Medical Center, Lisa Goldsmith, Dial/SELF, Jerry Ray, Mental Health Association, Peg Keller, City of Northampton, Charlie Knight, consumer, Jay Levy, Eliot CHS-Homeless Services, Diana McLean, City of Westfield, Dave Modzelewski, Network/REACH, Andrew Morehouse, Food Bank of Western Mass., Jerry Ray, Mental Health Association, George Ryan, Hampden County Regional Employment Board, Jay Sacchetti, ServiceNet, Pamela Schwartz, Network, Robin Sherman, Franklin County Regional Housing and Redevelopment Authority, Representative Aaron Vega, Lynne Wallace, HAPHousing, Sue White, Veterans Administration Medical Center

 The group welcomed Representative Aaron Vega to the Leadership Council and thanked him for his commitment to these issues and to the Network as a whole. We are thrilled to have him with us!

Review of Leadership Council April 28 Meeting Minutes  (click here)
Charlie Knight: motion to approve
Gerry McCafferty: seconded

Discussion: Pamela pointed out that she clarified the language in the minutes on the blog (but failed to include it in the copy distributed at today’s meeting) to reflect that votes were not “unanimous” but “all in favor with Joanne LaCour abstaining” per Joanne’s request.

All in favor: unanimous
Opposed: none; Abstentions: none

FY16 State budget update:

Pamela updated the group on the budget process: The budget is currently in Conference Committee where Senate and House budget differences will be resolved. Pamela will summarize in a forthcoming email the status of the Network priorities and next steps. With regard to the Network funding, the House budget includes an earmark for the $125,000, and the Senate budget does not. We will continue to advocate for Network funding, as well as for our remaining priorities regarding Secure Jobs, Housing Consumer Education Centers and funding for housing and services for unaccompanied homeless youth.

Network’s proposed FY16 budgets (click here):
Charlie Knight: motion to accept budgets
Seconded: Patricia Crosby

Discussion: Andrew talked through both scenarios, one without state funding and one with it.

In the first scenario without state funding, we are looking at a total gap of over $33K. We discussed “sustaining contributions” and how they were lower than expected (state funding last year slowed contributions). The Steering Committee will revisit this and restart contribution outreach.

Rep. Vega suggested we consider 3 year commitments for planning purposes.

Question regarding Simtech tools/consultancy in state funding budget: The consultant amount is a placeholder for further planning and discussion. The cost of the tools is fixed ($3K /month) and is vital to producing regional data (offers a “data warehouse” and capacity to collate data from multiple sources and produce meaningful outcome measures). Gerry McCafferty also pointed out that if we use Simtech, it could save her CoC funds and the CoC could be in a position to contribute to the cost as well.

Robin Sherman suggested the Steering Committee devise an “expense budget” that would match the income budget relying only on revenue sources that we are confident we have.

All agreed that moving forward we will need to address how we sustain ourselves beyond State funding.

Jerry Ray suggested that this is a “limited time budget” – that we all understand once numbers are finally known, we will make a final budget.

Doreen Fadus: this is a “good faith budget” – that we vote understanding there is no guarantee on revenue right now.

Alternative is to not vote on a budget at all today and convene an emergency meeting of the LC by 6/30/15.

We agreed to look into electronic voting – a change to by-laws – to create this option in the future.

If we pass a budget today, the Steering Committee would be empowered to modify the budget as circumstances dictate. It will also tackle the fundraising plan.

Vote on the Motion:
Opposed: Jane Banks, Kathryn Buckley-Brawner, Dave Christopolis, Patricia Crosby, Robin Sherman
In Favor: all others in attendance
Abstentions: none

Motion carried. Andrew acknowledged that this was the first time in a long time that the Leadership Council lacked consensus and the Steering Committee will be very sensitive to that as it moves forward with budget and fundraising planning.

Confirmed FY16 Leadership Council Meeting Schedule:
Thurs., 9/17 – Berkshire County
Wed., 1/20 – Hampshire County
Thurs., 4/28 – Franklin County
Wed., 6/21 – Hamden County

Meeting adjourned 1 pm.