Category Archives: Meeting Minutes

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.

Veterans Committee Meeting Minutes – 6/6/18

Veterans Committee Meeting Minutes – June 6, 2018

In attendance: Grechar Aquino, Friends of the Homeless, Heather Cahillane, Soldier, Steve Connor, Veterans Services, Craig Deraway, SoldierOn, Janice Humason, FOH, Gerry McCafferty, City of Springfield, Digno Ortiz, FOH, Lizzy Ortiz, Mercy Medical Center, Katherine Person, Veterans, Inc., Kate Sweetster-Owens, HUD-VASH, Stephanie Tonelli, FOH, Alison Wilson-Pierce, HUD VASH

 
Update on Non-VA Eligible HUD VASH vouchers:

Great news!  Thanks to Steve Connors’ and others’ assistance, there are now 11 HUD-VASH vouchers available through the Northampton Housing Authority for non-VA eligible veterans.  This will allow housing for some of the most long-term, chronically homeless people in Hampden County and the Three County region.  Very exciting progress.  Veterans will likely be housed over the summer.
It is possible that Northampton Housing Authority (NHA) could have additional vouchers to release to non-VA eligible veterans.  Gerry also relayed her understanding that another 5,000 HUD-VASH vouchers will be released this summer.
Built for Zero campaign:
Gerry updated all on the Built for Zero campaign, a learning community to support the effort to end homelessness for chronically homeless individuals and veterans. They have periodic gatherings through the year and Kate Sweetster-Owens is part of the local team attending the next one in Detroit.  They will focus on ending veteran homelessness which has just become more possible with the availability of non-VA eligible vouchers.
Homelessness Resource Fair – June 14:
Pamela reported on the upcoming Resource Fair next week, Thurs., 6/14 9 am – 12:30 pm at Holyoke Community College, Kittredge Center, Room 301-303. Roughly 200 people are attending with 60 organizations tabling and 8 workshops.  Thanks to the providers in the room for leading the Veterans Services workshop (twice!) during the day.  If you haven’t already, please email Pamela at pschwartz77@gmail.com if you plan to attend.
FY19 State Budget Update:
The FY19 State Budget is now in the Conference Committee.  Pamela reviewed the key provisions impacting individual homelessness as summarized in CHAPA’s attached summary. Representative Steve Kulik from our region is on the Committee and Pamela will be reaching out to summarize Network priorities.
Next meeting date:  because the usual first Wed. is July 4th, and Pamela is away the following week, the Network will convene as part of the monthly case-conferencing meeting on:
 
Wed., August 1
2 pm – 2:30 pm (case conferencing to follow 2:30-3:30 pm)
Friends of the Homeless
755 Worthington Street, Springfield
 
The next regular veterans case conferencing meeting will take place on Wed. July 11.

sad news in our community

It is with a heavy heart that I share the news that Karen Cavanaugh, Executive Director for Womanshelter/Companeras in Holyoke, died last Friday, after a brief illness.
I know many of us within the Network worked with Karen for years.  And our hearts especially go out to our Womanshelter/Companeras colleagues.
I am including the notice below from Jane Doe, Inc. for more information.
Take care,
Pamela
From Jane Doe, Inc:
I am so sorry to share such sad news via email.  Karen B. Cavanaugh, Executive Director of Womanshelter/Companeras in Holyoke died on Friday, after a brief illness and surrounded by her loved ones.  Karen was a leader in the field for many years and her passion and commitment to survivors has been inspiring to so many of us.  Her legacy will certainly continue.
Many of us have known and worked with Karen for decades and this loss is both a shock and a reminder of the tender and bittersweet moments that impact us.  We are also thinking of our colleagues at Womanshelter who are grieving this loss deeply and we are sending warm and healing thoughts.
Here is a link to the information about the plans for services on Thursday.  Please share with staff and others who might have known Karen.

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.