Category Archives: Unaccompanied Homeless Youth

Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Meeting Minutes – 6/15/18

Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Meeting Minutes – 6/15/18
In attendance:  Emily English, Gandara Center, Rosemary Fiedler, Holyoke Community College, Lisa Goldsmith, DIAL/SELF, Ann Lentini, Domus, Inc., Gerry McCafferty, City of Springfield, Jean Rogers, CHD, Pamela Schwartz, Network
Homelessness Resource Fair Debrief:
Summary of comments and brainstorm: In the big picture, a success – such an amazing turn-out with great energy. In the smaller picture, it was too many people (a good problem!) to accomplish the most of what we want to accomplish (true resource sharing, a chance to dialogue and get to all the tables, a chance to get trained on sub-topics).
Our brainstorm landed us on the consensus recommendation that we should separate out the actual resource fair and tabling from the trainings.  Have the resource fair be JUST that – 2 hours of visiting tables and having conversation – and then have discrete trainings throughout the year on the range of topics offered at the fair.  This way, people are not being forced to choose among competing topics AND we can afford to give each topic the time it deserves based on the content and complexity (as opposed to based on fitting in the flow of other workshops).  Pamela will take this suggestion to the other committees and report back.
New youth housing units in Northampton:  
DIAL/SELF is managing these units.  For the pre-application form click here and for the brochure click here.

MANY learning collaborative:
MANY is the Mid-Atlantic Network for Youth – a national trade organization for runaway/homeless youth.  It is sponsoring a series of best practices phone/web meetings starting this Wed.  Our Committee members are able to participate (thanks to DIAL/SELF for leveraging their membership!).  The first call is this Wed.  We will stay posted.

Update on State Plan to End Homelessness: The report has been issued; the Commission is now focused on hiring an executive director.
FY19 State Budget update:  The budget is now in Conference Committee.  The Senate budget proposed funding at $3.3 million, the highest by far (House at $1m, Gov. at $2m).  We are calling our legislators and will keep everyone posted.
Evaluation of FY18 and Western MA youth homelessness: The group agreed that it would be useful to review this past year around both outcomes and the factors influencing those outcomes, e.g., the funding loss and the consequence to young adults’ engagement with services.  The groups will also review the basic indicators of:
# housed
# on wait list
length of stay
returns to homelessness
We will exchange reports and discuss at our next meeting.
Gander’s Youth Impact Center at 41 Taylor Street in Springfield:  Fantastic opening; fantastic resource for young people.  Everyone should visit!
Next meeting date:
August 8 9 am – 10:30 am, Frost Building, Room 309, HCC

Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Meeting Minutes – 5/16/18

Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Committee Meeting Minutes – 5/16/18

Present: Rosemary Fielder, HCC; Peter Cofoni, DCF; Kristine Rodriguez, Gandara Impact Center; Emily English, Gandara; Ann Lentini, Domus; Jean Rogers, CHD; Juan Rivera, DYS; Haley Woods, HCC student; Rodrigo Valdiviero Salazar, HCC student; Jenny Davila, CHD; Andrea Baker, STCC; Rebecca Guinard, STCC; Rebecca Muller, Grantswork; Lisa Goldsmith, Dial/Self; Gerry McCafferty, City of Springfield

Youth Count
The Youth Count ended Sunday, May 13.  Surveys are still being collected and entered. Rosemary noted that the HCC event went very well because it was held in conjunction with a larger event–they collected a large number of surveys. In contrast, the turnout at STCC was low–possibly due to the two events being too close to finals. One idea was to try to coordinate timing with a larger event next year. Lisa reported that the 3-County count went well

The 2017 Youth Count Study has been released. The group noted that the results were not surprising. Both Jean and Lisa pointed to the comments as being very interesting and urged others to look at them.

Resource Fair
Youth agencies confirmed their workshop readiness and the plan to describe the process for young people to connect with services.  We are all going to bring agency handouts, youth help cards, a PYD handout, etc. and offer these resources at the workshop. The agencies will work together to produce a one pager summarizing all contact information. It was suggested to arrange the tables by population type (as was done last year).

Gandara Impact Center
Gandara’s Impact Center, at 41 Taylor St., Springfield, is a drop-in center for youth 16-21. The Center had a soft opening April 16, and is having a Grand Opening this Friday, May 18, 10 am – 2 pm. The center uses a peer model to link youth to resources in the community. The center has a kitchen, washer/dryer, computers, as well as flexible services and education/workshops.

HUD Youth Homelessness Demonstration Project (YHDP) Application
The Springfield-Hampden County CoC submitted our application for this initiative in April. We won’t expect to find out until July or August.

MANY Learning Collaborative
The national organization MANY is offering a Learning Collaborative to CoCs on Coordinated Entry for youth. Both CoCs are interested in participating, possibly together. We are reaching out to MANY.

Wisconsin HopeLab
The results from the Wisconsin HopeLab survey of Massachusetts college students is out. This includes reporting at the state level, as well as for individual schools. Because it is so new, HCC and GCC reports are not yet available, but STCC indicated that they can share their report.

Point Source Conference
Lisa reported on the Point Source conference on youth homelessness, which she recently attended in New York. She said it was very good, lots of good information. Sessions were taped and will be posted online– click here for the link to the resources.

State Budget
Lisa reported on the state budget for youth homelessness. The Governor put this in his budget at $2 million, the Senate put it in at $3.3 million, and the House at $1 million. So, there’s optimism that there will be funding this year. Linn has mentioned wanting to get the RFP out before June so that they can move quickly to make awards, but it’s not out yet.

HCC Students
Haley Woods and Rodrigo Valdiviero Salazar, students at HCC, talked about the project they are working on to assist HCC students who are homeless. Rodrigo described his lived experience with housing instability, noting that he when he was coach-surfing, he didn’t think of himself as homeless, because he always had somewhere to stay. He is working on creation of tiny homes for community college students. At the same time, Haley is working on creation of a landlord network. Their common vision is that a student could live in a tiny home while they work through credit repair, benefits maximization, housing transition, etc. with the Thrive Center, and move on to an apartment found through the landlord network when they are ready. The students got feedback and ideas from the group about who else they should be talking to.

Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Meeting Minutes – 4/2/18

In attendance: Ellen Broadhurst, West Springfield Schools, Rebecca Chavierri, Holyoke Public Schools, Rosemary Fiedler, HCC, Lisa Goldsmith, DIAL/SELF, Sharon Hall-Smith, Gandara Center, Vicky Maleno, West Springfield Schools, Jose Lopez-Figueroa, STCC, Gerry McCafferty, City of Springfield, Rebecca Muller, Gandara Center, Juan Rivera, DYS – Holyoke District Office, Jean Rogers, CHD, Pamela Schwartz, Network, Jennifer Wand, Springfield Public Schools

State Point in Time Count

The Hampden County group planned for the youth count. Updates:

  • Magnet events – Community colleges – approved for count at STCC, plan to have 2 events—one lunchtime, one dinner time, April 25 and May 2, staffed by Gandara; Gerry has submitted IRB request at HCC, if approved will have one event at HCC either April 25 or May 2, staffed by Safety Zone.
  • Gandara will hold events at Dunbar and South End Community Center
  • High schools – Lots of brainstorming – McKinney Vento liaisons will go back to their schools to see what they can do; Safety Zone and Gandara will cover as many schools as they can
  • Shelters and community agencies – Gerry will get surveys and instructions out to emergency shelters and to partner community agencies (Roca, Boys & Girls Club, etc.).  Gerry will also connect with DCF and DYS
  • Incentives – we will provide gift cards again to those who complete surveys. We have some Dunkin Donuts cards from last year, but people recommended that we purchase Pride cards with this year’s funding.
  • Resource Cards – Gerry will send around for final review and edits and then send to the printer. These will be provided to all involved agencies.

The Three County CoC is also doing its outreach across its region with Lisa as the primary liaison.

Homelessness Resource Fair Youth Services Workshop Planning:

Pamela and Lisa reported out on the initial small group planning call.  It was agreed there that the workshop should include the components of, and specific tips for, working with youth/young adults in a housing crisis, youth/young adult resources in the region, and how youth/young adults fit into the coordinated entry process.

Some topics to be considered for inclusion: housing, mentoring, services, helping stabilize the life they have and make it better, Positive Youth Development, Trauma Informed Care, Harm Reduction, and encouraging them not to treat them like kids.

We agreed today that a small group would work on the coordination around content, hand-outs and facilitation.  Pamela will facilitate another small group meeting for this planning that will include Lisa, Sharon, Rebecca, Ann, Jean and Rhonda (DIAL/SELF, Gandara and CHD).

It was discussed whether the hand-out should include information on school liaisons.  Unclear if that is doable (for the entire region) but the small group will discuss more.

HUD Youth Grant Update:

Gerry reported that the work on this grant for a youth demonstration project continues (applied last year, very close but didn’t get it, in a better position to get it this year).  Due on April 12.

Next meeting date: Wed., 5/16, 1:30-3:00 pm – Frost Building, Room 309, HCC (scheduled for after the youth count; note Pamela will be out of town but it was agreed that others can facilitate)