Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Committee
September 14, 2016
In attendance: Lisa Goldsmith, DIAL/SELF, Natalie Hill, John Lewis, Springfield Police Department, Gandara Center, Kim Majewski, Gandara Center, Gerry McCafferty, Hampden CoC/City of Springfield, Rebecca Muller, Grantworks, Jean Rogers, CHD, Pamela Schwartz, Network, Maria Vogel, Gandara, Rhonda Young, CHD,
We welcomed John Lewis of the Springfield Police Dept who is working with the Shannon Grant, a program of the Executive Office of Public Safety that addresses community’s gang and youth violence.
Three County CoC Program Update (Lisa Goldsmith reported):
- 4 youth have subsidies, 3 housed
- 14 youth are in process for subsidies
- in hiring process for Franklin and Hampshire Counties for additional outreach/case management staff; will be subcontracting with Berkshire County Regional Housing for the Berkshire component
- Observations include seeing more youth involved in DCF and DMH, 18 year olds who have been in foster case; seeing more young parents
- In need of emergency sheltering options, having a hard time finding host homes
Hampden County CoC Program Update(Kim Majewski reported):
- Introduced us to Natalie Hill, the new host home manager and case manager
- Have utilized 3 host homes, one young person returned home, one entered SHINE transitional housing program, another returned to homelessness (complicated story, will continue to reach out)
- 17 of 18 rapid rehousing beds are currently occupied
- Observations: encountering more young people who are literally homeless (e.g., living behind a grocery store, in car, abandoned home). Causes include conflict with parents, family financial instability, longstanding family challenges, mental health issues
- Continuing to meet at Friends of the Homeless twice/week and doing outreach with Out NOW (GBLT group) and other access points for young people, building great relationships across the community, seeing the climb in demand as a result of the outreach and the available resource
- Concern expressed about ensuring continued funding to sustain this groundwork. Very hopeful to create more of a connection with high schools and community colleges, only just beginning.
Discussion of October meeting with EOHHS and their Safe and Successful Youth Initiative and Shannon Grant programs in the region:
We reviewed the invitation from Robyn Kennedy (Deputy Assistant Secretary at EOHHS) to bring together our committee with these other EOHHS programs. All are very enthusiastic about this opportunity.
We agreed we would propose an agenda as follows:
- Network summary – who and what and why we are (Pamela)
- CoC overview – who and what they are (Gerry)
- Youth Program overviews (Lisa and Kim)
Gerry generously agreed to put together a framework for a powerpoint presentation. We agreed on maximum 20 minutes on this part of the meeting (assuming 20 minutes max for their program summaries, leaving 50 minutes for discussion and brainstorm on collaboration possibilities)
On meeting space, Pamela will inquire of HCC first and then possibly Holyoke Library if HCC is not available.
Youth NOFA grant opportunity by HUD:
We reviewed the terms of the proposal (click here for summary compiled by Rebecca Muller). We agreed that the Hampden CoC will apply (and we think it will be highly competitive!).
A big challenge is funding the 6 month planning process (and the question is whether HUD expects the hiring of a full-time coordinator for that process and beyond). The possibility was raised of allocating some Network earmark funds to support this process.
Focus groups were also discussed as a great way to incorporate the perspective of young people (and build a youth advisory committee in the process).
Gerry, Rebecca and Kim will keep meeting on this and will use the Committee as needed. Deadline is 11/30.
Youth Committee Work Plan review (click here)
We only had a very brief time to review this. We agreed on the following:
- Everyone would review independently on their own time and email comments within the next 2 weeks
- Kim will flesh out the “notes” sections where relevant to include more detail on outreach efforts
- Rebecca and Kim will work together to broaden the scope of the workplan to go beyond the EOHHS youth grant and current partners
- Gerry will adapt plan to reflect regional focus (as opposed to Hampden CoC only)
- We will allocate substantial time on the November agenda to reviewing our work plan and taking stock of next steps
Wed., October 12, 9:30 -11:00 am, Location TBD [NOTE: This meeting date will be rescheduled – conflict determined since our last meeting – stay tuned for calendar update]
Wed., November 9, 9:30-11:00 am, Gandara Center, Holyoke