Unaccompanied Homeless Youth
January 8, 2014
In attendance: Shannon Barry, Springfield Public Schools, Ellen Broadhurst, West Springfield Schools, Dave Christopolis, Hilltown CDC, Viviana DeJesus, independent contractor consultant, Lisa Goldsmith, Dial/SELF, Candace Griffith, CHD, Sarah Kline, North Adams Public Schools, Ann Lentini, Domus, Inc., Edwin Lugo, CHD, Kim Majewski, Gandara Center, Gerry McCafferty, City of Springfield, Rebecca Muller, Grantswork, Lizzy Ortiz, City of Springfield, Keith Rhone, ROCA, Tyler Rousseau, Square One/Springfield College,
Unaccompanied Youth PIT/Survey Outreach and Preparation
Hampden County CoC update
Decided to use ICHH budget as follows:
gift cards for youth completing surveys
sponsor some events to bring youth together
youth ambassadors to help identify and reach out to other youth
They have identified at least 4 youth ambassadors thus far; have commitments from ARISE and Out Now to assist in Springfield. Need to work on youth assistance outside of Springfield.
Holyoke Department of Community Development suggested Mayor may be involved with this effort – he may host a pizza party.
Still working on reaching out to Chicopee.
Westfield: discussing use of community room in Meadows Apartments in Westfield for an event.
West Springfield: Ellen conducted a lot of outreach but no takers for event or organizing. CHD will help with West Springfield – they obtained a new grant for street outreach and will enlist these resources to get people to reach out to youth.
This Friday she will send a letter to all contacts asking for them to participate, will follow-up with calls, send packet of surveys week before, etc.
Three County CoC update
2 meetings thus far in Northampton, a team of people ready to go. Still need to set up a parallel effort Amherst. (including outreach to Amherst Police officer assigned to work with at-risk youth).
Sub-group of Berkshire CoC – people poised in all 3 sub-regions for letter and directive. Need to get out instructions. Still discussion about whether it would be worthwhile to do focus groups.
Franklin County: in general looking for youth through standing networks and associations (as opposed to organizing events, etc.). Will also do outreach at GCC job fair.
There was group discussion of whether the state would be providing a standardized letter of introduction to groups. Agreed that we should move forward on the assumption that we are to produce this. Gerry volunteered to draft the cover letter. All agreed on this general timeline:
- Cover letter drafted by the end of this week, out early next week
- Next 2 weeks: follow-up calls/emails to ensure receipt and commitment to participate
- Week in advance of count on 1/29, mail packet surveys and instructionsStandardized letter? Will state provide?
We still need to figure out how surveys are returned. Lisa will follow-up with ICHH to obtain clarification around Scantron for data entry or any other state coordinated plans.