Category Archives: Resources

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New MA Affordable Housing Report from the Federal Reserve Bank

The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston just released a new report that underscores once again, this time with town-by-town data (and an interactive map!), the massive affordable housing crisis across the Commonwealth.

This is a great resource for talking with your local and state officials, bringing home the number of extremely low-income households in each community and comparing that to the number of affordable housing units. The report finds statewide that there is less than 1 affordable and available housing unit for every 2 extremely low-income households.

You can find your community here.

Career Services Resources Fair a big success!

Congratulations and thanks to the 18 resource providers and over 40 provider participants who joined together on Friday, February 15 to share and learn about resources to help create stable housing through stable employment.

Click here for the hand-out summarizing resources shared at the Fair and contact information.

Special thanks to Representative Aaron Vega of Holyoke for being there and his steadfast support of our Network’s mission.

And thanks to MassHire Holyoke for their generous hosting of this event.

We look forward to sharing in this opportunity again as part of our larger annual Homelessness Resources Fair that will take place on Monday, June 10, 9:30 am – 12:30 pm, Holyoke Community College (more to come but please feel free to save the date now!).c

New data resource for Pioneer Valley; New England Fathering Conference – 3/13-15

New Pioneer Valley Data Website Available

On Thursday, the Community Foundation of Western MA joined the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission to celebrate the launch of the new  Pioneer Valley Data website. Now local governments, businesses and nonprofits can quickly get answers to question such as “What’s the poverty rate in West Springfield?” 
The website is a project of the CFWM, MassMutual Foundation, Irene E. & George A. Davis Foundation, Beveridge Family Foundation, Regional Employment Board of Hampden County, Economic Development Council of Western Massachusetts, Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts and Franklin County Council of Governments. Read more coverage here

New England Fathering Conference – 3/13 -3/15

The 20th Annual New England Fathering Conference , March 13-15, Springfield Sheraton. See the conference brochure by clicking here, or go to www.nefatheringconference.org where you can view the brochure, register for the conference, and book your discounted room. Be sure to register by January 31st, while early bird rates are in effect (only $250 for all three days),

New reports on homeless youth; elders

MA 2018 Youth Count Report
The MA Interagency Council on Housing and Homelessness recently released the 2018 MA Youth Count Report. For the full report please click here, and for summary graphs and charts, go here.

Elder Homelessness Report

According to a new study, The Emerging Crisis of Aged Homelessness: Could Housing Solutions be Funded by Avoidance of Excess Shelter, Hospital and Nursing Home Costs, the population of individuals who are homeless and elderly is expected to nearly triple over
the next decade.

The multi-site study includes Boston, New York City, and Los Angeles County. For Boston, the report states that the number of homeless people age 55 and older will almost triple by 2030 (from 570 in 2017 to roughly 1560). The predicted spike is based on 30 years of existing census data. The report also looked at associated healthcare costs related to this cohort. “Caring for this elderly group in homelessness is going to cost about $5 billion a year – that’s just for their health care and shelter, not to house them,” said Dennis Culhane, the principal investigator of the study.


Workshop PowerPoints from 2018 Homelessness Resource Fair

On June 14, the Western MA Network to End Homelessness sponsored its 2nd annual Homelessness Resource Fair for providers.  The Springfield Republican gave it some nice coverage which you can read here!

The Fair included 8 workshops on various homelessness-related topics.  Many of the over 200 Fair attendees requested the PowerPoint presentations that were offered, which you can now find below.

DHCD HomeBASE Training
DHCD Emergency Assistance Training
Homelessness and Addiction (Opioid Epidemic)
Overcoming Tenant Screening Barriers
Individual Chronic Homelessness
Youth/Young Adult Homelessness
Domestic Violence and Homelessness
Career Services

Special thanks to all the workshop presenters who made these presentations possible: Alvina Brevard and Amy Mullen, DHCD; Mollie Sullivan, Geraldine Kennedy and Hollie Garvey, Mercy Medical Center Health Care for the Homeless, Jane Edmonstone, Community Legal Aid, Erin Forbush, ServiceNet and Janice Humason, Friends of the Homeless,/CSO, Lisa Goldsmith, DIAL/SELF, Emily English, Gandara Center, Ann Lentini, Domus Inc, Jenny Davila, Center for Human Development, Lisa Lapierre, Franklin Hampshire Career Center, Bud Delphin, CareerPoint, Konrad Rogowski, FutureWorks, Pamela Wojtkowski, BerkshireWorks, Maegan Pedemonti, Way Finders.

We look forward to providing more these trainings over the course of the coming year, culminating in our 3rd annual Resource Fair (with more space!) next June.  Please stay tuned!

Impressions of Home Art Show and Silent Auction – Monday, 6/18, 5 pm

From Friends of the Homeless/CSO:

3rd Annual 
Impressions of Home
Art Show and Silent Auction

Monday, June 18, 2018
5 pm-8 pm
Hadley Farms Meeting House
41 Russell Street
Hadley, MA  01035

Impressions of Home is our annual presentation of creative works by guests and clients of Friends of the Homeless andCSO through the use of art therapy. We also are pleased to feature works created by artists throughout the Pioneer Valley that celebrate our theme of ‘home’.

All proceeds from the art auction support programming to directly impact the lives of our artists and help them find permanent homes as they build self-sufficient, healthy lives.

Tickets available here or at www.csoinc.org
You may also reserve tickets by calling 413-773-1314 ext. 1047

The Network at Work!

On Thursday, June 14, the Western MA Network to End Homelessness convened its second annual Homelessness Resource Fair for Providers.  Congratulations to all for a tremendous success!

Over 200 people attended from across all four Western counties; 60 organizations from every sector of our community shared information and resources available to assist in preventing and ending homelessness.  8 workshops were offered (twice!), facilitated in partnership by over 20 Network partners, on topics ranging from the opioid epidemic to EA/HomeBASE to domestic violence, youth homelessness and more.

Western MA state legislators turned out to support our efforts: Special thanks to Representative Aaron Vega, Representative Jose Tosado, Representative Michael Finn and Representative Solomon Goldstein-Rose.  Senators were meeting in Boston that day but we had the honor of welcoming legislative aides from the offices of Senator Adam Hinds, Senator Carlos Gonzalez and Senator Donald Humason.

A huge thank you to Holyoke Community College and so many of its staff for their extraordinary support around this day. They made it possible!

The shared commitment and energy among the hundreds in the room was palpable (and fear not, we already know how we will create more room to move next year!) .  The determination to connect, to learn, to maximize every opportunity to prevent and end homelessness among the people of Western Massachusetts brought our entire community that much closer to our goal. Buoyed by comradeship and knowledge, we will continue the work!

left to right, Rep. Tosado, Rep. Goldstein-Rose and Rep. Vega