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
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!
From Friends of the Homeless/CSO:
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
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
DHCD has clarified its policy so any remaining RAFT dollars for FY18 can be spent on EITHER families and individuals (previously only funding for individuals had remained).
In order for these funds to be utilized before June 30, applications must be submitted ASAP.
For Hampden County residents, they should go to the Way Finders office in Springfield at 322 Main Street, anytime between 8:30 am and 2:30 pm.
For Hampshire County residents, they should go to Hampshire County Housing Court, 116 Russell Street, Hadley on Monday, June 4, from 9 am until close of business where Way Finders staff will be present to assist with applications.
Please click here
for the English flyer and here
for the Spanish flyer, both of which outline the documents needed so applicants can be prepared and get their application processed as quickly as possible.
The Boston Public Health Commission and Boston Health Care for the Homeless produced Guidelines for Opioid Overdose Preparedness and Response in Congregate Housing & Shelters.
Version 1, Intended Audience: Housing & Shelter Management (PDF, PPT)
Version 2, Intended Audience: Front-Line Staff (PDF, PPT)
Two pieces of good news on newly available resources (also click here for easy print and reference):
- RAFT homelessness prevention funds are now available for single individuals at risk of homelessness, including unaccompanied homeless youth, people with disabilities and the elderly. To apply for resources, contact:
Hampden/Hampshire County: Way Finders, 413-233-1600
Franklin County: Franklin Regional Housing and Redevelopment Authority, contact Amanda Watson at 413-863-9781 x 150
Berkshire County: Berkshire Housing Development Corporation, 413-499-1630
- Network re-housing and prevention fundsare now available through its FY18 $125,000 earmark that finally came through (huge thanks to our Western MA legislators for making it happen)! We are able to use virtually all of the funds for direct financial assistance. Please read below for a list of the resources and the way to access them.
Catholic Charities: Contact Laura Robertson, firstname.lastname@example.org 413-452-0605
- Rapid rehousing/prevention for 5-10 homeless/imminent risk households not eligible for EA or RAFT (may be families or individuals).
- Security deposits to 8-15 participants in the Springfield Housing Authority Chronic program, enabling them to move from current apartments and free those units up for current chronically homeless persons
Gandara Center: Contact the SHINE program at 413-654-1554
- Rental subsidies for 7 transition-age youth, ages 18-24, phased in between March – June, 2018
Three County – Hampshire, Franklin Berkshire Counties
Community Action: Call the Community Resources and Advocacy Program at one of four locations:
- Prevention funds that can be used for rent arrears, utility shut-off prevention or for move-in if the household must move and has located a new apartment. Households must be sustainable. Individuals and families at risk of homelessness are eligible if they earn up to 200% of the Federal Poverty Guideline (HH1: $24,280, HH2: $32,920, HH3 $41,560, HH4: 50,200
DIAL/SELF: Contact Kelsey Wessels at email@example.com
- Flexible funds to preserve at-risk tenancies or cover move-in expenses for 7-10 youth/young adults 24 years of age and under.
Berkshire County Regional Housing Authority: Contact the Intake, Assessment and Screening Center 413-499-1630
- Flexible financial assistance for families and individuals who are at-risk of homelessness. Eligible uses may include: first/last month’s rent, security deposit, rent arrears, utility start-up costs, or other uses that will result in greater housing stability.
Soldier On has opened new permanent housing for veterans in Chicopee and Agawam!