Category Archives: Steering Committee

Steering Committee Meeting Minutes – 9/2/10

In attendance: Father Stan Aksamit, Jane Banks, Joanne Glier, Erica Johnson, Peg Keller, Mike Longley, Andrea Miller, Pamela Schwartz, Suzanne Smith, Lynne Wallace

Leadership Council membership:

  • Agreed to invite Bill Miller, executive director, Friends of the Homeless
  • Agreed to invite Gina Selin, a consumer referred from the Recovery Learning Community – we will address lack of computer through communication via Learning Community and will accommodate transportation needs.  All agreed her presence on the LC would be a meaningful contribution.
  • Restated earlier agreement (made via email) to invite to join the Steering Committee, Sylvia deHaas-Phillips,  vice president, United Way of Pioneer Valley

End of Pilot Project accounting:

Erica Johnson presented a budget update and explained the communication and processing with ICHH regarding reconciliation of bills between Fiscal Years 2010 and 2011 and our remaining funds as of 10/1 when the pilot period ends (with the presumed exception of our narrow contract extension).   Committee members had a lengthy discussion to gain further understanding, and the good news from Erica is that all questions are nearly resolved.  Lynne Wallace will follow-up with Erica to review and discuss in more detail and will report back to the steering committee.

Fundraising: We agreed to continue via email the discussion of Network fundraising efforts, following-up on our to-do lists from earlier meetings.

Our next meeting will focus on both fundraising and workplan development for the new fiscal year.

Next meeting:  Thursday, October 7, 3-5 pm, DMH Haskell Building, Northampton.

Steering Committee Minutes – July 1, 2010

Steering Committee Meeting Minutes – July 1, 2010

In Attendance:  Jane Banks, CHD (community engagement comm), Joanne Glier, Franklin County Regional Housing and Redevelopment Authority (family services comm.); Erica Johnson, PVPC (fiscal sponsor), Peg Keller, city of Northampton (tri-county CoC), Jay Levy, Elliot – CHS Homeless Services (indiv services comm.), Gerry McCafferty, city of Springfield (Springfield CoC), Andrea Miller, CHD (data committee), Pamela Schwartz, Network, Suzanne Smith, Data analyst, Lynne Wallace, Dietz&co. Architects (co-chair)

Budget review:

  • Erica walked us through necessary budget amendments:
    • Data analyst unspent funds (due to late hire):  unanimous agreement to spend on finishing out research assistant contracts through 9/30/10  and the purchase of software or hardware that will support Network’s data collection and analysis for the long-term.   The committee empowered the Data Committee to determine precise purchases in the remaining months (as HMIS merger discussions progress).
    • Allocation of Brien Center funds:  unanimous agreement to empower Individual Services Committee to determine precise allocation of funds ($14,300, due to late hire) with the understanding that the funds will be treated as “flexible funds” in support of obtaining apartments for chronically homeless, particularly where construction and other delays have posed barriers in appropriate housing.  Special attention will be paid to Berkshire County’s needs first since Brien Center funds were slated to serve this area.
  • Other budget items:
    • Consumer stipend:  The Committee unanimously approved a consumer stipend of $40, per Network meeting and also agreed to “back pay” LC member Charlie Knight for meetings attended this year.  Jay raised the question of our target # of consumers for the LC (right now, we have 2 with the recent addition of Carmelina Romano, representing “family consumers” as the head of a formerly homeless family).  We agreed that we would seek a minimum of 4 consumer members, but that outreach should be ongoing and if the number becomes larger, we would expand to a consumer advisory group.
    • Network DVD purchases:  The Committee authorized the Network purchase of DVDs that include the video released at our 4/26 event and excepts from the conference itself, an edited compilation (through Paul Robbins Associates) that is suitable for local cable tv broadcast (and other venues).  Pamela will confirm the # of cable tv stations in our region and place an order at $10/DVD for appropriate number.  These will be distributed at our 7/22 Leadership Council meeting.

Budget proposal for 10/1/10 – 9/30/11 – Committee reviewed draft and agreed to include the data analyst line-item with the notation of the funding stream as HMIS/HUD funds.  This inclusion accomplishes two things:  (1) demonstrates the Network’s commitment to data analysis as a crucial component of our work and (2) demonstrates to prospective funders other funding sources and the viability of our enterprise.  Lynne will redraft budget accordingly and distribute to Committee for final review prior to 7/22 LC meeting.

Fiscal Agency:  The Committee reviewed proposals from the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission and United Way of Pioneer Valley.  Lynne will follow-up with both with questions/thoughts and will report back to Committee.  We will be prepared for a proposal for fiscal agency by 7/22 Leadership Council.

Fundraising:  Reviewed “ask” list and assignments; will add GCC foundation; will check in with Evan Dobelle re: contacts; will confirm with all that Steering Comm should be clearinghouse for all pursuits so we are well coordinated

Leadership Council recruitment: The Steering Committee unanimously agreed to propose a revision to the by-laws to expand the maximum number of members to 60.  This is in order to account for the increase in the number of provider representatives and the commitment to ensure balance between providers and broader community representation.  Our most recent recruitment effort has focused on the larger community and we need to ensure that we allow maximum flexibility so that people who would serve the Network’s interests and are willing to do so, are able to join!

On  DMH rep to Leadership Council:   agreed to reach out to new area director and if not him, then Susan Sprung, w. mass. director of community services for DMH – goal to expand contacts with DMH and DMH connections to Network (acknowledging current vital role of Dave Modzelewski)

Pamela’s job title: Committee agreed, upon Pamela’s request, to change title of “Director of Regional Coordination” to “Director” to allow for ease and clarity in communications, particularly with media

7/22  Leadership Council agenda planning:

The Committee agreed to the following items:

  • Presentation by Andrew Baker, the new western Mass coordinator of the Campaign to Protect Affordable Housing (the campaign to defeat the repeal of Chapter 40B), on the campaign and ways the Network can get involved (presuming a discussion of what is appropriate and how best to accomplish our goals)
  • Discussion of the ICHH Network evaluation –will resend/bring summary of findings to LC and ask for input and discussion
  • Budget presentations – closing out of grant period; approval of budget for next year
  • Fundraising for next year – will review “ask” list as a group ; brainstorm for others.
  • Fiscal agency:  discussion of recommendation and decision around post-grant fiscal agent
  • By-laws revision:  propose increase in LC number to maximum of 60
  • Quarterly meetings:  Agreed on 4th week in Oct., Jan., April, July, alternate between Wed and Thursdays, alternate location – encourage carpooling

Steering Committee Meeting Minutes: 6/3/10

Steering Committee Meeting Minutes – June 3, 2010

Attendance:  Father Stan Aksamit, Our Lady’s Parish, Dave Christopolis, Berkshire Community Action Council, Joanne Glier, Franklin County Regional Housing and Redevelopment Authority, Erica Johnson, Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, Peg Keller, City of Northampton, Jay Levy, Elliott- CHS Homeless Services, Gerry McCafferty, City of Springfield, Andrea Miller, Center for Human Development,  Pamela Schwartz, Network, Suzanne Smith, Network, Lynne Wallace, Dietz & Co. Architects

Fiscal Agent update:

On 5/14, a small group of LC members met with director and other staff at Pioneer Valley Planning Commission to discuss whether and how their role would continue as a fiscal agent following the end of the ICHH grant on 9/30/10.  PVPC made clear that they are interested in continuing as the role of fiscal agent but also expressed their understanding of the Network’s obligation to serve its best interest and explore the terms set forth by other  options as well.

Scope of Services:

Committee reviewed draft scope of services  and offered minor edits.  Click here for the final version.  Lynne will distribute this to prospective fiscal agents by June 14, asking for their responses by June 28, so we can have responses in hand in time for our next Steering Committee meeting on July 1.


The Committee reviewed the Network’s draft budget for the next year and agreed that we need to have two budgets in terms of expenses: (1) the bare minimum; (2) wish list, e.g., office, data system support, etc.  Lynne will revise to make the “bare minimum” budget.

Leadership Council recruitment

The Committee reviewed and discussed the recommendations of the Community Engagement Committee for new recruits to the Leadership Council.  We brainstormed some additions and agreed on an initial list.  Community Engagement members will extend invitations and report back at the next Steering Committee.  The aim is to welcome new members by our next quarterly Leadership Council meeting on July 22, 2010.

Data Review

Families living in motels Western Mass. down to 213 as of June 2.  We agreed we would do a media release on this (note: since this meeting, we decided to delay the media push until the end of July, after new flex funds are distributed and the motel numbers will presumably be even lower)

Draft “Report Card “ review:  Suzanne and Andrea distributed a draft of a “report card” that the Network would issue annually, with quarterly mini-updates, to summarize and present progress and challenges on addressing homelessness.  Committee members engaged in a hearty debate about the audiences, purposes, and presentation of the data.  We agreed we have to sort out the distinction between data analyst needs and Leadership Council/media/community needs.  Conversation to be continued (note: a follow-up, smaller meeting has already been scheduled).

Next Steering Committee meeting:  Thursday, 7/1, 3-5 pm, DMH Haskell Building, Northampton

Steering Committee Meeting Minutes – 4/1/10

Steering Committee Meeting Minutes, 4/1/10

Attendance:  Jay Levy, co-chair, individual services committee;  Lynne Wallace, LC chair;  Erica Johnson, PVPC,  Peg Keller, Tri-County COC,  Joanne Glier, chair, family services committee,  Andrea Miller, co-chair, data committee, Jane Banks, chair, community engagement committee, Peter Gagliardi, HAP, Gerry McCafferty, Springfield COC,  Suzanne Smith, network data analyst, Pamela Schwartz, network coordinator

ESG process for provider support letters: criteria for support:  participating in collaborative discussions  with Network re: regional approach/strategy; embracing Housing First mission; if providing emergency shelter, doing so in context of Housing First, integrating with triage model.  Regional ESG coordination meeting taking place on Tues., 4/13, 2-3 pm at the Holyoke DTA Office.

Network budget update: Need to do amendment to DHCD re: our matching funds and where they need to go; will assume once we obtain more information from Gerry and others.  Erica reported that she calculated based on provider feedback and billing thus far and moved $187,000 into FY 11.

Leadership Council Meeting for 4/15/10, 10-12 noon, DMH Haskell Building, Northampton

Agenda:  budget update, committee reports, review ICHH quarterly report.  Will follow-up with Lynne and Father Stan with additional details.

Data report:  hiring part-time staff to build database, data entry and create systems for data analysis

Reviewed family data:  lacking exit data b/c difficult to track families in motels since they are not entered into a data system – many just leave motels.  Overall trend of families being placed in motels is moving DOWNWARD.

Reviewed individual data:  20 individuals housed thus far; on track to house promised 38 by end of grant.

Collaborations: updated on domestic violence /housing initiative – partnering with DTA/DCF and YWCA to further a pilot project in the Springfield area, bringing together housing and domestic shelter providers to more quickly transition homeless domestic violence victims into permanent housing.

Network Sustainability: Peter Gagliardi of HAP attended and shared their organization’s commitment to ensuring the continuation of the Network past September 30, 2010.  HAP is willing to step forward as fiscal agent, assuming other Network partners are willing to contribute their support.  The committee unanimously endorsed HAP’s proposal to become the network’s fiscal agent, and thanked Peter for HAP’s generous offer.We agreed this would be a central agenda item for discussion at our upcoming Leadership Council meeting on April 15, 2010.