In attendance: Grechar Aquino, FOH/CSO, Linda Cruz, River Valley Counseling Center, Dave Havens, FOH/CSO, Janice Humason, FOH/CSO, Mark Jachym, FOH/CSO, Nichole King, FOH/CSO, Jay Levy, Eliot Services, Gerry McCafferty, City of Springfield/Hampden CoC,Denise Rivera-Nunez, FOH/CSO, Christina Ruest, FOH/CSO, Pamela Schwartz, Network, Stephanie Tonelli, FOH/CSO,Catherine Torres, FOH/CSO, Kathy West, Eliot Services

This was a brief 30 minute meeting where we focused on planning for a training between FOH staff and Springfield/Holyoke Mass Hire Career Centers.  The group brainstormed what would be useful and how to guide the Career Centers. The suggestions included:

  • providing career centers a deeper understanding of the barriers facing people experiencing homelessness (e.g., the percentage of people with employment history at entry and exit, under-employed; living on benefit income, education levels). Janice and Christina will work on this.
  • bringing Mass Hire staff to FOH and have them outreach directly.
  • stressing the value of one-on-one case management in view of the depth of barriers and limited experience for many people seeking employment
  • discussing further the possibility of bringing in Mass Rehab and Viability (and others) to build our the relationships

Youth Homelessness Demonstration Project FundingGerry McCafferty announced HUD’s award of $2.4 million to the Hampden CoC and $1.9 million to the Three County CoC (for Franklin County) to address youth homelessness (ages 18-24).  This is an extraordinary accomplishment for our region!  It is part of HUD’s Youth Homelessness Demonstration Project (YHDP) which will fund a combination of permanent supportive housing, transitional housing and rapid rehousing.  Rapid rehousing can include staffing and financial support for at least 2 years and with waivers up to 3.  The planning process is underway now with an initial draft due to HUD by 12/29, then time to finalize with HUD, so program funding expected to start by next summer.  It will total roughly $1.2 million yearly over the next 2 years  – and then the fundings gets  incorporated into the annual renewal fund process within the CoC. 

Training updates:

Next meeting date: 10/8, 1-2 pm, Friends of the Homeless.