3 County Individual Services Minutes – 11/18/19

In attendance: Sam Cunningham, ServiceNet, Allison Duddlestonm, Craig’s  Doors,  John Fisher, Way Finders, Michele LaFleur, 3 County CoC, Jay Levy, Eliot CHS Homeless Services, Katie Miernecki, ServiceNet, Brooke Murphy, 3 County CoC, Theresa Nicholson, CHD, Kevin Noonan, Craig’s Doors, Keleigh Pereira, 3 County CoC, Brendan Plante, Eliot Services, Pamela Schwartz, Network, Kate Shapiro, DMH, Hayley Wood, Hadley Council on Aging, Josh Wren, ServiceNet

Legislative Update:Pamela reported on Right to Counsel for Evictions (for low-income tenants and low-income landlords) and Eviction Sealing (HOMES).  Both bills are had a public hearing in front of the Judiciary Committee over the summer.  Now the campaigns are asking local organizations to sign on in support.  Pamela will follow-up with a targeted email with more detailed information.

Training: The Network is sponsoring a training on state budget and policy-making: how it all works.  January 28, 2020, 9:30 am – 12 noon, Kittredge Center, HCC. Please Register here.

Coordinated Entry Update:

  • Weekly meetings continuing:  Northampton – Monday; Greenfield – Tuesday; Pittsfield – Wednesday
  • building data systems to track outcomes 
  • Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) update via CHD: Millers Falls properties are still undergoing renovation (e.g., historic windows required) – hopefully 6 units will be available in the next few weeks (ultimately will be 19 there). Greenfield building 

Update on PSH housing: properties in Millers Falls are historic – windows have to be a certain size, ordered from a particular place.  Still slotted for a few weeks – 6 units; then in a few weeks, another 6 units.  Will be 19 total in Millers Falls.  One building has 4 units; other building has 11 units.  The other building in Greenfield is up and running.

Mainstream Section 811 vouchers update Great news!  All housing authorities’ applications for mainstream section 811 were successful.  The breakdown includes: Amherst (10 vouchers), Northampton (15 vouchers), Greenfield (10 vouchers), Franklin County Regional (10 vouchers). 
The CoC convened a meeting last week with providers to further develop plans for supportive services accompanying these vouchers. The Coordinated Entry by-name lists will be instrumental in the voucher allocation. MJ Adams in Greenfield is working on lining up project-based subsidies (a meeting Monday night) – hopefully a model that can be used in other communities since units are in such short supply. 
The question was raised regarding available resources for payment for first, last, security deposit – RAFT? Catholic Charities?  More to learn on this. CONGRATULATIONS to all for this meaningful addition of housing resources in the region.

Built for Zero Learning Session: Pamela reported on her attendance with Hampden County CoC at her second Built for Zero Learning Session, a national initiative sponsored by the national non-profit Community Solutions that includes 75 communities from across the country working together to end veteran and chronic homelessness and then all forms of homelessness.  It’s an inspiring and informative gathering and Pamela will relay the substantive information to the Three County CoC staff.  She is excited for the Three County CoC to join the national community and will provide connecting information ASAP.

Point in Time Count Planning: Wed., Jan. 29 is the count date.Will send out outreach letter in early January; will send out the count survey within a week of the PIT date.  Eliot Services will provide outreach for street population.  Point in Time Committee welcomes input – contact Michele LaFleur, data manager, at mlafleur@communityaction.us to join. 

Shelter updates: Northampton cot shelter: full, the annex in Easthampton opens tonight; 2 turned away so far
Policy practices: implementing lessons learned from last year’s Network training “how to run an awesome shelter” – shifting from “rules” to “expectations” – overall the shift is going very well (with some guests’ discomfort at the change). Also becoming more trauma-informed with a focus on re-housing. Sam will connect with Craig’s Doors to share experience.
Craig’s Doors: opened 11/1.  Congratulations! They have been at capacity several times already.  Still working on getting into ETO.  Have experienced a few guests in crisis situations, interested in a de-escalation team and learning how to respond to a person who needs to be sectioned. 

Warming Center in Greenfield – it’s open and being utilized (4 people the first night, more as it got colder).
We discussed creating a data template for reporting out on coordinated entry and shelter use each month.  Pamela will follow-up with a targeted inquiry about this in preparation for next month’s meeting.

3 County CoC committee updates:Brooke reported on the CoC committee development.  There are 6 CoC committees, all meet at Community Action in Greenfield, 393 Main Street, Greenfield (calling in is an option).  The committees include:

  • youth action board – youth only; one youth member participating on CoC board
  • performance and outcomes committee – quarterly meeting, next meeting Friday, 2/14, 9-10:30 am
  • equity and inclusion committee – monthly meeting – 3rd Friday, 9-10:30
  • coordinated entry committee -quarterly meeting, first meeting tomorrow, 3-4:30 pm (Tuesday afternoons)
  • data evaluation committee – monthly, first Friday, 9-10:30 am – required reporting processes
  • ranking and evaluation committee – quarterly, starting 1/24, heavy evaluation committee  – evaluates tool and evaluates projects

All CoC committees welcome consumer participation.

Announcements:

  • Community conversation on Ending Elder Homelessness: January 17, 1-4 pm, Northampton Senior Center – thanks to Earl Miller and others for making this happen
  • Fair Housing training and advice is available through John Fisher at Way Finders, contact jfisher@wayfindersma.org

Next meeting date: Monday, 12/9, 1-2:30 pm, ServiceNet, 21 Olander Street, Northampton