Family Services Committee Meeting Minutes – 12/10/19

In attendance: Bonnie Caldwell, DHCD, Tamicha Colon, Womanshelter, Hilary Cronin, HUD-VASH, Fran LeMay, ServiceNet, Luz Marcano, VA HUD-VASH, Heather Marshall, Elizabeth Freeman Center, Andrea Marion, Valley Opportunity Council, Lesley McCoy, ROCA, Michelle Michaelian, Behavior Health Network, Donna Nadeau, DHCD, Rylee O’Brien, Baystate Pediatrics, Maegan Pedemonti, Way Finders, Dorothy Prieto, Community Action, Martha Sager-Cutt, ROCA, Pamela Schwartz, Network, Janna Tetreault, Community Action, Janette Vigo, Way Finders, Lauren Voyer, Way Finders

Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program (YHDP) updates: Both Hampden and Franklin Counties are continuing to meet and plan for the draft plan submission to HUD approaches on 12/29. 

Hampden County  is convening an education/employment workshop this Friday12/13, 9:30-12:30, Innovation Center, 276 Bridge Street, Springfield.  Any questions or thoughts, please contact: Gerry McCafferty, gmccaffety@springfieldcityhall.com
Franklin County is convening its goal setting meeting on Monday, December 16, 1-4:30 pm, Wellness Center, 102 Main Street, Greenfield.  Any questions or thoughts, please contact:  Lisa Goldsmith, lgoldsmith@communityaciton.us

413 cares and Look4Help:  Both 413 cares and Look4Help are online resource directory databases.  413 cares is sponsored by Baystate Health and is getting ready to launch at the start of 2020. Most important is for organizations to get onto the site and “claim” their site so they can have the best information available.  It will provide info for all 4 counties but is based in Hampden County. Look4Help is a currently available online resource database run out of Community Action that serves Franklin and Hampshire Counties and the North Quabbin regions. Also critically important to keep up to date.  Please check it out!

Census Outreach: Pamela shared the opportunity to apply for a grant for Census 2020 outreach work to focus on at-risk populations.  DUE ON 12/20. For more information, go here: http://www.sec.state.ma.us/census2020/grant-program.html

Training Update: The Network is sponsoring a budget and legislative advocacy training on January 28, 9:30 am – 12:00 noon, Kittredge Center, HCC.  This is a great opportunity to get connected on this critical component of the work to prevent and end homelessness.  Register here.

Updates:

HEAD START OPENINGS FOR LOW-INCOME FAMILIES in Hampshire, Franklin and parts of Hampden County: Contact Dorothy Prieto at dprieto@communityaction.us to learn more!

DHCD news: an additional homeless coordinator is being hired in Springfield (and 2 more in Boston and Northeast); 3 new unit inspectors are being hired statewide; proposal is out for $4 million to support the creation of more ADA compliant units; Alvina Brevard is now the acting associate director; Virginia Griffin is the new director of contract compliance unit 


Way Finders: new RAFT info and flyers – English version and Spanish version. Please distribute! 

New VA HUD-VASH intake contact person: Luz Marcano is now doing intakes for Hampden and Hampshire Counties.  Contact info: 413-584-4040 ext 6114 luz.marcano@va.gov.

Behavioral Health Network: BHN has applied for funding to open a micro-family resource center in Ware.  Standing by to hear outcome by end of the month. 

Hampden County Family Coordinated Entry Training (Gerry relayed by email the following announcement): on Dec 17, 9:30 to 11 am at the Innovation Center, 276 Bridge St., Springfield. The training will teach family shelter case managers how to do the VISPDAT, to get families on the by-name list, and understanding the definition of chronic homelessness. The training is being done in advance of the release of new Mainstream vouchers in order to help family providers get their chronically homeless families ready for applying for the vouchers.

Way Finders workforce program updates:Maegan Pedemonti has been promoted to the position of director of employment and stabilization programs (congrats, Maegan!).  She also offered the following updates on their workforce development and food insecurity programs:
Secure Jobs:
 For EA families. Referrals come from HB, Shelter, or RAFT case workers.

SNAP Path to Work: SNAP only recipients. Referrals can be self-made, from DTA, or by word of mouth.

Competitive Integrated Employment Service (CIES): For TAFDC recipients. Referrals come from DTA case workers.

There is a small pool of flex funding for CIES and SJ clients to help overcome financial barriers to gaining employment.

We have bilingual case managers so Spanish is not a barrier and we also accept those without a HS diploma/GED/Hiset. Upon meeting with the client, we would establish some goals with them based on their needs and strengths to get them back on the road towards employment stability.

SNAP Outreach: We can assist anyone with applying for food stamps. We can also assist with supplying documents needed to prove income, identity, etc…

All of these are scheduled through Madeline Martinez (413)233-1737 mmartinez@wayfindersma.org. Click here for referral form.

Next meeting date:  Tuesday, Jan. 7, 9:30-11 am, Frost Building, 309, HCC