The Western Massachusetts Network to End Homelessness (WMNEH) creates collaborative solutions across Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin and Berkshire Counties to prevent and end homelessness through a Housing First approach that centers racial equity.
The Network accomplishes its mission by:
- Convening providers and community partners across every sub-population – individuals, families, youth and young adults and veterans – to share best practices, innovative solutions and opportunities for new and continuing resources
- Coordinating among state agencies, state legislators, municipal leaders and providers to advance an effective regional response to the homelessness and housing crisis
- Advocating as a region for state and federal budget and policy priorities to further the WMNEH mission
- Supporting trainings on current policies and best practices, coordinated with the support of the Hampden County and Three County Continuums of Care
- Offering an online communication vehicle through the Network Blog of 750 subscribers that includes advocacy opportunities, trainings, funding opportunities and information resources
- Organizing annual regional gatherings of western Massachusetts legislators, mayors, and 150 Network partners to review impact, build broad-based support for the mission and advocate for budget and policy reforms
The Network’s Leadership Council provides the broad cross-section of unified support for the Network’s mission. The Steering Committee constitutes a sub-set of the Leadership Council with decision-making authority for the Network.
The Network convenes on a monthly basis the Western MA Regional Task Force for Housing First, which includes western MA state legislators and staff, municipal leaders and staff and dozens of Network partners to share ongoing assessments of both the ongoing challenges and responses to the homelessness crisis across the four western counties.
The Network also coordinates regular regional meetings of providers and community partners through a committee structure based largely on populations that experience homelessness:
- Youth and Young Adult
- Career Services (spanning all populations)
Meeting agendas are determined by its participants and in conjunction with the region’s two Continuums of Care (CoC), Springfield-Hampden CoC and Three County (Hampshire, Franklin, Berkshire) CoC, the federal HUD-mandated entities through which federal homelessness dollars are allocated. The Network provides an umbrella for coordination and collaboration across our region’s two CoC’s.
The Network also produces a Blog that provides state and federal advocacy updates and alerts to advance the WMNEH mission, along with resource opportunities and general information in support of the work. The blog currently has 750 subscribers.
The Network connects to over 700 people and 200 organizations across Western MA and the Commonwealth, including elected officials, state agency leaders and partners from every sector of our community. The United Way of Pioneer Valley serves as the Network’s fiscal sponsor.
The Network Visualized, an organizational flow chart for WMNEH.
The Network Leadership Council reflects the region’s shared mission to prevent and end homelessness in Western Massachusetts.
Contact: Contact Pamela Schwartz, Director