Career Services Committee Meeting Minutes – 12/9/19

In attendance: Luis Arzola, CHD, Shawntsi Baret, Springfield Works, Bud Delphin, MassHire Holyoke, Kermit Dunkelberg, HCC,  Lisa Goldsmith, Community Action, Lisa Lapierre, Community Action, Anne Kandilis, Springfield Works, Eneida Molina, Springfield Works, Tiffany Munford, Hampden County Workforce Development Board, Keleigh Pereira, 3 County CoC, Maegan Pedemonti, Way Finders Secure Jobs, Keith Peters, Cynthia Ray, MassHire Hampshire Franklin Center, Konrad Rogowski, MassHire Springfield, Pamela Schwartz, Network

Announcement: Hampden County Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program (YHDP) is hosting a planning workshop on education/employment for youth this Friday, December 13,  9:30 am – 12:30 pm, Innovation Center, 276 Bridge St., Springfield. 

Employment readiness assessment tool: Anne Kandilis of Springfield Works distributed a draft employment assessment tool for feedback.  The goal is to build a more effective system for recruiting and outreach for training opportunities, which requires better assessment of work readiness so that appropriate and timely referrals are being made  (right now training slots are going unfilled). Feedback included merging the assessment into one questionnaire (the draft included a “tier 1 and tier 2” for readiness).  Click here for the new draft questionnaire (completed since the meeting – thanks for the speedy work, Anne!) and your feedback to Anne is welcome at a.kandilis@springfieldworks.net.

The goal is for this tool to be incorporated in case managers’ work with the people they serve.  Data at this point will be collected across Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin counties.  Special focus will be given to Springfield since it is considered the “pilot location” for Springfield Works (a process is underway to transition from Springfield Works to 413 Works to reflect the work across the region). 

It was noted that one barrier for consumers participating in trainings occurs when trainings are held at public vocational schools which require a CORI to enter the building.  There was some lack of clarity around whether this policy was driven by state law or local policy and we agreed we would learn more about this and report back for further discussion. 

Legislative Update: We had the pleasure of Rep. Aaron Vega’s attendance.  He shared an update, including discussion of the omnibus housing bill that is being negotiated between the Governor’s office and legislative leaders.  A big point of contention is around zoning law changes (to more easily allow for more multi-family and affordable housing). From a Western MA perspective, Rep. Vega noted that a concern is to push incentives for mixed housing, to make a combination of market rate and affordable housing more possible and to streamline the tax incentive process.   We discussed the transportation bill that is under debate right now and the concerns with focusing exclusively on the gas tax as the revenue raiser because of its disproportionate impact on Western MA low-and middle-income drivers.  Rep. Vega is also interested in looking at closing the loophole on the minimum corporate tax rate as a revenue source, along with other options. 

Spring Career Services Resource Fair: The group agreed it wanted to hold a career services resource fair again this Spring.  We agreed we would hold it this time in Northampton (last year it was in Holyoke) to alternate accessibility to the more western counties.  We agreed it would be sometime in March.  Pamela will follow-up with a Doodle poll to determine the date. 

413Cares: Pamela distributed information on this online resource directory.  Please check it out and “claim” your site as an organization so you can have accurate referral information.  

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

Training UpdateThe 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.

Next meeting date: Friday, Jan. 24, 11:30 am – 1:00 pm, Frost Building 309, HCC

Veterans Committee Meeting Minutes – 12/5/19

Veterans Committee Meeting Minutes – 12/5/19
In attendance: Daniel Bahls, Community Legal Aid, Craig Deraway, Soldier On,  Mike Hagmaier, Soldier On, Michele LaFleur, Community Action, Jesus Pereira, Holyoke Veterans, Allie Pierce-Wilson, VA HUD-VASH, Pamela Schwartz, Network, Kate Sweetster-Owens, VA-GPD, Christy Torres, VOC, Sue White, VA HUD-VASH 


New veterans legal assistance resource:  Daniel Bahls of CLA announced CLA’s new 3 year grant from United Way Hampshire County that will serve low-income veterans in Hampshire County facing legal issues rising from medical issues (very broadly defined, i.e., if a Hampshire County low-income veteran is in need of legal help, call Daniel to explore further!). For more information, contact Daniel at: Call me 413-686-9023 or email dbahls@cla-ma.org

NEW community-based housing case management resourceMike Hagmaier reported that Soldier On has received VA funding for two new housing case managers that can provide case management services for up to 6 months for any veteran at risk of homelessness.  The only veterans who would not be eligible are those receiving HUD/VASH or SSVF (the main goal of the funding is to help veterans who are over-income for HUD/VASH and SSVF to exit GPD into permanent housing or stay housed to prevent entry into GPD).  All referrals will come through the SSVF hotline at 1-866-406-8449. 

New Soldier On women’s permanent housing in Pittsfield opening in January: Very exciting! 14 units, 10 applicants are out of the women’s transitional housing program (10 project based vouchers from NHA).  4 units are currently available. 

3 County CoC veterans by-name list and coordinated entry discussion: Michele LaFleur, the 3 County CoC data analyst, welcomed input on the revitalization of 3 county’s veterans by-name list.  Other 3 county providers updated with prior history, including the use of an excel-based by-name list through Hilltown CDC.  Michele will follow-up with Kate to track it down.  She is also talking more to other veteran providers to coordinate assessments.  Consensus existed to start up veteran by-name list meetings again.  Michele will follow-up with relevant providers.

Hampden County CoC update (via email from Gerry McCafferty): We have housed all of our veterans who had the Continuum vouchers. With this, we have housed all—or almost all—of our long-stayer veteran population. We are making great progress toward functional zero, but had an influx of new faces in November.  When this happens, the question is always whether they are here to stay or will quickly self-resolve or move on from the area. With long-stayers housed, our challenge is now moving to making sure we have really got our system down for new folks we identify.

Note on 3 county continuum vouchers: All have been issued but all are having a very hard time locating housing and engaging veterans in housing search.  Steve is following up with them individually to try to engage further and take stock before allotted time expires.

Section 811 vouchers: 73 Section 811 vouchers (for non-elderly disabled individuals) have been allocated to housing authorities across the region (Springfield, Chicopee, Amherst, Northampton, Greenfield, Franklin Regional) – this is fantastic progress on new vouchers!

Suggested training: Daniel Bahls offers trainings on CORI sealing – partners agreed it would be useful to offer this to the Network.  Pamela will follow-up. 
Updates:

  • Allie Wilson-Pearce is no longer coordinating intakes for HUD-VASH (is doing HUD-VASH case management exclusively).  Luz Marcano has taken over the intake role.
  • VOC update: 2 veteran units available, 1 at Chapin Mansion, and 1 at Maguder House

Next meeting date: Thursday, Feb. 6, 9:30 am – 11:00 am

Network Budget and Legislative Advocacy Training – Jan. 28

Please join us at this exciting training opportunity to get organized across the four Western counties as we work to make state policy that will prevent and end homelessness:

State budget and policy-making: 
How it happens and why it matters to ending homelessness
Tuesday, January 28 (SNOW DATE: Feb. 3)
9:30 am – 12 noon
Kittredge Center, Room 301/303Holyoke Community College
Trainers: Annette Duke and Margaret Monsell, attorneys with Mass. Law Reform Institute

Register here.

At this training you will learn:

  • How the annual state budget process works
  • How the two-year legislative process works
  • How your agency (and individual) voice makes a difference and what it means to be heard
  • How our work together can pass laws and fund programs to prevent and end homelessness, with special attention paid to current legislative campaigns for Right to Counsel for tenants facing eviction and Eviction Sealing

Our trainers, Annette Duke and Margaret Monsell, staff attorneys at Mass Law Reform Institute, have extensive experience in leading budget and policy campaigns to pass laws that better the lives of low-income people in general and help prevent and end homelessness in particular. 

ALL are welcome, including front-line staff, managers and executive directors of your agencies, as well as consumers.  The broader cross-section we have in the room, the more we reflect the coalition necessary to make the change we seek.

Please join us!  Register here.

Act fast: Census Grants Available – Deadline 12/20

State funding of $2.5 million in grants of up to $250,000 is now available to support census outreach to at-risk communities. Go to http://www.sec.state.ma.us/census2020/grant-program.html for the application. More information is below. This is an important opportunity for our Network – let’s use it to get as complete and accurate a count as our region deserves!

MA 2020 Census Grant Information for Applicants

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has created a statewide competitive grant program for the purpose of ensuring a complete and accurate count in the 2020 census known as the Complete Count Grant Program (CCGP). The Commonwealth encourages grant applications for participation in CCGP and the 2020 Census. The U.S. Census is conducted every 10 years and is a critical function of the Constitution.

Complete Count Grant Program Purpose

The CCGP is a competitive, statewide program which awards grant funding to eligible entities for the purpose of ensuring a complete and accurate count in the 2020 Census by supporting outreach efforts in communities that are at significant risk of being undercounted. These at risk communities are considered Hard to Count (HTC) populations which pertain to but not restricted to the groups listed below:

  •  Recent immigrants (including undocumented residents)
  •  Populations speaking limited to no English
  •  Residents in “group quarters”
  •  Children under the age of 5
  •  Renters and those who move frequently
  •  People with low incomes
  •  Formerly incarcerated persons
  •  Persons with disabilities

Entities Eligible to Apply

(I) Non-profit Organizations

Organizations that demonstrate direct access to HTC populations through media, mailings, canvassing, phone banking, or public forums.

  •  Non-profit organizations recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.
  •  Non-profit grant recipients are not required to be based within the Commonwealth, but all grant funds must be utilized in operations within the Commonwealth.

(II) Publicly funded Organizations

Organizations that provide direct service to hard-to-count populations, including but not limited to, public libraries, workforce centers, community-based health centers, and homeless shelters.

Funds Available

$2.5 million in total available funds. The total grant amount to a single recipient shall not exceed 10 per cent of the total available ($250,000.00).

Deadline to Apply

Applications are due to the Secretary’s Office on Friday December 20 , 2019 by 5pm. A postmark is sufficient.

Criteria

Eligible entities may receive funding through this grant program for planned work in the following areas:

  •  Conducting planned outreach to HTC populations through media, mailings, canvassing, phone banking, or public forums.
  •  Providing census information and articulating what key service centers and access points in the community should be targeted to provide such information.
  •  Tailoring outreach and support to homeless populations, immigrant communities including households with limited English, individuals with disabilities, individuals with difficulty accessing the internet or otherwise completing the form, or any other HTC populations specified or otherwise.
  •  Showing a trusted and established track record of relationships with the above mentioned communities and populations.

Grant funds will be awarded, to the extent practicable, to ensure the following:

  •  Proportionate funding based on the distribution of HTC communities throughout the Commonwealth.
  •  Targeted investments in areas with no federal area census office.
  •  Highest priority will be given to applications that demonstrate a track record of success in serving individuals in historically HTC communities.
  •  Identify solutions that directly address barriers to a complete count in 2020 including but not limited to: usability of the digital platform, impacts of a federal citizenship question, and reduced federal resources.

Applications will be evaluated based on their fulfillment of the criteria provided in the CCGP’s authorizing legislation. Applications will be considered holistically. CCGP’s program funds will not be awarded based specifically on individual line items.

Commitment

The following factors will also be considered when selecting grant recipients:

  •  Originality of proposal within targeted HTC populations and communities.
  •  Appropriateness of proposed grant activities, feasibility of executing proposed grant activities, and the potential to successfully increase Census response in HTC areas.
  •  Participation in evaluation interviews concerning strategies, execution or strategies, and accomplishments.
  •  All grant funds being expended by June 30, 2020.
  •  Applicants must provide to the Secretary a final report within 30 days of completion of all grant funds, no later than July 31, 2020. A template will be provided for reporting purposes.

Community Conversation: Ending Older Adult Homelessness in Hampshire County – 1/17/20

Western MA Area of the Department of Mental Health in collaboration with local partners is pleased to offer the following Community Conversation:

Ending Older Adult Homelessness in Hampshire County
Friday, January 17
1 pm – 4 pm
Northampton Senior Center
67 Conz Street, Northampton

The afternoon will include an expert panel, networking, questions and answers and sharing of resources.

If you would like to provide information at a table or have questions or need accommodations, please contact Earl Miller at Earl.C.Miller@MassMail.State.MA.US or 413-5887-6478.

Hope to see you there!

Youth and Young Adult Services Committee Minutes – 11/20/19

In attendance: Emily English, Gandara Center, Jill Fijal, Chicopee Public Schools, Leslie Fisher-Katz, Children Study Home, Lisa Goldsmith, Community Action, Ann Lentini, Domus, Amanda Lesnick, Gandara, Gerry McCafferty, City of Springfield/CoC, Peter Miller, City of Westfield, Nural Mohammed, CHD, Jordana O’Connell, CHD, Lizzy Ortiz, Mercy Medical Center, Stacy Parsons, North Adams Public Schools/DESE, Michael Perez, Impact Center, Mena Regan, CHD, Jean Rogers, CHD, Pamela Schwartz, Network, Tyrese Tillman, CHD, Catherine Torres, CSO/FOH

Committee Name Change! We decided that we would change our committee name to be consistent with how young people prefer to be named, i.e., “Youth and Young Adult” so our committee is now the Youth and Young Adult (YYA) Services Committee.

Training update: 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.

Racial equity work:  The Network Steering Committee is allocating its training funds to racial equity work – $37,000 total, divided between the Hampden CoC ($20K) and the Three County CoC ($17K).  It will be utilized to augment the youth work that is happening through YHDP so will focus on the youth population. The MA Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) is also allocating some funds for studying racial disparity in 3 or 4 communities across the state (likely including Springfield as one).  Hampden County will be enlisting Marc Dones of National Innovation Service and Jeff Olivet, a consultant, on this work and will also be adding some of its own funds to the work.  Three County is still in the process of determining the best use of its Network funds.  The hope is that NIS will start work on the EOHHS study ASAP which could inform the work in our region.   This work will not be completed before the HUD YHDP plan is due but it will be noted that it is underway and will be useful as the work moves forward.

Discussion re: family engagement: how do we work with families to prevent homelessness and promote reunification (per YHDP planning)

The group had a general brainstorm on the challenges facing families with adolescent youth and young adults.  A bulleted summary of the observations and ideas raised is below:

  • there are instances in working with adjudicated youth where the relationship is not repairable, and it is simply not possible to reunite with families – families may not be willing to communicate anymore; DV can also be a factor – when a client hurts a parent – parents are too afraid
  • parental mental health issues are also a challenge – their issues may require the youth to take action and then the youth becomes labeled the “delinquent” 
  • substance abuse and mental health are core issues 
  • single parents who can’t afford the rents cause family rupture
  • traumatized parents are required to parent teens which is inherently difficult even without trauma;  managing youth traumatized behavior is too much, so the teen ends up in a system 
  • a best case scenario may well be for the teen to maintain connection without returning to the home
  • young adults have limited skills and education so can’t get well-paying jobs and can’t afford rent
  • lack of mentorship and guidance
  • lack of transportation is huge – can’t get to jobs – youth are forced to quit because they can’t get there
  • clients try to go for jobs that pay the most (manufacturing jobs) – outside of Springfield area – living in Spfld, trying to get to Agawam and Westfield and they can’t maintain the transportation – there are efforts to keep them local even though less pay so they can build and save and then move on
  • family support programming – reunification plans focus on kids ages 8 and under – indicates the lack of info and support on parenting adolescents 
  • we need resources to identify people most at risk and keep returning to them to check in – do we have enough info on a family to determine that they are high risk
  • “We know these families” -we throw resources at them – put families into a place where we “tsunami” them and then it’s overwhelming to them and then they can’t respond to it all and then we accuse them of failing to respond
  • should we consider using family PSH model as a model for this work – let’s find out how that system is working – explore how many were teens or became teens since funding occurred – 
  • early warning system is lack of attendance in school – how do we approach the problem – “your kid isn’t showing up” or “how are you?” 
  • Gandara: 25 PSH in recovery program – case managers touching them weekly 
  • we need targeted case management for young adults
  • Trauma informed care would be useful! Ruby Payne – Bridges Out of Poverty – important leader on this work.  Limitations on making change with big state systems.
  • Learn more about STRIVE model (out of CA, being utilized in CT)

Next meeting agenda: bring in PSH family programs – CHD, VOC and Gandara. Outreach to appropriate staff will take place (Jordana, CHD; Gerry, VOC and Gandara).  
Next meeting date: 12/18, 9:30-11 am, Frost Building, 309, HCC

Family Services Committee Minutes – 11/15/19

In attendance: Christine Cullen, Holyoke Chicopee Family Community Program, Waleska Estrada, NEFWC, Lisa Goldsmith, Community Action, Danielle Harther, CHD, Fran Lemay, ServiceNet, Jane Lindfors, DTA/DV unit, Nicole Lussier, Open Pantry Teen Parent Program, Andrea Marion, VOC, Yeisie Mateo, DCF, Gerry McCafferty, City of Springfield/Hampden CoC, Lesley McCoy, ROCA, Matt Montanaro, ServiceNet, Donna Nadeau, DHCD, Lizzy Ortiz, Mercy Medical Center, Dorothy Prieto, Community Action Head Start and Early Learning, Ana Rodriguez, Care Center, Pamela Schwartz, Network, Janna Tetreault, Community Action, Amanda Watson, FCRHRA, Melissa White, VOC, Twjana Williams, DHCD

Training updates: The Network is sponsoring a training on “State Budget and Policy-Making: How it all happens and relates to ending homelessness” on Tuesday, January 28, 9:30 am – 12 noon at HCC, Kittredge Center.  Register here.

Over the last month, the Network sponsored two trainings: (1) Overcoming Tenant Screening Barriers, thanks to Community Legal Aid Attorney Jane Edmonstone for leading; and (2) EA/HomeBASE Program Overivew, thanks to DHCD staff Bonnie Caldwell, Twjana Williams, Penny Triglio and Amy Mullen for leading.  Both trainings were attending by over 70 people from across the four counties and received excellent evaluations.  We will continue to repeat these trainings every year.

Legislative update: Pamela shared information on the two bills: Right to Counsel in Evictions and Eviction Sealing (HOMES) and requested each organization consider signing on as supporters.  To sign on to Right to Counsel go here.  To sign on to Eviction Sealing go here.  These bills are gaining momentum (and have the support of many in our Western MA legislative delegation) and if passed would make a significant impact in preventing and ending homelessness.  Please add your organizational voice to the call for passage. 

Discussion: learning more about the young parent population in the family system and the unique challenges they face 
We devoted the remainder of the meeting to the issue of young parents in the family homelessness system as part of the planning taking place for the Youth Homelessness Demonstration Programs (YHDP) underway in Hampden and Franklin Counties (HUD awarded both sub-regions this demonstration program – draft plans to HUD are due on 12/29).

First we reviewed the data:Hampden County EA shelter: 
273 families are headed by youth; average length of stay is 203 days (long!); regarding their exits, only 51% go to a permanent location; 26% to temporary; 23% to unknown location.  The population is disproportionately latina.  Teen pregnancy rates are higher than the state average in Springfield, Chicopee and Holyoke. There are 24 additional slots for teen parents outside the EA system (via Teen Living Program).

Three County EA shelter: 23 families are headed by youth; 12 are in Franklin County; average length of stay is 87 days; 33% of exits are going to permanent housing. 
No TLP slots in Three County. 

Questions the group considered:
What are the challenges for gaining access to the system?
What are the particular barriers to getting housed and to gaining self-sufficiency?
Does this population need more time than HB allows in order to give them space for education and early career?

Discussion points:

  • Many young moms are DCF-involved, requiring much of their time and effort on reunification.  Very difficult to get to other ambitions – e.g., education or employment – with this challenge.
  • Roughly 70% of young parents were DCF-involved as a child.
  • One year of stabilization is not enough to get stabilized.
  • Franklin County Healthy Families:  youth under 18 have nowhere to go, the only option is to move out completely and that’s overwhelming.  So they stay in compromising situations (e.g., abuse or neglect). For 18 and older, there are many other barriers, including ineligibility from certain resources based on previous behavior; also lack of child care is a defining barrier.  
  • Young parents are even more likely not to understand their lease or what it means to receive an eviction notice; or understanding that rent is not “billed” and must pay without receiving a bill
  • Young parents can be hard to locate because they are frequently between parental and friend locations. Their phones often frequently change which also poses a barrier for continuous contact.
  • Lack of affordable housing and lack of support in general result in young moms staying in abusive situations. 
  • Young moms will not apply for EA because of fear of being dislocated from their home communities.
  • Continuity of services is difficult if not impossible when young moms who have been placed outside of their community suddenly have the opportunity to relocate home and abruptly leave whatever support services are underway.  A whole lot of uprooting and dislocation takes place.
  • No programs of young people under 18 will take couples, so an involved dad actually means fewer resources are available for the mom
  • Need more stabilization services!
  • Important to consider how to maintain connection to young adults who turn 18 and are with DCF – they want “out” but we need to figure out how to make “out” still connected and supported – we can start building greater connections between DCF and homeless service providers now!  
  • Friends of Children in Hadley provided mentor support across all 4 counties.  Mentoring is extremely important to tis population.
  • Phones change all the time among young 
  • Support services must include some basic life skills, education re: healthy habits, etc.
  • EA family shelter system does not specifically target 18-24 year old families to address their specific developmental needs.
  • Must connect to mental health resources such as CBHI
  • Must make sure to identify and connect with resources already out there in the community (it was noted that much of what was discussed does exist in our region; we just need to better connect and develop ties to what’s out there).
  • We need to consider identifying a “navigator” for young parents in the system so that the knowledge of all the services is centralized and easily disseminated.
  • Must also address the fact that many young people are distrustful of “services” and refuse offerings – trust must be built
  • YHDP funds will largely be spent on increasing housing options, possibly duration of housing assistance; we will be relying on building community connections to all of the support services that currently exist.

Next meeting date: Tuesday, Dec. 10, 10:30-noon, Frost Building 309, Holyoke Community College

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