Looking for guidance: distributing the ICHH money

Once our budget is finalized (we hope this week!), one of our next steps is getting the money out to local vendors.  So far, we have envisioned doing this through a “mini” RFP process, which would be created by the Core Group.  At last Friday’s WMIC meeting, vendors indicated that they’d like to have more of a role in creating the process and criteria for distribution of funds.  While there’s a concern that a conflict of interest would make it inappropriate for vendors to set up the process for them to apply for funds, it is also true that vendors have incredibly valuable insight into the best ways to access the money in order to create and manage effective programs.

Lieutenant Governor coming to visit

Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray is coming out to visit with our coordinating network’s Leadership Council on Thursday, February 19, 2009, 2 pm.  We’ll announce the location as soon as we know it.

A new communication tool!

Welcome to the Western Mass Regional Coordinating Network.   We are a broad coalition of people, agencies, businesses and local governments committed to ending homelessness in Western Massachusetts.

Our new blog will let us keep each other updated with progress in forming an effective network,  and also let us inform others who are interested in our work.

Our region has been awarded a $1.1 million grant from the Massachusetts Interagency Council on Housing and Homelessness to fund an 18-month pilot program using proven strategies to reduce levels of homelessness for both individuals and families.   We are in the process of finalizing our budget and negotiating the contract between the state and the Pioneer Valley Planning Project, the convening agency for the grant.

Within the next few weeks, we expect to hire a project director and create a process for distrubuting the funds locally.  The new local programs will include supportive housing for the chronically homeless and prevention and rapid rehouse strategies for families.