Best Practices

Forum on Opioid Crisis in Rural Communities: 9/5, UMass

Sponsored by:

Join us on Friday, September 6, 2019 at the UMass Amherst Campus Center for a forum, “Addressing the Opioid Crisis in Small and Rural Communities in Western Massachusetts.” This forum will focus on the numerous ways in which the opioid crisis has impacted Western Massachusetts, with particular attention paid to the social and economic consequences for small and rural communities. Unique challenges and innovative solutions will be highlighted.

This work is supported through the  Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundationthe University of Massachusetts Amherst School of Public Health and Health SciencesRIZE Massachusetts Foundation, and Baystate Health.  The issue brief is being produced in collaboration with the Brandeis-Harvard NIDA Center to Improve System Performance of Substance Use Disorder Treatment and the Opioid Policy Research Collaborative (OPRC).

Date: Friday, September 6, 2019
Time: 8:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Location: Amherst Room (10th Floor)

Campus Center, 1 Campus Center Way, Amherst, MA 01003 

A continental breakfast will be served during registration between 8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.

We hope that you will be able to join us. Seating is limited, so please register as soon as possible. The agenda can be found on the Massachusetts Health Policy Website. If you have any questions, please contact Ashley Osorio, Events Manager at or (781) 736-3940.

The Built for Zero Movement: 400 strong!

In late March, a team of 6 from the Springfield/Hampden Continuum of Care joined with 60 other communities across the country at a Built for Zero Learning Session. It was inspired and inspiring for its impact in ending homelessness.

Below is a post-event excerpt from Community Solutions, the national umbrella organization, and you can read more here:

We’re blown away by what the Built for Zero movement has become. Two years ago, 87 people showed up in Los Angeles, committed to learning with us and from one another in order to end homelessness.

This March, more than 400 people from 60+ communities and our partners gathered in Atlanta for two days of problem solving, planning, and celebrating each other’s work.

There was a lot to celebrate:

  • 10 communities have ended veteran homelessness.
  • 3 communities have ended chronic homelessness.
  • 39 communities are on their way, making significant reductions in the number of people experiencing homelessness.
  • Altogether nearly 105,000 people have been housed as part of this movement.

Read more here.

Region 1 Forum on Family Homelessness – April 3, Boston

An invitation from the US Department of Health and Human Resources:

You are invited to join us!

A regional forum and listening session about families experiencing

Hosted by the Administration for Children and Families of the U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services
Date:  Wednesday, April 3, 2019
Time:  12:30pm – 4:30pm (EDT) 
Location:Tip O’Neil Building Auditorium10 Causeway St Boston
Purpose: To provide a discussion forum for the identification of needs
and innovations in approaching solutions to family homelessness. 
Free Event. Registration is required and space is limited.
To attend, please register at: 
Thank you for all you do to strengthen families and support
communities. We look forward to being in touch again soon. 
For more information contact: 

Ruthie M. Doyal Executive Analyst
Phone: 202-205-7889

CHAPA Breakfast Forum: Meeting the Housing Shortage for People with Extremely Low-Income – April 3, 9:30 am – 11:30 am, Boston

Wednesday, April 3rd
9:30 AM–11:30 AM
(Registration begins at 9:00 AM)MassHousing
One Beacon Street, 4th Floor
Boston, MA 02108

Please join CHAPA, MetroHousing|Boston, and Homes for Families for our Breakfast Forum: Meeting the Housing Shortage for People with Extremely Low Incomes

The Metropolitan Area Planning Council projects that Massachusetts needs to produce more than 500,000 new homes by 2040 to support the Commonwealth’s existing job base. But how much of this new housing will be affordable to those with extremely low incomes?

New research from the New England Public Policy Center at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston highlights the current shortage of rental homes and rental housing available to households with extremely low incomes. Nick Chiumenti, author of this research, will discuss his findings. Following his presentation, we will explore policies, programs, tools, and strategies for producing homes that are affordable to people with extremely low incomes.

Tickets are limited and you must register for this breakfast forum by April 1st.

Cost: $25.00 for CHAPA members / $40.00 for non-members. No refunds will be provided to those who register but do not attend the forum.

Family RFI Response Submitted!

The Western MA Network to End Homelessness is pleased to report its submission to DHCD’s Family Homelessness System Request for Information (RFI). Please see the Network response here.

By way of context, copied below is the Network’s “background information” for this response:
The Western Massachusetts Network to End Homelessness is the collaborative vehicle for preventing and ending homelessness in the four counties of Western Massachusetts with a Housing First approach. This RFI response is an outgrowth of a series of meetings through the Network’s Family Services Committee, a committee comprised of over 100 members, including a broad cross-section of all housing and shelter providers, and partners in health care, substance addiction and mental health, domestic violence, child care, education, and workforce development, as well as state agency representatives from DHCD, DPH, DCF and DMH. This Committee selected a targeted number of questions that it felt would best reflect the region’s proposed vision to ending family homelessness. The Network’s Family Services Committee seeks DHCD’s adoption of its recommendations, and looks forward to continuing the work in partnership with each other and DHCD to prevent and end homelessness in Western Massachusetts and the Commonwealth as a whole.

Congratulations to all for the excellent work and the amazing partnership!

The Network at Work!

On Thursday, June 14, the Western MA Network to End Homelessness convened its second annual Homelessness Resource Fair for Providers.  Congratulations to all for a tremendous success!

Over 200 people attended from across all four Western counties; 60 organizations from every sector of our community shared information and resources available to assist in preventing and ending homelessness.  8 workshops were offered (twice!), facilitated in partnership by over 20 Network partners, on topics ranging from the opioid epidemic to EA/HomeBASE to domestic violence, youth homelessness and more.

Western MA state legislators turned out to support our efforts: Special thanks to Representative Aaron Vega, Representative Jose Tosado, Representative Michael Finn and Representative Solomon Goldstein-Rose.  Senators were meeting in Boston that day but we had the honor of welcoming legislative aides from the offices of Senator Adam Hinds, Senator Carlos Gonzalez and Senator Donald Humason.

A huge thank you to Holyoke Community College and so many of its staff for their extraordinary support around this day. They made it possible!

The shared commitment and energy among the hundreds in the room was palpable (and fear not, we already know how we will create more room to move next year!) .  The determination to connect, to learn, to maximize every opportunity to prevent and end homelessness among the people of Western Massachusetts brought our entire community that much closer to our goal. Buoyed by comradeship and knowledge, we will continue the work!

left to right, Rep. Tosado, Rep. Goldstein-Rose and Rep. Vega