Individual Services Committee
December 13, 2012

In attendance:  Jay Levy, Eliot Services, David Modzelewski, network housing coordinator, Claudia Phillips, Mercy Medical Health Care for the Homeless, Wanda Rolon, ServiceNet, Pamela Schwartz, network coordinator, Rebekah Wilder, Craig’s Place, Chris Zabik, DMH, Kurt Zellen, VAMC

Distributed and discussed MHSA Survey of Homeless Older Adults.  Recognized the challenge of counting this population (and survey focused on Eastern and Central Mass).

Shelter update:

Northampton interfaith shelter numbers are lower – now taking Amherst overflow.  Timing is part of it:  must be in Northampton shelter by 6 pm; Amherst start time is 9:30 pm.  Also Amherst is not a dry shelter.

Hampshire County Resource Center (formerly Northampton Drop-In Center) –  seeing roughly 10-15 individuals daily.  Numbers down since new policy as of 10/1/12 (no food, showers) – need to be there for a service – housing search, health care, job search.  Now more shelter residents looking for services during the day time, a good development.

Regional emergency shelter meeting of 11/9/12:  good to connect, good communication around policy changes and ways to be flexible with winter referrals.  Agreed not to schedule a next meeting and just keep communication channels open.  Will assess over the next couple of months whether an additional meeting is necessary.  May want to specifically pursue winter policy issues.

Discussed additional service need:  respite facility for homeless individuals.  Claudia had to work really hard to get an individual into the Barbara McInnis House in Boston.  We have nothing similar out here.  Agreed we need to look at this – funding and partnership possibilities.  Claudia agreed to connect with Doreen Fadus on this and gain her input and ideas.  Will follow-up at next meeting

Discussed meeting schedule.  Noted declining attendance and fact that most of our work on individual services is going on in our working groups and sub-committees, i.e., housing sex offenders, SAMHSA/MissionWEST, unaccompanied homeless youth.  We still need our larger umbrella committee to check in on a regular, but less frequent basis, to report back on sub-group work, to maintain our relationships and to allow for new ideas/needs to surface.  Agreed to meet next on:

Thursday, February 28
9:30-11:00 am
Northampton Senior Center
67 Conz Street, Northampton

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