Individual Services Meeting
August 3, 2017

In attendance:  Jesus Arce, City of Springfield, Beth Barbra, Veterans Inc, Sam Cunningham, ServiceNet, Jen Glover, Life Path, Lauren Jubb, Craig’s Doors, Peg Keller, City of Northampton, Charlie Knight, SCARF/Rainville, Jay Levy, Eliot CHS, Jade Lovett, Craig’s Doors, Jen Lucca, Samaratin Inn, Kim Majewski, Gandara Center, Pamela Schwartz, Network

Three County Update:
Jay Levy reported that the planning for coordinated entry continues with steady progress:
  • The assessment tool is determined (AZ Matrix Tool) and being incorporated across the region
  • ServiceNet will either expand or launch monthly meetings in Pittsfield, Northampton and Greenfield for all regional providers to attend and discuss housing match/case management issues
  • REACH meetings will also continue with a focus on system implementation and opportunities to assist harder-to-serve individuals
  • Soldier On – with CoC funding – is preparing to launch an 800 number that will be a direct referral line for shelter services and an access point to the coordinated entry system
  • January is the target date for a full roll-out of the coordinated system
The group discussed the use of the Network meetings in the context of this work and agreed that it would be appropriate, similar to Hampden County’s approach, to use the Network as a vehicle for bigger picture data review on progress being made.  Jay will discuss with Dave how to implement a system for reporting out on a monthly basis.  Jay suggested it would be useful to get data on 3 sub-populations: chronic, veterans and youth.
Hampden County Update:
Gerry sent her regrets but offered the following updates:
  • Performance Review Data for the last 2 years in preparation for the upcoming HUD competition. Jay noted that the increased numbers in the unsheltered count was due to the more extensive outreach and better identification of the population.
  • The Hampden County CoC RFP for the HUD competition has been released.
  • Gerry is attending a meeting with Holyoke Mayor Morse and others in the City of Holyoke to discuss street homelessness in Holyoke.  She will keep us posted.
Shelter Updates:
Grove Street: Sam reported it is full and the Resource Center has increasing numbers visiting it daily.
Craig’s Doors: Jade provided summary data from its 2016-2017 season:
  • Police and EMT calls were markedly down from the previous year (in police calls a decrease from 99 calls in previous years to 42 calls this year: for EMT calls from 42 to 26 calls), a great indicator of both the increased staff training and the improved relations between the shelter and emergency services.
  • 155 guests throughout season (30 fewer as compared to last season)
  • 20% were chronically homeless; 23% physically disabled; 49% with mental health issues; 21% reported substance use issues
  • 9 youth, 8 people over the age of 62, 15 people between 55 and 61
  • 7 veterans
  • average of about 5 women per night (only 6 beds for women so regularly turned away women)
  • In general, 2-3 turn-aways each night
Two shelter managers for this coming season are returning staff, which is great for continuity and overall capacity.
Jade also reported on the newly opened Resource Center in Amherst; very excited about this day-time resource for shelter guests.
Peg noted the fantastic progress in relationship building with the Town of Amherst and the sharing of information and collaboration that is taking place between Craig’s Doors and Northampton’s shelters.  We all shared in the congratulations for the great work.
FY18 State Budget Update:
Pamela reported on the Governor’s vetoes, specifically those impacting individual homelessness:
  • veto of Berkshire Regional Housing Authority’s $150,000 earmark that funds winter overflow shelter
  • veto of youth funding, which directly threatens youth services and housing that has made a great impact on this population.  Kim Majewski reported that Gandara is likely to lose some staff and is trying very hard to maintain support for the 24 youth currently housed
  • veto of RAFT funding that allowed for expanded eligibility to include individuals’ access to prevention funds
Additionally, the Governor vetoed the Network’s funding.  Legislative overrides are likely to take place in Sept., after revenue figures come in.  We have a very supportive delegation.  But even if overrides happen, the Governor can utilize 9C cuts if the revenue shortfall continues.  The Network Leadership Council is meeting to brainstorm alternative funding sources.
Next meeting dates:
9/14, 10:30-12, Springfield
10/5, 9:30-11, Northampton

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