Family Services Committee Meeting Minutes – 10/9/18
In attendance: Yoshi Bird, YWCA, Lynnann Brown, Elizabeth Freeman Center, Carla Chioda, Adams-Cheshire Schools, Emma Ciccarillo, YWCA, Joel Cox, NEFWC, Rose Flores, YWCA, Jessica Jacobs, Tenancy Preservation Project, Fran Lemay, ServiceNet, Heather Marshall, Elizabeth Freeman Center, Yeisie Mateo, DCF, Michelle Michaelian, BHN, Theresa Nicholson, CHD, Pamela Schwartz, Network, Janette Vigo, Way Finders
Discussion with Assistant Undersecretary Jane Banks re: re-procurement of family system:
Jane Banks was able to join us on the phone for a good portion of our meeting. She reported that the Request for Information (RFI) for the family system re-procurement (slated for July, 2020) will be released end of November/early December with a couple months allowed for responding. She strongly encouraged the following:
- consider how to build collaborations within the system with DV providers and mental health/substance use providers; how to make a system that responds to sexual assault survivors. Establish the relationships and connections “from the ground up.”
- consider how to build more intensive, on-the-ground collaborations with state agency local offices, including DCF, DMH, DTA
- consider how to build partnerships with legal advocates in a more effective way, to build relationships that are less adversarial and more collaboratively problem-solving, e.g., meet monthly with the advocacy community
- consider how to build the stabilization process; how are we going to keep families housed; how to best use HomeBASE for that purpose (meeting with a family once-a-month is not sufficient – how do we connect with other stakeholders to strengthen the family; consider mobile outreach teams; consider stronger ties to workforce development)
- consider a joint Network response to the RFI – strongly encouraged!
- THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX – how do we make a system that works better for families!
The group discussed these ideas after the call and agreed that it should meet in smaller sub-groups around the particulars. Janette will check back in with Lauren regarding the quarterly family providers meeting (next one happens to be 10/26 at Way Finders) and whether it makes sense to utilize that meeting to start this conversation. Pamela will be back in touch regarding next steps, but we will aim for targeted meetings by topic, e.g., DV/sexual assault survivors; mental health/substance use providers; legal advocates.
- BHN’s Project FIT is ending at the end of this calendar year due to lack of funding. Michelle will provide us with some summary data so we can learn from it (and also bring its success into the re-procurement conversations).
- The Network is hosting its legislative gathering on Friday, November 16, 1 pm – 3 pm, Greenfield Community College. State legislators, mayors, and other elected officials will be in attendance for a session on the “state of homelessness” in the region and our best practices to address it. Please register here.
- The Network is sponsoring trainings offered by OrgCode, a highly reputed training group on issues of homelessness. On December 18, it will offer “how to run an awesome shelter” – stay tuned for a registration link but for now if you are a shelter provider, please mark your calendar for this all-day training!
Next meeting dates:
Tuesday, November 13, 11 am – 12:30 pm
Tuesday, December 11, 11 am – 12:30 pm
Location for both: HCC, Frost Building, Room 309