n attendance: Elizabeth Bienz, ServiceNet, Kerry Brock, Steve Connor, Veterans Services, Sara Cummings, Community Action, 3 County CoC; Erin Forbush, ServiceNet, Chris Hughes, ServiceNet, Peg Keller, City of Northampton, Jay Levy, Eliot Services, Patty McDonnell, Joe Mygan, Starlight, SMOC, Theresa Nicholson, CHD, Aidan Novo, Craig’s Doors, Keleigh Pereira, Community Action/3 County CoC, Brendan Plante, Eliot Services, Thomas Poplawski, DMH, Pamela Schwartz, Network, Hayley Wood, Easthampton Council on Aging, Josh Wren, ServiceNet
Three County CoC update:Community Action hired the new CoC program coordinator: Keleigh Pereira (pronounced “Kelly”). She just started a week ago and we look forward to helping her make the transition to this new job as smooth as possible. Welcome Keleigh!
Community Action is also interviewing for the HMIS data position now.
Coordinated Entry (CE) continues to be “paused” as work continues to obtain the necessary data system (as opposed to CE being manually managed through excel which has been the case thus far). It’s an expensive system to acquire so they Community Action needs to put out bids (looking closely at ETO Enterprise as that is the system the Hampden CoC uses) , and it could take as long as 3 months to get it up and running.
It is understood that in view of the transition to CHD’s management of the PSH units – and the openings to fill them – that stop-gap management of CE will be utilized (continuing with excel presumably).
Permanent Supportive Housing update: Theresa Nicholson of Center for Human Development (CHD) provided an update on their takeover of ServiceNet’s PSH contract. The official start date is 7/1 but they are in conversation with HUD around using some of the unspent funds for a “start-up budget” prior to 7/1. HUD is treating this transition as a straightforward shift in contract management from ServiceNet to CHD.
CHD is working on hiring staff and identifying units. There are 48 units in total:15 in Berkshire County – 13 are currently filled; 2 vacant; 24 new in Franklin County; 9 in Hampshire, 6 are filled, 3 are vacant
The geographical allocation of units can shift depending on where the people who need them reside. These determinations will be made within the coordinated entry system.
Shelter Plus Care Update:ccJay reported out on the meetings with DMH, ServiceNet ACCS (shelter plus care staff sub-contracted through DMH) and ServiceNet shelter director (Erin) and CHD and the Network to discuss how to increase access to the shelter plus care vouchers through accommodations around DMH eligibility requirements and to increase chances of success through greater collaboration via Coordinated Entry. Staff of respective programs are meeting on 6/7 to discuss further.
Right now there are 22 shelter plus care vouchers across Franklin and Hampshire Counties and 21 are being utilized. Work continues to find the right match for the last unused voucher.
Safe Havens: This is another HUD funded program that now works only with DMH support dollars but is a “low-demand, high expectation” model that takes the individual wherever they are at and offers support services 24/7. Peg noted that Northampton needs Safe Haven housing. Peg and DMH staff are meeting bi-weekly to discuss how to address the housing/support needs of this population.
Presentation on Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC), CSO, Inc. Special thanks to Lisa Pineo of CSO for sharing this information with us. This is a 3 year SAMHSA funded initiative that provides mental and physical health care as well as an extremely broad range of services to all people of all ages regardless of ability to pay. Walk-in access Monday-Thursday, 10 am – 4 pm and Friday 10 am – 2 pm at locations across Western MA. Click here to get a summary of services and find out how to access them.
State Budget Update:The Senate will be debating its budget next week. This week is the time to ask our senators to co-sponsor amendments. Click here for the Network blog post that details how to contact your senator and what to ask for.
Next meeting date:Because our next regularly scheduled meeting would take place on June 10, the same day as the Housing/Homelessness Resource Fair, the group agreed to not meet in the month of June and instead meet at its next regularly scheduled time of Monday, July 8, 1 pm, at ServiceNet, 296 Nonotuck Street, Northampton.