Veterans Committee Meeting Minutes – 12/5/19
In attendance: Daniel Bahls, Community Legal Aid, Craig Deraway, Soldier On, Mike Hagmaier, Soldier On, Michele LaFleur, Community Action, Jesus Pereira, Holyoke Veterans, Allie Pierce-Wilson, VA HUD-VASH, Pamela Schwartz, Network, Kate Sweetster-Owens, VA-GPD, Christy Torres, VOC, Sue White, VA HUD-VASH
New veterans legal assistance resource: Daniel Bahls of CLA announced CLA’s new 3 year grant from United Way Hampshire County that will serve low-income veterans in Hampshire County facing legal issues rising from medical issues (very broadly defined, i.e., if a Hampshire County low-income veteran is in need of legal help, call Daniel to explore further!). For more information, contact Daniel at: Call me 413-686-9023 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW community-based housing case management resourceMike Hagmaier reported that Soldier On has received VA funding for two new housing case managers that can provide case management services for up to 6 months for any veteran at risk of homelessness. The only veterans who would not be eligible are those receiving HUD/VASH or SSVF (the main goal of the funding is to help veterans who are over-income for HUD/VASH and SSVF to exit GPD into permanent housing or stay housed to prevent entry into GPD). All referrals will come through the SSVF hotline at 1-866-406-8449.
New Soldier On women’s permanent housing in Pittsfield opening in January: Very exciting! 14 units, 10 applicants are out of the women’s transitional housing program (10 project based vouchers from NHA). 4 units are currently available.
3 County CoC veterans by-name list and coordinated entry discussion: Michele LaFleur, the 3 County CoC data analyst, welcomed input on the revitalization of 3 county’s veterans by-name list. Other 3 county providers updated with prior history, including the use of an excel-based by-name list through Hilltown CDC. Michele will follow-up with Kate to track it down. She is also talking more to other veteran providers to coordinate assessments. Consensus existed to start up veteran by-name list meetings again. Michele will follow-up with relevant providers.
Hampden County CoC update (via email from Gerry McCafferty): We have housed all of our veterans who had the Continuum vouchers. With this, we have housed all—or almost all—of our long-stayer veteran population. We are making great progress toward functional zero, but had an influx of new faces in November. When this happens, the question is always whether they are here to stay or will quickly self-resolve or move on from the area. With long-stayers housed, our challenge is now moving to making sure we have really got our system down for new folks we identify.
Note on 3 county continuum vouchers: All have been issued but all are having a very hard time locating housing and engaging veterans in housing search. Steve is following up with them individually to try to engage further and take stock before allotted time expires.
Section 811 vouchers: 73 Section 811 vouchers (for non-elderly disabled individuals) have been allocated to housing authorities across the region (Springfield, Chicopee, Amherst, Northampton, Greenfield, Franklin Regional) – this is fantastic progress on new vouchers!
Suggested training: Daniel Bahls offers trainings on CORI sealing – partners agreed it would be useful to offer this to the Network. Pamela will follow-up.
- Allie Wilson-Pearce is no longer coordinating intakes for HUD-VASH (is doing HUD-VASH case management exclusively). Luz Marcano has taken over the intake role.
- VOC update: 2 veteran units available, 1 at Chapin Mansion, and 1 at Maguder House
Next meeting date: Thursday, Feb. 6, 9:30 am – 11:00 am