In attendance: Steve Connor, Veterans Services, Erin Forbush, ServiceNet, Hwei-Ling Greeney, Amherst Community Connections, John Hornik, Amherst Housing Trust, Lynn Ireland, Providence Ministries, Andy Klatka, Eliot Services, Laura Hudson, Positive Place, Michele LaFleur, 3 County CoC, Jay Levy, Eliot Services, Katie Miernecki, ServiceNet, Brooke Murphy, 3 County CoC, Kevin Noonan, Craig’s Doors, Keleigh Pereira, 3 County CoC, Jane Ralph, Construct, David Rodriguez, Viability, Angel Sadowski, Northampton Housing Authority, Pamela Schwartz, Network, Kate Shapiro, DMH, Susan White, Life Path, Chris Zabik, DMH
Craig’s Doors: At capacity. Health screening is happening every night. Needing to turn people away most nights for lack of space. Still same hours (opens at 9:30 pm – needs more staff and more funds before they can consider opening earlier but are trying for that). The other night individuals slept up against the newly installed porta-potties to block the wind. Still figuring out response to people needing to be quarantined (Hampshire College has offered space but it’s not yet available). No one has presented with symptoms yet. Got clarification from others that MEMA has retained the Quality Inn in Northampton for isolation cases.
Northampton: At capacity at Northampton High School’s emergency shelter (consolidated cot shelter and Grove Street). Limit is 51 people. Shelter is open 24/7, shuts down at 9:30 pm; reopens at 5:30/6 pm. Things are going pretty smoothly but people are bored and anxious, asking for therapists (working on arrangements with other mental health resources at ServiceNet); also connecting to Recovery coaches, and Tapestry Health. Steve Connor noted that a veteran was turned away last night for lack of space and was told to call again today to see if there was any space tonight. There is no additional plan for overflow. Hired 4 staff and looking to hire 2 more. Hopefully next week there will be enough staff for Katie and Sam to return to staffing the Resource Center so people sleeping outside can use it as a drop-in center for showers and laundry. Greenfield: Consolidated Wells Street and warming shelter; now using Wells Street 2nd floor. Greenfield is also full and having to turn away people. Health checks happen at the front door. Open 24/7. Looking to hire more staff.
Pittsfield: consolidated Barton’s Crossing and cot shelter into St. Joe’s High School in Pittsfield. Averaging 40 people/night. So far able to admit all Berkshire County residents (when it gets up to 50 that will be tougher). Staffing situation is ok at the moment.
Great Barrington: Construct is working to set up alternative emergency housing for people who have tested positive or have symptoms and for first responders.
We discussed the need for additional state support for hotel rooms to house people who are turned away from shelters. Pamela will follow-up with shelter providers, cities/towns and Command Center to discuss this further.
Pamela will compile shelter contact info and distribute it out to shelter providers (esp in view of changed locations, etc.).
Section 811 voucher update: HUD is open to delay on implementation in view of pandemic. More information is coming around “super waivers” for this program and Section 8 and other programs. Please stay tuned.
Next meeting date: at least our regular monthly – May 11 – but Pamela will check in with others to see if it’s useful to connect more frequently than that.