In attendance: Steve Connor, Veterans Services, Sam Cunningham, Shaundell Diaz, Stavros, ServiceNet, Erin Forbush, ServiceNet, Jen Glover, LifePath, Jay Levy, Eliot Services, Luis Martinez, CHD, Katie Miernecki, ServiceNet, Kevin Noonan, Craig’s Doors, Pamela Schwartz, Network, Kate Shapiro, DMH, Chris Zabik, DMH
See this updated summary listing of available shelter and related services in the region.
Northampton (ServiceNet): limited capacity at Grove and Cot Shelter with few case workers, seeing a lot of complex needs; Manna is providing food (local hero!). Unclear on how much longer cot shelter is open. There are a lot of calls to Grove St to get on wait list. Katie can track numbers and the locality that people are based in when they call.
Greenfield (ServiceNet): continuing to provide shelter on two floors at Wells Street, about 20 people. Have a wait list. Erin will also track numbers of calls and localities.
Pittsfield (ServiceNet) – continuing to provide shelter in a private high school (that is permanently closed). Shelters roughly 40/night; about 135 people have used the shelter, roughly 75 new individuals in the shelter system since the expanded shelter began.
Amherst (Craig’s Doors): The shelter closed on 5/3; now operating a resource center on Mon, Tues, Thurs. Friday with parallel hours to the Amherst Survival Center. Entered into a collaboration with ASC where they are providing 10 meals/day to the Resource Center. The Center helps with various services, e.g., cell phone charging, housing search. They are in the process of seeking another shelter site that can shelter more people at longer hours (earlier than the 9:30 pm start time at the church).
Amherst Community Connections – they have 4 available rental subsidy vouchers for Amherst residents. Can provide up to $400/month subsidy. The application is online at
Center for Human Development (CHD): 5 units are open and referrals have been made, 2 of those 5 units had not been filled before, 3 of the units are from people who were placed but have left – providing follow-up and support to prevent exits (LL was moving to evict).
Shelter Plus Care: there are 4 vouchers available – must be DMH eligible; there are people ready for them but the challenge is the lack of ACCS slots at ServiceNet (for supportive services). Shelter Plus Care vouchers can only be allocated in conjunction with an ACCS slot. This is a capacity issue that is in the process of being addressed.
By-names list update:In March, 15 new entries, 4 young adults, 11 adultsIn April, 5 new entriesIn May, 5 or 6 new entries
People are being moved into units (CHD’s openings).
A new COVID-19 Assessment tool is being used now by the 3 County CoC that takes into consideration highest risk for COVID. Any units open between now and 8/31 will prioritize this vulnerability.
Coordinated Entry system is now streamlining notification of open beds to provide quicker notice of open beds.
Regional coordination to maximize resources and system change: Pamela reported on the large amount of federal shelter/re-housing resources coming into the state and the opportunity this presents to think innovatively about how to maximize these resources for permanent housing. The Network is convening city/town leaders and shelter providers across the region to discuss possible coordination.
Sam noted the need for mobile crisis services in the area. As the debate continues around defunding the police, she urged the group to reimagine a crisis services response that better meets community needs. It was noted that a new director is beginning at CSO and it could be an opportunity to launch a new conversation on how to enhance these services.
Next meeting date: Monday, July 13, 1:30-2:30 pm