In attendance: Grechar Aquino, FOH/CSO, Janice Humason, FOH/CSO, Nichole King, FOH/CSO, Jay Levy, Eliot CHS-Homeless Services, Johnie Sanders, ARISE, Pamela Schwartz, Network, Dennis Sheehan, FOH, Aisa Wise, Trinity Health HEU, Chris Zabik, DMH
By-names list update:A little over 100 names are currently on the list; the number went up post PIT count, a very typical occurrence .
Point in Time Count preliminary feedback on unsheltered population:
- Springfield – 44
- Holyoke – 38 – largest ever
- Chicopee – 11
- West Springfield – 8
- Westfield – 3
Total: 105, significantly higher than previous years
Factors may include Warmer weather; better outreach (therefore higher identification); opioid epidemic (working more closely with Tapestry)
At FOH, numbers are consistently in overflow – need to see all the numbers – sheltered and unsheltered – to evaluate whether there is an overall increase in the population or a shift in location (in shelter vs. out). Overall, however, outreach workers are noting an increase in the population.
On the plus side: Holyoke Housing Authority is housing people off of the by-names list imminently, using their Section 8 vouchers. Other Housing Authorities are in the process of working out the tenant selection process issues (cannot use the by-name list without violating fair housing laws) before utilizing the new Section 811 vouchers.
FY21 Budget and Legislative Update Pamela provided an update on meetings with Hampden and Hampshire County legislators thus far (more Hampden, Berkshire and Franklin legislator meetings to come). The focus is advocacy around the Network’s legislative priorities and budget priorities.
Career Services Fair: March 25, 10 am – 12 noon, Northampton Community Arts Trust, 33 Hawley St, Northampton. Providers from all 4 counties will be providing information. All providers are welcome!
4th Annual Housing Resource Fair for Providers and Legislator Welcome: SAVE THE DATE: Friday, June 5, 10 am – 12 noon (legislator event 10:00 am – 10:30 am), Kittredge Center, Room 301-303, Holyoke Community College. We reviewed the list of providers offering information at last year’s Fair and based on feedback, Pamela will also invite: Highland Valley Elder Services,Springfield Valley, Western MA Elder Care, Life Path, Greater Springfield Senior Services, AISS, Stavros, Tapestry, Living Room, Recovery Centers, RLC, Club Houses, ROCA. See Flyer HERE. And please go to: www.westernmasshousingfirst.org/4thannualfair to register your attendance.
Network Training Update: Click HERE for summary listing of the Network’s training offerings this Spring.
Next meeting date: Tuesday, April 28, 1 pm – 2:30 pm, Friends of the Homeless (note: we agreed to experiment with returning to every-other-month meetings and take stock of that rhythm at our next meeting).