In attendance: Steve Connor, Veterans Services, Craig Deraway, Soldier On, Mike Hagmaier, Soldier On, Andrew Klatka, Eliot Services, Michele LaFleur, 3 County CoC, Jay Levy, Elliot Services, Jesus Pereira, Holyoke Veterans Services, Pamela Schwartz, Network, Kate Sweetser-Owens, VA, Sue White, VA

Program Updates:

Soldier On: SSVF still available – emergency funds ends 7/31; pre-COVID-19 funding will be available as of 8/1 (i.e., still lots of funds!).  In Western MA, SSVF funds totaling $72,000 were spent. Pamela will reach out to Mike prior to our next meeting to allow time to get more of a data breakdown – e.g., how many veteran households served.

Veterans Admin: Housing with HUD-VASH vouchers continues.  Northampton Housing Authority is doing virtual inspections, issuing vouchers, moving people in.  Way Finders is moving more slowly, inspections are taking a long time with less flexibility.  Staff is very nice but there seems to be a systems problem.  Way Finders has explained before that there is a challenge with staff turnover. We agreed that Pamela would follow-up to invite a conversation about this.  

Green River Database training and implementation update: Training on Green River database took place.  We confirmed next steps on implementation: Kate will start entering data into Green River (beginning with non-VA eligible veterans).  Will circle back to Michele with questions and for her to review.  We’ll all take stock at our next meeting.  Meanwhile, tweaks are continuing on the system itself.  The goal is to have all VA assessments into the same CoC system (Green River) so there is one by-name list that includes everyone with all assessments in one place (and prioritization fully coordinated). 

Changes at the MA Dept. of Veteran Services: we noted the dramatic transitions underway with the resignation of the Undersecretary and other top staff due to the devastating losses at Holyoke Soldiers Home.  The group expressed hope that the Administration will invest more funding into the Soldiers Home – tragically long overdue. 

Next meeting date: Wed., 7/22, 1 pm – 2pm Contact the Network for the Zoom link.

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