In attendance: Sy’air Bey Legacy Youth Core/ARISE, Rosemary Fiedler,Thrive HCC, Lisa Goldsmith, Community Action, Jill Fijal, Chicopee Public Schools, Amanda Lesnick, Gandara Center, Gerry McCafferty, City of Springfield, Lizzy Ortiz, Mercy Medical Center, Stacy Parsons, North Adams Public Schools/DESE, Jean Rogers, CHD, Pamela Schwartz, Network, Teryl Smith, DDS, Levai Taylor, Legacy Youth Core/ARISE, Tyrese Tillman, CHD

Youth Homelessness Demonstration Project (YHDP) Updates: Both communities submitted a draft plan to HUD at the end of December (Hampden County draft plan here; Franklin County draft plan here), now awaiting HUD’s feedback. Intensive planning is underway across both Hampden and Franklin YHDPs, including before April determining how the funds will be allocated.  Allocation decisions will be made by late Jan/early Feb; RFPs issued in Feb, due back end of March; decisions made before final plan submitted by end of April. Contact Gerry for Hampden – –  or Lisa for Franklin – –  for any additional specific follow-up or to learn about the meeting schedule. 

Welcome to Teryl Smith, DDS Community Systems Director for Western MA region – DDS offers family support services, especially relevant for the “bridge population” between 18 and 22 years (DDS full coverage begins at 22 years). We discussed the importance of building connections between DCF and DDS and of making connections with DDS for the 22-24 year old population. We look forward to building this relationship!

HUD Point in Time Count – Jan. 29 Organizing is underway for the Point in Time Count.  In Hampden County, events are being scheduled at HCC, STCC and ROCA.  3 County, due to its rural nature, is doing outreach to agencies across their communities.  The count continues for the week following 1/29 – it is in our best interest to get as accurate a count as possible.   Please connect to Gerry or Lisa (emails above) to get more info and get connected. 

MA Youth Count: Lisa reported that the Special Commission has not yet determined whether this will be happening this Spring.  We’ll stay tuned.

Racial equity work: EOHHS is funding a short-term study – findings by end of this fiscal year –  on racial disparities among youth in 3 communities statewide, including Springfield. This will help inform more intensive work in this area next fiscal year.  
The Network is also supporting this work through its own funding of CoC racial equity work that will be funneled through its YHDP initiatives.  That will be happening in the coming months.

Legislative Update:The FY21 budget season is upon us – the Governor’s budget will be released in the coming week – and the Network has planned a series of legislator meetings by county – follow-up with Pamela for more information.
On youth funding ask: We are waiting to hear from statewide advocates around this but Pamela will report back to the Committee before finalizing our priority. We will also include the MA ID Bill in our advocacy.

Upcoming events/trainings:
Career Services Resource Fair March 25: The Network’s Career Services Committee is hosting a Career Services Resource Fair for providers on: Wed.,March 25, 10 am – 12noon, Northampton Community Arts Trust, 33 Hawley Street, Northampton.  All providers across all four counties are welcome.  See flyer here.

Legislative Advocacy Training: January 28. (Note post training: See Training Powerpoint here).

Stay tuned for announcements and registration for:

SSI/SSDI: maximizing benefits to maximize housing security: April 16 – Register here.
Housing People with Sex Offense Histories: Using Facts instead of Fear to Serve Public Policy: April 30

Save the date: 4th Annual Housing/Homelessness Resource Fair: June 5Details to follow, just mark your calendar for now!

Next meeting dates:

Wed., Feb. 26
9:30 am – 11:00 am
Frost  Building 309
Holyoke Community College
and our March meeting:
Wed.,March 18
9:30 am – 11:00 am
Frost  Building 309
Holyoke Community College

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