Family Services Meeting Minutes
February 9, 2016

In attendance: Liz Bewsee, Arise for Social Justice, Lisa Darga, Arise for Social Justice, Brittany Gordon, YWCA, Sean Hemingway, CHD, Jenise Katalina, Square One, Cheryl LaChance, HAP, Faith Lafayette, FOR Families, Fran Lemay, ServiceNet, Jane Lindfors, DTA/DV unit, Luz Marcano, VA HUD/VASH, Heather Marshall, Elizabeth Freeman Center, Donna Nadeau, DHCD, Jenni Pothier, Tenancy Preservation Project, Evelyn Rivera, Womanshelter, Hilda Santa, Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity, Pamela Schwartz, Network, Rachel Trant, DCF, Janette Vigo, HAP

Point in Time Update: The HUD mandated annual homeless Point in Time count took place on 1/27. We are still awaiting data from the state (on shelter and motel families) to report out on the family homelessness count. Please stay tuned.

Update on DV/Homelessness meeting: Due to winter weather conditions, our meeting with State officials initially scheduled for 2/8 had to be canceled. The reschedule date is: Wed., 3/16, 11 am at CHD, 51 Capital Drive, West Springfield.

EOHHS RFR Update: Pamela reported on the submission of 2 applications from the Western region in response to the EOHHS RFR to create coordinated entry systems to support homelessness prevention efforts for all populations and an additional targeted system and resources for unaccompanied homeless youth.   The two applicants are the City of Springfield – on behalf of the Hampden County CoC – and Community Action – in partnership with the Three County CoC. The region collaborated in the decision to submit two applications in recognition of the geographic and demographic expanse and what is required to truly create “no wrong door.” Each application submitted over 70 support letters, including many of which were joint letters for each application (from 15 legislators, state agencies and other regional organizations), reflecting the collaboration within the region. There will be 3-5 grants statewide, allocating $900,000 for the coordinated entry system and $2m for youth. Decisions will be made by March 1.

HUD TA on workforce development: Through our Secure Jobs work (and the national jobs summit we participated in in 2013), we have been offered Technical Assistance to support our efforts. We are working with John Rio of Advocates for Human Potential (AHP). Planning discussions are underway, including the Secure Jobs program and both CoC’s. We are currently looking at the dates of 4/12-4/13 for 3 workshops, which will include:

  • Sustainability of Secure Jobs: how to leverage other resources to sustain the program
  • Employment and Permanent Supportive Housing: how to best tailor workforce development efforts for families living in PSH
  • Housing and employment for homeless youth: how to combine and establish both for this population

Additional meetings are taking place next week to establish firm dates and times and further develop content. Please stay tuned.

Hampden County by-name list for Chronically Homeless Families: Coordination and collaboration among all PSH housing providers continues in Hampden County. Through use of DHCD data on CH families’ VI-SPDAT score and housing needs, they are en route to placing 18 CH families in PSH (approximately 7 placed thus far).

Three County TA Update: The Three County CoC is continuing to receive TA to better develop its governance and committee and sub-population work, which will include targeting family homelessness in the three county region.

FY17 Governor’s budget update: Pamela distributed pertinent summaries of the Mass Law Reform Institute’s budget analysis – go to review.

The Network Leadership Council adopted the Family Services recommendations for its FY17 budget priorities: funding Secure Jobs to maintain level services (Governor’s budget funded it $750,000; $2 million is necessary to maintain program); bridging gap between DV homelessness and access to EA system (Governor’s budget provided this expansion of HomeBASE eligibility); funding MRVP at $120m (Governor’s budget funded at $82.9 million, a decrease of $8m from last year); funding school transportation services for homeless families (Governor’s budget unknown on this item at this time). The Leadership Council also added the priority of level funding of Housing Consumer Education Centers (HCECs), which the Governor provided in his budget.

Pamela reminded everyone of the upcoming Network legislative gathering on Friday, 3/4, 10:30 am at HCC Kittredge Center. Roughly 12-15 legislators will be attending and it will be a great opportunity to report out on our progress and share our legislative priorities.

Family homelessness resource list: Click here for the latest draft, thanks to Lauren Voyer and HAP. Janette Vigo generously agreed that HAP would continue to collect info and update the list. We agreed the list should be regional – cross all counties – since it would be useful to know where to refer across the region. Pamela will send this list to Brad Gordon of BCRHA for his assistance. Others should send info to Janette at

Announcement: Rachel Trant of DCF is leaving her current position (for a different position in DCF). The liaison to this committee will be Shavon Fulcher at 617-748-2087 (her supervisor), although it is unlikely her position will be filled for some time. Best of luck, Rachel!

Next meeting: Tuesday, March 8, 9:30-11 am, Northampton Senior Center, subject to confirmation. Note: Senior Center was not available so the meeting will take place at DMH Haskell Building, 2nd floor small conference room, 1 Prince Street, Northampton

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