Individual Services Meeting Minutes
April 25, 2013

In attendance:  Carl Cignoni, Hampshire County  Corrections/DOC Re-Entry Services, Shannon Fahey, DOC Re-entry, Peg Keller, City of Northampton, Jay Levy, Eliot CHS-Homeless Services, Dave Modzelewski, Network housing coordinator, Kevin Noonan, Craig’s Doors, Pamela Schwartz, network coordinator, Wanda Rolon, ServiceNet, Sally J. Van Wright, Hampden County Sheriff’s Department, Rebekah Wilder, Craig’s Place

FY14 Budget Considerations for Individual Homelessness:

Tenancy Preservation Program:  vital services for preserving tenancies for people with disabilities.  Extremely effective.

Increase shelter bed rate to $30/night:  extremely important to allow for our area shelters to continue to provide necessary services.  Very important in view of state emphasis on family homelessness. Decrease in funding on individual side imperils sufficient shelter/housing programs for individuals – providers will not be able to continue to provide housing without funding stream.

Kevin Noonan made a motion to support amendments to fully fund TPP and increase bed rate to $30/night
Seconded:  Carl Cignoni
All those in favor:  unanimous

Pamela will communicate via email re: Senate process and timing for advocacy.

Emergency shelter update

Easthampton annex closed.  Cot shelter closes 5/1.  Has been full.  Moving people to Grove St as beds open.  Working to place people.  But many will be going back out to streets.

Craig’s Doors.  22 beds. Were full as of 2 nights ago. Last night 6 open beds (warm night?).

At Craig’s Doors, women population has fluctuated, sometimes 2, sometimes 10.  Declined at Northampton cot shelter due to the 6 additional beds available at Craig’s Doors for women.

Craig’s Doors saw approximately 30 women total, most stayed less than 30 days, but not necessarily consecutive.

Samaritan Inn also has new beds for women.  Friends of the Homeless also improved setting for homeless women.  Overall very improved situation for women.

Working with individuals to get them into specific housing programs, e.g., Rescue Mission.  Aiming to get into a month-to-month rental unit so can move into program more easily when opening occurs.

Hampshire County Corrections:  about 4 people per month being released who are homeless. Refer to Grove St or cot shelter.  Also intermittently refer to Craig’s Doors, Samaritan, and Greenfield.  If veteran, no wait to go to Soldier On.

A couple of successful referrals to Samaratin Inn from Craig’s Doors.

Peg Keller:  Business development forum:  big concern is panhandling.  Removing some benches.  Trying to change culture of giving, emphasize Happy Frog, more cards at the register.

Berkshires:  successful season with new cot shelter.  Good network.  Pamela will reach out.

Pamela reported out on work group to house people with sex offense histories.  In continuing conversation with HAP.  Staff turnover there requiring some delay in implementing new policy (trial basis of leasing to a level 1 or 2 sex offender).  Will keep people posted.

Next meeting:

Wed., 6/26, 10-11:30, Northampton Senior Center


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