Individual Services Meeting
May 5, 2016

In attendance: Troy Brin, Veterans Inc., Nichole Bodiford, Friends of the Homeless, Steve Connors, Veterans Services, Clare Deucher, SOAR, Toni Dolan, Veterans Services, Courtnee Godbolt, Friends of the Homeless, Janice Humason, Friends of the Homeless, Tony Koniezhny, Clubhouse, Michael LaMothe, public speaker (former consumer), Jay Levy, Eliot CHS-Homeless Services, Gleidy Maria, Catholic Charities Terry Maxey, SMOC, Gerry McCafferty, City of Springfield, Patty McDonald, SMOC, Bill Miller, Friends of the Homeless, Donna Nadeau, DHCD, Luz Ortiz, Friends of the Homeless, Katherine Person, Veterans Inc, Evelyn Rivera, Eliot Homeless, Laura Robertson, Catholic Charities, Christina Ruest, Friends of the Homeless, Joe Schroeter, Eliot CHS, Jennifer Schmitt, Craig’s Doors, Pamela Schwartz, Network, Delphine Wray, Friends of the Homeless

FY17 State Budget Update:

The House Budget was voted upon last week with mixed results. The Network’s priority to increase the shelter bed rate to $30/night did not make it in. The Senate budget will be released in the next couple of weeks and we will continue to advocate for its inclusion.

Additionally, the newly created Consortiums (for coordinated entry and prevention funds) was not funded. And the youth housing/services component was funded at $1 million instead of the necessary $2 million. Advocacy will continue in the Senate budget.

EOHHS Consortium and Youth Programs Update:

Gerry reported that these newly funded programs are up and running in Hampden County. Catholic Charities is focused on funding individuals with rental assistance and arrears, etc. HAP is focused primarily on funding families.

The Hampden County youth program is being run by the Gandara Center. They will provide up to a full year of housing subsidy and will also provide emergency housing through host homes (a la short-term foster care).

These programs are budgeted through the end of this fiscal year but it is expected to continue into next year as well.

Three County (via Community Action) is currently finalizing its contract with EOHHS.

CoC funding awards:

HUD announced its Tier 2 funding awards and our entire region fared very well (especially relative to the rest of the State and the nation’s CoC’s). Only 5% of all CoCs across the country received bonus funds and Hampden County was one of them. Congratulations to all! The new Hampden County CoC bonus projects include rapid rehousing money for youth (via Gandara’s SHINE program, allowing continuity of programming from the state youth funding) and longer-term rapid-re-housing (assistance up to 2 years) via Catholic Charities.

HUD registration for next year’s CoC round is already starting.

Homelink Update:

This is an online system that Hampden County is adopting to connect chronically homeless and unsheltered individuals and veterans to Permanent Supportive Housing. Training is underway and it will be incorporated as part of the Hampden County REACH meetings. Signing of Memorandum of Understanding, in conjunction with Release of Information, is underway and will allow providers to discuss each individual to ensure best housing match while protecting confidentiality.

Zero 2016 campaign:

The Zero 2016 campaign has offered to come into Hampden County to do an action camp for 1.5 days to focus on improving the system to make re-housing efforts more successful more quickly. Stay tuned for more details.

Jerry Ray retiring: party at Sam’s Tavern on May 5

Gerry invited everyone to celebrate Jerry Ray’s retirement (and his 22 years of extraordinary contributions to the effort of ending homelessness) at Sam’s Tavern on May 5 (tonight!), 5-7 pm. MHSA is also honoring him on May 12 in Boston. Please join us in thanking Jerry!

Youth Count and Survey:

The statewide youth count and survey (for 18-24 unaccompanied youth, including parents) is taking place right now, from 5/2-5/15; please contact Gandara Center for Hampden and Dial/SELF for 3 County to obtain surveys.

Three County Update:

The veterans committee is continuing to work on its by-name list.
The CoC is receiving some great support from TAC (Technical Assistance Collaborative)to help develop its governance structure and systems.

The group is preparing to launch the pilot of its vulnerability assessment tool (May 13), based on AZ Matrix tool. Will assess results and also continue to work out the individualized input (within a group context) regarding an assessment score. They are also exploring how to integrate the tool into HMIS data collection, although this is very complicated to do.

Special Presentation: Clare Deucher, SOAR Project ( SSI/SSDI Outreach Access and Recovery)

Clare is working under a one year SAMHSA grant (ends Sept. 30) to promote use of SOAR. Go to the SOAR blog post here  for detailed information on the program.

The goal is to integrate SOAR practice into agencies. Clare is looking for liaisons to get trained on a “team” who in turn can provide consultation to other team members. It would be ideal to find a local leader for SOAR here in Western MA, and one in particular targeted to serve veterans. Please contact Clare at [email protected]

Next meeting 6/2, 9:30 -11, Northampton (Northampton Senior Center)

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