Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Meeting Minutes
May 15, 2013

In attendance:  Shannon Barry, Springfield Public Schools, Lisa Goldsmith, Dial/SELF, Kim Majewski, Gandara Center, Jean Rogers, CHD, Tyler Rousseau, Springfield School of Social Work, Pamela Schwartz, Network coordinator

Review of homeless youth resource sheet:

Made minor edits
Agreed on content
Pamela will post on blog

Focus group survey update:

Kim shared outcomes from intern Leila’s survey work. (Note: Leila was great but agency demands resulted in less than 5 hours/week.  For future reference, should ensure intern is more clearly allocated to this committee.)

Distributed youth homelessness survey.  Initial goal was 10 participants.  11 completed:  Dial/SELF youth participants provided 7 surveys.  SHINE youth participants provided 4 surveys.

Survey review:

  1.  Question #11 – “currently in school?”  need to add an explicit opportunity to say “no”
  2. Questions #17 and #19 – percentages don’t align of “ever being in foster care” vis-à-vis “ever living in a group home or residential program”  – could be confusion around interpreting the distinction between foster care and home/residential program

Participants at Dial/SELF and SHINE were very comfortable completing the survey.

Reflections on findings:
thought more kids would have been working instead of going to school; surprised at number of kids in school, taking college courses (Dial/SELF offers a stipend, so less pressure to get a job, so school is a more viable option; in SHINE, offers support and food/lodging, so again, more alternatives).

Interesting to note “no children” among any participants.  Analysis:  if with a partner, program can’t accommodate partners.  Also, if over 18, would seek EA.

Kim will send Tyler raw data.  Tyler will collate and create data summary/presentation in the next couple of weeks.  Thank you, Tyler!

Lisa Goldsmith reported on MA Commission on Unaccompanied Youth.  Not yet publicly released (some internal finalizing issues).  Next commission meeting scheduled for 5/29.

State budget update:  House budget included funds for unaccompanied homeless youth pilot account, for demonstration projects and to support staffing of the special commission.  Awaiting Senate budget to be released today.  Stay tuned for legislative updates.

Other program updates:

Great Barrington trying to start warming shelter out there.  Lisa will provide contact info and Network can follow-up.
Gandara Center and Dial/SELF is participating in the Aging-Out forum at Boston College on 6/11.

Next meeting: 6/20, 1:30-2:45 pm, Northampton Senior Center.

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