Steering Committee Meeting Minutes – 5/6/10

Attendance: Father Stan Aksamit, Our Lady of Peace Parish, Jane Banks, CHD, Dave Christopolis, BCAC, David Gadaire, Career Point, Peter Gagliardi, HAP, Stephen Huntley, VOC, Erica Johnson, PVPC, Peg Keller, Tri-county CoC, John Klenakis, Donahue Institute, Jay levy, Elliot CHS-Homeless Services, Gerry McCafferty, City of Springfield, Andrea Miller, CHD, Dave Modzelewski, DMH, Tony Pereira, Carson Center,  Pamela Schwartz, Network, Suzanne Smith, Network, Lynne Wallace, Dietz&Co. Architects

Budget Review:

On providers:  everybody  on track to spend down their grants.  One possible exception is Brien Center – Pamela will follow-up on their billing/expenditures to see if a contract amendment will be necessary.

On cash match issue:  Gerry produced a detailed memo outlining the status of our matching funds and how they meet our budget requirements.  Gerry will follow-up with ICHH/DHCD to confirm understanding and then follow-up with necessary paperwork to document.

Fiscal Agency Discussion:

Status of current fiscal agent:  Erica Johnson expressed on behalf of PVPC its desire to participate in any competitive process regarding selection of the Network’s fiscal agent after the end of the grant period on 9/30/10.

After a robust discussion (which is summarized below), we agreed:

1.  Lynne would ask for a meeting with PVPC leadership to further discuss the future role of PVPC as a fiscal agent.  Network representation at the meeting will include:  Lynne Wallace, Chair; Father Stan Aksamit, Vice Chair; Gerry McCafferty, City of  Springfield and Pamela Schwartz, Network coordinator.

2.  The Network would compile a draft budget for the next fiscal year to bring to the meeting with PVPC.  The budget sub-committee includes:  Dave Christopolis, Suzanne Smith, Lynne Wallace, Gerry McCafferty, Father Stan Aksamit , Andrea Miller and Pamela Schwartz

3.  The Network would further consider the option of incorporating and becoming its own 501©(3). This possibility would be discussed in the PVPC meeting in terms of the implications for transitioning out of the role as fiscal agent.

4.  The intention is for the meeting with PVPC  to take place in the next couple of weeks so that the Steering Committee can regroup and discuss next steps at its next meeting on Thursday, June 3rd, 3-5 pm, DMH Haskell Building.

Discussion points included:

  • Get the network in a position to apply for funds ourselves (Andrea)
  • Leadership Council would become W. Mass voice for the way we want to deal with homelessness  – provide guidance for funds coming to region (Dave M)
  • When homelessness funds are on the table, Network puts together single regional application (Peter)
  • Role as the primary organization that has advocated for the move away from shelter to housing – wants to keep that vision, the region needs that voice (John K)
  • These ideas sound like good long-term strategic planning.  But need to figure out how to pay for minimal staffing needs (coordinator, data analyst, data assistant) – wants to focus first on short-term needs to ensure Network is alive after 10/1 (Dave C)
  • We want to sustain the basic effort.   Focus on sustaining staff. (Jay)
  • Consider agency membership dues (Jane)
  • Even if dues can’t sustain it all by itself, it could be a great way to state value of the organization to funders, both public and private (Peter, Dave G)
  • Systems change is just beginning; as a group we’re much more powerful than any individual organization (Peter)
  • We need to be more involved in housing development, providing homes .(Lynne)
  • We need to be sure we’re still acknowledging the need for emergency shelter.  They need to be reminded of how valuable shelter is.  While we’re putting together resources for Housing First, there continues to be new people coming into the system.  Can’t lose sight of shelters as a continued and valued resource for keeping people safe (Dave M).
  • We have three 10-year plans that embody our goals.  We don’t really need to rehash what the point of the Network is. (Jay)
  • Should we be 501 ©(3)?  If so, then we shouldn’t take time to switch fiscal agency. (Pamela)
  • It’s not that hard to do 501©(3) – could in theory be done within the next five months. (Gerry)
  • Need to stay focused on maintaining current staff structure, need to give ourselves the best opportunity to continue this Network. (Dave G)
  • Everything is connected:  6 month plan (keep staff funded), 12 month plan (become incorporated), 18 month plan (position to apply for funds, push our vision forward as our own entity).  (Andrea)
  • If we stay with PVPC through this transition, we need to sit down with Tim, Jim and Erica together and clarify what it means to distribute private funds (Gerry)
  • Group needs to develop annual operating budget for 10/1/10 – 9/30/11 for delivery to Leadership Council (Dave)

Leadership Council Membership:  We agreed that the Community Engagement Committee would bring to the next Steering Committee a proposal for new Leadership Council members, flowing from our 4/26 community event.

Continua of Care meeting: The three CoC’s (Springfield – Gerry McCaffery; Tri-County – Peg Keller; Berkshire County – Dave Christoopolis) and Pamela will meet to discuss future coordination/merger/restructuring of CoC’s, especially in light of the Hearth Act.  Will report back at next Steering Committee meeting.

Next meeting:  Thursday, June 3, 3-5 pm, DMH Haskell Building, Northampton

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