We had a very productive meeting on Tuesday. I want to first flag our next meeting date since it is soon: Next Tuesday, September 15, 9:30-11:00 am, location to be confirmed (but hopefully DTA office in Holyoke, 100 Front Street). The agenda at this meeting includes the following:
- develop uniform criteria across our region for granting ICHH funds to at-risk or homeless families, e.g., documentation of income or employment, landlord ownership, etc. Jim Reis and others will circulate via email an example for discussion. I encourage others to do the same. I have contacted Laila to clarify if and what ICHH guidelines exist.
- create uniform release of information and disclosure forms. Joanne Glier will bring the release form used under the RAFT program. Tom Salter will bring a sample disclosure form. Please circulate via email in advance if possible.
- establish a uniform assessment tool in the interim period until ICHH makes its tool final (I have contacted Laila regarding the use of its draft form until finalized). Providers are concerned about providing appropriate documentation for its fiscal agency in a uniform manner.
Please join us if this discussion would be useful to you (and it would be great to get all ICHH funded family providers in the room!).
Minutes of 9/8/09 Meeting
Attending: Fran Lemay, Toni Hochstadt, Tammie Butler, Jim Reis, Marcia Crutchfield, Jane Lindfors, Martha Ceplikos, Jane Banks, Tom Salter, Joanne Glier, Jannette Vigo, Jodi Smith, Stephen Huntley, Pamela Schwartz
The overarching concern was balancing the urgent need and desire to get the funds out to homeless families alongside the concern that lack of uniformity in systems is likely to lead to greater barriers later. Next week’s meeting is intended to address those concerns.
Coordinating with DTA/DHCD offices
Efforts are underway to establish regular hours in the DTA/DHCD offices in Springfield and Holyoke when providers’ staff will be present to assist with diverting families from shelter. HAP is meeting with the director of Springfield’s Liberty Street office today to finalize arrangements. VOC and NEFWC are waiting to hear back from the DTA office with confirmation that space is available for their staff.
While the understanding from ICHH is that the data collection will tie into HMIS, some providers wanted to know what that meant if they weren’t working with HMIS now. I will follow-up with Laila on this question.
Multiple funding sources
Providers wanted written confirmation from ICHH that it is acceptable to use multiple funding sources for one family, and clarification as to whether there is a particular order of availability, e.g., can only access ICHH after going for toolbox funds or RAFT. I will follow-up with Laila on this issue.
Connecting all providers
We all noted and appreciated having Janette and Jodi from the YWCA with us, although the Y is not an ICHH grantee. Jim Reis suggested also reaching out to Springfield Community Partners and Catholic Charities to get them connected to this meeting as well. I will do that. We agreed that once these funds are flowing, having all providers meet and coordinate together is extremely valuable.
Next monthly meeting (always the 2nd Tuesday of the month if you want to mark your calendars): Tuesday, October 13, 1-3 pm, DTA Office, 3rd floor conference room, Holyoke
Thanks to you all, and I look forward to next week’s meeting.
Director of Regional Coordination
Western Mass Network to End Homelessness