Our Network is rushing forward toward implementation. Here are updates on our work:
- Our Director of Regional Coordination, Pamela Schwartz, started this week.
- Subrecipients have been selected, and our fiscal sponsor, PVRVC, is generating contracts; we hope to have new services in place quickly!
- Our Individual Services Committee has been meeting monthly in each of the four counties for several months. These multi-agency provider-government agency groups have been generating lists of all chronically homeless individuals in our region, and beginning to consider “best fit” housing resources for the individuals: for some, the best-fit will be ICHH-funded slots, but the group is also looking to make best use of all other housing resources (Safe Havens, ATARP, other DMH housing, etc.) for these folks.
- The six entities selected to provide Family Prevention, Diversion and Rapid ReHouse will be meeting with each other and with regional DHCD and DTA representatives on August 4 to plan how to best coordinate services. It is expected that these entities will form a core of an Family Services committee, which will resume regular meetings to coordinate family prevention, diversion and rapid rehousing throughout our region.
- We have started the work funded by our Faith-Based Action Grant. We have two interns doing this work, which includes setting up meetings with faith-based communities in each of our four counties that will increase awareness of our work and explore possibilities for collaboration between our Network and our region’s faith-based communities. Our first big meeting was today in Springfield, with over 70 people coming out to hear about our work. Next steps include planning meetings in Franklin County (Aug. 5) and Hampshire County (date being worked out) and outreach to Berkshire County.
- We have obtained legal review and advice regarding the Memorandum of Understanding between our network’s Leadership Council and the Pioneer Valley Regional Ventures Center (our fiscal agent).
- We have obtained commitments for $50,000 of the $110,000 of outside/matching funds we need to raise to meet our budget goals, and have a promising upcoming meeting scheduled with potential donor.
- We have developed a framework for the Network to use to determine whether the Leadership Council will support funding applications from entities within our region for external sources of funds (e.g., the upcoming state ESG funding round).
Major next steps include:
- Getting all chosen subrecipients to contract and beginning delivery of services.
- Releasing RFP for 15 REACH slots for chronically homeless individuals that were not allocated in the initial RFP.
- Hiring Data Analyst consultant, which includes creation of job descrption, release of RFP, and the convening of a hiring committee.
- August 11 Evaluation Site Visit.
- Commencement of work of the Leadership Council committees on performance measurement and community engagement.
- Creation of a Consumer Advisory Committee.
- Consultation with attorney re Leadership Council bylaws, in preparation for next Leadership Council meeting.
- Planning for a fall regional summit on our work to end homelessness. Stay tuned for a date, which we expect will be a Friday in October.
So many people are doing such great work to make this happen. We look forward to the time that we start seeing the results of all this work, and are especially mindful of the numbers of homeless families in motels and how much there is to do to resettle those families into stable housing.