On Friday, October 16, the Western Mass. Interagency Council (WMIC) met.
Attendees included: Elizabeth Sullivan, Chair, Western MA DMH Area Director, Frances Bernier, CareerPoint, Ben Cluff, DPH BSAS, Clare Deucher, Statewide HIV/Homeless Liaison DDS, Paul Fitzsimons, DCF, David Gadair, CareerPoint, Jay Levy, ELIOT CHS Homeless Services, David Modzelewski, DMH, Timothy Ploof, MRC, James Reis, HAP, George Ryan, Regional Employment Board, Hampden County, Michale Schoenberg, MBHP, Sarah Slautterback, ESE Homeless Education, Jodi Smith, YMCA Western MA, Robert Cassu, VAMC-Northampton, Jen Roussier, MA DOC, Pamela Schwartz, Network Coordinator
After general updates regarding the bleak state budget situation and potential consequences, the agenda turned to the issue of WMIC’s relationship to the Western Mass. Network to End Homelessness. After a healthy discussion, it was decided that:
- WMIC provided an important vehicle for state agency/provider dialogue, troubleshooting and coordination.
- WMIC would continue to meet monthly on the third Friday of each month.
- More pointed agendas would be distributed in advance of the meeting so that attendees could anticipate what they would learn/discuss.
- WMIC is both an important part of the Network and, due to its important history pre-Network, will continue to maintain its own identity.
- It still remains to be decided how exactly WMIC will be labeled in relationship to the Network, i.e., a committee or a working group. We agreed that WMIC’s strong history and linkage to the Network would add to the Network’s sustainability over the long term.
- WMIC will continue to manage its own meetings, agenda, etc. separate from Network facilitation. This, too, is consistent with supporting sustainability of WMIC and the Network.
Next Meeting: Friday, November 20, 10 am – 12 noon, MBHP, 3rd floor, 489 Whitney Avenue, Holyoke.