I wanted to give you an update on our agenda for our upcoming family services committee meeting next Tuesday, April 13, 1:00 – 3:00 pm at the Holyoke DTA Office, 100 Front Street, 3rd floor conference room. In short:

At 1:00, we will host as a special guest, Heidi Dileone, western regional coordinator of FOR Families, who will share with us information about FOR Families’ services and launch a dialogue about how we can build greater connections between housing providers and FOR Families across the region.  We are also pleased to welcome additional domestic violence shelter and service providers to our meeting and look forward to building these collaborations.

At 2:00, the agenda will turn to coordination around the Emergency Shelter Grant (ESG) applications due to DHCD on April 28th.  We are welcoming individual service providers to this portion of the meeting in order to maximize the coordination across the region since both individual and family shelter/prevention providers are seeking funds.  Our aim is to have as coordinated an application as possible, so that we maximize collaboration among all providers.  I understand that for those of you not applying for ESG funds, this portion of the meeting may not be useful to you, so of course you are welcome to stay or go as you wish.

Finally, I wanted to give you all a heads-up about a meeting taking place 12-1 pm that same day, same location.  There, Hampden County providers will be gathering to continue our discussion of implementing the “triage model” in Hampden County, that is, how we can assume local control of shelter placements across the county, streamlining the movement from motel to shelter to housing.  Franklin, Hampshire and Berkshire Counties are also pursuing this effort but because Hampden County is so large with many more providers, the Network is focusing on this piece of the effort right now.

Additionally, the Department of Children and Famlilies and Department of Transitional Assistance Domestic Violence units are reaching out to Springfield homelessness providers to discuss a pilot project in the Springfield area to better connect homeless domestic violence victims to housing resources.  We will have a chance to hear more about this initiative at the triage meeting between 12 and 1 pm.

Everyone is welcome to any and all parts of this very full day.  Look forward to seeing you at one time or another!

Network coordinator

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