On December 9, 2010, the Network’s Discharge Planning Group met to continue planning and discussion around preventing homelessness among individuals discharged from institutions.    We enjoyed the additional company of several CSP (Community Support Program) providers and had a dynamic discussion about the various challenges and possible solutions.   For purposes of our minutes, I would like to summarize our decisionmaking, recommendations and next action steps.  The list of attendees is also below.

1.  The group unanimously approved the regional guidelines for discharge planning for homeless individuals.  We agreed that the next step is for staff to bring this document to their fellow staff members and facilitate a discussion about it within the institution, seeking feedback around implementation.  We will report back on our discussions at our next meeting on Thursday, February 10, at 10 am at MBHP, 489 Whitney Avenue, Holyoke, 3rd floor. Click here for the discharge guidelines.

2.  We agreed that production of both a short referral list (that will accompany the discharge guidelines) and a more comprehensive list is a priority.  Jay Levy and Dave Modzelewski are leading the charge in this effort (thank you!), and will provide this information as soon as it is available and presumably prior to our next meeting in February.  We also agreed that a good “home” for this information could be MBHP’s website http://masshomelesshealth.org.

3.  We agreed on a goal to increase the collaboration and communication between CSP providers and shelter providers so that the best available resources are both known and utilized for each homeless individual.  We agreed the important first step is for each group to visit the work of the other:  for CSP workers to attend REACH meetings (monthly meetings by sub-region where housing providers match resources to homeless individuals) and for shelter providers to attend the CSP quarterly meeting in March. Our goal is to allocate our January “meeting time” to attending REACH meetings instead.  Please see below for the schedule of REACH meetings.

4.  We agreed that the Western Mass. Interagency Council (WMIC) would be an appropriate body for the discussion of some of the larger issues, such as the need for more respite care in the region.

5.  We agreed that for our February meeting, we will invite representatives from the region’s correctional facilities.

Below is a list of the REACH meetings – please locate the one in your region!

Westfield/Holyoke REACH Meeting
2nd Monday of Each Month
10am at DMH Northampton – Haskell Blding
2nd Floor – Large Conference Room

Hampshire/Franklin REACH Meeting
2nd Monday of Each Month
1pm at DMH Northampton – Haskell Blding 1 Prince St
2nd Floor – Large Conference Room

Berkshires REACH Meeting
3rd Tuesday of each Month
10am at Brien Center – 333 East St. Pittsfield
1st Floor Conference Room

Springfield REACH Meeting
3rd Tuesday of each Month
2pm at Friends of the Homeless – Springfield Resource Center
755 Worthington St. (Same Parking Lot as the Shelter)
1st Floor Conference Room

Finally, attendees at our 12/9 meeting:
Sherry Bell, Highland Valley Elder Services,  Danielle DeBerry, ServiceNet,  Lisa Ellingsen, Highland Valley Elder Services, Doreen Fadus, Mercy Medical Center/Health Care for the Homeless, Susan Fortin, DMH, Jen Glover, Franklin county Home Care Corp., Monique Gondek-Ashe, BHN, Nancy Hart, Carson Center, Dave Havens,  Mental Health Association, JP Hennessey, CSO, Janice Humason, Friends of the Homeless, Marla Killough, Baystate Franklin Medical Center, Rose Knapik, BHN, Jay Levy, Eliot CHS-Homeless Services, Dave Modzelewski, MHA, Jennifer Moore, BHN, Maureen Norman, Eliot CHS-Homeless Services, Joan O’Meara, Cooley Dickinson, Tony Pereira, Carson Center, Claudia Phillips, Mercy Medical/Health Care for the Homeless, Marty Pope, Baystate Medical Center, Linda Pozan, Franklin County Homecare Corp.,  Jerry Ray, MHA, Michael Schoenberg, MBHP, Pamela Schwartz, network coordinator, Melinda Williams, CSO

Thanks so much and I look forward to continuing this important work together.


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