First, please mark your calendar for July and August meeting dates/times/locations, which are NOT our usual 2nd Tuesday of the month due to vacation schedules.
Tuesday, July 20, 9:30 – 11:30 am, Northampton, DMH Haskell Building, 1 Prince Street, Northampton
Tuesday, August 3, 1-3 pm, Holyoke DTA Office, 100 Front Street, Holyoke

Since these meetings are close together in time, we can take stock of our agenda at the July meeting and determine then whether you want to meet in August, but for now, please save the date in your calendars!

Minutes of 6/1/10 Meeting:

Attendance: Jane Banks, Center for Human Development, Tammie Butler, Community Action, Martha Ceplikas, DHCD, Joanne Glier, Franklin County Regional Housing and Redevelopment Authority, Toni Hochstadt, Community Action, Stephen Huntley, VOC,  Fran LeMay, Greenfield Family Inn, Gerry McCafferty, City of Springfield, Yvonne Norman, Springfield Partners, Jordana O’Connell, Holyoke Public Schools, Jim Reis, HAP, Vicki Riddle, Catholic Charities, Tom Salter, NEFWC, Pamela Schwartz, Network, Suzanne Smith, Network, Janette Vigo, YWCA


  • Catholic Charities’ office is moving but is still open (despite some rumors to the contrary) and providing housing assistance!I

ICHH and other funds update:

  • HAP:  has ICHH and Springfield HPRP funds
  • NEFWC: $2,500 in ICHH funds remaining; has HPRP diversion funds
  • VOC: unclear about both ICHH and HPRP funds – will report back
  • Community Action: $4,000 in ICHH funds, $6,000 in ESG funds, $4,000 in annual pledge funds
  • Franklin County Housing and Redev. Authority:  under $200 in ICHH; has RAFT funds
  • Berkshire County Housing Authority:  need to get update (unable to attend)

Discussion of Dennis Culhane’s white paper on shifts in the EA system to address family homelessness:
All agreed the paper is useful in generating dialogue around what’s working and what isn’t.  People raised the concern that the cost comparisons between shelter and housing are somewhat misleading because they do not factor in the additional costs on the housing side that include housing stabilization and related operating expenses for providers.  There is deep frustration about the failure to account for the true cost of doing the business of housing stabilization and prevention.

We also agreed it was unclear whether Dennis was suggesting the elimination of the entitlement to shelter for families and felt that clarity on this point was vital to fully understanding the import of (and response to) his recommendations.

The conversation then flowed into a discussion of the need to better engage housing authorities in prevention and rehousing efforts.  We agreed to connect to Hank Abrashkin of the Springfield Housing Authority, a leader in housing authority interventions, to explore ways the SHA model can influence others in our region.  Pamela and Gerry will follow-up on that.

Others raised the concern that landlords deliberately wait until many months of back rent are owed before filing an eviction, thereby ensuring a “winning” eviction since there is no way tenants could recover.  This issue will be brought to the next housing court collaboration meeting.

MassCap invitation and looking forward as a Network
Pamela shared that she had spoken with Laura Spark of MassCAP who is interested in learning more about what the Networks would need to continue their prevention efforts past 9/30/10 (grant end).  Our committee agreed that answering this question goes to the larger question of our future vision as a Network – what role we want to play in distributing funds directly to providers vs. facilitating the effectiveness of providers’ distribution of other funds.  We agreed this question should be taken up by the Steering Committee and we will report back for further discussion at our next Family Services Committee meeting in July.

Next meeting:  Tuesday, July 20, 2010, 9:30 am, DMH Haskell Building, 1 Prince Street, Northampton

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