Individual Services  Committee Meeting – July 8, 2010

In attendance:  Danielle DeBerry, ServiceNet, Yolanda Goddard, Friends of the Homeless, Dave Havens, MHA, Janice Humason, Friends of the Homeless, Peg Keller, Tri-County CoC, Jeff Langlois, Providence Ministries/Loretto House,  Jay Levy, Elliott CHS-Homeless Services, David Modzelewski, DMH, Tony Pereira, Carson Center, Thomas Poplawski, ServiceNet,  ,Jerry Ray, MHA, Wanda Rolon, ServiceNet,  Mark Warren, Brien Center

Monthly Meeting location:  In keeping with spirit of our regional network, the Committee agree to rotate meeting locations on a monthly basis.  We will meet next on August 2nd, 9:30-11 am in Springfield at Friends of the Homeless , 766 Worthington Street, Springfield.

The September meeting will be in the Berkshires (exact location to be confirmed) and the October meeting in Franklin County and then we will circle back to Hampshire (Northampton, DMH Haskell Building).  The meeting will always take place on the first Monday of the month (except with holidays – so Sept. schedule we will revisit), 9:30 – 11 am, with peer learning from 11 – 12 noon.

Legislative advocacy around line-item to revise shelter contract rate:  The amendment passed with instruction to DHCD to study the shelter contract rate and issue report.  Committee agreed that Pamela would contact Bob Pulster to find out intentions and status of this issue.  Agreed to raise question of standardization of practices – should compensation be tied to the kinds of services/threshold for entry that shelters provide  An example of our goals would be to at least bring all shelters up to state average.  Not necessarily interested in re-procurement  (wouldn’t reliably help us in view of limited resources statewide).  We want to stress our region is moving to housing first but also moving towards assuring safety of every homeless individual that we’re not yet able to house – in order to ensure that safety, we’re expecting our shelters to serve the hardest of the hard – people in the shelter need proper staffing, proper security .  Will report back in August meeting.

Discharge issue: need to educate institutions about expectations, appropriate roles; bring together best practices, establish protocols; then bring people together to share how best to respond.  First step:  exchange over email protocol ideas; Pamela will compile for 8/2 meeting.  Included in sub-group:

Danielle, Wanda, Yolanda, Janice, Steve Karpovich (Franklin County), Jane Banks, Jay Levy, Peter Gillis, Jen Lucca (Samaritan Inn), Jeff Langlois/Christine Burns, Steve Como, Dave Christopolis, Mark Warren, Peg Keller

REACH Program following end of grant period:

ServiceNet:  Housing Plus Program (SAMHSA) will pick up clients that were housed through ICHH.  REACH staff – one full-time, one ½ time (Franklin County), working now internally to hopefully retain staff

Brien Center:  in process of discussions, upcoming meeting with division director , DMH, Elliott-CHS Services regarding future after 9/30/10; possible supportive service resources available via BCAC; promising resources.

Carson Center:  looking at Mass Health Community Support Program or service under DMH; also  applying for MBHP CSPECH program; continuing to work with Ann Lentini of Domus; working to maintain staff

MHA:  Shelter Plus Care – yearly obligations to show matching funds.  Looking to other resources, including Community Based Flexible Supports (CBFS); concerned about maintaining appropriate level of support

CHD:  staff on vacation; will get status update

Re-allocation of Brien Funds ($14,300 in unspent ICHH contract funds):

Committee consensus on goals in using funding: to meet contract goals and maximize sustainability; provide bridge housing to permanent housing

Current thinking, subject to each program’s internal consultations:

Brien Center:  pay for 1 year lease $650/month – $7,800 – will provide housing for engaged chronically homeless individual who could be stabilized with this year long subsidy

Carson Center:  to house individuals for 3 months to allow for new housing construction to be completed

ServiceNet:  find out when units will be ready; subsidize housing for individuals until ready

CHD:  Dave M will contact Jane Banks

Find out by end of next week.

Find out whether DHCD would permit a transfer within an agency contract, moving dollars from support services to leasing

Pamela will consult with Liz and Erica and report back.  Will put all REACH providers on same email to allow for easy exchange of updates on need/requests.

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