Discharge planning funding collaboration sub-group: – 5/3/11

In attendance:  Doreen Fadus, Mercy Medical Center Health Care for the Homeless, David Gadaire, Career Point, Jen Lucca, Samaratin Inn, Dave Modelewski, Mental Health Association,, Pamela Schwartz, network coordinator, Laura Waskiewicz, Franklin County Sheriff’s Department

Brainstorm on goals for this group:

Dave Gadaire, Career Point:  drawn to sustainability piece – connecting to employment/workforce development as the vehicle for sustainability

Laura Waskiewicz, Franklin County Sheriff’s Dept:  drawn here because frustrated by facing grant opportunities that required community collaborations – short timeline – want to streamline process so collaborations are already underway when opportunities strike – would like a group that meets when grants arise

Jennifer Lucca, Samaratin Inn:   interested in developing systems to improve opportunities for ex-offenders.  Has 7 beds that they’re not funded for – would be interested in fundraising to designate them for ex-offenders coming from correctional facilities, built on what they already have . Must have mental health support to make it work – one missing piece.  Can’t make it work without it.

Doreen Fadus, Mercy Medical Center Health Care for the Homeless:  always interested in collaboration, part of the whole process.  And also at capacity.  To do more, will require additional resources.

Dave Modzelewski:  Mental Health Association:  wants to be prepared for opportunities; what gaps can we identify now that pose a problem and think about where to go after money, either as a pilot program or some other venue; we need to create a better bridge with jobs, mental health support, etc. in order to prevent recidivism.

Working regionally makes us more competitive for resources.

Laura:  would like to create review of resources/grant opportunities, establish a kind of review committee

Doreen:  what about the resources to actually write the grant?

Dave G: start by identifying gaps, e.g., the unfunded services that are going on – if includes larger orgs, with development staff, could plug in those resources to apply.  Relies on working as a network, where one org is fundraising for another on the assumption that everybody wins.  Important to avoid chasing the funding, instead match the dollar to the need

Brainstorm on needs:  big bottleneck to get psychiatric evaluation.  Health Care for the Homeless has developed a 3 person team, evolved over time with a psychiatrist, psych. nurse and social worker.  Can get appointments relatively quickly (as compared to a wait of 6-8 months for psychiatric evaluation).  But not enough resources to pay them for more hours or to obtain additional mental health providers.

Another challenge re: the potential for funding additional Samaritan beds for ex-offenders:  funding shelter may be less appealing with the current focus on housing first.  Jennifer:  the transitional nature can be written into the funding – they have extensive support systems to enable people to move into housing and become sustainable

Maybe start small, e.g., 10 inmates with history of recidivism – develop connections between workforce development, housing, medical and mental health services – and make best fit between individual and services to sustain housing.  Look at recidivism risk of inmates  and target accordingly.

For workforce development: need to get to offenders at least 6 months before pre-release.  Build comfort.  Currently 3FTEs from CareerPoint, piecemeal funding, go into jails, teach work readiness.  Hampden County jail staff have job developers, coordinates with Career Point job developers (to ensure streamlined, one point of contact to develop relationships).

Brainstorm further about pilot with 10-15 people from across region.  Define set of services that is essential to supporting release and preventing recidvisim.

Next meeting:  Friday, 6/3, 9-10:30 am, Northampton Senior Center, 67 Conz Street, Northampton.  Newly named:  Discharge Funding Opportunity Team

«   »

Return to full list of blog posts.