Leadership Council Meeting Minutes – 1/27/11

In attendance:  Jane Banks, Center for Human Development, Kathryn  Buckley-Brawner, Catholic Charities, Tammie Butler, Community Action, Doreen Fadus, Mercy Medical Center, Judge Rob Fields, Housing Court, David Gadaire, Career Point, Peter Gagliardi, HAPHousing, Joanne Glier, Franklin County Regional Housing and Redevelopment Authority, Kristine Hazzard, Berkshire United Way, Steve Huntley, Valley Opportunity Council, Lori Ingraham, Easthampton Savings Bank, Erica Johnson, Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, Mary Johnson, YWCA, Peg Keller, City of Northampton, Charlie Knight, former consumer, Michael Longley, Department of Transitional Assistance, Gerry McCafferty, City of Springfield, Andrea Miller, Center for Human Development, Bill Miller, Friends of the Homeless,  Dave Modzelewski, Mental Health Association, Rebecca Muller, Grantworks, Jennica Petrik-Huff, Valley Community Development Corporation,  Jerry Ray, Mental Health Association,Tom Salter, New England Farm Workers Council,  Pamela Schwartz, network coordinator, Suzanne Smith, data analyst, Liz Sullivan, community member, Lynne Wallace, Dietz&Co. Architects

Approval of Minutes of 10/27/10 Leadership Council Meeting .  Click here to review.

Move to adopt:  Charlie Knight
Seconded: Tom Salter
All those in favor: unanimous

Grievance, Equal Access, Request for Accommodation Policies

Click here to review proposed Grievance Procedure.
Click here to review proposed Equal Access Policy.
Click here to review proposed Request for Accommodation form.

Special thanks to Andrea Miller for researching and drafting all documents!

Discussion and proposed amendments:

On Grievance: This grievance procedure is primarily intended for funding applicants.  For applicants of services, they must exhaust all other avenues of grievance made available by the provider agency prior to use of Network Grievance policy.

On Equal Access: Re: geographic barriers, clarify language to make clear reference to its application pertaining only to the four counties of Western Massachusetts.

On “Grievance Committee”: Amend to state “Steering Committee”

On language barriers:  State procedure to access interpreters; qualify statement with “if available”

Add ADA language.

Motion to adopt as amended:  Charlie Knight
Seconded: Tom Salter
All those in favor: unanimous

Mission statement and purposes
Click here to review mission statement and purposes.

Mission:  The Network creates collaborative and innovative solutions to end homelessness through a  housing first approach that prioritizes prevention, rapid re-housing, and housing stabilization. Purposes are attached.

Motion to adopt:  Charlie Knight
Seconded: Tom Salter
All those in favor:  unanimous.

Data Review

Click here to review Quarterly Report.
Click here to review families living in hotels.
Click here to review families entering shelter.


As dollars go up, numbers in shelter/motels go down.  Opposite is also true.  Not a reflection of provider performance but truly a reflection of resources.  Use these numbers to make the case – add lines indicating start and end of funding.

Suzanne will amend and put in cost info – will vet before putting on blog.

Need to add individual data to charts.  Use PIT count.  Find out where we are, track our trend regionally with regard to chronic homelessness.

Also suggest tracking “recidivism” (families reentering shelter after being housed).

No new housing court data because of lack of staff funding to process data.  Will restart after new ICHH contract signed.

PVPC Budget report .  Click here to review.

Motion to move surplus funds of $2,000 to data analyst line item (which is currently down to zero).Move to adopt:  Gerry McCafferty
Seconded:  Charlie Knight

All those in favor:  unanimous
Abstention:  Suzanne Smith

Other funding review

Reviewed new ICHH budget (see attached).

Motion to adopt:  Tom Salter
Seconded: Charlie Knight
All in favor: unanimous

Other funding updates:

  • Three County Continuum of Care – HMIS Funding of $80K/year:  Peg Keller announced CoC’s decision to award funding to joint applicants  Suzanne Smith and Andrea Miller.  Great news for CoC and Network!
  • Still no word from Liberty Mutual ($80K for Springfield families), no response to inquiry.  Not promising.
  • Applied to Community Foundation of Western Mass. ($15K for network staff from July – Oct.), will hear in a couple of months
  • Will apply for funding from Davis Foundation, max $25K, must serve Hampden County residents, due 2/1.
  • Rebecca Muller, Grantworks: facilitating Soldier On application in response to VA RFR for support services – MA will get approx. $1.2 million, Western Mass. in great position to obtain significant funding.  Modeled after HPRP, for veteran families; asking for network members to be partners in application process, particularly to search out info on vet families.  Opportunity to discuss further at next family services committee meeting, 2/8, Center for Human Development, 51 Capital Drive, West Springfield.  Or contact Rebecca at [email protected] to get involved.

CHAPA meeting

CHAPA is sponsoring regional meetings across the state to address the issue of next steps in advancing various affordable housing initiatives.  The Network will co-sponsor a meeting with CHAPA and invites LC participation.

Network governance:

Liz Sullivan:  Provided background for new effort to review and revamp  by-laws and network governance. Now that we have reached the stage where we are diversifying our funding sources and our funding pursuits, we need to reexamine how we efficiently and fairly make decisions.  She acknowledged – with nodding assent from LC members – that LC quarterly meeting time should not be spent on minor budget matters or other similar details but on policy setting for network direction as a whole.

Pamela Schwartz:  Recommended that LC revisits constitution of steering committee.  Recommends a smaller group that is capable of quicker decision making which is frequently required by funders and other circumstances.   Now that committees are fully developed and are the appropriate vehicle for state agency input, she recommends that state agency reps do not serve on the steering committee.  She believes that it is not only a better use of state agency staff time to continue to allocate their network minutes to the ongoing collaborations within the family and individual services committees(state agency reps frequently do not make it to steering committee meetings because the demand is too high), but it is healthy to create some separation between ultimate Network decision making and state agency involvement.  Pamela also recommended that providers do not serve on the steering committee for 2 reasons:  (1) the appropriateness of healthy separation between who makes decisions and who receives funds; and (2) the challenge of maintaining fairness and satisfaction among all providers in deciding which providers serve. Instead, the steering committee should rely very heavily on provider input via the family and individual services committees.  Pamela’s initial recommendation is to have a steering committee comprised of the LC chair, vice-chair, fiscal sponsor, and 3 CoC representatives to ensure that each county is represented.

Andrea Miller:  Vigorously opposed to not having providers on steering committee.  It would undermine the Network to not have provider input – the people working on the ground with a real understanding of the issues, challenges and best solutions.  It would be a great disappointment professionally and personally.  Does not  feel the system is broken; the exclusion of providers would break it.

Jane Banks:  When a quick decision is necessary, it can be difficult to for a provider staff person to process without going through agency hierarchy.  Can slow things down.

Tom Salter:  how to choose among providers?  To get the real mix of experience in the room you would need everybody there, and that’s not possible.

Jerry Ray:  Either all providers or none, and it’s much easier to do none.  It as much a protection of providers to keep them separated out.  Regular input is important, but so long as that is there through committee structure and information flow to steering committee, that is good enough.

Kris Hazzard:  who is supervising?    How do you get to lack of conflict of interest; who is reviewing network staff, finances, etc.  Need to ensure a system of checks and balances.

Peter Gagliardi:  family services committee – active place where collaboration occurs.  LC should be dealing with strategic issues.  Charge committees with implementing LC policy.

David Modzelewski:  We need to get to place where decisions can be made more quickly.  There continues to be tension between competing interests on individual and family side.  Imbalance of representation on steering towards family side.  Needs to be balance on steering committee.

Joanne Glier:  Can appreciate pulling smaller group together when we have short timeline, but would like to know in advance who that group is.

Charlie Knight:  if CoC people are at exec committee, enough.  They know vendors, we can feel comfortable.

Dave Gadaire:  Proposes we review our structure in 3 categories:  Leadership, Management, Operations.  Create job descriptions for each category,  ignoring the “who” for now but focus on the “what.”  Then after that is established, attend to the who.

LC members unanimously agreed to this proposal and empowered the by-laws task force to follow-up.  Current members include:  Peg Keller, Suzanne Smith, Liz Sullivan and Lynne Wallace.  Pamela will put out an invitation for any members who would like to join.

Memorandum of Understanding with United Way of Pioneer Valley

LC members unanimously agreed to empower the Steering Committee to review and authorize MOU and upon arrival at a final draft, submit to entire LC for review and approval.

Next meeting dates:

Wednesday, April 27, Hampshire County, location TBA
Thursday, July 29, Franklin County, location TBA



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