We had a fantastic Leadership Council on April 27, thanks to the incredible work of so many Leadership Council members.  I want to urge LC members who could not be there and all blog readers to take some time to look through the links in the minutes below.  There is an abundance of excellent information, analysis and content on where are our Network has been and where it’s going.  The minutes are relatively slim because everything you need to know is in those attachments – start clicking!

One item deserves particular mention up top:   our collective thanks to Pioneer Valley Planning Commission for their fiscal sponsorship during our pilot period.  Special thanks to Erica Johnson of PVPC for enabling us to function on a day-to-day basis and to Tim Brennan for his leadership in taking us on.  We would not be here without PVPC and for that the Network is forever grateful.

Our next meeting is Thursday, July 28, 2011 at Our Lady of Peace Parish, 90 Seventh Street, Turners Falls (Franklin County’s turn!).  Please mark your calendar now.

Leadership Council Meeting – April 27, 2011

In attendance:  Father Stan Aksamit, co-chair, Mary Jane Bacon, Senator Rosenberg’s Office, Jane Banks, Center for Human Development, Tim Brennan, Pioneer Valley Planning Council, Kathryn Buckley-Brawner, Catholic Charities, Tammie Butler, Community Action, Dave Christopolis, Hilltown Community Development Corporation, Sylvia deHaas-Phillips, United Way of Pioneer Valley, Ken DeMers, New England Farm Workers Council, John Ebbetts, Hampshire County United Way, Doreen Fadus, Mercy Medical Center Health Care for the Homeless, Judge Robert Fields, Housing Court, David Gadaire, Career Point, Peter Gagliardi, HAPHousing, Joanne Glier, Franklin County Housing and Redevelopment Authority, Brad Gordon, Berkshire County Regional Housing Authority, Peg Keller, Tri-County Continuum of Care, Charlie Knight, former consumer, Jay Levy, Elliot-CHS Homeless Services,  Michael Longley, DTA, Gerry McCafferty, City of Springfield, Bill Messner, Holyoke Community College, Dave Modzelewski, Mental Health Association, Rebecca Muller, Grantworks, Jerry Ray, Mental Health Association, Pamela Schwartz, network coordinator, Suzanne Smith, network data analyst, Nancy Stoll, Berkshire United Way, Liz Sullivan, formerly DMH/concerned citizen, Lynne Wallace, Dietz&Co. Architects

Approve Minutes of 1/27/11:  one correction:  next LC meeting date is Thursday, 7/28 (not 7/29 as stated in the minutes).  Motion to approve:  Charlie Knight.  Seconded:  Jay Levy.  Unanimous approval.

Update on homelessness:  Gerry McCafferty presented overview of current status.  Click here for the materials related to “Point in Time Trends.”

LC Comments:  rise in chronic homeless individuals from 2009 to 2010 is also a reflection of better counting methods.  Arguably, actual number has not risen but those who are chronically homeless are better known and identified.

Data update:  Suzanne Smith, data analyst, presented.  Click here for the impact and analysis report  and click here for the Quarter 1 2011 outcome report.  Thank you to Suzanne for an outstanding report on our progress.  A few highlights:

ICHH pilot project review:

Individuals:  Goal 38 housed. Actual with ICHH funds: 45.  With other funding: 97 housed.

Families:  Goal:  310 families diverted/prevented from homelessness.  Actul with ICCH funds:  402.   With other funding: 2096 families diverted

Examination of family homelessness trends demonstrates very starkly the correlation between motel population and diversion funding.  Motel numbers up when diversion funding down.  Suggestion to “do the math” to calculate the cost of families in motels over the months of the rise vs. the cost of diversion.  Results would strengthen the case for diversion funding!

On Quarterly Outcomes Report:  most evident is decline in numbers served over the last 4 quarters (reflection of end of ICHH funding).  For housing homeless individuals:  challenge is increasing supportive housing supply.

LC Comment:  would love to track retention in housing; would be a helpful number to support policy changes.   Create better ties to workforce development.

Update on Fiscal Sponsorship:  Lynne Wallace provided PVPC final update.  Click here for the budget report.  Thank you to PVPC for their dedication and commitment to the Network!!

New sponsor:  United Way of Pioneer Valley.  Sylvia deHaas-Phillips presented on role of UWPV as fiscal sponsor.  Click here for  segment of a white paper Sylvia distributed  on the roles of fiscal sponsors.  UWPV’s role is one as partner, not project manager.

UWPV reviewed the following factors in making its decision to sponsor:

  • Mission review – do Network and UWPV missions align?  Yes.
    UWPV capacity review: is there staff/infrastructure capacity to support this?  Yes.
    Network capacity review: is the Network capable of doing its job?  Yes.

All aligned for moving forward.

UWPV Will provide fiscal and management support, will report to funding sources, will serve as conduit to funds.  But will not be in role as fundraiser.

Distributed Memorandum of Understanding with Network.  Became effective 4/1/11.  Click here for a review of the MOU.

Report on Governance Committee:  Liz Sullivan presented.  Special thanks to the Committee:  Dave Gadaire, Charlie Knight, Andrea Miller, Peg Keller, Liz Sullivan, Suzanne Smith for their time and energy in this process.  Click  here for a diagram of the proposed structure and click here for a detailed presentation on proposed structure and Network role.

Motion to accept recommendations:  Charlie Knight.  Seconded: Jerry Ray.  Unanimous approval of recommendations.

Discussion:  how does it relate to “10 year plan Leadership  Councils.”  For Berkshire:  it has essentially folded into the Network, so would like to ensure sub-regional focus as well.  Tri-County, also folded into Network.   For Springfield: their own council will continue to meet re: reviewing its own local goals but will also funnel its efforts into the Network.

Network’s next chapter.  Introduction by Bill Messner, Holyoke Community College (generously facilitated steering committee retreat meetings).  Very impressed with network commitment to issue.  Believes the Network is in an excellent position to move forward in its work. (Thank you, Bill, for your inspiring words!).

The remainder of these minutes are notes taken on a brainstorm by Leadership Council members:

Dave Modzelewski:  how can Network best navigate funding opportunities for the region to maximum resources coming here and minimize competition.

Rebecca Muller:  requires education among key leaders in organizations, the groups that have driven how funding happens, requires perception on their part that we have a meaningful mission and understanding and credibility and knowledge of the region and well-defined plan by which to measure our progress.  Includes a process that includes sub-populations are being looked at.  Whole ways that neighborhoods/hospitals have worked to submit applications in Springfield area – those groups have not been brought into the Network, not consistently.  Nor has their data.  Is it our role to say yes or no to a funding application?  Probably not.  It is our role to weigh in on whether a project furthers the Network vision.

Gerry McCafferty:  ties back into 10 year plan.  City’s decision flows from 5 year consolidated plan – does a new proposal support our specific vision.  That is what the 10 year plan did.  We may need to bring together the vision with specific goals.  When we get a request for support, then we have something to compare it to.  Not arbitrary.  Assess whether a proposal aligns with goals or not.

Peter Gagliardi:  one of the biggest accomplishments to date is the degree to which we have created collaborations among organizations that didn’t talk to each other much or were in competition.  Now we have set stage for different things to happen.  E.g, HomeBase – dialogue with family services committee has led to collaboration on another level.  Tough because orgs are already funded from other organizations.  What can we do differently so we can aggregate the work that is necessary for families to succeed?  Continued role as convener is extremely important.  Push where need to push.  Collaborations lead to collective proposal, also easier for Network to endorse if convening from the start.

Gerry McCafferty:  individual orgs may have own goals but community has larger goals so key is to have individual orgs tie into larger picture.

Father Stan Aksamit:  At the end of the day, when people fall through the cracks, they end up at his door.  Silos and structures still create too many barriers.  Must keep in our hearts the people we want to serve. Ask what are your frustrations and out of those frustrations what are your hopes?

Dave Gadaire:  Two of the more important issues are community engagement and ongoing messaging.  If we’re going to bring non-conventional people around the table, we need to get out into the community and bring people in.  We’ve got a great foundation of people – must focus on growing it!

Charlie Knight:  feature cooperation/collaboration.  We want to cooperate and collaborate and we can celebrate it.

If others have thoughts to add to this discussion, please email Lynne at [email protected].

Next meeting:  Thursday, July 28, Franklin County, Our Lady of Peace Parish, 90 Seventh Street, Turners Falls.

Network needs to consolidate 10 year plan goals and own them as well.  Make sure we continue to build

Unanimous approval.

«   »

Return to full list of blog posts.