Please see the minutes below of our meeting earlier this week, but first mark your calendars now for our next large group check-in about how the discharge planning effort is going.  It will be on:

Thursday, September 15
10:00 am – 12:00 noon
Northampton Senior Center
67 Conz Street, Northampton

We will focus on a review of the implementation of our discharge guidelines, relationships among all the providers (shelters, CSP workers, hospitals, correctional facilities, detox and rehab centers), and overall assess our progress in decreasing homelessness upon discharge.  Then we will brainstorm our next steps.

Please mark your calendar and please share with anyone who you feel belongs there.
Discharge Planning Committee Meeting Minutes – 6/20/11

In attendance:  Carl Cignoni, Hampshire County Sherriff’s Office, SueFortin, Dept. of Mental Health, Dave Havens, Mental Health Association,  Peg Keller, Tri-County CoC, City of Northampton,  Naomi Klayman, Career Point, Jay Levy, Elliott – CHS Human Services, Dave Modzelewski, Mental Health Association, Claudia Phillips, Mercy Medical, Health Care for the Homeless, Jo-Ann Tolliver, Northampton VA Medical Center, Laura Waskiewicz, Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, Kurt Zellen, Northampton VA Medical Center

Working Group Updates

Funding Collaboration Working Group

Restated goal:  to be prepared to respond to requests for proposals  – or to seek funding – to address hard-to-serve offender population at continued risk of homelessness and criminal recidivism.  Towards that end, collect data to support such funding proposals.  collect  data to support a proposal.  Reviewed questions brainstormed by working group to assess prison/shelter population in order to build pilot program to serve most at-risk population of recidivism for both homelessness and re-offending.

Need to work with expert job counselors; they should be interviewing clients to assess potential for success in the workplace; they also offer connections to employer community in order to gain trust and confidence from employer to take risk of offering employment to an at-risk population.

New VA program that employs formerly or currently homeless individuals to serve as vocational rehab counselors to others who need support.  Potentially a good model for non-VA community.

Group consensus to continue moving forward in this direction.

Also agreed on vision that this particular pursuit would be just one of several sub-populations for which we are ready to serve; that hopefully this one sub-group will be one of several that are “at the ready”

Next steps:  Pamela will convene meeting of sub-group and facilitate via email outreach to correctional facilities and shelters around the questions.  Will also reach out to data analyst and invite her input/expertise.

Housing Sex Offenders Working Group

Update on  ongoing effort:  slow and steady progress in assessing issue, building coalition around it, reaching out to broaden coalition (police, parole and probation are first new invitees).

Agreed on goal being public safety first.  Best way to promote public safety is to house sex offenders, preventing them from going underground.  Next meeting on 7/12 – Pamela encouraged everyone to be sure to subscribe to blog – – to stay updated.

Network structure/committee development

Acknowledged shift from individual services committee to discharge planning group.  Also acknowledged the evolution of large discharge planning group into working groups and the consequent loss of some hospital/community service providers participation.

Possible ways to connect to larger group as a whole:

Review discharge plan/guidelines:  how’s it going?  Meet with institutions that do discharge and follow-up.  Need to do a large group check-in about this issue alone, both implementation of discharge guidelines AND use of CSP workers.

Get data on how many people are using CSP services at hospitals.  Not sure if monthly REACH attendees are accessing CSP workers.

Useful to have an individual services committee that can meet infrequently but provide that bigger picture review.

Ask: are the connections between shelter providers, hospitals and CSP workers working together?

Send Sue Fortin email ilst for outreach assistant with psych units.

Next meeting:  Thurs., 9/15, 10-12 noon, Northampton Senior Center

Primary agenda:  discharge guidelines/collaboration check-in.

Agreed on structure:  Individual Services Committee is the umbrella to Discharge Planning, then work groups under that. Will revisit individual services representation on steering committee; will reach out to Jerry Ray, Dave Havens and Dave Gadaire to assess interest.

REACH meetings continue monthly and through WMIC, creating a Critical Response Team – collaboration of state agencies to assist individuals “falling through the cracks” – need to shore up state representatives.  Will meet for the first time in Sept.

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