Steering Committee  Meeting Minutes – May 17, 2011

In attendance:  Father Stan Aksamit, Our Lady of Peace Parish, Jane Banks, Center for Human Development, Dave Christopolis, Hilltown CDC, Syvlia deHaas-Phillips, United Way of Pioneer Valley, Joanne Glier, Franklin County Housing and Redevelopment Authority, Peg Keller, City of Northampton, Charlie Knight, former consumer, Kim McMann, Berkshire Community Action Council, Andrea Miller, Center for Human Development, Pamela Schwartz, network coordinator, Suzanne Smith, network data analyst, Liz Sullivan, Mental Health Association, Lynne Wallace, Dietz&Co. Architects

Follow-up on unaccompanied youth bill (via Mass. Coalition for the Homeless)

Agreed that Pamela will make advocacy calls to key legislators in the region in support of this bill per Network’s endorsement.

Follow-up on meeting with Mass. Coalition for the Homeless:  Agreed we would explore possibility of meeting with MCH, along with other statewide orgs, eg MHSA, Mass CAP  – a larger community meeting in September.  Will continue discussion on this.

July Leadership Council meeting: agreed that impact/implementation of EA reform should be focus.  Suggested speaker:  Libby Hayes at Homes for Families. Pamela will follow-up.

Letters of Support:  Discussed how to process request for letters of support from Network.  Agreed we want meaningful criteria – consistent with mission, with collaboration, etc. – create an objective, fair way to determine whether Network offers support.  But do not want to make process onerous to applicant.  Governance  committee will revisit this and strike balance between both goals.


Community Engagement:  agreed it is still needed to promote Network mission and broader community engagement.  Will convene current committee to reassess focus.

Community Advisory Committee:  Charlie and Peg will help to facilitate the development of this committee to ensure consumer representation and input.

Family Services Committee.  Ongoing.

Individual Services Committee – now morphed into Discharge Planning Group, which now has 2 working groups, Fundraising Collaboration and Housing Sex Offenders.  Agree we will confirm with group how the working groups fit into the overarching network structure.  Also need to clarify committee chair for purposes of representation on Steering Committee.

Agreed with Governance recommendation to create two additional committees – finance (budget), resource development (fundraising) –Discussion will continue on this via Governance Committee and Lynne will facilitate the collection of clear mission descriptions for each committee.

Misc. business:

Andrea Miller:  proposed bringing together group of SAMHSA providers to do a best practice exchange – put something in place to increase our competitiveness.  Create regional network best practices around strategies, cost bands, collaboration, etc.  Andrea will be point person for this outreach; Pamela will support as needed.

Dave Christopolis:  Checked in with CDCs re: Network connection.  Met with Western Mass. Community Development Collaborative.  Opportunities here to pursue housing development.  Dave will continue to talk with them and create a channel for communication to the network.  State legislation being proposed that will create more opportunities for rural housing development.  Dave will send to me; I will send out to committee.

Budget Review

Reviewed 7/1/11 – 6/30/12 budget.  Received $15K from Davis Foundation and $15K from Community Foundation of Western Mass. to support regional coordination. Great news.

Still must raise $36K from other private funders to meet expenses.

Job Descriptions

Pamela left the meeting to allow for independent discussion of her job description.  Pamela provided positive feedback to the draft presented for discussion.

Next meeting:  Tuesday, June 21, 1 – 3 pm, DMH Haskell Building, Northampton

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