Family Services Committee Meeting Minutes – April 10, 2012

In attendance:  Alvina Brevard, DHCD, Denise Bushey, Elizabeth Freeman Center, Tammie Butler, Community Action, Cris Carl, Greenfield Family Inn, Marcia Crutchfield, HAPHousing, Charity Day, Franklin County Regional Housing Authority, Ken Demers, New England Farm Workers Council, Anthia Elliot, Safe Passage, Toni Hochstadt, Community Action, Steve Huntley, VOC, Melisaa Marlowe, DPH FOR Families,  Jordana O’Connell, Holyoke public schools, Jane Lindfors, DTA/DV unit, Janet Mock, Square One, Lizzy Ortiz, City of Springfield, Steve Plummer, Springfield Partners for Community Action,  Pamela Schwartz, network coordinator, Sarah Slautterback, DESE, Sue White, VA

Response to FOR Families advocacy:  Acknowledged Bob Pulster’s letter in response to Network concern

Not unique to the West.  Boston has high numbers, too.  Lack of staffing all around.  Reality is no extra funding.  Extra staff person will be hired for Western and Boston.  Most families seen by FOR Families.

COC Update – Three County Continuum of Care will no longer be administered by City of Northampton – discussions and meetings are underway to ensure smooth transition to new lead agency (as yet unknown).

ESG application – process underway.  Pamela will reach out to area agencies to offer Network support to regional conversations.

Motel task force update

After several requests to DCHD, they have arranged for a meeting room at the EconoLodge.  Families attending Friday meetings; providers continually working on turn-out and other offerings.

$5,000 donation from the Beverage Foundation received to support motel task force.

3 Springfield College MSW interns for coordination of task force.  Great collaboration.

Jobs Action Plan Review:

The UMass Donahue Institute finalized its action plan for the Network.  Click here to review.

Concern about reinventing wheel with career centers.  Be sure to support people who are already doing the work and know the population.

Issue of families’ education levels – literacy programs.  Complexity of barriers to employment.  Needing GED, literacy programs.

Can’t get a job without child care.  Need a GED, adult education.  Such a minority who are job-ready, have a GED, know how to get their children in day care.  Seeing a variety of families, some with college degrees…but lack transportation.  Mobility for specialist is paramount.  More specialized the better, the stronger the relationship the better.

Issues of whether student volunteers are qualified.  Instead focus on retirees, people who have lived longer, wiser, more compassion, more education. VISTA members, RSVP seniors program.

Issue of multiple case workers.  Is this yet another one that would be overwhelming?  But are there in fact too many?  Or do they see these many case workers so rarely that having a specialist with a small ratio and real

What is our target – EA families or HomeBASE families?

WomanShelter Companeras announcement:  position for case manager working with homeless families where there is also domestic violence. – housing and prevention knowledge is a priority. Encouraging applicants.

Reminder from Sue White of VAMC to screen for veterans in order to get HUD VASH vouchers.  Chronically homeless veteran family is a high priority.


Next meeting:  Tuesday, May 8, 9:30-11:00 am, Northampton Senior Center


«   »

Return to full list of blog posts.