Individual  Services Committee Meeting Minutes – 9/13/10

Attendance:  Pam Bennett, Barton’s Crossing, Barbara Bonnett, Barton’s Crossing, Danielle DeBerry, ServiceNet, Dave Havens, Mental Health Association, Janice Humason, Friends of the Homeless, Peg Keller, Tri-County Consortium, Jay Levy, Elliot CHS-Homeless Services, Jen Lucca, Samaratin Inn, Dave Modzelewski, Department of Mental Health, Tony Pereira, Carson Center, Jerry Ray, Mental Health Association, Pamela Schwartz, coordinator, Joe Schroeter, Samaratin Inn, Suzanne Smith, network data analyst, Eryn Tobin, Catholic Charities, Mark Warren, The Brien Center

Data Review: Suzanne presented new survey tool for tracking housing of homeless individuals.  Agreed on need for initials, gender, DOB as part of survey in order to avoid double counting (also allowable via releases).  Suzanne will resend tool to test and collect feedback.

Workplan brainstorm for Network’s post pilot project era:

  • Identify, envision goals and advocate as a Network in order to increase effectiveness
  • Increase communication, shared standards among shelters to reduce “shelter shopping”
  • Focus on individuals discharged  from institutions  – first try to avoid homelessness altogether, then if enter shelter, increase outreach and eligibility outreach; create more mobile engagement and assessment team with more direct connection to umbrella agencies and navigate eligibility determinations
  • Develop resource booklet for alternatives to shelters when being discharged from institutions
  • Develop comprehensive training on working with homeless individuals; coordinate trainings for new staff and for deeper understanding; develop ongoing curriculum for housing stabilization work for shelter providers and broader range of agencies
  • Create clearinghouse for serving individuals in order to streamline services – with multiple layers of challenges, difficult  to case manage
  • Increase access to affordable housing units – establish group that will brainstorm how to add units to the inventory

Discharge Planning Guideline Review

Special thanks to Janice Humason and Yolanda Goddard of Friends of the Homeless  for creating this draft Regional Guideline for Institutions’ Discharge Planning of Homeless Individuals.  Click here to read it.  Committee agreed  to keep the document at the draft stage while we bring together institutions so there is a chance for dialogue and feedback.  Need to sit down with medical directors AND social workers  (front line staff).   Need to understand each others’ worlds and respective demands.    Provide opportunity for input, for sharing contacts and resource information.

Next steps:

Announce at ICHH 9/21 and 9/23 event – collect feedback and state agency support

Schedule first outreach meeting:  medical (psych only) rest homes, nursing homes:  Date: October 28, 10 am -12 noon, DMH Haskell Building – will confirm location is available

How to pitch it:  A new and better way to find appropriate housing for individuals; help institutions with their discharge plans; gain access and information about resources;  facilitate placements for individuals without housing

What to call it:  Sharing Resources for Discharging Homeless Individuals
Help facilitate discharge planning by:
Sharing resources
Establishing relationships with appropriate contact people

ICHH REACH updates:

ServiceNet: moving 3 individuals into Winslow building in Greenfield right now

Carson Center:  housed another person in August using HPRP funds with Open Pantry.  Tony will be able to continue with Carson Center post 9/30 – 30 hours/ week with CBFS and 10 hours/week with CSP program.

Brien Center:  continue to have 4 placed, 1 from boarding house to own apartment.  2 more still to house, 2 now enrolled and engaged.  Could be placed within the next month or 6 weeks.

Mental Health Association: 11 housed.  At least 5 additional people identified.  Discussion with property owner  for 6 units for 6 month period.  Will seek continuation of 6 month units either from new DMH subsidies or shelter plus care subsidies.  Continuing outreach for original REACH 11.

New resources coming to region:

300 new DMH housing subsidies statewide – western/central region starting with 30, priorities will be homeless individuals – within the next month the allocation will be up and operating,

Springfield Housing Authority put out RFP for project based Section 8 – 50 units – FOH’s new 32 units are in prime position for this.

Next individual services meeting:  Monday, October 4, 9:30 – 11:00 am, Franklin County – will confirm location.

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