Thanks to all who attended our Leadership Council meeting last Wednesday, October 24.  I want to give special thanks to Senator Downing for his attendance and leadership in an interesting discussion regarding our state budget prospects and their impact on housing and homelessness.  Please click  here for the meeting minutes to get a flavor of the discussion.

I also want to thank our Regional Planning Commissions – Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, Franklin County Regional Council of Governments and Berkshire Planning Commission – for their incredible partnership and donated time in creating county-based maps demonstrating the barriers homeless families face to obtaining employment.  Please click here to see the initial maps that were shared at the meeting.  They are a first step in a continuing effort to best capture the challenges so we can better meet them.

Finally, I want to flag that the Network, in partnership with Corporation for Public Management, CareerPoint, ServiceNet and nearly a dozen other housing providers, child care agencies, career centers and regional employment boards, is preparing to submit a $300,000 grant application to the Fireman Foundation to bring to the entire region a very targeted, innovative model of workforce development for homeless families.  The coordinated effort in this application alone speaks volumes to the strength of the Network and its partners, and the potential reward it can bring to the people we all aim to serve.  Decisions on this funding will be made by the end of November and I will keep you all posted as soon as we hear back.

Please mark your calendars NOW for the next year’s quarterly meeting dates:

1/24 Hampden County
4/24 Franklin County
7/25 Hampshire County
10/23 Berkshire County

We will get precise locations to you as soon as we have them.

Thanks again to everyone for your continued commitment and partnership.


Pamela Schwartz, Director
Western Massachusetts Network to End Homelessness


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