Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Committee
September 17, 2013
In attendance: Shannon Barry, Springfield Public Schools, Lisa Goldsmith, Dial/SELF, Rani Gould, YWCA of Western MA, Sarah Kline, North Adams Public Schools, Ann Lentini, Domus, Kim Majewski, Gandara Center, Rebecca Muller, GrantWorks, Lizzy Ortiz, City of Springfield, Jean Rogers, CHD, Pamela Schwartz, Network
Lisa reminded us all of the notice from Mass. Coalition for the Homeless on their “All-day legislative action boot camp” on unaccompanied youth homelessness: November 8, 9:30-4 pm, Clark University. Pamela will send out notice to all.
MA Coalition for the Homeless legislative outreach campaign
MCH organizing statewide meetings with legislators to promote House Bill 135 (more funding for unaccompanied homeless youth services/housing). Shared invitation from Exa (of MCH) to include Network rep. in meeting with Rep. Coakley-Rivera (Springfield). Rani Gould of YWCA happy to participate. I will follow-up with Exa, clarify the date and be back in touch with Rani.
As to other reps, Pamela will contact Exa and clarify best strategy for prioritizing meetings (assuming Network can facilitate two). Maybe Rep. Kulik as vice-chair of House Ways and Means. If Rep. Kocot, reach out to ServiceNet and Peg Keller.
Sarah Kline of North Adams also personally knows Rep. Cariddi so she can reach out to her, too.
CoC/Network configuration update:
Pamela updated all re: new configuration of this region’s two CoC’s (Springfield and 3 County) and how the CoC and Network will be better integrated per our shared goals. Our Unaccompanied Youth Committee will now be a combined Network/CoC committee with continued overlapping membership and representation from a Network partner on the CoC boards (which will be determined at our next meeting).
We agreed on a meeting schedule:
2nd Wednesday of the month, 10-11:30 am
rotating locations between Springfield – Scibelli Enterprise Center, One Federal Street (Square One), following Springfield school homeless liaison meeting – and Northampton Senior Center
Note: April meeting is in Springfield on the THIRD Wed., 4/16, instead of the usual second due to Springfield liaison meeting needs.
Pamela will send to committee the 2 CoC governance charters.
Statewide Special Commission update (Lisa Goldsmith):
In budget, $150,000 to support a better count of the unaccompanied homeless youth population. The Special Commission working group on counting wants to target a few additional areas for piloting a different model for counting. Lisa and Sarah Slautterback are advocating that Western Mass. be included in this pilot. Exciting potential.
New resource update: Lisa shared that Mass. Housing and Shelter Alliance (MHSA) is close to finalizing a sub-contract with Dial/SELF to provide housing and services for up to 10 LGBTQ unaccompanied homeless youth. Enough funds to pay for a staff person devoted to this project. Congratulations to
Discussion of Framework to End Youth Homelessness
Looked at USICHH Framework for Unaccompanied Homeless Youth. Goal for our conversation: how to be ready for new funding that may become available on a state and federal level. Where do we have gaps, how do we leverage CoC work/resources?
HUD in general pushing permanent supportive housing as response to homelessness but has also determined that transitional housing remains appropriate for 3 populations: DV, substance abuse recovery, unaccompanied youth
We agreed a first step is to get clear on our own inventory of services/housing (will use our housing directory that we compiled as starting point) and make a gaps analysis.
Also agreed we should do outreach to LGBTQ providers to join our committee. Lizzy, Jordana and Lisa will follow-up with outreach.