Individual Services Meeting Minutes
October 2, 2014

In Attendance: Erin Forbush, ServiceNet, Hwei-Ling Greeney, Amherst Community Connections, Mike Hagmaier, Soldier On, Peg Keller, City of Northampton, Jay Levy, Eliot CHS-Homeless Services, Patty McDonnell, SMOC, Katie Miernicki, ServiceNet, Bill Miller, Friends of the Homeless, Dave Modzelewski, Network, Donna Nadeau, DHCD, Claudia Phillips, Health Care for the Homeless, Lizzy Ortiz, City of Springfield, Pamela Schwartz, Network

VI-SPDAT Discussion:
Continued discussion of implementation of this assessment tool and various challenges, including:

  • How to hold information so it can “travel with the person” and does not have to be duplicated and can be updated. There is a need for an online tool.
  • How to account for confidentiality issues in the sharing of information among providers and within HMIS.
  • How to account for when an assessment “score” does not adequately reflect the person’s needs. Need to develop process for review for exceptions.
  • How to re-administer VI-SPDAT after 6 months and then 12 months of housing. We want to be able to measure the use of permanent supportive housing as a harm reduction model based on concrete outcomes, e.g., reduction in ER visits. Revisiting VI-SPDAT results after period of housing would be useful to that effect.

Soldier On, ServiceNet and Amherst Community Connections agreed to pilot the VI-SPDAT over the next 2 months and we will review the initial findings at our December meeting.

Hwei-Ling Greeney of Amherst Community Connections will check in with Andrea Miller re: integrating her data into HMIS.

Shelter update

Peg Keller shared that she received reports that numbers of homeless individuals were higher this summer in Northampton. She also heard that individuals were coming from Hampden County. Bill Miller of Friends of the Homeless shared his anecdotal information that more individuals were coming from Worcester to Springfield. Jay Levy reported that he is working with Worcester around their winter season shelter capacity in view of high demand.

Bill suggested that shelters look into their data and find out where people were residing before entering shelter. FOH and ServiceNet will do this, and compare it to previous years, and report back at the November meeting.

Next meeting: Thursday, 11/6, 10:30-noon, Friends of the Homeless, Springfield

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