Individual Services Meeting
February 6, 2014

In attendance:  Carl Cignoni, Hampshire County House of Corrections/DOC Re-entry, Danielle DeBerry, ServiceNet, Hwei-Ling Greeney, Amherst Community Connections, Jay Levy, Eliot Services CHS-Homeless Services, Patty McDonald, SMOC Housing, Bill Miller, Friends of the Homeless, Dave Modzelewski, Network, Lizzy Ortiz, City of Springfield, Claudia Phillips, Health Care for the Homeless, Wanda Rolon, ServiceNet, Pamela Schwartz, Network,

Point in Time Count Report (Unofficial):
Jay Levy:
Unsheltered numbers total for both CoC’s – 52 people identified but not yet including Franklin County.  Numbers down in Springfield (6), but overall Jay did not believe the numbers were greatly reduced.  Identified unsheltered homeless people in Southwick because for the first time there was a focused effort there.  Identified about 10 people in Holyoke; about 7 or 8 in Chicopee; West Springfield zero (and did a very thorough search as compared to other years).  Found some campsites that indicated some people were there but no one identified.

Out of all unsheltered identified, only 1 veteran.  That speaks positively of veteran outreach.

Shelter:  overcapacity at area shelters but still comparatively lower number than previous year.

Discussed death of man in Smith College woods in Northampton.  Heroin overdose.  Noted heroin epidemic, “bad” heroin  more pervasive.

First count/survey of unaccompanied homeless youth – ServiceNet surveyed about 6 in Hampshire and 2 in Franklin; Eliot Services surveyed about 9 in Hampshire.  Hampden:  Lizzy reported the count went very well.  Extensive outreach through many health providers, employment, other organizations, e.g., Arise for Social Justice, Detox Center, Carson Center, Hope Center, My Sister’s House – surveyed about 100 youth!

Discussion of Network’s Legislative Priorities for FY15 state budget:

Bill Miller:  need to advocate for funding of Network itself.  Western Mass. delegation could be receptive since the amount the Network needs is not substantial.

Bill also recommended the Network advocate for an increase in the Individual Services Line-Item, increasing it from $40-$48 million.  A group of organizations statewide are advocating for an increase to this line-item.   Programs are operating on the same funding they received 13 years ago.    Looking to increase unit rate to the state average of $32/night for each bed plus a 10% increase in the contract above that amount in order to provide adequate daytime services.   The failure to provide any increase over the last 13 years amounts to a loss of 12% in funding when accounting for inflation.  Pine Street Inn, Boston Public Shelters (run by the Boston Dept. of Public Health), Father Bill’s, Health Care for the Homeless, and others are supporting the effort.

Committee agreed:

  1.  Support increase in line item.
  2. Support CHAPA priorities.


Presentation by Autumn Venable, coordinator of Dial/SELF LGBT Housing First program:
Serving Homeless LGBTQ Youth in Franklin and Hampshire Counties
Funded by MHSA

Looking for referrals

Serving 18-24 year olds. Self-identified LGBTQ.
Must meet HUD requirements of chronically homeless (can be challenging)
Provides short-term 3 month rental subsidies or first/last/security deposit (up to $1,800 per individual)
Does not provide housing, working with private landlords
Goal is to serve 10 young people.
Contact Autumn at [email protected] with questions or referrals!

Next meeting – 3/6, 10:30-noon, Friends of the Homeless, Springfield

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