Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Meeting
March  12, 2014

In attendance:  Shannon Barry, Springfield Public Schools, Lisa Goldsmith, Dial/SELF, Rani Gould, YWCA of Western Mass., Sarah Kline, North Adams Public Schools, Jay Levy, Eliot CHS – Homeless Services, Diana McLean, Westfield CDGB, Lizzy Ortiz, City of Springfield, Jean Rogers, CHD, Pamela Schwartz, Network coordinator

Discussion of survey data:

Each CoC spoke with Liz Rogers of ICHH.  Shared feedback on experience (challenges of timing, surveying youth in winter, limits on involvement of the schools, lengthening time to give it).  Waiting for excel aggregations from Boston to do more with data in the region.

Hampden County:  Jean Rogers collated surveys (thank you, Jean!).  See attached.  A total of 195 surveys accounted for.  161 surveys not counted (failure to “qualify” based on answers, e.g., stayed in parent’s apartment last night).  Lizzy will forward excel sheet.

Three County:  Agreed that Pamela will connect Rebecca Muller with Diana re: survey compilation for Three County.  Diana is prepared to enlist an intern to assist.

Additional debrief on youth survey/count:

Sarah Kline of North Adams shared her concern around the under-representation of N. Berkshire County in survey.  Very last minute outreach, very few organizations involved.

All recognized that this is a function of insufficient resources allocated to the prep and outreach.  This is something that has to be addressed next time.

Jay Levy of Eliot:  a lot of the material was dropped off last minute.  Need at least a week’s lead-time to distribute materials.  Again, speaks to the same staff resource issue.

We discussed the issues preventing school involvement, e.g., confidentiality, liability concerns.  Agreed we should find a way to address these concerns without eliminating outreach to the entire school population (e.g., use a different identifier on the survey than initials plus birth date).

There is a Special Commission meeting on 3/27, Lisa will be attending and will raise the school issue.

Program updates:

Safety Zone Street Outreach (Jean Rogers, CHD):   new federal  grant that reaches out to unaccompanied youth to cover Springfield and Holyoke.  Walking streets, connecting with agencies, schools.  Targeting 18-24.  Will connect with Jay Levy’s street outreach person in Holyoke

Network legislative priorities:  Pamela updated that the Leadership Council voted on legislative priorities that include youth issues, specifically House Bill 135 and the related FY15 budget request for the Commission.   Click here to review.

Next meeting:

Wed., 4/16
10 am – 11:30 am
Parent and Community Engagement Center, Conference Room
91 School Street, Springfield


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