Individual Services Committee Meeting
December 3, 2015

In attendance: Elizabeth Bienz, ServiceNet, Matt Castleman, SMOC, Steve Connor, Veterans Services, Donna Duval, Westfield Next Step, Chris Gelonese, Hampden County Sheriff’s Dept., Tina Giarla, MA Coalition for the Homeless, Jennifer Glover, Franklin County Home Care, Peg Keller, City of Northampton, Todd Koniezhny, HRU/The Lighthouse, Jay Levy, Eliot CHS-Homeless Services, Gerry McCafferty, City of Springfield, Patty McDonnell, SMOC, Katie Miernecki, ServiceNet, Dave Modzelewski, Network REACH, Lizzy Ortiz, City of Springfield, Liza Rios, YWCA, Pamela Schwartz, Network, Lynn White, Westfield Next Step

Network Trainings Review
Pamela reviewed proposals from T3, which provides trainings on critical time intervention, motivational interviewing and trauma informed care. Group consensus: move forward and schedule!

Hampden County Chronically Homeless By-Name List Update
Gerry provided an update on the development of this list. Through the Hampden County REACH meeting input and HMIS, Gerry has created a template for a by-name list (first name and initial) that includes VI-SPDAT score and other relevant information (e.g., location, referral source). Currently there are between 50 and 60 names on this list, 15-20 are lacking VI-SPDAT scores for various reasons.   But those who are unable to complete assessment have received a “score” via a provider who knows the person. This list also starts to clarify who needs to be approached via the Critical Response Team (i.e., more complex cases). Eventually, a report will be run monthly to update who qualifies as “chronic” (and as a result needs a VI-SPDAT).   The list will continue to be refined, but this is a very exciting development for targeting resources for chronically homeless individuals and gaining a deeper understanding of the most vulnerable people in our community.

Re: Three County CoC: this effort will be brought to the next Hampshire/Franklin REACH meeting on 12/14 at 1 pm (DMH Haskell). ServiceNet experimented with the VI-SPDAT but did not find it ranked individuals true to their need (too low). Gerry pointed out that a revised VI-SPDAT has been issued that may do better, and will send it along to the committee.

MRVPs for chronically homeless individuals
DHCD has issued an RFI for MRVPs for chronically homeless individuals (CoCs or agencies within the CoC may apply). An applicant needs to commit to providing support services that will accompany the subsidy. Responses are due 12/9. 110 targeted MRVPs will be apportioned statewide.   ServiceNet may be interested – Pamela will send along RFI link ASAP.

Workplan Development Update

In working with veterans committee, Gerry drafted an initial workplan template. She framed the big picture questions that should drive the planning process: what do we know now? What do we wish to know that we don’t know? What are the gaps? What are the resources we need to fill those gaps? Who are we reaching and who do we need to reach?   E.g., outreach to housing authorities, a new HUD priority, where have a few relationships with housing authorities in our region but need to develop more or police departments…how do we structure our outreach and our goals in relation to it.

At our January meeting, we will bring a draft template for review and discussion.

Tina Giarla, MA Coalition for the Homeless

Tina visited our committee to share the MA Coalition for the Homeless’ legislative campaign to expand RAFT to include homeless individuals (including homeless youth and elders). It would change the eligibility criteria to define households as including all individuals and proposes to increase funding to 18.5m (from $12.5m) to make it possible. Click here to see a factsheet on the campaign.

The Coalition is seeking support from statewide and regional groups (thus far has support from Mass Senior Council, SMOC, MBHP and others). This committee’s response was very enthusiastic. Pamela will bring it along with other proposals for consideration to our January meeting where we will make our recommendations for FY17 budget priorities to the Network Leadership Council. The Committee expressed its interest in continuing conversations with the Coalition to collaborate in the advocacy process as much as possible.

Next meeting: January 7 10:30-noon, Friends of the Homeless, Springfield
Agenda items:
Point in Time Count
Workplan Update
Legislative priority discussion

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