Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Committee Meeting
December 9, 2015

In attendance: Pamela Cook, Gandara Center SHINE program, Lisa Goldsmith, Dial/SELF, Charlie Knight, former consumer, Tracy Maldonado, CHD (street outreach), Rebecca Muller, GrantWorks, Lizzy Ortiz, City of Springfield, Jean Rogers, CHD, Pamela Schwartz, Network

Special Commission Update: The Commission has not met since our last meeting. No word back on work group meeting on demonstration projects ($2m allocation). Pamela emailed Danielle Ferrier regarding our group’s recommendations on allocation but has not heard back.

Point in Time/Youth Count Update – While the Commission’s youth count will likely not take place until the Spring, we agreed that we should take steps to maximize identification of homeless youth in the upcoming CoC Point in Time in January. Lisa Goldsmith and Jean Rogers will consult with their staff and develop a draft one pager with “tips for interacting with youth” for use during the count. They will provide the first draft by January 7 and we will finalize at our next committee meeting on Jan. 13.

Rebecca Muller also noted the new 2 pager from HUD which provides greater definition of youth homelessness. She will send it along (see attached).

Screening Tool: how to strike balance of offering resources without over-stepping and scaring off young people

Coordinated Assessment and Referral:
Gandara Center is committed to using it. No referrals yet with which to experiment but will do so at first opportunity.

Lizzy Ortiz suggested utilizing it with homeless students at area community colleges. She will inquire and see if that is possible.

Lisa Goldsmith shared some concerns from her staff:   the VI-SPDAT strikes them as potentially intrusive and not an appropriate match for interacting with vulnerable youth, at least at the start of a relationship. It also does not comport with HMIS reporting requirements (so more data input, and they are currently overwhelmed by the demands of integrating RHYMIS with HMIS). And they do not feel like they have a large enough population to warrant the need for a formal prioritization process (that it essentially obvious which youth would be appropriate for an available unit). In short, we recognized that we need to move slowly and methodically to begin to integrate a new process.

We agreed it would be helpful to learn from others across the country who may have traveled this road before us. Lisa will do some inquiries about that (e.g., with Urban Peak and Houston).

Resource Referral Sheet: We agreed that we need to revisit this production effort to clarify our audience and purpose since as currently drafted, it is unclear who will actually use this tool. We agreed that starting with the “tip” sheet for the PIT count may be a useful way in to this clarity (what are we trying to offer and to whom). We will take this up again at our next meeting.

Next meeting date:

January 13
9:30 – 11:00 am
Gandara Center
1236 Main Street, Holyoke

Agenda items:
Special Commission update
VI-SPDAT input
PIT count (tips for reaching youth)
Resource referral sheet
Legislative priorities for recommendation to Leadership Council

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