Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Committee
Meeting Minutes – September 9, 2015

In attendance: Lisa Goldsmith, Dial/SELF, Kim Majewski, Gandara Center, Lizzy Ortiz, City of Springfield, Jean Rogers, Center for Human Development, Pamela Schwartz, Network, Karen Trancana, DYS

Review of Youth Count Survey Notes:

Sarah Slautterbach – DESE – reported that the Special Commission’s Identifications and Connections Working Group is meeting with CoCs across the state to get feedback on the youth count and survey. Will be meeting with Western MA CoCs soon. Andrea (and our committee’s) information will be useful in this process. The working group will consider a broad range of questions, including whether to do a survey at all, whether to do both the survey and count combined, whether it do at the same time of year as the PIT.

Regarding our Network’s feedback to Andrea’s document (click here), Lisa raised the issue of needing to clarify on the survey whether a youth is homeless living with their family or homeless living on their own.

Sarah pointed out that the challenge is that the Committee keeps getting asked to add more questions to the survey but it must fit on 2 pages (some of the vague responses are a result of needing to consolidate too many questions).   The real aim is to reduce the number of questions or consolidate in a way that gives meaningful results.

Sarah would be happy to talk with Andrea in more detail. Pamela will connect them via email.

Review of Youth Housing Screening Tool

Thanks to Lisa for drafting an initial framework for thinking this through (click here). Reviewed and discussed next steps around spelling out what is necessary in each county. Jean Rogers will turn our ideas into a draft flow chart.

We agreed we need to clarify the question around establishing homelessness. Sarah also pointed out that we should include the post secondary homeless network that can offer campus housing.

Note: GCC is hosting a regional discussion on 10/28 with high schools and related institutions around how to transition young people who are homeless into secondary education. Event in October is a trial run – still drafting what services are needed and where to go for help.

It was noted that making this information available on social media may be most useful for this population.

We divided up the referral areas for each person to complete with the appropriate referrals and contact and send to Jean:

Domestic violence- Lizzy – Hampden County
veterans services – Lizzy
pregnant/parenting – Jean
DTA, DHCD – Lizzy
DYS – Karen
Education – Sarah
Substance Use/Abuse Services – 800 number – Jean

We agreed on this timeline for completion:

By 9/15 blurbs to Jean;
By 9/25 Jean will send out draft email
By 10/2 – everybody has exchanged feedback

Youth presentation at family services meeting:

Sarah and Lisa will talk and divide up the presentation (they will talk and plan). It will include presentation on the population, the Statewide Commission, how schools use a much broader definition of homelessness than everyone else and how we can tackle this issue from a prevention perspective.

Wed., 10/14, 10-11:30 am
Northampton Senior Center

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