Leadership Council Meeting
January 20, 2016

In Attendance: Jane Banks, Center for Human Development, Dave Christopolis, Three County CoC/Hilltown CDC, Patricia Crosby, Franklin Hampshire Regional Employment Board, Sylvia deHaas-Philips, United Way of Pioneer Valley, Ken Demers, BerkshireWorks, Dawn DiStefano, Square One, Doreen Fadus, Mercy Medical Center Health Care for the Homeless, David Gadaire, CareerPoint, Lisa Goldsmith, DIAL/SELF, Brad Gordon, Berkshire County Regional Housing Authority, Clare Higgins, Community Action, Mike Hagmaier, Soldier On, Janice Humason, Friends of the Homeless, Peg Keller, City of Northampton, Charlie Knight, SCARF/Rainville, Ann Lentini, Domus Incorporated, Gerry McCafferty, City of Springfield, Bill Miller, Friends of the Homeless, Peter Miller, City of Westfield, Dave Modzelewski, Network REACH, Fran Pheeny, Franklin County Housing Redevelopment Authority, Jerry Ray, Mental Health Association, George Ryan, Hampden County Regional Employment Board, Jay Sacchetti, ServiceNet, Pamela Schwartz, Network, Jim Seney, VA Medical Center, Stephen Seplman, YWCA, Eric Shupin, CHAPA, Lynne Wallace, HAPHousing,

Leadership Council Meeting Minutes of 9/17/15:
Motion to approve: Charlie Knight
Seconded: Dave Modzelewski
Discussion: Pamela will correct a couple of attendee omission and spelling errors.
All in favor: unanimous
Opposed: none
Abstentions: none

Network Budget Update:
Sylvia deHaas-Philips distributed an updated budget (click here), which has not changed much since the last meeting. Everything is on track.

Network Survey:
Click here for compilation of Network results. Pamela summarized findings with group. Comments included:

Can we find out how many respondents were from each sub-region? Gerry suggested that this is possible with an upgrade of the Survey Monkey tool. Pamela will investigate.

We discussed the break down between good/excellent and moderate to excellent, all agreeing that there is a meaningful difference between “moderate” and “good/excellent.” With the current survey compilation, you can extract “moderate” by subtracting the total of good/excellent from the total “moderate-excellent” number.

EOHHS RFR update:
Pamela provided an update on MA Executive Office of Health and Human Services’ RFR to create a consortium to respond to people facing acute housing crisis. It was released on 12/29, bidders’ conference was 1/15 and proposals are due 2/2. A total of $900,000 is available statewide, which will fund 3-5 grants. Applicants must create a coordinated entry systems – “no wrong door” – and the grant will include flexible funds for prevention, diversion and rapid rehousing. The funds are intended to intervene further “upstream” in the prevention effort. Up to 25% of funds may pay for coordination of the system. Applicants may also apply for funding for unaccompanied homeless youth (ages 18-24); a total of $2 million is available statewide with up to 5 grants, including rural, urban and suburban. Qualified applicants include the Network, CoC’s, regional housing authorities, CAP agencies.

There are ongoing conversations among the Network and 2 CoC’s regarding how to apply for these funds. The United Way of Pioneer Valley, as the Network’s fiscal agent, is open to being the lead entity, but only subject to the Network’s desire. The two CoC’s are having discussions leaning towards two separate applications (with Network support and coordination) due to the vast geography and differences in the population and resulting differences in each coordinated entry system.

Comments included:

  • Too rushed a time frame in application time and spending (must spend by 6/30); must rely on current infrastructure and build it out
  • Too few resources for admin – it takes real resources to administer a flexible fund program with screening, documentation – there is no room for overhead
  • We should give feedback to the state on the way this RFR was rolled out (Eric Shupin of CHAPA noted that they have provided such feedback already)

Presentation by CHAPA Policy Associate Eric Shupin:
Eric provided an overview of CHAPA, the On Solid Ground Coalition and CHAPA’s budget priorities. See Eric’s comments, the On Solid Ground Handout and CHAPA FY2017 Budget Priorities.

On Solid Ground is just now hiring a full-time coordinator (thanks to funding from the Oak Foundation), a very exciting development.

To join the On Solid Ground email distribution list, please contact Eric at [email protected].

Noted FY17 budget priorities of funding MRVP $120 million and supporting the Housing Preservation and Stabilization Trust Fund ($11.5m). See Eric’ comments for more information.

LC comments:

  • Curious about workforce partnership within On Solid Ground. Eric noted that Crittendon Women’s Union is the workforce development voice on the coalition right now.
  • Comment in importance of fuel assistance priority. CAP agencies very committed to this piece as vital to serving low-income communities.

Network FY17 budget priorities:

Reviewed committee recommendations for legislative priorities (click here, as well as here for additional statewide priorities re: EA data collection and TAFDC child care.


  • Consensus to add Housing Consumer Education Center (HCEC) funding as a priority as this resource provides the front door of prevention work across the region. CHAPA includes this priority as well with a request for level funding in FY17 (minus the attached earmarks)
  • On Community Supportive Housing: Dave Christopolis shared an update on this legislation to provide higher subsidy levels for affordable housing developments in smaller towns that are not eligible for tax credits. This is critical assistance to the efforts in rural communities to build more affordable housing. This is a bill separate from the FY17 budget process but would benefit from Network advocacy.

Motion to provide Network advocacy to gain passage of Community Supportive Housing as guided by the statewide effort:
So moved: Kathryn Buckley-Brawner
Seconded: Charlie Knight
All in favor: unanimous; opposed: none; abstentions: none

Motion to adopt FY17 budget priorities as recommended by Network committees:
So moved: Clare Higgins
Seconded: Peter Miller
All in favor: unanimous; opposed: none; abstentions: none

Motion to support budget priorities as proposed by the On Solid Ground Coalition and CHAPA:
So moved: Charlie Knight
Seconded: Clare Higgins

Discussion: on the priority to obtain more data regarding EA denials, Gerry also raised the need for improved state collection of HMIS data; that this gap has consequences for CoC’s statewide in meeting their HUD requirements which bears on federal funding to the region and state. She suggested CHAPA include this issue in its advocacy.

 All in favor: unanimous; opposed: none; abstentions: none

Motion to support advocacy for a continued Network funding of its statewide earmark of $125,000
So moved: Clare Higgins
Seconded: Ann Lantini

Discussion: It was noted that the Network survey feedback demonstrated majority support for a Network earmark (and 81% for seeking a $125,000 earmark).

Dave Christopolis also requested that Network funding continue to support the Three County CoC efforts (this fiscal year it is receiving $15K of the earmark to support its planning work).

All in favor: unanimous; opposed: none; abstentions: none

 Next meeting date: Thursday, April 28, 10 am – 12 noon, Greenfield (location TBD)

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