Veterans Committee Meeting
June 24, 2016

In attendance: Beth Barbra, Veterans Inc., Toni Dolan, Veterans Services, Allie Haber, Network, Gerry McCafferty, City of Springfield, Katherine Person, Veterans Inc., Denise Rivera, Friends of the Homeless, Pamela Schwartz, Network, Kate Sweetster-Owens, VA, Sabrina Willard, Springfield Partners Inc., DonYbarra, Springfield Partners

Action Camp Summary

The group discussed the Hampden County CoC’s Action Camp through the Zero 2016 campaign to address veteran and chronic homelessness. The Camp took place over 2 days, from 6/20-6/21, and it was a huge step towards developing a very concrete work plan. Areas of focus included:

  • Completing VI-SPDATs for 50 chronically homeless people and 10 veterans
  • Outreach: identifying gaps and making a plan to close them
  • Case Conferencing: how to structure REACH and other meetings (rotating complex cases with general housing match meetings)
  • Housing Navigators: how to sort out the assignment process and organizational buy-in (Gerry is meeting with executive directors)

The Hampden County CoC is implementing the tool Homelink to assist with tracking individuals on a by-name list and providing coordinated entry – tracking assessments, collecting documents and following their path from homelessness to housing through a housing navigator.

We discussed the specific challenges of serving veterans through this system. In view of the relatively small number, we agreed that providers would determine which meetings to attend on a case-by-case basis (when a veteran was involved). We agreed that the focus would be on veterans on the street or in shelter (as opposed to doubled-up).

Three County Coc:

The 3 County Coc met just yesterday to review their by-name list.   Meetings of providers are happening bi-weekly and substantial progress is being made.

VA Privacy Guidance on Authority to Make Disclosures:  We discussed the most recent notice from the VA regarding the capacity to discuss individual cases with community partners in the context of solving housing crises.  Please click here for the guidance.

Next meeting:
Friday, September 23
9 am – 10:30 am
Northampton Senior Center
67 Conz Street, Northampton

We will discuss at this meeting whether we move to a quarterly schedule to check-in on policy matters and overall regional progress; that now that CoC’s are developing their by-name lists, most of the work is taking place on a sub-regional level. We want to make sure we are not duplicating meeting time and effort. This evolution is a reflection of great progress in each CoC. Congratulations to all for the great work.

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