Hampden County Individual Services Meeting Minutes
March 27, 2018
In attendance: Grechar Aquino, Friends of the Homeless (FOH), Olivia Bernstein, Mental Health Association, Steve Connor, Veterans Services, Marvin Gonzalez, Eliot Services, Richard Hendrick, social worker, Sarah Hills, Eliot CHS Homeless Services, Janice Humason, Friends of the Homeless, Donna Nadeau, DHCD, Digno Ortiz, Friends of the Homeless, Keith Rhone, FOH, Denise Rivera, FOH, Laura Robertson, Catholic Charities, Christina Ruest, FOH, Pamela Schwartz, Network, Stephanie Tonelli, FOH, Chris Zabik, DMH
Hampden County Point in Time Count Report (see below):
Gerry provided the following update:
- The total number, 354, is the lowest number the CoC has had since the CoC became all of Hampden County (2011)
- The unsheltered number has usually bounced between 30 and 55, except 2015, when the count took place in between two Nor’easters, and was only10
- The count will not be finalized until people displaced from PR hurricane are accounted for (in hotels through FEMA), still waiting on that number
- More than 50 of the people counted as chronically homeless in last year’s count have been housed (great progress); there are a number of people newly aging into chronic status and unsheltered people are better counted. Overall, people are moving through the system into housing at a better rate.
Homelessness Resource Fair:
The Network’s second annual Homelessness Resource Fair is taking place on Thurs., June 14, 9:30 am – 12:30 pm at HCC. We will offer a series of brief workshops, and feedback from the survey reflected interest in learning about resources for chronically homeless individuals. The group decided to offer a workshop that would feature the following information:
- defining “chronically homeless” – what is criteria?
- why are we especially focused on this population?
- how are we addressing it through “coordinated entry” and other systemwide efforts
Janice has agreed to be a point person for the workshop and Laura Robertson has agreed as well. Other people to consider reaching out to are Kathy West of Eliot CHS Homeless Services and Dave Havens of MHA. Pamela will also reach out to ServiceNet since this resource fair covers the whole western region. Gerry will provide a hand-out for the workshop that summarizes how to access the coordinated entry system.
HUD Budget Update:
Congress just passed a nearly 10% increase in HUD spending, the largest single increase in 20 years. Homelessness Assistance received a 5.5% increase. This is great news!
Emergency Shelter Update
Friends of the Homeless reported a notably high number of 172 individuals per night. It was noted that the Hartford seasonal shelter closes in the 2nd week of March and this may explain some of the FOH rise.
We did not have other 3 county shelter providers at this meeting for their reports. Pamela will reach out to see if they are interested in participating in the Hampden County meeting by Skype or at minimum to obtain their data so Pamela can report on it at our next Hampden County meeting.
Next Hampden County meeting date: Tuesday, April 24, 1 pm – 1:30 pm, FOH.