Hampden County Individual Services Committee Meeting Minutes – 4/24/18
In attendance: Grechar Aquino, FOH, Toni Bator, Viability, Steve Connor, Veterans Services, Jessica Dorman, Mercy Medical Center, Dave Haven, MHA, Janice Humason, FOH, Danielle Kelly, Open Door, Jay Levy, Eliot Services, Jenifer Lucca, Samaratin Inn, Wanda Matthews, BHN, Terry Maxey, Open Door, Gerry McCafferty, City of Springfield, Digne Oritz, FOH, Herschelle Reaves, Denise Rivera, FOH, Pamela Schwartz, Network, Kathy West, Eliot Services, Kimberly Wiggins, BHN, Delphine Wray, FOH
Homelessness Resource Fair Input:
The Homelessness Resource Fair is taking place on Thursday, June 14, 9:30 am – 12:30 pm.  Go here to complete the registration form.
There will 8 workshops, 4 running simultaneously 3 times, and each person will have an opportunity to attend 3.  The group brainstormed as their top 3 of interest:
  • accessing career services
  • addressing the opioid epidemic and its intersection with homelessness
  • overcoming tenant screening barriers
Social Security Training:
We have received an offer from an advocate working Social Security representation to provide a training on how best to support people experiencing homelessness in their efforts to obtain Social Security benefits.  It was agreed that this training would best be offered through the Network across the region.  Pamela will follow-up and plan for a summer training.
State Youth Count:
The MA Youth Count is starting this week and continuing for the next weeks.  The count will include all youth ages 18 up to 24 at risk of or experiencing homelessness.  There are 2 outreach events scheduled at STCC and 1 at HCC.  Please do outreach within your own agency. Contact Gerry McCafferty at GMcCafferty@springfieldcityhall.com with any questions.
Holyoke unsheltered population:
With the help of Viability’s new CoC grant starting on July 1 to house 5-7 chronically homeless people in Holyoke, outreach has begun across the city to collaborate around this housing opportunity.  Gerry is facilitating a meeting next Monday in Holyoke that will include the Holyoke Police, Holyoke Health Center and others who come into contact with this population.  It’s especially important that people get identified, assessed through the VI-SPDAT and on the by-name list.
Built for Zero check-in: 
The Hampden County CoC has participated in this national effort around system change – essentially a learning community that helped institute the new structure of by-name lists, assessments and other best practices.  It has been nationally funded until now but in order to continue participating it will require an investment of CoC planning funds of approximately $10,000 to continue.  The group discussed the value and there was complete consensus that participation had been extremely valuable and continuing would be worth the investment.  People who had participated in national training sessions had found them helpful, inspiring, and motivating. It was also agreed that increasing the number of participants in trainings – as opposed to having a set “team” returning to each one – would maximize the benefit.  The final learning session for this year is taking place in Detroit June 26-27.  Gerry will be in touch with all about details.
Shelter updates:
FOH: women occupancy has been extremely high, in overflow (44 women last night); 124 in men’s
Cot shelter, Northampton: last month 13 people got turned away, 3 under the influence and 10 due to capacity.  The overflow shelter in Easthampton has been closed since Friday, April 13.The cot shelter closes on May 1 (there are a few openings at Grove but only a few).
We agreed we should be aware of uptick at FOH after the cot shelter closes.
The CoC database tracks trends over time and we will incorporate a copy of that at our monthly meeting.
Next meeting date: Tuesday, May 22, 1 pm, FOH.

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