In attendance: Hillary Cronin, VA, Dawn DiStefano, SquareOne, Lisa Goldsmith, Community Action, Michele LaFleur, 3 County CoC, Heather Marshall, Elizabeth Freeman Center, Yeisie Mateo, DCF, Gerry McCafferty, City of Springfield/Hampden CoC, Rylee O’Brien, Baystate Pediatrics, Lizzy Ortiz, Mercy Medical Center, Pamela Schwartz, Network, Chad Surber, Baystate Pediatrics

HUD Youth Homelessness Demonstration Project (YHDP):
Hampden County CoC and Three County CoC (for Franklin County) were each selected by HUD for a 2 year Youth Homelessness Demonstration Project (YHDP) – 23 grants nationwide and Western MA got two of them! – totaling $4.3 million ($2.4 for Hampden, $1.9 for Franklin). This is an extraordinary opportunity! The first stage is the planning process; the CoC’s must submit a proposed plan to HUD by 12/29/19. It will be followed by another four months of planning with HUD for a final plan approval by April, 2020. Funding for programs is slated to start by summer. The project will serve youth ages 13-24 years. The overall goal is to prevent and end youth homelessness through a coordinated prevention and response system. HUD expects youth to inform and lead the process every step of the way. Our CoCs each have a Youth Advisory Board (YAB) comprised of young people that will provide the foundation for youth involvement in this project.

The group acknowledged that it was vitally important to get family shelter provider input on how to respond to the question of how the family shelter system is doing in responding to the needs of parenting and pregnant young adults who are experiencing homelessness; what is working well and what can work better. We agreed to hold a “focus group” style meeting for our next family services meeting. Pamela will survey the shelter providers on the best possible date (either 11/15 or 11/21, two dates that worked for people attending this meeting today).

Upcoming and ongoing YHDP dates:
Hampden County: large kick-off meeting is on October 11, 10 am – noon, Innovation Center, 376 Bridge Street, Springfield.

Specific information gathering workshops will be held as follows (locations to be determined)
Housing: Nov. 8, 9:30 am – 12:30 pm, UMass Springfield, Tower Square, 1500 Main Street, Springfield
Permanent connections/mentoring: Nov. 22, 9:30 am – 12:30 pm, The Innovation Center, 276 Bridge Street, Springfield
Education/Employment: Dec. 13, 9:30 am – 12:30 pm, The Innovation Center, 276 Bridge Street, Springfield

Contact: Gerry McCafferty, [email protected]

Three County CoC Planning:
The 3 County CoC is meeting the first and third Thursday of each month, 3-4:30 pm, Community Action Youth Programs,154 Federal Street, Greenfield. They are having a big working session on October 23, 2-5 pm, to discuss governance and vision statement, etc.

Contact to get involved in Franklin County YHDP: Lisa Goldsmith, [email protected]

Additional thoughts on the focus group: We will come prepared with HMIS data, e.g., this is what the data tells us about this population in shelter (how many, how long the stay, etc.). We will survey providers on the data they collect. We will provide prep in advance of the meeting.

3 County Data/Point in Time Count update:
Michele LaFleur is the new data manager at the 3 County CoC (with Community Action) and attended to inform people of the various newly created committees of the CoC (e.g., ranking and evaluation, performance outcomes, data, equity and inclusion, coordinated entry), as well as the upcoming point in time count.

Next meeting date: November 15, 9:30 am- 12 noon, Frost Building 309, Holyoke Community College

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