In attendance: Mike Hagmaier, Soldier On, Justin Maynard, VA, Julie MacPhail, VA (social worker intern), Gerry McCafferty, Hampden CoC, Jesus Pereira, Holyoke Veterans, Pamela Schwartz, Network, Kate Sweetster-Owens, VA GPD
Kate Sweetster-Owens is shifting positions from HUD-VASH in Springfield to GPD based in Leeds. She will still be the point person for the Network/CoC and will also stay connected to Springfield’s HUD VASH program until her position is filled.
New Solider On grant from the VA: Mike reported a new grant to provide up to 6 months of case management for people who are leaving GPD who are not VASH or SSVF eligible (and also people living in the community who came out of GPD). The grant will hire 2 full-time case managers for 2 years. It is targeting people who are over-income (therefore ineligible for other resources) but still in need of support services.
Soldier On also reported successful advocacy with MHSA on a $500,000 increase in the Home and Healthy for Good line-item. $100,000 will be used for case management for women’s permanent housing program for 15 units in Pittsfield.
Built for Zero update, and getting to “functional zero”: At the end of August, the Hampden CoC was down to 10 veterans on its by-name list. September saw 4 new veterans identified so now the list is up to 14. The CoC is consulting with the BFZ coach on how to increase prevention and ultimately how to sustain functional zero. One strategy is to focus more on street outreach. It was recommended to reach out to the VA (Jim Seney) around allocating more staff to outreach. Also recommended to talk with Matt Buckley at Soldier On who oversees SSVF and outreach. Gerry will follow-up.
Three County CoC update (from Keleigh Pereira via email): Current focus is to include the veterans list in the by-names effort and to engage providers in the newly established committee structure. Committees will start meeting over the last quarter of this year and then regularly in 2020. Soldier On is working with the CoC to arrange access to its data system. Gerry will follow-up with Mike to coordinate data sharing.
Non-VHA eligible vouchers: Northampton Housing Authority got the go-ahead on the 11 vouchers in July. Hampden County has referred 8 people – some are housed, others are in housing search. Unclear on Hampshire County’s vouchers. Pamela will connect Gerry and Steve to get updated.
On filling units:
Chapin Mansion may be down to 2 available units – expanded availability beyond veterans. Some challenges around screening process. Will continue conversation with VOC.
52 Maple Court – just renovated – transitional housing – now advertising
Vikings Landing – status unclear
Mainstream Housing Voucher applications: Great progress in housing authorities applying for these vouchers in 3 County region: Amherst, Northampton, Greenfield, Franklin Regional Housing Authorities all applied for a total of 45 vouchers. Springfield and Chicopee also applied for Hampden County.
Next meeting date: December 5, 9:30-11 am, Frost building 309