Merrimack Valley Regional Network November 2010 Meeting Minutes

Merrimack Valley Regional Network to End Homelessness

November 15, 2010 – Meeting Minutes

GLCAC, Lawrence

In attendance: David McLane (YMCA), Walter Jabzanka (MHSA), Sandra Pereira (LTLC), Joe Nolan (Eliot), Patty Bergin (CTI), Susan Fink (City of Lawrence), Jim Barnes (City of Lawrence), Anne Malavich (LTLC), Derek Jones (LTLC), Avi Glaser (CTI), Patty Puglisi (CTI), Claire Corsini (DOC), Connie Murphy (CAI), Al Hanscom (Emmaus), Mary O’Brien (YWCA of Greater Lawrence), Ed Cameron, (CTI) and Kristin Ross-Sitcawich.


Network Updates:

  1. RFR Update – The Network RFR has yet to be distributed as it is winding its way through DHCD’s legal department. We have no confirmation as to a specific date that the RFR will be made available on COMPASS.

  1. Network Update from Partners


YWCA of Greater Lawrence – reports that all City of Lawrence HPRP funds have been allocated. FINA House continues to operate and YWCA of Greater Lawrence has $10k that is made available through funding from DCF. It was also reported that the City of Lawrence and YWCA have entered into an agreement to convene the Mayor’s Health Task Force, “which would take a holistic look at the individuals and families they work with every day.”


YMCA – 73 SRO units which serves a dually diagnosed population. They report that they have of City of Lawrence HPRP funds remaining. These funds are designated to re-housing homeless individuals to the YWCA and homelessness prevention funds for current YWCA residents. It is reported that they have a short waiting list and it is generally a 6 month wait for a client to enter the YMCA program.


Lowell Transitional Living Center – They are continuing along with the MHSA/HPRP homeless re-housing initiative. To date, this program has re-housed 74 individuals. There are funds remaining in FY11, however, those funds are specifically designated to homeless individuals being served through Emmaus/Mitch’s Place (Haverhill) and Daybreak Shelter (Lawrence). Providers in this initiative met earlier today and have ironed out systems and referral issues. This group will meet in one months’ time to establish progress.


City of Lawrence DPD – Reports that they have submitted their CoC application for McKinney/Vento funds. We were also advised that Windsor House is in application for funds for a redesign to the physical facility. The City of Lawrence DPD is working with Soldier On in establishing 8 family units specific to Veterans. The Saunders School is under construction with anticipated occupancy in February of 2010. The Sacred Heart School, which is geared to 55+, contains 44 units and is in the process of being fully leased up. The City of Lawrence HPRP funds are 60% spent and on schedule.


HCEC/CTI – The Director of the HCEC at CTI reports that their offices receive approximately 350 phone calls per week with requests for assistance. The HCEC currently runs eviction prevention workshops and other housing related workshops. It was also reported that a repayee program will be piloted out of the HCEC at CTI.  CTI’s Residential Programs for homeless families reports diverting 50 families from shelter in October using the DHCD EA Diversion funds.


Emmaus – They report that they served 365 unduplicated individuals in FY10. We were also advised that Emmaus administers the HOPWA funds, geared to prevention and rental assistance for individuals and families with AIDS/HIV. These funds are focused on those being served in Lawrence and Haverhill. They were able to provide assistance to 36 unduplicated cases in FY10. They work closely with the Lawrence Community Health Center to ensure a continuum of housing and care for those with HIV/AIDS.


In addition (Oct to Nov), Emmaus was able to provide diversion for 50 families from entering shelter and 25 families were re-housed from emergency motel shelter with the recent allocation of Diversion specific funds.


Community Action, Inc – CAI reports that Carnival funds remain and their EFSP funding allocation will roll out again over the next two weeks. In addition, their local paper is assisting CAI with a holiday giving program.


Department of Correction – Claire Corsini will be in attendance at MVRN meetings going forward as Jaileen Hopkins will be assigned to another region. Claire outlined the discharge planning process for state inmates and advised the group that 80% of all inmates are released with Mass Health benefits and 1% of state inmates are released to homeless shelters. The issue was raised as there needing to be more communication between the discharging prison and the homeless shelter the prisoner will be released to. Claire submitted to the group the discharge statistics for the Merrimack Valley region from 7/10 to 9/10.


New Business


  1. – Avi Glaser presented the Beta site for a new affordable apartment rental website for the region. All properties are uploaded by the landlord and free to list apartments for rent.  Landlords will undergo training to be eligible to use the site.
  2. Committee Structures – tabled to next months MVRN meeting


Next Meeting Monday, December 20th at 2PM at Community Action Inc, Fox Center, Haverhill


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