Merrimack Valley Regional Network to End Homelessness – December 20, 2010 – Meeting Minutes

Merrimack Valley Regional Network to End Homelessness

December 20, 2010 – Meeting Minutes


In attendance: Patty Bergin (CTI), Susan Fink (City of Lawrence), Yesenia Gil (City of Lawrence, Linda King (City of Lowell), Derek Jones (LTLC), Sandra Pereira (LTLC), Connie Murphy (CAI), John Cuneo (CAI), Pam Wool (CAI) Mary O’Brien (YWCA of Greater Lawrence), Diane Waddell (Living Waters Ministries) Chris Starratt (CTI), Katie Cook (Comfort Home care), David Robinson (Bridgewell/Pathfinder)  and Kristin Ross-Sitcawich.


Network Updates:

  1. RFR Update – The Network RFR was made available in early December and was successfully submitted on 12/17/2010 to the Inter-agency Council on Housing & Homelessness. Award announcements will be made in early January 2011. This grant request was for 6 months worth of funding. All funds must be spent down by 6/30/2011.
Client Resources Financial Assistance  
Direct Financial Assistance (Lowell EA) $86,000
Direct Financial Assistance (Lawrence EA) $86,000
Direct Financial Assist. (YWCA GL) $10,000
Direct Financial Assist. (GLCAC) $10,000
Direct Financial Assist. (CAI) $10,000
Direct Financial Assist. (CTI/HCEC) $10,000
Direct Financial Assist. (TPP) $5000
Total Direct Assistance $217,000
Total Network Coordination $35,000
Indirect Cost @ 9.7% $3395
Total ICHH Request $255,395



  1. Network Update from Partners


YWCA of Greater Lawrence – reported that YWCA of Greater Lawrence has formed a new partnership with Lawrence Public Schools


Lowell Transitional Living Center – They are continuing along with the MHSA/HPRP homeless re-housing initiative.


City of Lawrence DPD – HPRP going well. Saunders School to be completed for 2/1/2011. Application workshop in January for potential family applicants to the Saunders School (flier handed out to Network members in the agenda package). The City of Lawrence AHAR has been submitted and will have their annual Point in Time Count in late January. The City of Lawrence is also looking at new projects for Veterans and individual homeless diversion and will be issuing an RFP for HMIS services in the new calendar year to be able to provide HMIS Technical Assistance to all agencies in receipt of federal and state funds.


Community Action, Inc – Pam Wool is the new Development Director for CAI. It was reported that CAI is utilizing Carnival funds to assist families with rent arrears and back utilities. Reporting that families previously provided with assistance with ICHH and/or HPRP funds are returning for further assistance. The Haverhill Gazette raised funds for CAI and was able to make available $12k in gift cards for CAI clients.


Integration/ CTI – Reporting that the resource center has seen an increased volume in those seeking assistance from their staff. Currently receiving 40-50 phone calls per day with approximately 25 walk-ins per day. There are 4 client specialists scattered throughout the agency as different sites.


Living Waters Ministries– In the process of working to expand hours and days that they are open. They would eventually like to be open 7 days per week. This is an all volunteer facility. They provide supports to those that are homeless or at risk, in the form of transportation (med/psych appointments, job interviews, etc.), food pantry, lunch, therapeutic services and computer & internet access. They are seeing approximately 30 people per day come through their doors with approximately 350 visits annually.


City of Lowell – Just finished AHAR and submitted to HUD. Reporting that there were 2008 homeless people in this most recently submitted AHAR, versus 1200 that reported to HUD in the prior AHAR. The Point in Time count will take place in late January.


Pathfinder/Bridgewell – Continuing to provide daily services. Reporting an up-tick in intakes of newly homeless individuals seeking services. Reported that there were 25 intakes in the first half of December 2010. Further reporting trends in seeing a younger homeless population. These individuals are staying in emergency shelters, sleeping outside, sleeping in cars and/or couch hopping.



New Business


  1. Committee Structure –

It was determined through discussion that committees would be formed around the following:

a. Institutional Discharge Planning

b. Local Housing Authorities

c. Early Warning Systems

d. Veterans

Due to time constraints the Network members were asked to email the Network Coordinator their preferences for sub-committee assignment.


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