Merrimack Valley Regional Network to End Homelessness Monthy Meeting Minutes 4/25/11

Merrimack Valley Regional Network to End Homelessness

April 25, 2011 – Meeting Minutes

In attendance: Pam Wool (CAI), Ed Cameron (CTI),  Jim Barnes  (City of Lawrence), Linda Comeau (YWCA of Greater Lawrence), David McCloskey (LTLC), Larry Gottlieb (Eliot CHS), Tony Moskevich (Eliot CHS), Patricia Bergin (CTI), Susan Dargon-Hart (IHR), Dan O’Connor (Lowell DTA), Al Hanscom (Emmaus), Robin Pincence (Emmaus), Katie Cooke (Comfort Home Care), Connie Murphy (CAI), Jennifer Sharkey (House of Hope), Jodi Youngreen (Jannsen) and Kristin Ross-Sitcawich (CTI).

Network Updates:

  1. Network Update from Partners

Institute for Health & Recovery (IHR) – Funding for Project RISE has been eliminated. Project RISE provided substance abuse intervention to approximately 500 families living in emergency shelter and motel shelters. Funding for Project HEAL has been continued, providing supportive housing to 12 households.

City of  Lawrence – Reported that they sustained a 16 ½% cut in CDBG & HOME funding for the City of Lawrence.

Emmaus – Reported that the flex funds for this quarter have been released and they have identified housing for 68 families in the first 4 days of the quarter. Consequently, the flex funds used to re-house families from emergency shelter have been depleted. Al Hanscom urged us a network to impress the issue to DHCD, of a lack of adequate stabilization staff for the hundreds of families we are serving. Emmaus reporting that they have one stabilization staff person to provide services to 377 families re-housed prior to this quarter. The  total number of families housed including the 68 families to be re-housed this quarter will bring their stabilization case load up to 445 families re-housed from emergency shelter.

Lowell Transitional Living Center – David McCloskey introduced himself as the new interim Executive Director for the center and spoke to his prior role as the Director at the PIP Shelter. He further reported that his focus has been on administration, programmatic and financial components of the center.

Comfort Home Care – A home health care agency providing services around medication administration, nursing, behavior management, etc. It was reported that the agency has a seat on the City of Lawrence’s Mayor’s Health Task Force and spoke to a Mental Health Resource Fair which is set to take place on May 19, 2011 @ The Point After Club, 43 Jackson St. Lawrence, MA.

CTI – Discussed the recent move to their new location at 155 Merrimack & 17 Kirk St in Lowell and the reorganization of Homelessness Prevention Services. There were 230 families that were re-housed from emergency shelter so far this year. One shelter program is moving to 360 Pawtucket St from the current Worthen St location, in Lowell. The Worthen St building will be turned into permanent housing in partnership with DMH and Vinfen.

CAI – In the process of spending ICHH/MVRN funds down by the end of the fiscal year. CAI doing more outreach in the Amesbury portion of the region in order to spend down allocated funds in a timely manner.

YWCA of Greater Lawrence – Reporting an influx in teens with children, aging out of programs. 11 families from YWCA’s programs will be transitioning into the Saunders School housing program, resulting in vacancies in the OASIS program.

New Business

Institute for Health & Recovery – Susan Dargon-Hart was in to speak to the Network requesting that the Merrimack Valley Regional Network to End Homelessness partner with IHR on a SAMSHA grant, which is projected to fund substance abuse clinicians and a stabilization worker who will provide intervention and support to the stabilization workers that will be working within the HomeBase program. IHR is requesting MOA’s from all HomeBase participating agencies. They project to serve 70 families annually. Susan advised that she was looking for further feedback from the Network and she will forward an email to the Network Coordinator for distribution.

HomeBase – Ed Cameron discussed the framework by which HomeBase will operate. A meeting is scheduled with CTI, House of Hope, Emmaus and NASCAP next week, to gather feedback from those providers on how best to roll out HomeBase.

  1. Sub – Committee Structure – The Discharge Subcommittee has met and have outlined their objectives, to whom they must meet with and have identified an outcome that would educate providers (hospitals, prisons, jails) as to the services available for those that are at risk of homelessness or literally homeless. This committee will meet again prior to the next Network meeting and will provide an update then.


Next Meeting

May 16, 2011 @ 2pm

Greater Lawrence Community Action, Inc

305 Essex St Lawrence, MA


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