Merrimack Valley Regional Network Meeting Minutes 6/20/11 – Next Meeting 7/20/11 @ CTI

Merrimack Valley Regional Network to End Homelessness

June 20, 2011 – Meeting Minutes

Community Action, Inc, 75 Elm St Haverhill, MA

In attendance: Pam Wool (CAI), Derek Jones (LTLC), Larry Gottlieb (Eliot CHS), Patricia Bergin (CTI), Al Hanscom (Emmaus), Robin Pincence (Emmaus), Katie Cooke (Comfort Home Care), Connie Murphy (CAI), Kathy Muldoon (CTI), Christine Starrat (CTI), Linda King (City of Lowell), Susan Rourke (Mid. HOC), Sandy Almonte (DTA) Ken Link (Bed. VA), David Robinson (Pathfinder), David McClane (MVYMCA) and Kristin Ross-Sitcawich (CTI).

Network Updates:

  1. Network Update from Partners

Emmaus – Flex funds exhausted for this quarter. Individual re-housing cases are pending placement through MHSA/HPRP funds. They are reporting that agencies are already beginning to refer families for Home Base. They recommended that the Regional Housing Network undertake significant outreach/education efforts in order that families and agencies are properly informed as to the parameters of the program as there appears to be a fair amount of misinformation out on this program.

Comfort Home Care – Mass Plant Connect has been funded to provide funding geared to health related programs in the community. Anyone interested should contact Carmenza Brough 978 620-3536. The Network was also advised that Comfort Home care is seeking a MA level MSW to support the management team.

CTI – Discussed ongoing efforts with the Regional Housing Network to create and implement the Home Base program in the Northeast region and the potential application for VA funds for Veterans Employment programming.

CAI – Advised the group that their new drop in site is located at 44 Friend St., Amesbury. Reported that they will be working through the drop in – in coordination with Eliot CHS to generate referrals to Eliot’s CSPECH program. Awaiting EFSP funding.

City of Lowell – Discussed the upcoming Keys to Ending Homelessness Series which will focus on re-entry for formerly incarcerated individuals. HOC, DOC will be involved in this conference. Phil Mangano is scheduled to be the key note speaker

Eliot CHS – Continue to welcome referrals for the CSPECH program. Reporting that Tony Moskevich is no longer working for Eliot CHS. Melissa Glassman has taken his place as the Regional Manager. There are surplus funds for up front re-housing costs for homeless individuals that must be spent by June 30, 2011. John Dunn at Windsor House is recruiting participants for CSPECH. Will be meeting with MBHP with regard to expansion of the CSPECH program on 6/23/11.

Bedford VA/VASH program – Reporting that there are 50 VASH vouchers that will be made available through the Bedford VA. DHCD is slated to receive 25 VASH vouchers, an additional 25 vouchers potentially for Lowell alone. Peabody Properties in partnership with the Bedford VA is developing 32 project based beds in the North Shore area.

Pathfinder/ Bridgewell – Reports a decrease in the number of participants in their homeless day outreach program and have 1 market rate unit available at $445 monthly. This is an open referral process for this type of unit.

MV YMCA – 73 rooms in their program inventory with two vacancies currently and 15 individuals on their waiting list.

New Business

HomeBase – Discussed the framework by which HomeBase will operate. There are currently 237 shelter units across the region. Diversion will be hold the greatest priority under Home Base where young parents, under the age of 21, victims of domestic violence, fire or flood would be allowed entry into emergency shelter services. Eligibility for EA services and diversion remains the same as it has historically. There will a big emphasis on the front doors of the system in the Lowell, Lawrence and Salem TAO offices. Tenants accepted into Home Base will be responsible for a portion of their rent and continuance in the Home Base will be determined based on compliance with their portion of their rent, entry into education, employment or workforce training programs. CTI leadership continues to meet with providers across the region and cited the need to keep a number of transitional housing units available for families entering Home Base across the NE region. Next Home Base training to take place on 6/21 at CTI, for the Northeast Home Base Region with the focus of discussion on stabilization.

  1. Sub – Committee– The Discharge Subcommittee has met with representatives from the Middlesex & Essex HOC, Holy Family Hospital, Tewksbury State Hospital and Lawrence Probation. Discussed Medical Respite Program Models that currently exist (McGinnis House, CHL in Worcester).

Next Meeting

July 18, 2011 @ 2pm

Community Teamwork Inc.

155 Merrimack St.,

2nd Fl. Conf.

Lowell, MA


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