Merrimack Valley Regional Network Meeting Minutes 9/19/11

Merrimack Valley Regional Network to End Homelessness

September 19, 2011 – Meeting Minutes

Community Action Inc, 75 Elm St Haverhill, MA

In attendance: Christine Starratt (CTI), Amy Greenwood (Rep. Tsongas’ Office), Peter Cirioni (DOE),Ken Link (VA), Al Hanscom (Emmaus), Patricia Bergin (CTI), Connie Murphy (CAI), Kathy Muldoon (CTI), , Karen Frederick (CTI), Melissa Glassman (Eliot CHS), Linda Comeau (YWCA of Greater Lawrence), Anne Marie Malavich (LTLC), Pam Wool (CAI), Anna Sanok (Jeannie Gieger Ctr), Jen Farmer (House of Hope), Dave Robsinso (Pathfinder/Bridgewell), Jim Barnes (City of Lawrence), Dianne Waddell (Living Waters), Carl Howell (CTI), Jodi Hill (COMPASS for Kids) Linda King (City of Lowell), Lindsay DiRocco (House of Hope), Janice Carroll (Lowell Community health Ctr.)  and Kristin Ross-Sitcawich (CTI).

Network Updates:

  1. Network Update from Partners

Emmaus – Reporting that they have assessed 887 families for Home base since 9/1/11.

Eliot CHS – Advised that they are partnering CSPECH with Emmaus with supportive services provided through Emmaus staff.

House of Hope – Discussed their ongoing efforts to transfer families over to CTI stabilization and Home Base.

Lawrence CoC – in process of application for NOFA and receiving Technical Assistance from HUD around creation of parameters around a data management plan for the City of Lawrence.

CTI – Discussed implementation and progress of Home Base across the Merrimack Valley..

CAI – Increased volume of calls relative to evictions. EFSP is set to be released in October, has a list of approximately 100 households on a waiting list for EFSP funds. CAI staff continuing to request training around Home Base so they may better inform and direct clients.

Pathfinder/Bridgewell – Reporting a 28% increase in the number of homeless individuals seeking services at Pathfinder in the month of August.

LTLC – Partnering with SMOC to bring in CSPECH case management services.

Living Waters Ministry of Hope – Homeless drop in center, reporting 2,000 + visits since January 2011. They are actively seeking to expand their site.

City of Lowell – Keys to Ending Homelessness on October 28, 2011 with a focus on criminal justice/re-entry.

COMPASS for Kids – It was reported that they have partnered with Emmaus, Northern Essex Community College and the Saunders School to work with Home Base families. Through this job to train program ESOL, GED, daycare, housing, asset development and employment partnerships will be put in place for those eligible families.

New Business


Progress to date for the Northeast Region :

c    In the first month of Home Base, 4,983 families were prescreened across the state.

c    1,271 in the first month in the Merrimack Valley region

c    In the Merrimack Valley, in August, there were 95 families that entered Home Base. With an additional 15 families placed in Congregate Shelter (fire victims, 18-21 year old households)

Providers across the state have been assigned to re-house emergency motel families with a monthly objective of re-housing 100 families from motels, statewide, until the motels are empty of EA families.

CTI is working with EA motel families in Chelmsford & Tewksbury and Emmaus is working with EA motel families in Haverhill.

DHCD had initially projected that there would be approximately 400 families rendered eligible for Home Base monthly. The number of families approved for Home Base is double the initial projection.

Discussion around the mixed messages people are getting around Home Base. We should all be very clear about this program; it is for families with minor children in the household, this is not a rental assistance program.

DOE clarifying eligibility of Home Base families for Mckinney/Vento funds; children in families entering Home Base are ineligible for McKinney services – transportation access. It was eported that $10 million was spent on transporting homeless children back to their Districts of origin in FY11.  It was also reported that there was an 8% increase in the number of homeless children in our school systems across the Commonwealth.

  1. Sub – Committee– no subcommittee reports at this time

Next Meeting

October 17, 2011 @ 2pm

Community Teamwork, Inc

155 Merrimack St, 2nd fl. Conf. Lowell, MA



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