Merrimack Valley Regional Network Meeting Minutes 10/17/11

Merrimack Valley Regional Network to End Homelessness

October 17, 2011 – Meeting Minutes

Community Teamwork Inc, 17 Kirk St Lowell, MA

In attendance: Christine Starratt (CTI), Al Hanscom (Emmaus), Patricia Bergin (CTI) , Karen Frederick (CTI), Melissa Glassman (Eliot CHS), Linda Comeau (YWCA of Greater Lawrence), Anne Marie Malavich (LTLC), June Messina (House of Hope), Dave Robinson (Pathfinder/Bridgewell), Jim Barnes (City of Lawrence), Leka Bezhani (CTI), Derek Jones (LTLC), Anjuli Ferreira (Horizons for Homeless Children), Eileen Healey (CTI), Leslie Lawrence (Emmaus) and Kristin Ross-Sitcawich (CTI).

Network Updates:

  1. Network Update from Partners

Emmaus – Reporting that their Home Base assessment numbers are high, having assessed 113 families on 10/13/11. 170 families have been approved for Home Base through the Lawrence DTA office. 70 families have moved into their housing, 100 families continue to search for housing, 33 families are in temporary accommodation. 15 families at the Haverhill Best Western. 3 available slots at their congregate shelter. Flex fund families are rolling over smoothly into Home Base. Emmaus will have 375 families rolling into Home Base. Further reporting that their individual emergency shelter has been and continues to be filled to capacity with 4 individuals being re-housed in this fiscal year.

Eliot CHS – Reporting an increase in calls for services of all types and calls from cities/towns not previously heard from (Chelmsford & Acton). Windsor House currently has vacancies.

House of Hope – Reporting that they are seeing many families with active, ongoing domestic violence issues. Had a recent in service on Domestic Violence which was facilitated by Alternative House.

Lawrence CoC – Reporting that Kat Freeman has been working with Lawrence CoC and TAC to pull together a job description for an HMIS/ETO specialist for the City of Lawrence. It was also reported that the City of Lawrence received an $850K grant targeted to anti crime initiatives to include education/outreach – geared to ex-offenders and those at risk of re-offense. United Teen Equality Center of Lowell is a partner in this grant. Further potential cuts to CDBG.

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

Pathfinder/Bridgewell – High occupancy for outreach program as there was a 50% increase in the number of new intakes completed (from August to September). Meal numbers are increased due to there not being a lunch that is served at Lowell Transitional Living Center. Reporting that they are seeing a marked increase in young homeless men and women with significant substance abuse issues. They are also reporting that there is one market rate unit available at Pathfinder Apartments.

LTLC – Reporting that they are out of MHSA/HPRP funds and reports that the CSPECH program is up and running.


Horizons for Homeless Children – Exploring partnership with Home Base providers to provide volunteers while parents attend workshops and provide play space for the children.

YWCA of Greater Lawrence – Available units for homeless women at their SRO program.

New Business


Progress to date for the Northeast Region:

288 families enrolled in Home Base across the Merrimack Valley region.

25 families in EA motel shelter across the MV region.

Landlord checks are being issued every seven days

Housing Assistance – pays a portion of the rent to keep a family housed. Benefit up to $4K.

Temporary accommodation projections were far exceeded across the state. Currently, as an alternative, families are being placed in emergency shelters and/or EA motels

DHCD has a full compliment of information on the Home Base program on their web site.


ICHH RFR – reported out to the Network that a response had been submitted to ICHH and anticipating the issuance of an RFP before the end of the calendar year.


  1. Sub – Committee– Discussed revitalizing this process.


Next Meeting

November 21, 2011 @ 2pm

Greater Lawrence Community Action

305 Essex St. 4th fl conf. Lawrence, MA


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