Merrimack Valley Regional Network Meeting Minutes 12/19/11

Merrimack Valley Regional Network to End Homelessness

December 19, 2011 – Meeting Minutes

Community Action Inc. 75 Elm St Haverhill, MA

In attendance: Patricia Bergin (Comfort Home Care), Melissa Glassman (Eliot CHS), Kristin Ross-Sitcawich (CTI), Peter Cirioni (DOE), Charlie Manzi (Comfort Home Care), Connie Murphy (CAI, Karen Frederick (CTI), John Cuneo (CAI) David McCloskey (LTLC), Laura Tomaszczuk (DCF), Dave Robinson (Pathfinder), Ken Link (VA), Virginia Montalvo (DTA)

Network Updates:

  1. Network Update from Partners

Eliot CHS – in the process of interviewing peer specialists and continuing to seek on an ongoing basis appropriate, formerly homeless individuals to work as peer specialists.

CTI – Discussed the decrease in fuel assistance aid and asked that Eliot or LTLC contact Tyngsboro Board of Selectman Elizabeth Coughlin regarding a homeless individual that is living outside along the banks of the river. Discussed the recent Fireman Foundation award to the MVRN to facilitate network building around workforce development and Home Base. There will be 3 planning sessions across the region and invitations will go out to stake holders shortly. ICHH was not funded in FY12, however the Networks are encouraged to keep working together and collaborating on projects. ICHH is coordinating a steering committee specifically to deal with Veterans issues. Had discussions with Senior Employment Network recently and discussed the expansion of the Veteran Peers Specialist program across the MV region with the possible addition of elder peer specialists across the region. The HCEC is in the process of placing all workshops on power point format, translating those presentations to Khmer/Spanish and will eventually be formatted as a video which will enable other agencies to utilize those tools. Those presentation topics include Subsidized Housing Search, Eviction Prevention/Tenant Rights, SMART Tenant, Veterans Benefits (for providers & clients).

Bedford VA – Reporting that the Bedford VA has 240 VASH vouchers and 32 additional project based vouchers will go on line in Beverly in Spring 2012.

Emmaus – Reports that they are running at capacity in their individual shelter and have placed 25 individuals into permanent housing since 7/1/11.

Pathfinder/Bridgewell – Reporting a census increase of 35-40% over this time last year. Additionally reports that much of this population coming into the MV region from Western MA, Southern states and New Hampshire.

DCF – reporting that they have been remained consistently busy, however reporting that the number of EA assessments that have to be done have decreased to an average of 650 assessments per month versus a high of 800-900 assessments when Home Base first rolled out.

LTLC – Winter protocol is in place. Reporting that they provide housing search, GED and representative payee programming.

Department of Education – Reporting that they are moving McKinney funds into school districts, performing site inspections with a focus on supplemental education programming and school supplies for homeless school age children. Also reporting an 8% increase in the number of homeless school age children across the Commonwealth from FY10 to FY11.

Middlesex HOC – Recently increased the number of Discharge/Re-Entry case management staff. Collaborating with CTI on the SMART program which targets young persons aged 18-22 exiting the HOC to Lowell and entering those individuals into the Youth Build program which will provide educational/job training and career services for those individuals. They are engaged while they are incarcerated providing a seamless transition to discharge from the House of Correction directly into services in the community.

New Business


Ed Cameron gave a presentation on the state of Home Base in the Merrimack Valley region.

  1. Sub – Committee– .

Discharge Planning for Individuals


Early Warning Systems Development

Home Base – Ed Cameron will chair

Sub-committee summaries will be supplied at the next Network meeting and members will be asked assign themselves to a subcommittee.

Next Meeting

January 23, 2012 @ 2pm

Community Teamwork Inc

1st fl conf. room

17 Kirk St Lowell, MA


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