Merrimack Valley Regional Network Meeting Minutes 5/21/12

Merrimack Valley Regional Network to End Homelessness

May 21, 2012 – Meeting Minutes

Community Teamwork Inc. 17 Kirk St, MA

In attendance: Patricia Bergin (Comfort Home Care), Kristin Ross-Sitcawich (CTI), Connie Murphy (CAI), Sue Fink ( City of Lawrence), Jim Barnes (City of Lawrence) Melissa Glassman (Eliot CHS), Dave McCloskey (LTLC), Ken Link (Bedford VA), Marisa Melendez (GLCAC), Donna Murray (DMH), Steve Wilkins (Commonwealth Land Trust), Linda King (City of Lowell)

Network Updates:

  1. Network Update from Partners

Eliot CHS – Reported that Felicia Martin is the new shelter specialist for the Lawrence area..

CTI – In the process of expending State HPRP funds for rental arrears assistance. A Subsidized Housing Application workshop will take place at Greater Lawrence Community Action on the 2nd Friday of each month at 10am. GLCAC reporting that they have signed 24 clients up for the first workshop.

Community Action Inc. – Reporting an increase in the number of house condemnations in the City of Haverhill, however, the funds that are available t Haverhill residents is only for use with fire victims.

LTLC – Reports serving approximately 60-65 men and women each evening at LTLC. Discussed upcoming “walk” fundraiser which will take place on 6/10 @ 8:30a. All proceeds benefit LTLC.

City of Lawrence – Reporting that the CoC is in the process of working on their action plan and Mission Statement. They are also reporting that they are partnering with the Lynn and North Shore CoC in application for SOAR. It was suggested that the Lowell CoC could be pulled into that partnership.

Bedford VA – .160 veterans attended the most recent VASH workshop and there will be 75 VASH vouchers available for the Bedford VA region.

Greater Lawrence Community Action – In the process of transition, incorporating more counseling into their community service center. The new center director is Marisa Melendez. They are reporting that they are experiencing a great deal of resident displacement due to condemnation with 40 residents having been recently displaced. Staff cited issues with confusion over assistance provided by different agencies and connecting with supportive service agencies in the community.

Commonwealth land Trust – They are reporting that they are in the midst of rehabilitating Windsor House.

City of Lowell – In the process of the HUD “check up”.

DCF – Continuing to work with DHCD around evaluating families for entrance into the EA system. Consistently evaluating 60 families per month

New Business

Emergency Response Framework

The purpose of this initiative would be draw upon established expertise/practice from across the region to formulate a more cohesive response to fire, flood, natural disaster and condemnation, on the front line of community service providers such as CTI, GLCAC and CAI. .

USICH  – A new USICH Regional Coordinator has been hired. Network members  are requesting that we reach out to our new regional coordinator and invite them to familiarize them with the MVRN

Next meeting:

June 18, 2012 @ 2pm

Community Action Inc  75 Elm St. Haverhill, MA


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