Merrimack Valley Regional Network Meeting Minutes – 6/18/12

Merrimack Valley Regional Network to End Homelessness

June 18, 2012 – Meeting Minutes

Community Action Inc. 75 Elm St. Haverhill, MA

In attendance: Patricia Bergin (Comfort Home Care, Kristin Ross-Sitcawich (CTI), Connie Murphy (CAI), Linda King (City of Lowell), Al Hanscom (Emmaus), Robin Pincence (Emmaus), Anna Sanok (Jeannie Geiger CC), Kirsten Lewis (Ctte for Public Council Services), Sandy Almonte (Dept. of Transitional Assistance

Network Updates:

  1. Network Update from Partners

Community Action Inc. – Reports receiving an increased volume of phone calls for rental assistance with no funds available at this point in time to provide financial assistance.

Emmaus – Reporting the following data for FY12

      46 individuals re-housed from Mitch’s Place

71 HomeBase families re-housed from emergency family shelter

29 HomeBase families re-housed from EA motels in Greater Haverhill

226 families HomeBase families re-housed from Lawrence EA/DTA

48 families were provided with stabilization and household assistance

32 families provided with homeless prevention with the use of HOPWA funds

200 families were rolled into HomeBase from Flex-Funds

City of Lowell – Expressed concerns around the potential for McKinney renewals may not be “safe” from Federal spending reductions. Reports having seen a a drastic reduction in homeless assistance funds coming into Lowell over the past 4 years, from $14mill to $8mill. City of Lowell CoC is in the process of seeking jurisdictional access to ETO data submitted by Lowell agencies.

Jeannie Geiger Crisis Center – based out of Amesbury, MA – providing supportive services and housing assistance to women fleeing domestic violence. Reporting that 23 families have been served over the last two years, 9 families in FY12. The center was recently renewed for a grant that will enable them to continue to provide financial assistance to DV families in scattered site apartments.

Cttee for Public Counsel Services – Reporting that they will soon be opening offices in Lawrence & Haverhill. This agency provides case management services to individuals referred by the public defenders office.

Community Teamwork, Inc – Subsidized housing workshops have rolled out across the Merrimack Valley with the newest workshop having been done in partnership with Greater Lawrence Community Action and will be held once per month. We anticipate holding this same workshop in partnership with Community Action Inc, beginning in September 2012. Currently 4 subsidized housing workshops are held in Lowell at CTI, 1 at Greater Lawrence Community Action, 1 at Salisbury Housing Authority. Reported out that the Housing Consumer Education Center is seeking two HCEC/Housing Counselors

New Business

Subcommittee Reports

There were no subcommittee meeting this past month .

RAFT – Discussed the basic framework of the “new” RAFT resource. This resource is a tool, not a program and has extremely tight guidelines around who is eligible for these funds. This is not the RAFT program of old. We are in the process of hiring an extra counselor who will likely be dedicated to RAFT and we will as a network coordinate office hours across the Northeast region to accommodate the needs of our clients and partnering agencies. Partnering sites will likely include; Greater Lawrence Community Action, Community Action, Inc, North Shore Community Action and ACTION Inc. (Gloucester). We are waiting on final budget amounts from the Commonwealth for this resource.


Next meeting:

July 16, 2012 @ 2pm

Community Teamwork Inc

17 Kirk St Lowell, MA


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