Merrimack Valley Regional Network Meeting Minutes 7/16/12

Merrimack Valley Regional Network to End Homelessness

July 16, 2012 – Meeting Minutes

Community Teamwork, Inc. 17 Kirk St Lowell, MA

In attendance: Kathleen Muldoon (CTI), Kristin Ross-Sitcawich (CTI), Connie Murphy (CAI), Linda King (City of Lowell), Ken Link (Bedford VA)), Dave McCloskey (LTLC), Kirsten Lewis (Ctte for Public Council Services), Sandy Almonte (Dept. of Transitional Assistance), George Deluca (Come to Lowell), Steve Wilkins (Commonweakth Land Trust), Sue Fink (City of Lawrence), Richard Rankin (City of Lawrence), Melissa Glassman (Eliot CHS), Erin Hurley (DPH-FOR Families)

Network Updates:

FOR Familiesreporting that they have pulled out of most emergency motel shelter programs and are now concentrating their efforts in the North Shore and Boston area.

Community Action Inc. – Reports having recently applied for foreclosure prevention grant funding through the Atty. General’s office

City of Lowell – Advised that there would be a Food Security Conference in October 2012. Discussed an upcoming “gleaning” event that will engage the community and provide food for the food bank, pantries and homeless feeding programs

City of Lawrence – Submitted the CoC action check up. They are still working on expanding their CoC membership. Reporting that they have issued an RFP for McKinney Vento consultant. Recently partnered with CoC’s of Lowell, Lynn and the North Shore in application for SOAR. Also reporting that all of their CoC members are up and running in ETO.

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

Commonwealth land Trust – Continuing with rehab construction at Windsor House. CLT oversees 70 units in Lawrence and 350 units in the Boston area. The majority of their tenants are experiencing challenges with mental health, substance abuse and HIV

Lowell Transitional Living CenterReporting that their census s shifting which has resulted in their being able to shut down 12 beds in the mezzanine section of their building. They report seeing an increase in the women’s population. However their overall nightly census is down. Expressed appreciation to all those that came out to support their First Annual “Walk” fundraiser last month.

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 and that RAFT would be forthcoming. Briefly discussed the Regional roll out plan with office hours set for partnering agencies across the Merrimack Valley.

Home Base Updatedeferred to next month

RAFTDiscussed briefly the income eligibility guidelines, anticipated date of fund availability. Stressed that RAFT is a resource, not an entitlement with very strict guidelines around who is eligible. RAFT dedicated staff will be based at CTI, with set office hours/times across the Merrimack Valley, in partnership with GLCAC, CAI and Emmaus, Inc.

Subcommittee Reports

There were no subcommittee meetings this past month.

New Business

ACCENT Lowell– George Deluca presented to the Network members the idea of pulling together a documentary on the topic of homelessness. This project would take up to a year to accomplish and is seeking input/perspective from providers across the MV region

Next meeting:

August 20, 2012 @ 2pm

Greater Lawrence Community Action Inc

305 Essex St Lowell, MA

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