Merrimack Valley Regional Network ~ Meeting Minutes ~ 10/15/12

Merrimack Valley Regional Network to End Homelessness

October 15, 2012 – Meeting Minutes

Greater Lawrence Community Action 305 Essex St Lawrence, MA

In attendance: Kristin Ross-Sitcawich (CTI), Connie Comtois (Chelmsford HA), Sue Fink (City of Lawrence), Jim Barnes (City of Lawrence), Carl Howell (CTI), Patty Bergin (CHC), George Deluca (Copley Media), Derek Jones (LTLC), Marissa Melendez (GLCAC), Anna Sonak (Jeannie Gieger), Richard Rangin (City of Lawrence)

Network Updates from Partners:

City of Lawrence – Discussed recent article in the Boston Globe that related to a number of homeless men and women who are currently unsheltered homeless in the City of Lawrence. Coordinating with DHCD a response to serve these individuals. DHCD will be meeting with the City of Lawrence on 10/23/12 to discuss the coordination of services and resources for these homeless individiuals.

Community Teamwork, Inc – HCEC staff have been deployed across the Merrimack Valley region to facilitate applications for families seeking RAFT assistance. Counselors will be sited at GLCAC and CAI, seeing applicants by appointment. There are 130 homeless families in Merrimack Valley motels (20 in Haverhill, 60 in Tewksbury, 50 in Chelmsford). DHCD has begun contracting with HomeBase administering agencies to coordinate case management to motel homeless families. 67 MRVP’s have been made available for the Merrimack Valley region for motel/shelter homeless families who meet specific eligibility criteria.  Discussed recent additions to the Merrimack Valley Regional Network blog

GLCAC – Have begun to offer Financial Assistance workshops to streamline client flow, particularly around requests for rental/financial assistance

Copley Media – Creating a documentary around homelessness in Lowell. Discussed recent “gleaning event” that occurred in Greater Lowell.

Jeannie Geiger Crisis Center – reporting that the agency has federal funds to rehouse families fleeing domestic violence

Chelmsford Housing Authority – Working with House of Hope in the creation of 5 new units of housing for formerly homeless families. In addition, they are working with VNOC in the creation of 13 new units of housing for Veterans. Of the 13 units, 8 of them will be enhanced SRO’s and 5 units will be dedicated to Veterans with dependents (children)

Home Base UpdateThere are 130 homeless families in Merrimack Valley motels (20 in Haverhill, 60 in Tewksbury, 50 in Chelmsford). DHCD has begun contracting with HomeBase administering agencies to coordinate case management to motel homeless families. 67 MRVP’s have been made available for the Merrimack Valley region for motel/shelter homeless families who meet specific eligibility criteria.

RAFTHCEC staff have been deployed across the Merrimack Valley region to facilitate applications for families seeking RAFT assistance. Counselors will be sited at GLCAC and CAI, seeing applicants by appointment

Subcommittee Reports

Families – seeking to coordinate protocol for families ineligible for Home Base given recent regulation changes to EA entry

New Business

Recent EA Changes – deferred to families subcommittee to establish a coordinated response. Upcoming public hearings on recent changes may result in additional changes in regulation.

Next meeting:

December 17, 2012 @ 2pm

Community Action Inc

75 Elm St Haverhill, MA

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