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DMH Community Conversation - Shared screen with speaker view
KShapiro
32:40
Earl just so you know we cannot unmute ourselves so it is all you
Clifford Robinson (he, him, his)
34:24
I can’t hear anything
Sarah Hills
35:26
Hi Ealr..I am on zoom but using my phone for audio...my computer uadio isnt working so I have to use phone for talking
Sarah Hills
35:33
*Earl
Jenifer Urff
36:09
So glad to help support today's Community Conversation! If you have trouble accessing the video or audio, call me at 413-219-4331 and I'll try to help troubleshoot.
Sean Donovan (he/him)
39:11
Nipmuc Nation: https://www.nipmucnation.org/
Kelly Thibodeau
39:42
Thank you so much Sean for these words!
Pamela Schwartz
44:45
Please join the Western MA Network to End Homelessness blog to stay connected to regional, state and federal updates on homelessness: http://westernmasshousingfirst.org (the Subscribe button on the upper right). Please join us!
Jenifer Urff
01:13:18
You can find a free, searchable directory of resources related to housing and support services at www.massachusetts.networkofcare.org. The COVID-19 page includes links to resources specific to the pandemic.
Andy Beresky (He/Him)
01:16:19
Hi folks, feel free to utilize the chatbox for discussion, and we'll also keep track of any questions or hot topics for the Q and A portion of the conversation.
Andy Beresky (He/Him)
01:16:47
Please also feel free to offer up any resources or suggestions relevant to the conversation in the chat box as well!
James O’Neil
01:17:48
Would comments on the topic also be okay Andy?
Andy Beresky (He/Him)
01:17:59
Of course!
James O’Neil
01:18:36
Because I've noticed that another issue that seems to be more frequent during covid is the issue around "freeloading" (having people stay over for more than what is "comfortable")
E Aubrey
01:20:06
one area that DMH CYF is contending with is supportive housing for young adults. some of the young adults we work with are not meeting the requirements of their housing programs but are not losing their place bc of the eviction moratorium. can you speak to any movement to address this particular populations need?
Tnicholson
01:23:00
Below I am providing phone numbers for families/individuals and youth who may find themselves homeless.
Andy Beresky (He/Him)
01:24:00
Thank you so much!
AJ (They/them)
01:24:59
I can attest from my personal experience that homelessness itself is traumatic. Are there resources to help people deal with the trauma of homelessness and “settling in” and feeling secure in their housing after experiencing homelessness?
KShapiro
01:25:03
Elana, this is the problem with the courts I was mentioning. Unfortunately, I don't have any great solutions. Though the eviction moratorium is lifted the courts are very clogged. There are a number of mediation programs but they are not generally very helpful for my folks who are struggling with housing as they are often not willing to participate in a housing resolution process but respond to the court
James O’Neil
01:25:13
One thing I am also extremely curious about is how the DMH subsidy process works, plus I would also like to know the criterion for receiving a subsidy is.
Tnicholson
01:25:55
Sorry here you go: Access Family EA shelter 866-584-0653 to access a DHCD Homeless Coordinator Friends of the homeless has Navigator for individuals to access shelter 413-732-3069 Youth and young adults can access homeless navigators in Hamden County by calling 413-316-4979
Andy Beresky (He/Him)
01:26:29
That's a good question, I'm sure that Chris and Kate can offer some insights.
James O’Neil
01:27:32
For JLevy: What does a safety plan look like?
AJ (They/them)
01:29:54
Another question - many housing resources separate family/chosen family members such as separating youth from elders, or partners from each other, sometimes housing is only for one gender or age group and people have to choose between keeping their support network and getting a roof over their head
Sean Donovan (he/him)
01:32:08
This is so real AJ--I know some folks who don't seek out shelters because they'll be separated from a crucial support network of someone of another gender. And it's often a support network folks don't feel safe without.
Sarah Hills
01:32:38
I think it is about trying to work on being proactive rather than reactive. That can be applied to budgeting, finances, accessing resources, safety planning, etc. We want to help plan ahead, and recognize/mitigate the issues that are coming up before it gets to a point of crisis or before it becomes unmanageable.
Sam Nuerminger
01:36:03
Do we have legislative connections or supports on issues regarding housing? Have any legislators been particularly invested in taking on or speaking out about this issue?
Tnicholson
01:38:37
Hamden County thru the Continuum of Care has housing resources for youth who are homeless. By accessing a Housing Navigator thru calling 413-316-4979 Youth ages 18-24 can receive an assessment called the VISPDAT that will assess the level of vulnerability and resources for the Youth. There are levels of housing from Financial support to self resolve, Transitional Housing, Rapid Rehousing (can stay for up to 2 years) and Permanent Supportive Housing. All of these resources come with Case Management support.
Sean Donovan (he/him)
01:39:33
Thanks for sharing your experiences folks--sharing link to the December Western Mass RLC newsletter: www.westernmassrlc.org/images/stories/RLC_December_20_NEWSLETTER.pdf. In addition to Afiya, this newsletter has info on open hours for our Springfield, Holyoke, Greenfield and Pittsfield, which are still open but in limited ways with COVID-19 restrictions. Also, info about in-person and online groups. And, on page 8 an online event called FUTURES WITHOUT POLICING next Wednesday evening, which features 5 community organizers including one focusing on supporting unhoused folks being missed by others supports.
Sean Donovan (he/him)
01:39:52
http://www.westernmassrlc.org/images/stories/RLC_December_20_NEWSLETTER.pdf
Andy Beresky (He/Him)
01:40:52
Thanks Sean!
Noah (he/him)
01:42:01
One thing I’ve noticed is that a lot of shelters are gender-specific (or at the least separate men and women completely without regard for LGBTQ+ folks, in particular folks who are trans and/or non-binary) and/or are religiously affiliated. For example, I have heard that Springfield Rescue Mission is not a safe or accessible space for anyone who is not a cisgender, heterosexual, Christian man, thus discriminating against folks outside of those identities and experiences. Are there fundamental human rights and/or non-discrimination policies specifically for emergency housing options?
Sam Nuerminger
01:42:12
Are we afraid of a line-item veto?
Lindsay Sabadosa
01:43:12
We are but it's unlikely to include anything related to housing at this point based on the Governor's press conference yesterday.
Pamela Schwartz
01:43:19
https://www.westernmasshousingfirst.org/advocacy/2020/now-ask-governor-baker-to-support-the-budget/
Gary Vogel
01:43:49
I have a question. If my understanding is right every tenant who is currently facing evictions are able to receive free legal counsel if they can not afford it. My question is if this is the case do we know how many people have used this resource and how many attorneys have the state allocated to do this. I know there is a back log in the housing court right now I am just wondering what quality of legal representation will individuals receiving. It makes me think of a similar situation where in a criminal case often people have to rely on public defenders and they barely get the representation and advocacy that they deserve because they are so overloaded
Tnicholson
01:45:14
Yes the dial self program is still active
Sam Nuerminger
01:45:15
Thank you Representative Sabadosa and Pamela!
Tnicholson
01:45:49
The new youth funded programs funded in Three County and Hamden County are very LBGTQ friendly.
Sean Donovan (he/him)
01:46:00
http://dialself.org/lgbtqhfprog.html They're overall really great but have some less-than-housing first ideas on treatment relating to adherence to psych meds.
AJ (They/them)
01:46:00
as far as I know dial/self is youth focused so older LGBTQ folks and LGBTQ folks looking to be housed with elder/adult family members can’t access those services
Sean Donovan (he/him)
01:46:36
Dial / Self is up to 24 yo, I believe, so not useful for all, yes.
Pamela Schwartz
01:47:55
The legal assistance component of the Governor’s Eviction Diversion Initiative is being implemented via a new COVID-19 Eviction Legal Help Program which is contracting with legal services offices across the state. Contacting Community Legal Aid is the way to a lawyer. This is not a legal right to a lawyer. It is additional assistance that is available if you can obtain it (housing courts do not refer; you must ask for it or call legal aid directly). Post-moratorium 98% of landlords have attorneys and 1% of tenants facing eviction have lawyers. We are a very very long way from “right to counsel in evictions” but in the meanwhile calling Community Legal Aid is the way to seek legal help.
Gary Vogel
01:49:40
Thank you for that info Pamela that is very helpful.
Jenifer Urff
01:50:26
Great resources and discussion in the Group Chat! If you'd like a copy of the chat or a recording of today's Community Conversation, send a note to jeniferurff@mamh.org and we will send to you.
KShapiro
01:50:36
applying to public housing online: https://publichousingapplication.ocd.state.ma.us/. There are emergency applications for folks with medical or phychiatric emmergencies
KShapiro
01:51:08
https://communitylegal.org/
AJ (They/them)
01:51:30
Public housing even emergency housing often has wait lists that are YEARS long. Are there any resources for folks that need housing in a more timely manner and are there resources that are less limited by the person’s current location
jlevy
01:52:28
Yes... LGBTQ resources is quite limited... Dial/Self is for under 25 years old
jlevy
01:53:48
Also Gandara provides Young Adult service for Hampden County
Sean Donovan (he/him)
01:54:27
Thanks for these legal resources! This group and some other fundraisers have been trying to raise money for folks not being helped in time by public housing etc Touch the Sky PV: Funds for Unhoused Community: https://fundrazr.com/pvhousingnow?ref=ab_3T0P2xm7i8h3T0P2xm7i8h
Ethan A Cain (he/his pronouns)
01:54:32
I would love a copy of the recording.
James O’Neil
01:55:50
If my questions weren't able to be answered, who should I e-mail?
Kelly Thibodeau
01:56:49
Yes, Kate!
Andy Beresky (He/Him)
01:58:19
I agree that it's really indicative that our systems have begun so complex that we need "experts" just to navigate them, as it creates a real power differential for folks who want to access those resrouces.
Andy Beresky (He/Him)
01:58:35
* become
Pamela Schwartz
01:59:51
Hopeful fact: In Springfield, thanks to the work of Catholic Charities and Eliot Services and many others, 22 individuals have been housed directly out of hotel shelter into permanent housing. And that is a result of an incredible team of case managers, housing navigators, mental health professionals, etc., working together to provide the necessary support to obtain permanent housing. It’s a national best practice happening right here in our region, and we can and must grow it!
Andy Beresky (He/Him)
02:01:01
Thank you so much Pamela!
Lindsay Sabadosa
02:02:02
That is inspiring. Thank you!
Julie Schwager DMH (She/Her/Hers)
02:02:35
Thanks Pamela, Earl, Andy and the Panelists, great conversation!
Jennie Lussier
02:02:41
Earl.C.Miller@mass.gov
Andy Beresky (He/Him)
02:02:48
Thanks Jennie!
Julie Schwager DMH (She/Her/Hers)
02:03:02
Tanks MAMH for the support!
Tracy Harris
02:03:03
Thanks
Pamela Schwartz
02:03:11
Thanks to everyone who made this happen!
Sam Nuerminger
02:03:16
Thank you to everyone!
350845576
02:03:24
thank you all for the info
Sean Donovan (he/him)
02:03:25
Thanks flks!