Three County Continuum of Care Quarterly Newsletter

Missed the first 2 newsletters? Here are the links!

The Three County CoC is about to begin planning for the 2023 Point in Time (PIT) Counts (which will be held in January and another to be determined month later in the year) in the next few weeks. The Point in Time Count is an attempt to try and determine how many people are experiencing homelessness on a single night across Berkshire, Franklin, and Hampshire Counties. For the PIT Count, the CoC tries to count how many people are currently experiencing homelessness in shelters, in unsheltered situations such as vehicles or encampments, or who are couch surfing or experiencing homelessness but currently in a hotel or motel, or an institutional setting. The planning process will last until early or mid-January most likely. In 2023 there were 542 people experiencing homelessness between Hampshire, Franklin, and Berkshire Counties. Of these 542 people, 400 were individuals, and 142 were people in families with children under 18. If you are interested in becoming part of the planning efforts for the upcoming counts or have any questions about them, please contact Michele LaFleur at mlafleur@communityaction.us.
This new project will provide Emergency housing and case management services, and emergency shelter in the Louison House Flood house building in North Adams for at least 2 individuals, currently partnering youth with child and pregnant youth on the waiting list. Usually in our emergency sheltering at the motel we have youth also with numbers varying with the 20-30 people we house on an emergency basis. We provide daily assistance with food, transportation, and supplies for their daily living at any site of ours.  We also prioritize parenting youth for our family PSH housing in apartments in the community and in our Transitional Housing congregate shelter, and sometimes individual youth come in through Coordinated Entry to our individual PSH units.  For all these youth we provide supportive services. we provide crisis and emergency support and intakes with info and referrals to all who call Louison House, of which youth are a growing number.  We provide follow-up and case management for youth and young adults in our housing and as many of the youth who call in a crisis, as we are able to assist.  We confer and work collaboratively as much as possible with the youth we get calls from or are drop-ins, we try and connect them to resources with the assistance of Ryan, Kim, and our other partners at BCRHA.   
The Western Massachusetts to End Homelessness is proud to endorse a YES VOTE on two of the ballot questions that will appear on the November 8 ballot:
Question 1The Fair Share Amendment, which would create a 4% tax on the portion of a person’s annual income over $1 million and require – in the state constitution – that the funds be spent only on transportation and public education, two critical contributors to housing stability. The Network urges a YES vote on Question 1.
Question 4Preserving the Work and Family Mobility Act, just passed by the Legislature earlier this year, which ensures that all qualified state residents, regardless of immigration status, can apply for a standard MA driver’s license.  This law serves both public safety – safer roads – and housing stability so that immigrants can get to work, child care, school and medical appointments.  Vote YES on Question 4 to retain this law.
Please note: You can register to vote in THIS election until Saturday, October 29. A very clear step-by-step process is laid out through the Secretary of State’s office HERE.
For the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s excellent and extensive voter and candidate engagement information: GO HERE.  Everything you need to know or want to learn about engaging with tenants around voter registration, voter mobilization, candidate engagement and more is available.  Let's engage!
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Pittsfield Shelter, located at St Joe's High School at 22 Maplewood Ave., the capacity is 50 people, as of 11/14/22 the shelter will be open 24 hours a day 7 days a week, the shelter can be reached at 413-320-6550.  The shelter is a first come first serve and people can maintain a cot providing they return each night; if they do not stay at the shelter for 2 consecutive nights, they may lose their cot depending on the overall census.  Currently there is no waitlist.  This is considered a low threshold congregate shelter; we ask that substances not be used on site.
 
Greenfield Shelter, located at 60 Wells St., the capacity is 30 people, shelter is open 24 hours a day 7 days a week, the shelter can be reached at 413-772-6100, option 2. There is a waitlist and people are asked to call into the shelter at least twice a week to update their need.  As openings occur people will be called from the waitlist based on urgency/vulnerability of need.  This is considered a low threshold congregate shelter; we ask that substances not be used on site.
 
Northampton Shelters, 91 Grove St, has a capacity of 19 people, shelter is open 24 hours a day 7 days a week.  Interfaith Cot Shelter located at 43 Center St. has a capacity of 16 people, shelter is open Monday—Friday from 5pm to 8am, and 24 hours on Saturday and Sunday. Both shelters can be reached by calling 413-586-6001.  This is considered a low threshold congregate shelter; we ask that substances not be used on site.

POSITION SUMMARY

Provide general administrative support to the day-to-day operations of the Three County Continuum of Care Department and team members. Assist with a variety of routine tasks and special initiatives and projects. 
  • Massachusetts Housing & Shelter Alliance (MHSA) CoC Member Trainings, Register here
    • Please join us for a new training series brought to you by MHSA in collaboration with the
      Southshore, Worcester County and Three County CoCs. Presented by Racial Equity Partners
      (REP), the series will offer four (4) virtual sessions, each exploring a topic that will help us
      continue advancing racial equity in our work to end homelessness.​
      • Making Change: How to Use Spheres of Influence – 11/2, 11-1pm
      • Making Change: Ally ship and Activism –11/16, 11-1pm
      • Developing Diverse Organizations – 11/30, 11-1pm
  • Defining and Documenting Homelessness in HMIS – 10/27, Register here.
  • Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) Training – 11/04, Register here.
    • Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children continues to be a big issue across the U.S. & abroad. In order to increase its recognition as well as provide better services to victims & prosecute offenders, funding has been dramatically increased & CSEC Coordinators have been imbedded in each county in Massachusetts within the Children’s Advocacy Centers. This virtual, 90-minute training will include the definition and types of child sexual exploitation, the indicators and risk factors, local trends, screening for CSEC, how to support a CSEC involved youth, and mandated reporting of CSEC. There will be plenty of time for Q&A and after the presentation participants will receive a summary of the slides to use for reference. This training will be presented by Kelly Broadway, CSEC Coordinator at the Children’s Advocacy Center of Franklin County & North Quabbin, Inc.
  • Community Legal Aid (CLA) Info Session – 11/10, Register here.
    • Alyssa Golden is the Supervising Attorney of the CORI/Reentry Unit at Community Legal Aid. The unit provides legal assistance to individuals facing public and subsidized housing denials and terminations due to criminal records issues. They also represents people in CORI (criminal records) sealing and expungement. Alyssa is going to talk about these legal issues, options for addressing them, and the connections between criminal records issues and both race and disability discrimination. She will also inform you about how to access legal assistance through Community Legal Aid.​
Craig’s Doors is currently offering emergency services at the following locations.   Craig’s Doors operates a congregate site, a non-congregate site, and a Resource Center for community members. 
University Motor Lodge: Our non-congregate motel site is currently operating 24 hours with a capacity of 40 guests. The site requires participation in regular case management and offers two meals per day. Please be advised that we have an ongoing waiting list, and prioritize the placement of guests based on vulnerability levels. Located at 345 N. Pleasant St., Amherst, MA 01002. Call at 256-0704 ext 3
Craig’s Place @ Immanuel Lutheran Church: Opening Nov 1, 2022, the ILC will be taking guests on a first-come-first-serve basis. Craig’s Place is a congregate setting with a 23-bed capacity. It will be open 24 hours a day and guests can maintain a cot provided they return each night; if they do not stay at the shelter for 2 consecutive nights. The ILC is located at 867 N. Pleasant St Amherst, Ma 01002. Call 413-256-0704 ext 2.
The Resource Center serves members of the community by offering access to basic amenities including bathrooms, showers, charging stations, wifi, male delivery, and access to limited case management. Located in the green trailer behind the First Baptist Church at 434 N. Pleasant St, Amherst, MA 01002. Call 413-256-0704 Ext 8