News & Upcoming Events

Annual CoC Funding Competition is Open!

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Community Planning and Development Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 Continuum of Care Competition and Noncompetitive Award of Youth Homeless Demonstration Program Renewal and Replacement Grants is now open.  view the NOFO here, and all supporting documents by visiting HUD's CoC competition page here.

 

The Full CoC response is due to HUD on 11/16/2021. 

 

NEW! 9/15/21 - The Three County CoC has released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for renewal, expansion, and new projects for housing and supportive services specifically to serve persons experiencing homelessness in Berkshire, Hampshire, and Franklin Counties.  Project types allowable in this competition are:  Renewal Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH), Rapid Rehousing (RRH), and Joint Transitional Housing-Rapid-Rehousing (Th-RRH).  New project types are Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH), Rapid Rehousing (RRH), and Coordinated Entry (CE-SSO). 

Applications must be completed in esnaps by 5pm on October 15, 2021.  Additional Supplement applications for both Renewal and New Projects must be submitted to the CoC @ kpereira@communityaction.us by 5pm on October 15, 2021.  fillable word versions of each of these supplemental applications are here:

Renewal Application Supplemental Questionaire

New Project Supplemental Application

The Bidders Conference was held on 9/28/21, you can find a link to the recording here https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1KeULqPupaeU0dst24N-9pNoca9HpEull or watch it here:

 

 

and a link to the powerpoint slides here.

We will engage in a process for project ranking based on the NOFO requirements, which is detailed in the RFP.

 

Previous versions can be found on the Project Ranking and Evaluation page along with a link for download. 

Take a look below at a wordcloud created by attendees of the 2021 Annual Meeting!

 

 

 

The Three County CoC is hiring!

The Three County Continuum of Care, at Community Action Pioneer Valley is hiring for a new innovative role to support access to housing and services for people experiencing homelessness.

 

This position is part of Three County Continuum of Care's Coordinated Entry (CE) team and homelessness response systems, acting as the primary contact for individuals and families experiencing homelessness and housing instability and the service agencies that support them. This position coordinates the referral process for individuals and families seeking housing and shelter assistance through assessing a families needs and vulnerability. This role includes completing data entry and data quality reporting, managing referrals to partner agencies, training partner agencies, coordinating financial assistance, and supporting the management of a Continuum-wide resource database. This position will involve housing search and landlord engagement; communication with local housing authorities and Emergency Voucher administering agencies.

 

Community Action offers a comprehensive benefits package. We offer Health Insurance (CAPV pays 80% of the premium*), Dental Insurance, Retirement Plan, Flexible Spending Plans (medical and dependent care), Vision Insurance, Short-Term and Long-Term Disability Insurance (CAPV pays 100% for the benefit), Sick, Vacation, Personal time and 12 paid Holidays. Please go https://www.communityaction.us/job-openings to apply, for full job description, and information regarding benefits*. Community Action is committed to a diverse workforce. AA/EOE/ADA

here is the full position description and link to apply!  This position pays $18.95-$20.10/hr.

Upcoming Project Trainings

Look here for information on CoC trainings and trainings shared by our partners.

The Hampden County and Three County Continuums of Care invite you to two trainings offered during Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

 

How to Help DV Survivors in Your Homeless/Housing Programs

Wednesday, October 6, 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. ET

Case managers and other staff working in homeless/housing programs are keenly aware that domestic violence (DV) is a factor in many of the households they serve, and that sometimes they must respond, intervene, and offer resources. This training is designed to provide tools and information for homeless/housing program staff to assist them with working safely and effectively with survivors. Featuring speakers from the National Alliance for Safe Housing as well as the Western Massachusetts region's own DV programs, topics include local resources, DV dynamics, how a survivor's risk analysis factors into decisions about staying or separating, and how staff can navigate their responsibilities to both members of the household with increased safety as the goal. Presenters will also offer tips on partnering with DV advocates and agencies and invite discussion about how collaboration between the two provider sectors can be enhanced.

Register here: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_uHm_3f8qRy6QpCSF3fG5Ig

 

 

Addressing Survivor Safety and Confidentiality Within Coordinated Entry Systems

Tuesday, October 19, 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. ET

Survivors of domestic and sexual violence often seek assistance from the homeless system and Coordinated Entry (CE) staff are often the first service providers they come into contact with. This webinar is designed to introduce some basic concepts and best practices related to discussing safety with survivors participating in CE. How CE staff can assess for domestic violence using newly designed models that center survivor agency will be discussed, along with insights on how to support survivors in determining their housing needs and best practice models for partnering with DV agencies and maintaining VAWA compliance.

Register here: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_vEv8h1qiTUOaFrULyYltlA

 

Sponsored by the Western Massachusetts Network to End Homelessness.

In partnership with the Hampden County and Three County Continuums of Care, the Western Mass Network to End Homelessness is pleased to sponsor this training opportunity:

 

HUD's Equal Access and Gender Identity Rules

Thursday, November 4

11 am - 12 noon

Trainer: James Shultis

REGISTER HERE

 

More on the training:

Equal Access Rule - Inclusive Housing Projects for LGBTQ+ Individuals and Families

HUD’s Equal Access Rule, which was expanded upon in 2016, ensures that HUD’s housing and shelter programs are open to all eligible individuals and families regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status. Join us for a 1 hour webinar to better understand this rule and ensure your housing project(s) are in compliance. A quick review of common language (LGBTQ 101) will be provided, before a deeper dive into the Equal Access Rule and Gender Identity Rule. Additional resources will be provided for participants to continue their learning. 

 

More on the trainer:

James Shultis (they/ze) is an educator, organizer, and consultant focusing their work on social justice education, racial equity, and LGBTQ+ inclusivity. With almost two decades of experience, James has dedicated zyr time to supporting schools, organizations,  businesses, and individuals to grow their capacity and understanding around these issues. Currently, James serves as a statewide Training Consultant with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's Safe Schools Program, providing training and technical assistance to K-12 schools and agencies across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In addition to their consulting work, James runs an LGBTQ+ seniors program through WestMass ElderCare; and serves as Programs Director for Translate Gender, an organization advocating for gender justice. James is currently based in Western Massachusetts, where ze lives and works on the ancestral lands of the Pocumtuc, Nipmuc, and Wabanaki peoples. If you'd like more info, please visit: www.jamesshultis.com.  

 

Please join this important learning opportunity!  REGISTER HERE

This Fall!  HMIS Specific Trainings, click here for the full description and registration links.

 

Racial Equity

Since February 2020, the Three County Continuum of Care has engaged in a series of activities specifically focused on centering racial equity in our homelessness response. In collaboration with Racial Equity Partners, we have:  

  1. Analyzed our data through a racial equity lens (to see racial disparities data by County, visit our local data section.) 

  2. Provided antiracism training for providers working in the homelessness system 

  3. Engaged community partners to develop strategies to address racial inequities in our homelessness response 

  4. Developed a Racial Equity Action Plan to guide our work 

 

You can find the public facing 2021 Three County CoC Racial Equity Action Plan here.  

The Three County CoC, along with the Western Mass Network to End Homelessness, is dedicated to undoing structural racism and support Legislative priorities that address policies needed to increase equitable measures for people of color in the intersection of race and homelessness as well as upstream budget and bills that support funding to increase support for our most vulnerable populations.  Here are the 2021 budget priorities & bill priorities, supported by the CoC.

In the Media

Federal Emergency Housing Vouchers Still coming to Berkshire County, Meg Britton-Mehlish, The Berkshire Eagle 9/8/21

Advocates struggle to find homes for tenants with new emergency vouchers in Northampton area, Brian Steele, Daily Hampshire Gazette, 8/18/21

Extension of eviction protections necessary before deadline, housing advocates say, Danny Jin, The Berkshire Eagle, 6/7/21

Activists seek to extend June 15 eviction moratorium, Max Marcus, Daily Hampshire Gazette, 6/4/21

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