News & Upcoming Events

 

The 2nd Edition of the Three County Continuum of Care Newsletter has just been released!  Read it Here!

Four Rivers School Spotlight on Upstanders! 

Read more from the Students at Four Rivers School on Upstanders in the community.  The students have been focusing on food insecurities and homelessness for the last year.  As part of the Livable Franklin County Unit in 8th grade at Four Rivers, students researched, interviewed, and wrote spotlight profiles about 11 different incredible upstanders in our community. To us, an upstander is someone who recognizes injustice in the world and not only takes action but dedicates themselves and their work to resolving the many inequities present in our communities.

MA 2022 Youth COUNT: April 4-May 6  

MA's Youth Count takes the form of a survey that counts young people

experiencing (or who have experienced) housing instability and

homelessness and asks them questions to better understand the experience

they are facing (or the experiences they faced).   The results are critical in

helping inform funding decisions and direct resources for change.  

 

If you know any young people under the age of 25 please help them

access and complete the 2022 survey online.  The survey is available in

three languages English, Spanish, and Portuguese:

 

For young people experiencing housing instability, the survey will bring them to a page where they can submit information for Venmo or Cash App, and they will receive $20.  

Flyers in English and Spanish may also be posted and/or shared. 

  • Click here to view the MA Youth Count’s Facebook

  • Click here to view the MA Youth Count’s Instagram

  • Click here to view the MA Youth Count’s TikTok

 

For further information contact:  Teri Koopman, CoC/CAPV, tkoopman@communityaction.us

Breaking News!  For FY21,

The Three County CoC has been awarded, $3,051,996.

Hampshire Gazette and The Recorder article can be read here.

 

In addition to regular and YHDP program renewals, the CoC also received funding for the following new projects:

  • Coordinated Entry Expansion Project to meet the need of survivors of domestic violence, including funding to provide housing navigators at the entrance to homelessness for survivors and system efforts to consider the specific needs for safety/confidentiality, etc. – $124,850

  • Permanent Supportive Housing through Independent Housing Solutions – 16 units with onsite medical/mental health support in Northampton – $145,433

  •  

  • The Springfield-Hampden County CoC has been awarded $6,470,022.

  • In addition to regular and YHDP program renewals, the CoC also received funding for three new or expansion projects:

  • YWCA-Alianza-VOC DV Transitional Housing-Rapid Rehousing Project (7 TH and 22 RRH units), $709,877

  • MHA Chestnut St – Permanent Supportive Housing (20 units), $119,790

  • VOC Family Supportive Housing Expansion (4 units), $77,761

HUD’s announcement includes links for the full list of awards.

A Housing Vision for the Berkshires, has officially been made public!

 

The Western Mass Network to End Homelessness

has released our Budget & Legislative Priorities!

Sharing the new Executive Director of the USICH's inspiring vision for ending homelessness.

Open Positions with the Three County CoC

The CoC has re-opened our search for an Intake and Referral Specialist. 

This role will support the Three County Continuum of Care’s Coordinated Entry (CE) and homelessness response systems by coordinating the referral process for individuals and families seeking housing and shelter assistance through Coordinated Entry managing referrals to partner agencies and other resources, training partner agencies, and supporting the management of system of access for vulnerable populations. This position will also help individuals and families successfully utilize housing resources, aid in housing search and landlord engagement and will lead communication with the administering agency for housing assistance payments & financial assistance including initiatives like Emergency Housing Vouchers. This is a full time position at 37.5 hrs/wk, Pay range: $19.33-$20.50 /hr.  

The CoC offers Excellent benefits, training, supervision and a collaborative work environment.

Homelessness disproportionately affects people of color, people with disabilities, and other populations; we strongly encourage applications from people who are members of marginalized communities. Preference will be given to candidates who have lived experience relevant to the work.

 

Additional positions at Community Action Pioneer Valley can be found here.

Read about House America 

 

An All-Hands-on-Deck Effort to Address the Nation’s Homelessness Crisis is a federal initiative in which the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) are inviting mayors, city and county leaders, tribal nation leaders, and governors into a national partnership. House America will utilize the historic investments provided through the American Rescue Plan to address the crisis of homelessness through a Housing First approach. Read the powerpoint here.

Visit the Western Mass Network to End Homelessness blog to learn about upcoming advocacy needs!

Racial Equity

CE System Evaluation! Over the past 6 months, The Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance, in partnership with C4 Initiatives has evaluated our (along with other MA CoCs) Coordinated Entry System with an equity lens.  Their efforts were to enhance and maintain equitable housing outcomes. Service Providers, CoC staff and leads and people with lived experience completed surveys and/or participated in listening sessions to give their perspectives, our data was evaluated..and here are the results! 

 

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 our 2022  Budget & Legislative Priorities!

In the Media

 

Louison House Gets $500,000 to support youth housing in the Northern Berkshires, Matt Ristaino, Spectrum News 5.18.22

Homelessness still a top issue in the region, Daily Hampshire Gazette, 5.7.22

Greenfield Health Dept. Proactive on addressing homelessness encampments, The Recorder, 4.28.22

 

The Homelessness Crisis: A Monster of our own making, Heidi Marston 4.25.22

National Low Income Housing Coalition's National Shortage of Affordable Rental Housing, Report. 4.21.22

Equity Measures being required of HUD! Secretary Fudge Announces Directive to Review HUD Policies Posing Barriers to Housing for People with criminal histories, Apr 18, 2022. 

 

Housing study sponsored by Way Finders with UMass Donahue Institute.   Springfield Republican and Daily Hampshire Gazette.  3.31.22, You can see the report here.

 

Three County Continuum of Care receives $3M to support housing services, Hampshire Gazette (and Recorder), Mary Byrne, 3.26.22

Homeless in Pandemic, Hampshire Gazette, Aryan Rai, 3.14.22

 

2022 - Hampshire Gazette "Homeless population survey underway."

 

The Interfaith Council of Franklin County, awarded $25,000 by city of Greenfield, The Recorder, Mary Byrne, 2.11.22.

 

Northampton's Affordable housing challenge, guest columnist, Jim Reiss, Hampshire Gazette, 1.25.22

National Healthcare for the Homeless - January 2022 - Healing Hands issue (featuring the Path Program of Eliot CHS)

Service agencies gear up for sub-freezing temps, Mary Byrne, The Recorder 1.11.22

My Turn - Help Needed for Homeless folks on a cold winter night, Amy Clarke - The Recorder 1.10.22

Northampton Resilience HUB in the news!, Daily Hampshire Gazette, 12.29.21

The Bill for My Homelessness Was $54,00, New York Times, 12.29.21

Community Action Reaching Out on Youth Homelessness, Mary Byrne, The Recorder 12.24.21

How should Massachusetts fund its emergency shelter system? Lawmakers vouch for regional equity, 24/7 shelters, Danny Jin, The Berkshire Eagle, 12.02.21

Advocates urge the state to improve its shelter system, Claudia Chiappa, The Recorder, 11.25.21

Pretreatment In Action: Interactive Exploration from Homelessness to Housing Stabilization, new publication from Jay Levy, 10/2021

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

Youth Ct 2022 flyer - english updated.jpeg