Region 3 Homeless Council Monthly Meeting – MINUTES

March 12, 2014 – 1:00 to 3:00 pm

1:00-1:10 Welcome/Introductions (sign-in sheet), adjustments to the agenda

Rindy Fogler, City of Bangor

Shawn Yardley, PCHC

Kat Perkins,  Spruce Run/Womancare

Cullen Ryan,  CHOM

Dennis Marble, BAHS

Catherine Sullivan, PCHC Hope House

Kerry Polyot-Stefani, Stepping Stones

Joe Locke, MSHA

Robert Jones, Preble Street VHS


Phone:  Sr. Lucille MacDonald/Emmaus, Mary Ellen Quinn/CHCS, Candy Eaton/SAMHS, Jackie Burpee & Gerald Bonner (H.O.M.E); Cindy Namer/MSHA, Francine Stark/Hope & Justice, David McCluskey/Community Care

Regrets:  Christine Brown, Jamie MaClay, Denise Lord,

Approve the minutes from 2.12.14 meeting:  moved, second, accepted

1:10-1:30 Statewide Homeless Council update

Cullen:  Don Gean stepped down; Serenity House stepping into role;

DHHS:  long-term stayer initiative – working with MHSA, Cindy Namer providing statistics – monthly basis; engage with shelter providers – what is going on with each long-term stayer;  engage at the shelter level to see what can do to help;

Guy:  changes – Ricker Hamilton overseeing RPC & DDPC; update on prisons / forensics – mental health ward at Warren

Behavioral Health Home Organization (BHHO) progressing; legislative action re: forensics – need to manage beds better;

BHHO – start up 4/1st; lot of collaborative info; PCHC signing MOUs with MH agencies without physical health component; MH clients receiving community integration services; may have individuals identified that have not been receiving Section 17 services; $$ rate per member per month; 

Concerned about not tying housing & services – stagnation is not recovery; state property to be used for veterans (on RPC campus)

White paper – challenging DHHS create solution re: long-term stayers; Commissioner / sr. staff have been meeting, issues presented, work done, work incomplete – away from waiver, looking at finding way to serve folks – discussion managed care aspect, affordable care expansion reaching them; services & housing (DHHS/MSHA successful collaboration) – 100 voucher campaign; sounds vague – want to, without commitment.  Maine Housing not getting clear signals from DHHS.   Op-ed draft pointed out SHC created long-term stayer initiative with MSHA, without DHHS meeting them half-way

Don’t want to force this on someone, not that someone has been languishing in shelter for long-term; interesting dialogue.  Need to continue until solved.

Cindy – next meeting end of March; several charged with tasks – how to get similar commitment from DHHS? 

Maine Housing – veterans, review of #, 499 found in shelters, #s going down – getting better counts; suggestion of lower successes

HUDvash program; chronic homelessness is not factor but service delivery to person is better indicator of success.

COC monitoring of shelter

Shelter funding adhoc committee – meeting tomorrow.  SHC will look for increased funding.  Strategy help group stay together as one voice

Elder abuse – DV update from Holly.  High risk response team.  Where active – mortality rate has gone done,

Family homelessness

Op-ed – tabled for another month – see if DHHS responds

Lot of discussion on long-term, highlighted, will take place

Documents distributed prior to meeting: 

  • Statewide Homeless Council Long-term Stayer Initiative Monthly Report for February 28, 2014
  • 2013 Homeless Shelter Statistics Region III
  • 2013 Homeless Shelter Utilization Region III
  • 2013 Veterans in Emergency Shelters in Maine

 1:30 -2:15 Discussion Topics:

  1. Pressing issues in Region III – comments Councilor Durgin re: GA requests for medication; decisions around heat, meds, housing – will destabilize people; GA Meds are over housing requests; 50 people looking for meds because of loss of MC 1/1/14.  United Way – local funding; more going to dental / meds this year; is any legislator interested in hearing about MC cutback impacts?  Only defending current positions.  See Dennis letter to editor published today.  Chamber Hot Stove presentation on the weekend.  Other stakeholders?  BDN editorial – 3 physicians across state spoke to the importance of MC expansion.  Important for faith community to speak up; Emmaus helping people with 50 gal fuel; others helping with heat
  2. Efforts at ending long term homelessness – Long term stayers – Cindy Namer / Sheldon Wheeler

DHHS staff will contact each shelter, link with each individual, similar initiative with WL, small increments each month, testing out for the next couple of months – will help SHC, lower #s with long-term stayers.  Will prepare message to shelter directors by end of month re: how to use reports.  Awa – add to list – could cross-check with reports, reach out to shelters directly.

Shawn / Cindy – question re: health insurance barrier to long-term housing solution.  Credit to Sheldon – making sure that people get linked with services quickly – wants this initiative to create communication between DHHS / PATH / Shelter providers; have dialogue about services needed.  SHC preamble include lack of policies / health care access.

Francine – add to data?  Do PATH need to report data?  Shelters reports monthly to Catholic Charities – reports to DHHS; putting all data in HMIS, helping with data collection; goes to CC then DHHS – as composite?  If data is important – ask DV coalition info.  Does HMIS have info re: PATH services?  Cindy to submit request to PATH data folks.  Candy to submit request to Sheldon re: posting to SAMHS website.

Veteran data referenced by Cullen (above) – approx. 10% shelter population.  Info comes from Vets in Shelter only at intake.

Annual shelter data – all participating – difference between 2012 & 2013; snapshot – all posted on Maine Housing website;

  1. Recommendations to Statewide Homeless Council

Dennis re: stay engaged in shelter funding policy discussion – incredible case to be made need.  All dates back to 1987 – ridiculously clear case.  Shawn likes looking at data, is there analysis?  Discussion re: youth in shelters vs adults.  Spend a lot of resources to gather data – to what end?  Add to SHC agenda.  Use data to create learning circles?   Change the business model.  Open to lots of brain-storming ideas.  Longer term in shelters = reduced quality of life; increased services needed.

Sr. Lucille re: “Home-to-stay” working well in Ellsworth area – program makes different.  Allows navigator to follow them to new housing for 1 year.   Make sure core funding available to keep shelters open, but still need to change the model.  Awa == outreach!

2:15-2:30 Regional 3 Council – MaineCare expansion discussion – Quantifying the need for DHHS to support services, particularly to long term stayersDiscussion of other populations in need. 

no discussion

2:30-2:40 State and Federal Updates

Vote this week expansion of MC;  compromise includes managed care; Omnibus bill passing, president budget favorable 2.045 billion key housing assistance grant; congress will decide, funds to cure effects of sequester.  1 billion to national housing trust fund – could mean several millions to Maine for housing programs.  Appreciation letters to Sen. Collins & Sen. King. Unique opportunity to thank & ask for support during election year (Sen. Collins)

2:40-3:00 Agency updates – Including a review of numbers of people who are homeless at each facility/program

Bangor City:  Funding for folks in crisis looking for heating oil (Bangor will administer)

Emmaus:  Springfest 4/27 Ellsworth Elementary – Middle School

BAHS:  4/12 Hike for the Homeless – 19th annual – register pre 3/26 – free t-shirt – shooting for 1500 this year, 800 last year, 1000 year before, weather dependent

Safe Homes Aroostook 5K 5/4 1-5pm from Gentile Hall, Presque Isle – benefit DV & shelter

Hope House started construction project – rebuild entrance next week;

Preble Street – up & running, has flyers, has Bangor site; consumers need DD214 & other requirements

CHOM:  Maine Hall has preference for homeless vets.

Set Agenda for the Next Meeting:  (4/9/14, 1-3pm) same location