August 03, 2016

August Meeting Minutes

• Introductions and announcements
• Adina Garfinkel is the new Caregiver Wellness Coordinator for the PRIDE Center
     o The position is funded by a grant through the Alzheimer’s Association
     o Targeting LGBT Seniors and allies who are caregivers of individuals living with dementia
          The individuals living with dementia can be in the community or in facilities, their caregivers are still eligible
          No age or income criteria
          Adina is able to provide linkage to services, complete home safety assessments, provide brief counseling, etc.
     o Adina is serving 7 counties in WNY
     o Focusing on this underserved population because these individuals tend to be more isolated and need a safe space to discuss issues
         Individuals who are transgender may experience higher levels of bullying in facilities by staff and residents
         Individuals may have had negative previous experiences that are preventing them from accessing available services
     o The goal for this program is to raise awareness and educate the community
     o Adina is focusing primarily on outreach for about the first 2 years, including presentations and trainings
     o Adina’s new phone number is 852-7743 and her email is agarfinkel@pridecenterwny.org
• Nadia Pizzaro is the Program Director of Homeless Services at Lakeshore and she is the Chair of the Coalition for the Homeless
    o The Coalition for the Homeless is made up of service providers and concerned citizens
    o They meet the 2nd Wednesday of every month at St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral at the intersection of Church and Pearl Street from 9:30-10:30
    o They are working together to empower individuals and help them find housing
    o Committees:
         Advocacy- currently working on finding housing for those individuals who have been deemed” un-house-able” and working to remedy unsafe discharges from hospitals
         LGBTQ- working to educate shelters on issues faced by this population
         Code Blue – the City Mission is no longer involved so they are working to find a long term solution
         Outreach – working to reach all those on the streets. They have worked to end Veteran homelessness and they only have 23 chronic individuals who are homeless, will start working on pre-chronic individuals soon
         DSS Dialogue- working to bridge gaps between individuals who are homeless and DSS
         Education – develop trainings for the community, trying to stay current with the issues in the community
    o Barriers for individuals who are homeless:
         Have to prove that you are homeless in order to receive assistance from DSS. This means that you need a letter from the place you were last staying at stating that you are not allowed to return
              • Individuals have to be living on the streets, in shelter or a place not meant for human habitation in order to be classified as homeless – couch serving does not count
              • The Coalition has created a referral sheet
              • A service provider is able to write a letter on behalf of the client if it is not safe for the client to request a letter from their last place
         Once placed in a shelter, if appropriate, the person has to see 3 apartments and call 2 apartments per week in order to keep their shelter spot, otherwise the shelter may charge the person for their stay
         Couch surfing is not considered being homeless and individuals who couch surf are at severe risk for sexual abuse
         Older clients can’t qualify for necessary homecare programs if they do not have a home
     o Individuals 60+ seem to disappear on the streets for one reason or another
     o The Lake Shore Homeless Services Program targets individuals who are homeless and living with a mental health disorder
         Have a 16 bed safe haven for those who are chronically homeless and are living with a mental health disorder
     o How can the community work together? Try to identify the gaps and then help create resources so agencies and health care institutions have the tools to help the client/patient appropriately
     o Marek Parker is the lead worker for the Lake Shore Homeless Services Program – 856-9711
     o The Matt Urban Homeless Outreach Program is another resource – 893-7222 ext. 310

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