March 07, 2017

March Meeting Minutes

• Introductions
• Tina Pilkey, MS, CRC, Director of Domestic Violence Survivor Services for the BE SAFE Program
   o The program was established in 1997 – it is under the umbrella of the Domestic Violence Bureau of the Erie County District Attorney’s Office
   o The program works with every DV victim/survivor in Buffalo City Court
     They also work with other individuals who identify as victims/survivors of DV but do not currently have a criminal case
     The program works with all populations of victims/survivors
   o Services the program offers:
     Individualized safety planning and risk/danger assessment
     Trauma-Informed Supportive Counseling
     Crisis Intervention and case management
     Information and referral to services
     General advocacy services with medical, housing, employment, DSS
     Community Education, training and outreach
     Application assistance for the Office of Victim Services and NYS Address Confidentiality Program
     Home and hospital visits
     Emergency cell phones
     Assistance with E-filing family offense petitions
     Advocacy and accompaniment to all court proceedings in Buffalo City Court and Erie County Felony Court
     A liaison between the Assistance District Attorneys and victim/survivor
     Phone outreach to survivors on all Buffalo arrests and DIRS/police reports
     Tailored safety planning
     Assistance with evidence collection upon client’s request
     Assistance with Victim Impact Statements
     Assistance with Parole Board oppositions
     BE SAFE DV Hotline 8:30am – 5pm – 716-858-4630
   o The program is free and confidential
   o The program is seeing instances of witness intimidation
     They educate their clients on the cycle of abuse and how to interact with defense attorneys
   o 3-5% of their clients are elderly
   o 70-80% of clients do not want to move forward with their cases, but depending on the level of the crime, the DA’s Office has to move forward anyways
     The program works with the clients to find common ground between the client’s goals and the ADA’s mandates
   o The program can assist with transportation to criminal court on a limited basis
   o The High Risk Team is still meeting every month and they are in Lancaster, West Seneca, Cheektowaga, Buffalo, Orchard Park, and the City and Town of Tonawanda
     All advocates have been trained in using the danger assessment uniformly
     Still in the process of training law enforcement
• Dan Webster, Esq., Staff Attorney for the Center for Elder Law and Justice (CELJ) in the Foreclosure Prevention Unit (FPP)
   o FPP is a collaboration between Legal Aid Bureau, WNY Law Center and CELJ
   o There were around 34,000 foreclosure cases in NYS last year, which is comparable to the amount in 2008 with the housing crisis
   o FPP gets its funding from the Homeowner Protection Program through the Attorney General’s Office
   o FPP works with the Elder Abuse Prevention Unit at CELJ when clients are financially exploited and in foreclosure because of that situation
   o FPP is usually successful in helping clients obtain loan modifications in order to keep their homes
   o 3/4 of FPP’s clients keep their home
   o FPP can provide other services even if they can’t help save the home, for example they can assist with a short sale of the home to preserve a person’s credit rating. This is case by case
   o FPP can also assist with filing for chapter 13 bankruptcy in certain cases
   o FPP can also advise on reverse mortgages and assist with tax foreclosures
   o There are no age limits or income guidelines
• Announcements
   o The latest Hoarding Coalition Meeting was a success
     The next meeting is 4/19/2017 from 12:30-1:30 at 20 Rich Street, Buffalo
   o Alzheimer’s Association
     The Spring Newsletter is out
     On 3/14 they are going to Albany for Advocacy Day and pushing for training of bank professionals on dementia to be included in Gov. Cuomo’s Comprehensive Plan to Protect Seniors from Financial Exploitation and Foreclosure
     The Dementia Care Symposium is April 21, 2017 from 8am – 4pm at the Millennium Hotel
   o People Inc. Senior Outreach is now providing services to the West Side of Buffalo
   o Niagara County Council on Elder Abuse is holding a training for financial professionals on June 13, 2017 from 9am - 11am at the Lockport Library
   o The WNY Chapter of Health Care Providers went to Albany to encourage passing the budget for homecare programs and to advocate for regulations that would hold managed care companies accountable for disbursing the money to the homecare agencies
• Next meeting is on April 4, 2017 at 9am at 100 James E. Casey Drive