Thomas M. Gregory
On September 19, 2008, the Interagency Council on Housing and Homelessness - ICHH, through the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development, issued a Request for Responses (RFR) for the Regional Network Innovations to End Homelessness. This initiative offers an exciting opportunity to partner with the Commonwealth to implement innovative strategies that will inform new and emerging statewide housing approaches to ending homelessness.
In early 2009 after the submission of an application to the ICHH, the City of Worcester received official designation as the Convening Agency for the Worcester County Regional Network. The Worcester County Regional Network is a partnership between the City of Worcester, other key municipalities in the county, and the Worcester County Continuum of Care (CoC), designed to improve the county's planning, housing development, service strategies, data collection and measurement to end homelessness in Worcester County.
As a requirement to participate in this new ICHH initiative, a Leadership Council was formed to guide the planning and implementation process for the Worcester County Regional Network. The Leadership Council, composed of jurisdictional and municipal officials, business leaders, philanthropies, academic institutions and service and housing providers is responsible for establishing accountability standards, filing progress reports and data updates to the ICHH, and determining how the awarded funding is spent. on March 9, 2009, the Worcester County Regional Network officially convened.