CITY OF WORCESTER

Public Health and Human Services Committee Meeting

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Esther Howland (South) Chamber

Convened: 5:04 P.M.

Adjourned: 6:00 P.M.


Mayor
Joseph M. Petty

 

www.worcesterma.gov

 

Clerk of the City Council
Nikolin Vangjeli

Committee Members

Chairperson Luis A Ojeda
Vice Chairperson Etel Haxhiaj
Councilor Candy Mero-Carlson
 

City Hall - 455 Main Street Worcester, Massachusetts


Present Were:Chairperson Councilor Luis A. Ojeda Councilor Etel Haxhiaj, who participated remotely Councilor Candy Mero-Carlson
 
Also:Medical Director Michael Hirsh Commissioner of Health and Human Services Matilde Castiel Deputy Commissioner of Health and Human Services Alex Arriaga Director of Public Health Soloe Dennis Deputy City Clerk Stephen AJ Pottle, clerk
 
1.

Virtual Attendee Call-In Information

1a.

Pursuant to Chapter 20 of the Acts of 2021 and in order to ensure active, public engagement, the City of Worcester currently allows for both in-person and remote participation at all City Council and Standing Committee meetings. To partake in the meeting, you may attend the meeting in-person within the meeting location, follow the below link to join via Zoom or dial the direct line as indicated.

Public Health and Human Services Committee Zoom Link: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/83696810013
Public Health and Human Services Committee Zoom Phone Number: (929) 205 6099
Public Health and Human Services Committee Zoom Access Code: 836 9681 0013

Attachments
2.

Approval of the Minutes

2a.

Order- That the City Council Standing Committee of Public Health and Human Services hereby approves the minutes of the Public Health and Human Services Committee meeting on October 17, 2023.

View Agenda

Chairperson Councilor Ojeda read the item and moved for a roll call vote to adopt the item. Order adopted on a roll call vote of 3 Yeas and 0 Nays

3.

Communications of the City Manager

3a.

Transmitting informational communication relative to a report of all grant funds and associated activities at the Division of Public Health. # 8.19A CM November 14, 2023

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor Ojeda read the item and recognized the Director of Public Health, who provided an overview of the item.

Chairperson Councilor Ojeda brought forth the following Chairmanís Order: Request City Manager provide City Council with a report concerning the feasibility of using ARPA funds to ensure families are able to afford internet access in lieu of the expiring Affordable Connectivity Program.

Chairperson Councilor Ojeda recognized the Director of Public Health, who discussed the process and timeline relative to the creation of the Worcester Complete Streets Prioritization Plan, the current efforts to assist Worcester pantries to address food insecurity and the REACH program evaluation process with the Director of Public Health and Councilor Mero-Carlson.

Chairperson Councilor Ojeda brought forth the following Chairmanís Order: Request City Manager request Director of Public Health provide City Council with a comprehensive update relative to the results of the evaluation from the REACH Program, specifically concerning best practices used and challenges identified within the program.

Chairperson Councilor Ojeda then discussed collaboration with the Worcester Public Schools and process concerning working with alliance communities to address mental health and substance use issues using the opioid settlement cash with the Director of Public Health and the Commissioner of Health and Human Services.

Chairperson Councilor Ojeda recognized Councilor Mero-Carlson, who discussed whether information relative to work done by the Department of Public Health are available online with the Director of Public Health.

Chairperson Councilor Ojeda brought forth the following Chairmanís Order: Request City Manager request Director of Public Health work with the Superintendent of Public Schools to build relationships with the Worcester Public Schools relative to health initiatives in the city.

Chairperson Councilor Ojeda moved for a roll call vote to recommend the item be filed.

Recommend File on a roll call vote of 3 Yeas and 0 Nays

Chairman's Orders

Request City Manager provide City Council with a report concerning the feasibility of using ARPA funds to ensure families are able to afford internet access in lieu of the expiring Affordable Connectivity Program.

Request City Manager request Director of Public Health provide City Council with a comprehensive update relative to the results of the evaluation from the REACH Program, specifically concerning best practices used and challenges identified within the program.

Request City Manager request Director of Public Health work with the Superintendent of Public Schools to build relationships with the Worcester Public Schools relative to health initiatives in the city.

3b.

Transmitting informational communication relative to the different types of homelessness experienced by individuals in the City of Worcester. # 8.18A CM November 14, 2023

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor Ojeda read the item and discussed the plans concerning addressing homelessness for the upcoming Spring/Summer seasons and updates concerning building plans relative to microunits and day resource centers with the Commissioner of Health and Human Services and Councilor Haxhiaj.

Chairperson Councilor Ojeda recognized Councilor Haxhiaj, who discussed the availability of the most recent data concerning chronically homeless individuals with the Commissioner Health and Human Services.

Chairperson Councilor Ojeda brought forth the following Chairmanís Order: Request City Manager request Commissioner of Health and Human Services work with the Central Massachusetts Housing Alliance to provide City Council with a presentation concerning the most recent information relative to chronically homeless and unsheltered individuals, including information about understanding the gap between permanent supportive housing and the number of homeless people in the city.

Chairperson Councilor Ojeda moved for a roll call vote to recommend the item be filed.

Recommend File on a roll call vote of 3 Yeas and 0 Nays

Chairman's Orders

Request City Manager request Commissioner of Health and Human Services work with the Central Massachusetts Housing Alliance to provide City Council with a presentation concerning the most recent information relative to chronically homeless and unsheltered individuals, including information about understanding the gap between permanent supportive housing and the number of homeless people in the city.

3c.

Transmitting Informational Communication relative to a Fitness Court in Main South. # 9.18A CM October 17, 2023

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor Ojeda read the item and discussed the progress concerning the Fitness Court in Main South and working with the Worcester Public Schools on the project with the Commissioner of Health and Human Services.

Chairperson Councilor Ojeda recognized Councilor Mero-Carlson, who discussed the unemployment data with the Commissioner of Health and Human Services.

Chairperson Councilor Ojeda moved for a roll call vote to recommend the item be filed.

Recommend File on a roll call vote of 3 Yeas and 0 Nays