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Barnstable County Commissioners Support Implementation of Regional Housing Strategies

Children’s Cove Reports on Services on Vineyard; Grants Target Homelessness

June 20, 2024 (BARNSTABLE, MA) – The Barnstable County Commissioners expressed strong support for implementation of the recommendations of the Regional Housing Strategy released in May 2024 by the Cape Cod Commission.   The Regional Housing Strategy was developed with $932,576 in funding from the County’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) grant.  

At today’s meeting, Kristy Senatori, Executive Director of the Cape Cod Commission, briefed the Board on two of the recommendations contained in the report– developing a strategy for creating a community land trust and regional housing land bank and to develop pre- approved building plans for housing on Cape Cod.  Several municipalities had indicated these two projects as a priority for implementation.  Funding for implementing a land bank, creating a community land trust, and developing pre-approved building plans will be supported with ARPA funding and District Local Technical Assistance (DLTA) funds from the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Livable Communities.  The Board expressed support for these initiatives, recognizing that preapproved housing plans will make it easier for communities to address their housing challenges.

For more information on the Regional Housing Strategy, visit the Cape Cod Commission’s website, www.capecodcommission.org.

Children’s Cove Reports on Services to Martha’s Vineyard

Beth Mitchell, Deputy Director / Victim Services Program Manager at Children’s Cove, reported on the services offered on Martha’s Vineyard. Starting in July 2023, Children’s Cove partnered with Martha Vineyard Community Service/CONNECT to End Violence, conducting nine forensic interviews related to sexual abuse and human trafficking.

Mitchell emphasized the importance of partnerships and logistical support for families on Martha’s Vineyard. The Interagency Agreement executed in June 2023 and a renewed Intergovernmental Agreement with Dukes County have enabled Children’s Cove to provide trauma-informed forensic interviews locally. This partnership has developed a forensic interview room, an observation area, and a family waiting room at CONNECT’s office.

The Commissioners acknowledged the critical work by Children’s Cove and the need for continued support to assist victims of abuse and trafficking on Martha’s Vineyard.

County Grants to Address Homelessness

Barnstable County continues its commitment to addressing homelessness with the approval of several key grants. The County Commissioners authorized an $85,292 Continuum of Care (CoC) Coordinated Entry System (CES) grant for 2025 to support homelessness initiatives. Additionally, they approved a $74,000 CoC Planning grant with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for homelessness prevention planning. Furthermore, a $112,356 FY25 Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) grant was approved to fund the continued operation of the HMIS Program, which collects data on housing and services for homeless individuals and families. These grants underscore Barnstable County’s dedication to tackling homelessness through coordinated efforts and strategic planning.

ABOUT BARNSTABLE COUNTY REGIONAL GOVERNMENT OF CAPE COD: Barnstable County provides exemplary government functions and services to keep our community healthy and safe, promote sustainable growth, and offer a proactive, open government that enhances the quality of life for the citizens of Barnstable County. Learn more at www.capecod.gov.