Homes for Families
We work with homeless families and shelter providers to reform public policies to ensure that all children in Massachusetts have a home. What makes Homes for Families so effective in delivering this message is that more than half of our staff and board have experienced homelessness themselves. In spite of the state’s housing and budget crisis, we have continued to make progress. In fact, this year alone we saved over 5,000 households from losing their homes.
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News & Events
Up coming events:
3/22: Worcester Legislative Lunch
3/26: Malden Legislative Breakfast
4/4: Peabody Legislatie Breakfast
Click here to read about our recent MRVP Cookie Day Event at the State House
Here is a snapshot of the debates on Beacon Hill relating to homelessness.
HOMELESS SHELTER: Rep. Provost offered amendment 41
Rep. Provost said, Thank you. I rise to speak in support of amendment 41. An amendment, which would further clarify the rules of eligibility for emergency assistance. Emergency assistance provides shelter to families with nowhere else to stay. It’s expensive. Housing is expensive. I’m especially close to this, because I stay in close contact with the school homeless student liaison. You may not know it, but the federal government said that every school district shall have a liaison. Our liaison called and expressed concern over the lack of shelter for children. The number of homeless students in Somerville has gone steadily up. Some of these situations where a family has no shelter and students in school, the liaison talks to the parent, and often the liaison goes to DTA with a parent to try to access shelter. I’ll tell you a couple of stories from my district.
Rep. Atkins said she was having trouble hearing.
Rep. Mariano said, Please be quiet and pay attention.
Rep. Provost said, Thank you. The liaison talked about an employed woman with two sons, whose apartment was in a foreclosed house. They were turned down for emergency assistance. Where have they been living? This family is living in the laundry room of an apartment building where a friend lives. Another family, a mother who works as a cleaner, rented a room in the house. Only the man living there decided not to move out, so the landlord said you can live in the living room. There are no doors and the daughters are afraid because there are men who appear menacing living in the house. Amendment 41 would clarify the regulations to say a family at risk of living in an unfit place could qualify. Right now, a family needs to be living in a place unfit for human habitation to qualify. I want to thank Chairman Dempsey. This is so children are not sleeping in cars. Some families go and spend the night in emergency rooms. Parents will try very hard to keep their children out of the cold and away from predatory dangers. There is a huge population falling through the safety net. Chairman Dempsey is looking at good regulations going forward into fiscal 14. I understand there is difficulty on the language of this amendment. I’m grateful for the speaker and Chairman Dempsey’s staff for working on this. Thank you.
Thank you to Rep. Provost for speaking up for families experiencing homelessness!!!
Read an op-ed by HFF's director, Libby Hayes, in December's Provider Council newletter Click Here
Want to see HFF and our collegues in action? Check out the testimonies from a recent hearing regarding shelter regulations. Click Here