Mission and Philosophy

In 1993, family shelter executives came together with a shared goal to increase advocacy efforts and to include the voices of consumers and service providers – those families that have experienced and are experiencing homelessness and those that work most closely with them – in the efforts to end family homelessness in Massachusetts. In 1994, these pioneers created Homes for Families, an organization committed to the promoting partnerships in the efforts to end family homelessness in the Commonwealth.


Homes for Families is a statewide advocacy organization committed to ending family homelessness through permanent and emergency solutions. We are a collaborative of families who have experienced homelessness, service providers and advocates. Together we educate, organize and advocate for improved public policies to address the root causes of family homelessness with holistic and community-based solutions.

Our Philosophy is Guided by a Set of Core Values

Respect for every human being

  • Housing is a basic human right.
  • Families should have access to support and opportunities for stability and success.
  • Human beings are experts on their own circumstances. Decisions, therefore, should not be made for them, but with them.
  • We look at people in the context of their circumstances. We recognize and honor their experiences, knowledge, strengths, aspirations, and ability to overcome adversity.
  • We believe that differences and unique perspectives should be respected; we seek them out and learn from them in order to fulfill our mission.

Families’ experience, insight, and voice defining and driving our work

  • Families who have experienced homelessness or face housing instability have a unique perspective and expertise and must participate in designing, changing, and evaluating the systems that are supposed to serve them.
  • We involve formerly homeless families on our board and staff and in shaping the policies we put forth.
  • We support others to better understand the needs of families by listening to families themselves, in order to develop public and institutional policies, practices, and resources that move families out of homelessness and poverty as well as prevent it.

Providing a foundation for learning, a platform for sharing, and creating opportunities for leadership

  • We promote a strength-based, holistic, consumer-driven approach to service delivery, family capacity building, community organizing, and advocacy.
  • We share our understanding of policies, institutional systems that serve families, and manifestations of oppression -- racism, classism, and sexism.
  • We de-mystify the political process and identify opportunities for families, providers and other allies to advocate for priorities to end family homelessness and poverty.

Reducing inequality through collaboration, advocacy, and community

  • We include all voices – opening our hearts and minds to the diversity of perspectives, cultures, and sectors we need in our organization and work – in creating a movement to end family homelessness and inequality.
  • We foster open communication and use feedback to find out what works, what doesn’t, and what we can do to strengthen ourselves and our work.
  • We ensure meaningful involvement of our stakeholders in our decision making, we provide them with the information they need to make informed decisions, and we foster transparency about how decision making takes place.
  • We work to find common ground with those who serve families and/or seek to help them move out of homelessness and poverty and prevent it.


photograph of woman and child in front of the State House

"I am now on a mission to fix the system that broke my family and many others like mine."