The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) has adopted “emergency” regulations barring most homeless families with children from emergency shelter unless they first sleep in a place “not meant for human habitation.”
Families are being left with no safe place to stay as a result of this restrictive policy. AcrossMassachusetts, families are sleeping in cars, vans, parks, outdoor porches, and other unsafe places. Others are turning up in emergency rooms in unprecedented numbers, burdening our already overwhelmed health care system.
The Patrick-Murray Administration does not think most of these families need shelter from the Emergency Assistance (EA) program, as “someone else” will take them in. But many families that are homeless truly have no one else who can put a roof over their head. Others are being taken in by people who do them harm.
Everyone supports the state’s new investments in housing programs like the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP) and the Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) homelessness prevention program. But those investments are not sufficient to protect the families with children being denied emergency shelter who have no safe place to sleep tonight.
Participate in DHCD’s Public Hearing Process! Join us in Springfield and/or Boston to learn what is happening to families experiencing homelessness in Massachusetts and to call for change!
You can help by coming to the hearings, providing oral testimony, and/or submitting written testimony.
Monday, October 22, 2012 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Springfield State Office Building
436 Dwight Street, Room 305
Springfield, MA 01103
Thursday, October 25, 2012
10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
State House, Gardner Auditorium
Boston, MA 02133