From the MA Coalition for the Homeless:
Please take a minute to sign and share our latest online action to your State Senator to help improve the Senate version of the budget. The online action asks your Senator to cosponsor the three key homelessness amendments we highlighted in our last alert and to actively support them in caucuses, conversations with Senate Leadership, and debates.Our overview sheet for Senators is here.
Here are more details about the three amendments, including current cosponsors:
– Emergency Aid to the Elderly, Disabled, and Children program (EAEDC): Senator Pat Jehlen filed Amendment #453 to remove the EAEDC homelessness penalty so that participants experiencing homelessness receive full monthly grants of $303.70/month instead of only $92.80/month. Based on FY’18 numbers year-to-date, an estimated 542 individuals would benefit each month from this change, at a cost of only $1.4 million/year. The amendment would add language to line item 4408-1000. Cosponsors as of yesterday at 4:30 p.m.: Senators Cyr, Eldridge, and Friedman. EAEDC amendment fact sheet
– Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT): We were thrilled to see that the SWM budget included the full recommended funding for RAFT of $18.5 million, as well as language to maintain access for elders, people with disabilities, and unaccompanied youth. We are working with Senator Jamie Eldridge, who filed Amendment #680 to tweak the language in line item 7004-9316 so that at least $3 million is set aside for households without children under the age of 21, instead of no more than $3 million.Cosponsors as of yesterday at 4:30 p.m.: Senators Cyr and Friedman RAFT amendment fact sheet
– Emergency Assistance family shelter program (EA): Senator Barbara L’Italien filed Amendment #533 to ensure that families with children that are experiencing homelessness can file in-person applications for family shelter with staff from the Department of Housing and Community Development in at least the ten cities and towns that had offices as of January 1, 2018. This is in response to efforts to shift to a more telephonically based system, which would present challenges to many families lacking access to phones, computers, scanners, and fax machines. The amendment would add language to the DHCD administrative line item, 7004-0099, to maintain in-person application sites (in addition to telephonic options). Cosponsors as of yesterday at 4:30 p.m.: Senators Eldridge, Friedman, and Lewis. EA amendment fact sheet
Rather call instead? The State House switchboard number is 617-722-2000. You also can look up who your Senator is
Our Senate amendment page has more details. The full Senate will debate the budget starting on Tuesday, May 22nd.
Please let us know if you receive any feedback from your Senator in response to your outreach.
Thanks for all of your efforts to strengthen access to homelessness prevention resources, housing, and benefits!
With gratitude,
Kelly Turley
Associate Director
[email protected]

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