Please see this exciting announcement below from national group leaders. I’m proud to say the Network is actively participating in this effort as a member of this collaboration’s Working Group on National Strategies for Historically Marginalized Communities & Homelessness. We are supporting the effort to identify and engage people with lived experience, allowing Western Massachusetts’ voices to join with hundreds of others from across the country.

The announcement and additional information follows:

We are in unprecedented times. Last week, HUD released the second tranche of the $4 Billion Emergency Solutions Grants-CV funds – the largest single infusion into the program in history. Since March we have seen COVID-19 disproportionally impact people who are already most impacted by homelessness and housing instability and upend homelessness assistance systems across the country.

Over the last several weeks it has become even more clear why we, as a field, must center racial justice and equity in our work to end homelessness. We cannot continue business as usual, and we must accelerate change. And we must work together to accomplish these goals.

We are excited to announce a new partnership among several national organizations and leaders – a partnership designed to help communities navigate their response to COVID-19 with a racial justice and equity approach.

Partners in this effort include:

  • Nan Roman and the team at the National Alliance to End Homelessness
  • Ann Oliva and Peggy Bailey from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
  • Matthew Doherty and Barbara Poppe, both former Executive Directors of the US Interagency
  • Council on Homelessness currently working in communities across the country
  • Marc Dones and the team at the National Innovation Service
  • Barbara DiPietro and the team from the National Health Care for the Homeless Council,
  • Diane Yentel and the team from the National Low Income Housing Coalition
  • Mary Cunningham and Samantha Batko from the Urban Institute

This work – funded by the Melville Charitable Trust, Funders for Housing and Opportunity, and through in-kind work by the partners – is rooted in a document that was released in May and now has been updated and revised on the Alliance web site, called The Framework for an Equitable COVID-19 Homelessness Response. As we move forward, this team will be releasing further updates to the framework itself and specific tools for implementation of an equity-based plan to address both the public health and economic crises our field is facing. These tools include things like:

  • How and why every community should focus CARES Act funds on people already experiencing homelessness, marginalized communities and extremely low-income households
  • A guide on how to implement equity-based decision-making processes at the community and organizational levels to ensure that people with lived expertise are at the table and participate in decisions
  • Briefs and videos that identify strategies to serve populations who have been marginalized historically and by COVID-19
  • A geographic targeting tool that will help identify specific neighborhoods where households are heavily impacted by COVID-19 and by its economic effects so that funds can be targeted to families and organizations working in those communities
  • Identification and implementation tips for impactful strategies like landlord engagement, working with small landlords and diversion approaches

We will release updates to the Framework and other materials that relate directly to the intersection between police and people experiencing homelessness.

We are supporting the release of the Framework and related materials through videos and live presentations.

View the Framework Here.

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