On Friday, May 15, The Springfield Republican ran a front page article on the statewide disparities in funding rates for individual emergency shelters. This issue drives The Network’s FY16 budget advocacy to increase the average bed rate to $32/night statewide or alternatively provide a $350,000 earmark to Friends of the Homeless in Springfield to prevent significant cuts in services. The Republican reporter, Shira Schoenberg, does an excellent job laying out the current situation and the consequences.
Friends of the Homeless runs an overnight shelter for homeless individuals in Springfield and has case managers available during the day. Last year, it got paid $25 per bed per day from a state contract, according to state data. Friends of the Homeless Executive Director Bill Miller said the shelter got an extra $7 per bed from a budget earmark, but it is still struggling to pay basic bills.
Shelters run by ServiceNet in Northampton, Greenfield and Pittsfield got $28 per bed per day.
At the same time, the Pine Street Inn in Boston had state contracts that paid up to $61 per bed per day. A handful of other shelters have contracts paying more than $40.
“There’s no formula,” Miller said. “It is a significant disadvantage to Springfield to be trying to provide adequate services while receiving among the lowest bed rates in the commonwealth.”
Read more here.