Please see this request below from Friends of the Homeless for legislative advocacy to increase the minimum shelter bed rate to $25/night. The Network strongly supports this line-item and asks that you lend your voice in support of it. A sample letter with legislator contact info is below.
Thanks so much for your support.
Sample letter (with legislator contact info below):
I am a supporter of the board of Friends of the Homeless, Inc., which is located in Springfield, and provides various services including food, shelter and housing to homeless individuals from across the Western Mass region.
I am writing to ask for your support for a line item of great importance to Friends of the Homeless, Inc. and to homeless individual service programs statewide. The House and Senate did not concur on line 7004-0102, and it will be reviewed by the conference committee. The House level-funded this line item, and the Senate increased it by $2.3 million funding it at $40.2 million. Additionally, the Senate added language which increases the minimum bed rate from $20 a bed to $25 a bed. (The current state average for funding is $30 per night.)
We ask that you support the language and funding level approved by the Senate that would increase the minimum bed rate to $25 per night. This rate change is urgently needed by Friends of the Homeless in order to continue its services to homeless individuals. This modest increase would go a long way and allow us to both ensure a safety net for our most vulnerable as well as continue the progress towards ending homeless in the Commonwealth. We respectfully ask for your consideration for the $40.2 appropriation for line item 7004-0102.
The Representatives who can be most helpful right now include:
Stephen.Kulik@mahouse.gov (Vice Chair of Ways and Means and member of Conference Committee)
Joseph.Wagner@mahouse.gov (Chair of Economic Development and strong supporter of FOH)
Cheryl.Coakley-Rivera@mahouse.gov (Chair of Workforce Development)(Sponsored amendment in the House for FOH)
The Senators who we can both continue to thank and encourage to support in conference are:
Michael.Knapik@masenate.gov (Member of Conference Committee and solid supporter of this amendment—Westfield stands to gain as well)
firstname.lastname@example.org (Chair of Ways and Means and seen by Senator Candaras as a strong supporter of this amendment)
Gale.Candaras@masenate.gov (sponsored the FOH amendment on the Senate side that passed!!!!)
Stan.Rosenberg@masenate.gov (Senate President ProTempore—Hampshire County progressive)
email@example.com (seen by Senator Brewer as leader on homeless issues—is a solid supporter of this amendment)