On September 5, the Network hosted an important conversation with DHCD, Mass. Law Reform Institute (MLRI), Mass. Coalition for the Homeless and others regarding changes to the Emergency Assistance program.  The discussion began and ended with an affirmation of our shared goals of preventing and ending family homelessness.  We also faced the difficult questions of if and how the new EA policies best serve those goals.   Please click here for the meeting minutes and here for a summary of  MLRI’s recommendations for changes.

At our next meeting, we will discuss and decide upon the Network’s position on EA reform.  Please join us on:

Wednesday, September 19
9:00 – 10:30 am (note time change from initial plan from 9:30 to 9:00 am start)
New England Farm Workers Council
225 High Street, Holyoke

I also wanted to let you know that at the meeting both Bob Pulster, associate director of the Division of Housing Stabilization, and Liz Rogers, executive director of the Interagency Council on Housing and Homelessness, made clear that they welcome your feedback on what is working and what is not.  They encouraged anyone with information or suggestions to email them directly at:  [email protected] or [email protected].

The Network would like to give special thanks to Bob and Liz for taking the time to participate in this conversation.  Their commitment to listening and responding is much appreciated.  We also want to give thanks to Ruth Bourquin of Mass. Law Reform Institute and Kelly Turley of Mass. Coalition for the Homeless for making a second trip from Boston in the month in order to share their experiences and advocacy.  The commitment to responding to the crisis of family homelessness, evidenced from every corner of the state, from every level of state government and provider and advocate alike, should continue to inspire us all.

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