On Monday, July 9, The Western Mass. Network’s Work Group to House People with Sex Offense Histories presented at the Boston-based Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance (MHSA) monthly meeting of shelter and housing providers statewide regarding their group’s efforts. Pamela Schwartz, network coordinator, and Laurie Guidry, Psy.D., clinical and forensic psychologist, statewide expert on this issue and the Work Group’s pro bono co-leader, presented to the group. They presented on the Network’s coalition-building efforts, their approach to this difficult issue and outcomes thus far. Click here to obtain a copy of the Network summary material that was distributed at the meeting.
DHCD Associate Director of the Division of Housing Stabilization Bob Pulster also attended and encouraged the Network to consider proposals pertaining to this issue for Fiscal Year 2014, specifically the potential creation of a Commission to study the effectiveness of current policy and proposals for change that would better serve the public interest.
Special thanks to MHSA for this invitation to the Network and the opportunity to share our work on a statewide level. We look forward to building partnerships across the Commonwealth that will move us closer to evidence-based policies in response to sex offenders, including those that recognize housing for registered sex offenders makes communities far safer than having them remain homeless.