The Springfield Republican reported today on the Administration’s recently released proposal to reform the Emergency Assistance system.

The article, “With number of homeless families living in motels still high, Massachusetts official details overhaul plans” includes:

During a press conference in Boston, Murray unveiled some plans to deal with the problem. The plans will be included in Gov. Deval L. Patrick’s state budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1.

“The goal of ending homelessness is clearly within our reach, and this budget reform will ensure we are targeting the right resources at the right time to assist people in need as they steady themselves and provide for their families,” Murray said. “This proposal presents an opportunity for us to continue to support vulnerable families at risk of becoming homeless as they transition to stable, permanent, and affordable housing solutions.”

In recent years, pilot programs have helped 4,000 families move from shelters like motels to permanent housing, according to Murray.

Under one change, shelter space will go first to families who are facing an emergency. This could include victims of domestic violence or people left homeless by a fire. These families will go into shelters if they cannot immediately be placed in permanent housing.

Second, the state will target support to families who are plagued by extreme poverty, Murray said. This will include a program to better prepare people for more long-lasting housing and independent living, he said.

Third, the state will shift money and other resources to help more families find permanent housing.

The state will write new regulations to achieve the goals, Murray said.

The changes will be to the state’s emergency assistance program for homeless families.

Schwartz said the reforms hold great promise for moving more families into permanent housing and helping them remain in permanent housing.

“It’s a system change,” Schwartz said. “It can’t be done overnight.”

«   »

Return to full list of blog posts.