The Springfield Republican published a comprehensive piece on state funding needs for individual emergency shelters in Western MA, including a well-documented visit by Western MA legislators to Friends of the Homeless shelter in Springfield.  Legislators expressed their support for the Network’s FY17 budget priority to address the funding gap for Western MA shelters.  As reported in the Republican:

State Sen. James Welch, D-West Springfield, chairman of the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing, said he believes western Massachusetts lawmakers will support a request for more money for area shelters. Although he does not know exactly what form that request would take, he said he agrees with the shelter advocates that raising the minimum bed rate “is certainly fair.”

Welch said it is problematic that some Boston area shelters get more money to provide the same services as shelters elsewhere.

“It’s really a regional equity issue as much as anything,” Welch said. “A human being is a human being, whether they’re homeless in Springfield or they’re homeless in Boston.”

Read more here.

And Commonwealth Magazine and The Springfield Republican also just published this op-ed co-written by Bill Miller on the issue.  Read it here.

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