Yesterday, the Senate passed its final budget. Please go here to see the outcomes relative to the Network priorities.
A couple of headlines:
The Senate Amendment to fund the Network next year at $75,000, led by Senator Adam Hinds and supported by every Western MA Senator – Senator Comerford, Senator Gobi, Senator Gomez, Senator Lesser and Senator Velis – was adopted. We are so grateful for their support! Now it’s on to the Conference Committee with the hope that it is adopted in the final budget.
The Senate budget includes $1 million in additional funding for the Safe Havens program (intensively supported shelter for long-time unsheltered individuals with multiple complex challenges), to “expand safe havens housing in a manner that ensures geographically equitable access.” We are reasonably confident this funding will be allocated to provide the long-sought additional Safe Havens beds in Hampshire and Franklin Counties. Special thanks to Senator Comerford and the entire Western MA Senate delegation for the advocacy that secured this win for our region.
There is much more that is hopeful and good for the prospect of preventing and ending homelessness in Western Massachusetts. Again, see the more information here.
Next up: the Conference Committee will resolve differences between the House and Senate budget. Stay tuned for how and when you can weigh in – our voices will make a difference.
The one thing we know now is that we are incredibly fortunate to have a legislative delegation in both chambers that is deeply committed to our goals of preventing and ending homelessness in Western Massachusetts. Let’s thank them for their efforts! You can find your legislators here.