A critical amendment to the Emergency Assistance Family Shelter (Line Item 7004-0101) is needed in the state budget to protect the safety net for families experiencing homelessness who FIRST (with few exceptions) have to prove they stayed in a place not fit for human habitation before being accepted into an emerency shelter. So far, no deaths have come from this restriction, but a young mother has been raped.
Here is a compelling YouTube video (13-minutes) on this issue. It is called: "Give Them Shelter" and is from Massachusetts Law Reform Institute.
Please send the link (view on YouTube: http://youtu.be/cFgeTsHJ-Yw) on to your state legislators, asking them to speak to House and Senate Leadership to amend the Emergency Assistance line item requiring the Dept. of Housing & Community Development to provide shelter to homeless families at "imminent risk of staying in places not meant for human habitation."
NOW is the small window of opportunity to do this. The Governor just filed, a few weeks ago, a bill (H.43) asking for supplemental funding for Emergency Assistance (EA) 7001-0101 which funds family shelter. So, when the legislature enacts this much needed funding, MORALLY, they also have an obligation to change the language to protect this safety net.
Need help finding your legislators and their contact info? Click here.
Linda Bessom, SND, is the Senior Community Organizer for the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless. She represents the Coalition on the MACUCC's Task Force to End Homelessness.