An Announcement from One Family, Inc.:
Dear ICHH Regional Conveners and Leadership Council Members,
We are excited to announce new Regional Faith Based Action Grants!
One Family Inc in partnership with the Episcopal City Mission and the Paul and Phyllis Fireman Charitable Foundation are issuing a Request for Proposals for Regional Faith Based Action Grants. We are seeking proposals to develop and implement a plan to organize the faith community within local Interagency Council on Housing and Homelessness (ICHH) regional networks across Massachusetts. The goal of this proposal is to support collaborative efforts between ICHH networks and faith based groups who are endeavoring together to bring about an end to homelessness in their region. Continue reading
The New England Region Homeless Management Information System is holding its annual training & policy symposium in Boston on May 18, 2009, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Take a look at the agenda and register by May 1.
Dear Regional Network Coordinators,
As the pilot initiatives of the Plan to End Homelessness have begun, the first few months are a critical time to inform and be informed by community members and facilitate broad public involvement in ending homelessness. The Civic Engagement Working Group of the ICHH has conducted a statewide survey of successful stakeholder involvement, and the results are part of an online toolkit that we have just launched: ICHH Civic Engagement Tool Kit. It provides additional suggestions to promote community ownership about ending homelessness. Continue reading
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has announced the availability of $5 million for outreach initiatives for homeless and runaway youth. HHS’ Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB) is accepting applications for the Street Outreach Program (SOP) whose purpose is to conduct outreach services designed to build relationships between grantee staff and runaway, homeless, and street youth. Continue reading
$100 million has been made available to the Emergency Food and Shelter National Board Program (EFSP), through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). The funding, made available by Congress under this Act, is designed to bring immediate relief to communities to address unemployment, poverty and other needs in light of the economic climate faced by our country. Funds will be distributed to support social service agencies in more than 2,500 cities and counties across the country. EFSP grant funds are used to supplement food, shelter, rent, mortgage and utility assistance programs for people with non-disaster related emergencies.
In our region, $150,553 is going to Hampden County, and $39,298 is going to Berkshire County. There is a state set-aside for Massachusetts in the amount of $242,249. Continue reading
Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Acts have been introduced in identical form in the House and Senate. H.R 1877 and S. 808 are available at http://thomas.loc.gov (search by bill number) and are similar to a bill that passed the House in October.
The Worcester Telegram & Gazette has covered the rise in family homelessness, illustrated by Worcester’s point-in-time count in its story Homelessness on Rise.
While Worcester advocates point to the recent focus on addressing chronic homelessness as a factor, the article says that US Interagency Council on Homelessness director Phillip Mangano cites the double wallop of snowballing housing foreclosures and recessionary unemployment, which have overwhelmed efforts to assist families, but which do not have the same impacts on chronically homeless individuals, who are unconnected to homes or jobs. The article also quotes Robert I. Pulster, executive director of the Massachusetts Interagency Council on Housing and Homelessness: “On the family side, there are resources, but I don’t think they have been as targeted as they have been on the individual side. There’s certainly a lot of movement now to replicate what we’ve seen on the individual side” for families.
As you know, the House Ways & Means budget released yesterday suggested funding the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP) at nearly half of what is needed to maintain the current number of vouchers in use. This is estimated to impact between 2,300 and 2,900 households – families, disabled individuals and elders – who rely on these vouchers and who will likely become homeless if this cut is not reversed.
Representative Kevin Honan, House Chair of the Housing Committee will be filing an amendment to restore funding MRVP (line item, 7004-9024). As you make your calls to your state representatives, please ask them contact Chairman Honan’s office to co-sponsor this amendment. The amendment does not yet have an assigned number, but representatives can call his office directly to be signed on as co-sponsors.
To find contact information for your state representative, visit www.wheredoivotema.com. Please call or email Diane Sullivan, Homes for Families, with any questions at 617.227.4188 or email@example.com. Your support is critical; thank you for your efforts!