The Network at Work: Providers and Legislators Gather in Partnership to End Homelessness

Yesterday, on June 10, 2019, close to 200 people gathered at Holyoke Community College for the Network’s 3rd annual Housing/Homelessness Resource Fair. Over 75 providers from across the four Western counties, along with state agencies, offered information and over 100 other providers arrived to collect it.

The morning kicked off with a brief program welcoming over a dozen state legislators and mayoral offices. HCC President Christina Royal provided the first welcome, then Representative Aaron Vega of Holyoke, then MA Department of Housing and Community Development Assistant Undersecretary Jane Banks and finally Network Director Pamela Schwartz introduced each legislator.

Pictured from left to right in the photo below: Rep. Aaron Vega, Rep. Lindsay Sabadosa, Rep. Jose Tosado, Rep. Dan Carey (second row), Senator Anne Gobi, HCC President Christina Royal (second row), Rep. Carlos Gonzalez, Senator Jo Comerford, Rep. Natalie Blais and Rep. Mindy Domb, along with aides from the offices of Rep. Paul Mark (Adrienne Nunez), Senator Adam Hinds (Jon Gould, not pictured) and Senator Jim Welch ( Jennifer Hayes, not pictured).

We thanked our legislative delegation for their tremendous commitment to policies and funding priorities that will prevent and end homelessness. We demonstrated the impact of those funding priorities with some of the outcomes of the region’s work projected here.

We also called out the Network’s commitment to address racial inequity in ending homelessness, noting the 3-part training series (led by national trainer Marc Dones) that has just come to a close. We know that with the significant over-representation of African-American and Latinx populations among people experiencing homelessness in our region (and across the nation), we have serious transformational system work to do and we are underway. This commitment of time, energy and resources to this challenge will continue next year and beyond.

Thanks to an incredible Network of committed people and organizations for an energizing and resource-filled morning. Onward we go!