Category Archives: Advocacy


Support Regional Public Transit: Comments due 3/29

A better public transit system is key to ending homelessness. The
Regional Transit Authority Task Force issued a draft report that
recommends greater investment in public transit. Weigh in with your
Thanks to the Public Health Institute of Western MA for their
advocacy alert below:

Email your state representatives
Contact your State Representative to let them know you support
responsible Regional Transit Authority (RTA) Funding. This link will
redirect you to a MASSPIRG page to send an email to your state representative.

Read and comment on the draft report
Read the Draft RTA Task Force Report, A Vision For the Future of
Massachusetts’ Regional Transit Authorities, and submit comments by
March 29 at 5 pm. 

This page links to the report with commenting instructions.

Get your organization involved
If your organization wants to participate in advocacy for RTA riders,
please contact Angela Johnson at T4MA or Andrea Freeman at the
Massachusetts Public Health Association.

CHAPA’s 2019 Housing Day at the State House

CHAPA invites you:

Please join CHAPA for our 4th Housing Day at the State House on Monday, March 11th, 2019 at the MA State House Great Hall, 9:30-1:30 pm. This is an important opportunity for housing advocates to come together to meet with legislators to promote the policies and resources that will help every family in Massachusetts have a safe, healthy, and affordable place to call home!

At Housing Day, we will advocate for legislation and programs to produce and preserve affordable housing. Our priorities for Housing Day 2019 include CHAPA’s FY2020 Budget Priorities and CHAPA’s 2019-2020 Legislative Agenda.

A speaking program will begin at 9:30 a.m. (breakfast will be provided) when we will hear from legislators and housing leaders. This will be followed by meetings with legislators between 11:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m. (lunch provided for those staying for meetings) that CHAPA can help arrange for attendees or these meetings can be coordinated independently.

Registration is required to coordinate meetings with legislators. Please register here.

If you have any questions, or if your organization would like to be a cosponsor, please contact Eric Shupin at

If you would like to carpool from the Western region, contact Pamela Schwartz at and she will assist with connecting people.

MCH Legislative Advocacy Day: Feb. 28

The Mass. Coalition for the Homeless invites you to:

Please register today for Legislative Action Day 2019, taking place at the Massachusetts State House on Thursday, February 28th. Look forward to hearing from inspiring speakers, learning how to advocate with legislators, and meeting with your state legislators and legislative staff to talk about issues and policy recommendations to address homelessness in Massachusetts.

This year’s event will be hosted by State Representative Jim O’Day in the Great Hall (second floor). Registration and light breakfast will begin at 9 a.m., and the formal agenda will run from 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. In the afternoon, participants will meet with legislative offices. Just indicate on your registration form if you need help setting up meetings with your legislators, and we will work to set up appointments for you.

Registration is quick, easy, and free: Register now.
If you would like to be an event-day volunteer, please sign up here.
If you are interested in being a speaker and sharing your personal testimony at the event, or helping the Coalition identify speakers, please contact Kelly.

Thank you, and we hope you can join us!  

Kelly TurleyAssociate Director

Network’s 2019-2020 Legislative Priorities

We are pleased to provide our Western MA legislators with our Legislative Priorities for this Legislative Session. Please click here to view.

The Network’s list of 9 priorities is of course a fraction of the housing-related legislation that has been filed that would make a very substantial impact on preventing and reducing homelessness. We have consulted with our statewide partners, including CHAPAMass Coalition for the Homeless and Mass. Law Reform Institute, and support so many more of their priorities and are encouraging our legislators to consider supporting their more expansive agendas as well.

For now, however, the bills outlined here offer the Network’s starting point for a legislative agenda that will create more permanent and stable housing for the people of Western Massachusetts and beyond.

The deadline for legislators to co-sponsor House bills is this Friday, Feb. 1 at 5 pm. Please contact your legislators (find contact info here), urging them to co-sponsor the bills outlined here.  

Thank you!

Mass Coalition for the Homeless Legislative Action Day – 2/28/19

Sharing this invitation from the Mass. Coalition for the Homeless (note: the Network has signed on as an endorser of these legislative priorities)

 2019 Legislative Action Day is scheduled to take place on Thursday, February 28th at the State House. As the new legislative session begins, we want to make sure our newly elected officials prioritize the rights of people experiencing homelessness. There are a lot of important campaigns we are running this session including the passage of a bill of rights for people experiencing homelessness, passage of a bill that would increase access to state ID for people experiencing homelessness, restoring a rent arrearage program, improving the EAEDC program, increasing funding for services specifically serving youth experiencing homelessness, and more. The schedule will run similarly to last year’s program where we will hear from speakers in the morning and then people will have the opportunity to meet with their legislators throughout the afternoon.

Please register using this link:

Final push for MA ID Access Bill – before January 1!

See this alert from the MA Coalition for the Homeless – thanks for taking action if you can!

The 2017-2018 legislative session officially ends on Tuesday, January 1, 2019, so it’s time for our final push to pass the Mass ID access bill! Thank you for making calls, signing our petitions, writing letters, posting on social media, and visiting the State House. Your efforts have a positive impact and we are so grateful for your support.

In these last two weeks of the session, we need your continued help to encourage House Ways and Means Chair Jeff Sánchez and House Speaker Robert DeLeo to move Senate Bill 2568, An Act to provide identification to homeless youth and families. The bill would direct the Registry of Motor Vehicles to waive the $25 Mass ID fee for applicants experiencing homelessness, and make it easier for applicants experiencing homelessness without an address to prove Massachusetts residency.

We are asking you to to do two things:
Sign and share our #EveryoneNeedsID online petition
Call Speaker DeLeo and Chairman Sánchez, urging them to take action to pass Senate Bill 2568 during informal sessions (before January)
Speaker DeLeo’s number: 617-722-2500
Chairman Sánchez’s number: 617-722-2990

Once you are done, post these two easy steps on social media, tag the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless using the links above, and encourage others to do the same! With enough momentum, we can get this bill passed!

Thank you to everyone who already has taken action on this bill, including those who added your organization as an official endorser of the #EveryoneNeedsID campaign. We now officially have 67 endorsers for this campaign! See our latest fact sheet with an updated list of endorsing organizations here.

If you would like to check in about the ID bill, please don’t hesitate to contact Kelly.

Thank you for your collaboration, and best wishes for the holidays!

In solidarity,
Molly Schulman
Community Organizer/Legislative Advocate

Kelly Turley
Associate Director

ACT by Dec. 10 to weigh in on federal “public charge” rule

On October 10, the Trump administration announced a proposed regulation that would dramatically broaden the “public charge” test, forcing immigrant families to choose between permanent legal status and their ability to access basic needs like safe housing, healthy food, and health care. Please see these Frequently Asked Questions to learn more.

The Western MA Network to End Homelessness has taken a position to oppose this rule change due to the devastating impact it will have on immigrants’ access to federal housing programs and related needs. We are encouraging all partners and members to take action  by clicking here and submitting your public comment on or before December 10.

The Administration is required to review every single comment. A coalition of partners under the umbrella Protect Immigrant Families urges us to join in this action to create the pressure necessary to stop this rule from being enacted. Our few minutes will make a difference.  Please forward and spread the word.

Action Alert: MA ID Action Campaign Day of Action

Please see below from the MA Coalition for the Homeless and take action if you can!

Thank you for your continued support of the passage of the Massachusetts ID Access bill. Today we are coming together to take action to tell House Ways and Means Chair Jeffrey Sánchez and Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo that it’s time to pass this bill!

There are three ways you can take action today.

  1. Contact Chairman Sánchez and Speaker DeLeo to urge them to take action to pass Senate Bill 2568.

By phone:

  • Chairman Sánchez: 617-722-2990
  • Speaker DeLeo: 617-722-2500

By mail:

  • A sample letter with room to add your own thoughts can be downloaded here. I have also attached a copy of the letter to this email. Print out two copies to mail to the State House.

By email:

  1. Post on social media. One of the best ways to put pressure on our legislators is to show that people in their district and around the state are talking about this bill and want it to be passed.

Please download and share our campaign logo from the attached file or from here with the hashtag #EveryoneNeedsID and a link to our online action .

For longer posts, use the text below as a sample:

In order to complete typical life tasks such as opening a financial account, applying for jobs, and enrolling in education programs, people often need a state-issued ID card. As of right now, not only does it cost $25 for people to get a Mass ID, but there is also a requirement for applicants to prove Massachusetts residency to receive the card. This creates huge barriers to access for people experiencing homelessness in our communities. Senate Bill 2568, An Act to Provide Identification to Homeless Youth and Families, unanimously passed the Senate and is awaiting action by the House. This bill would waive the fee to get an ID card and create a process for people experiencing homelessness to use alternative proof of residency to get an ID. This is critical to giving rights and access to members of our community. Help us call on House Ways and Means Chair @jeffrey_sanchez and House @SpeakerDeLeo to move forward Senate Bill 2568. #EveryoneNeedsID

  1. Send testimony to myself, Molly Schulman,at molly@mahomeless.orgto share why you think it’s important for this bill to be passed. You can use the letter template to help you get started . I will bring your letters to the State House on Monday to make sure your voice is heard!

Once you have taken action, please share feedback by completing this simple feedback form or contacting me.

Thank you again for your continued support of this campaign!

In solidarity,

Molly Schulman
Community Organizer and Legislative Advocate
Pronouns: She, her, and hers
Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless