Category Archives: Media

Springfield Republican Article on Individual Shelter Funding

On Friday, May 15, The Springfield Republican ran a front page article on the statewide disparities in funding rates for individual emergency shelters.  This issue drives The Network’s FY16 budget advocacy to increase the average bed rate to $32/night statewide or alternatively provide a $350,000 earmark to Friends of the Homeless in Springfield to prevent significant cuts in services.  The Republican reporter, Shira Schoenberg, does an excellent job laying out the current situation and the consequences.

Friends of the Homeless runs an overnight shelter for homeless individuals in Springfield and has case managers available during the day. Last year, it got paid $25 per bed per day from a state contract, according to state data. Friends of the Homeless Executive Director Bill Miller said the shelter got an extra $7 per bed from a budget earmark, but it is still struggling to pay basic bills.

Shelters run by ServiceNet in Northampton, Greenfield and Pittsfield got $28 per bed per day.

At the same time, the Pine Street Inn in Boston had state contracts that paid up to $61 per bed per day. A handful of other shelters have contracts paying more than $40.

“There’s no formula,” Miller said. “It is a significant disadvantage to Springfield to be trying to provide adequate services while receiving among the lowest bed rates in the commonwealth.”

Read more here.

Media Advisory: Secure Jobs Celebration this Friday, 2/6, 10 am, HCC

Contact: Pamela Schwartz, Director
Western Massachusetts Network to End Homelessness; 413-219-5658

Elected Officials Will Convene to Celebrate Jobs for Homeless Families,
Honor Businesses

WHAT:  The second annual celebration of Secure Jobs, a jobs program for homeless families and individuals in Western Massachusetts.  This initiative, supported by both state and private funds, has provided employment services and contributed to housing stability for over 200 households across the four counties of Western Massachusetts.  This event will acknowledge the success of the program’s participants and will honor leading business partners that have made employment possible.

WHEN:  Friday, February 6
               10 am – 11:30 am
               The Kittredge Center
               Holyoke Community College
               303 Homestead Avenue, Holyoke

WHO:   In addition to hearing from newly employed parents and individuals from across the four Western counties, the program will formally recognize the partnership of a dozen businesses  with acknowledgment from approximately 20 state legislators, 7 mayors, and state officials, including:  Senate President Rosenberg, Senator Downing, Senator Lesser, Senator Welch, Rep. Ashe, Rep. Boldyga, Rep. Cariddi, Rep. Farley-Bouvier, Rep. Finn, Rep. Kocot, Rep. Kulik, Rep. Mark, Rep. Puppolo, Rep. Scibak, Rep. Story, Rep. Tosado, Rep. Vega, Rep. Velis,  Rep. Wagner, Rep. Whipps Lee, as well as DHCD Undersecretary Chrystal Kornegay and Deputy Secretary Carolyn Kirk of the Office of Housing and Economic Development, North Adams Mayor Alcombright, Pittsfield Mayor Bianchi, Chicopee Mayor Kos, Greenfield Mayor Martin, Northampton Mayor Narkewicz, Springfield Mayor Sarno and West Springfield Mayor Sullivan. Community colleges, chambers of commerce, career centers, foundations and dozens of housing, child care, health care and other providers working together to end family homelessness in Western Massachusetts will also be represented.

WHY:  In the face of the ongoing crisis of family homelessness, this initiative offers the promise of long-term solutions through the provision of job skills, training, and stable employment.  It reflects the necessity of collaboration across private and public sectors and the success such collaboration can bring.