Sunday, March 20, 2011

When homelessness hits home

“Daddy, are we going to have to find a new house?” It’s a question heard by many Boston-area parents wrestling with news of layoffs, and the aftermath of lost income (with its ultimate impact on household budgets, particularly rent or mortgage payments). How does one answer an innocent child who doesn’t realize the severity of social upheaval and economic chaos – until it hits home, when the family needs to move out, because there’s no longer any money to pay for basics like food, housing, or clothing?

Local governments and social service agencies are desperately trying to cope with the avalanche of families in need – many of whom are facing the real possibility of homelessness, through no fault of their own. In the face of budget troubles in the non-profit sector, and cutbacks from area foundations that previously funded housing programs, both public and private groups are scrambling to deal with the problem.
In the state of Massachusetts, there are a number of resources available, including organizations whose mission is providing shelter for displaced, homeless individuals and families, such as emergency-centered groups like the Salvation Army, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, and theCity Mission Society of Boston.
Housing options
When it comes to housing, a quick scan on the web reveals a variety of non-profits, including theMetropolitan Boston Housing PartnershipCooperative Metropolitan Ministries, the MetroBoston Regional Network, Homestart Inc., Heading Home Inc., the Massachusetts Housing and Shelter AllianceOne Family Inc., and Home At Last, in the Metrowest suburbs.

There is also a long list of other agencies trying to lend their support:
• Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD)
• American Friends Service Committee Material Needs Program
• Asian Task Force Against Domestic Violence
• Bay Cove Human Services – Kit Clark Senior Services & The Tenancy Preservation Project (TPP)
• Betty's Place ( Boston YWCA)
• Boston Healthcare for the Homeless Program
• Boston Housing Authority
• Boston Rescue Mission – Kingston House
• Bridge Over Troubled Waters
• Bridge Transitional Program at the YMCA
• Cambridge and Somerville Legal Services
• Cambridge Cares About Aids – Emergency Transitional Program & Youth on Fire
• Cambridge Department of Human Service Programs—The Cambridge Multi-Service Center
• Cambridge Employment Opportunity Council
• Cambridge Health Care for the Homeless
• Cambridge Housing Assistance Fund (CHAF)
• Cambridge Housing Authority
• Cambridge YWCA Transitional Program
• Cardinal Medeiros Center for Older Homeless Adults
• Cardinal Medeiros Transitional Program (Boston YMCA)
• Carey Transitional Program (Cambridge YMCA)
• Caritas Communities
• Casa Esperanza - Latinas y Niños
• Casa Myrna Vazquez
• CASPAR – ACCESS, Emergency Service Center , GROW House, & Womanplace Residential Substance Abuse Treatment
• Citizens Housing and Planning Association (CHAPA)
• City of Boston 's Department of Neighborhood Development
• City of Boston 's Emergency Shelter Commission
• City of Boston Homeless Services – Long Island Shelter, Long Island Annex, Project Soar Transitional Program, Wise Street Transitional Program & Woods-Mullen
• Commonwealth Land Trust
• Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance
• Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development
• Dennis McLaughlin House
• East Boston Rehab
• Elders Living at Home
• Eliot Community Human Services—Bread & Jams & Eliot Homeless Outreach Services
• Elizabeth Stone House
• The Family-to-Family Project
• First Church Shelter
• Gavin House
• Granada House
• Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS)
• Harvard Square Homeless Shelter / Phillips Brooks House at Harvard
• Human Resource Development Institute Inc. – HRDI ASKIA Academy, HRDI Casa Don Pedro Albizu Campos & HRDI Women's Circle
• Hello House
• Homes For Families
• hopeFound—IMPACT Employment Services, Shattuck Emergency Shelter & Transition to Independent Living (TIL)
• Huntington House (Boston YMCA)
• Inman Square Apartments
• Justice Resource Institute (JRI)
• Lend A Hand Society
• Massachusetts Behavioral Health Partnership (MBHP)
• Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless (MCH)
• Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance (MHSA)
• MassHousing
• National Student Partnership
• New Communities Services
• New England Shelter for Homeless Veterans
• North Charles
• One Family Inc.
• On the Rise
• Pine Street Inn-- Men's Transitional Housing Program (MTHP) and Paul Sullivan Housing
• Project Place—Work Programs & the YWCA Transitional Program for Women
• Quincy Interfaith Sheltering Coalition - Father Bill's Place
• Rosie's Place
• Shelter, Inc. - Common Ground Transitional Program, Emergency Shelter, Mid-Point Transitional Program, Shelter Legal Services & Women's Drop In
• Solutions At Work
• Somerville Homeless Coalition
• St. Francis House – Day Center, Moving Ahead Program (MAP) & Next Step Transitional Program
• St. James Shelter
• St. Patrick's Shelter
• Transition House
• United Homes -1900 Washington, Family House, Pilgrim Emergency Shelter, Richardson House, Second Home & Up & Out Program
• United Way of Massachusetts Bay & Merrimack Valley
• US Department of Housing and Urban Development
• Victory Programs - New Victories, Portis Family House, Shepherd House, Victory House & Yetman House
• Vietnam Veterans Workshop
• Women's Lunch Place
This is just a starting point. In future installments, we’ll share more ideas & resources for families trying to stay afloat in these uncertain times. If you have any suggestions, pass them along, so that we can share them with all our readers.

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