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letters | STATE FACES CHALLENGES IN SERVING THE HOMELESS

State has moral obligation to provide safety net

Thank you to Yvonne Abraham for recognizing the unnecessarily fragile condition of the family shelter system in Massachusetts. “A safety net that leaves them out” (Oct. 7) highlights one horrific example of the human cost of regulatory changes, newly enacted by the Patrick administration, that limit shelter access.

While the state’s effort to increase prevention services and affordable housing for homeless families is laudable, the Commonwealth still has a moral obligation to provide an adequate safety net.

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Homelessness is caused by the shortage of affordable housing coupled with low wages that have not kept pace with escalating rents, and not by poor families trying to find shelter.

The state should focus on solutions, not restrictions.

Forcing families into the cold of winter won’t save the state any money in the long run, but investing in housing, education, and jobs will.

Libby Hayes

Executive director

Homes for Families

Boston

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