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Motels are no place for homeless families

THANKS TO the Globe for acknowledging the motel and family homelessness crisis as front-page news (“State to end placing of homeless in motels,” Page A1, Jan. 2). Everyone agrees the use of long-term motel stays is inefficient, and the long-term cost to our Commonwealth’s children is devastating. Massachusetts has successfully ended motel use under the Dukakis and Romney administrations, so the blueprints for solving the problem exist.

However, it will take political will to provide the resources to develop adequate prevention and service systems, and to address the affordable housing shortage and low wages that are the root causes of this crisis. It will take families, neighborhoods, and communities to come together to support our poorest neighbors.

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And it will take a comprehensive, long term plan to assure we end this practice once and for all. Motels are not a home. But our children must not be relegated to the streets, transit stations, and other precarious situations because their parents cannot afford housing in Massachusetts.

Libby Hayes

Executive director

Homes for Families

Boston

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