Boston’s Way Home Fund, which funds long-term housing for the city’s homeless, has reached its $10 million fund-raising goal two years early, Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced in a statement Wednesday.
Walsh unveiled the fund in January 2018 with the goal of raising $10 million by 2022, the statement said. The money will be used to create “hundreds of new units of supportive, sustainable, long-term housing for chronically homeless men and women.”
“Reaching this goal in just two years shows the caring spirit and generosity of both businesses and individuals of Boston," Walsh said in the statement. “It shows what we can accomplish when we all work together. This fund will help us as we move closer to our goal of ending chronic homelessness in the City of Boston.”
Since the Boston’s Way Home plan was launched in 2015, nearly 2,000 veterans and chronically homeless people have obtained housing, the statement said. The fund, announced three years later, is intended to supplement the Boston’s Way Home plan.
To help those with a range of needs, the new housing will combine subsidized rental housing and individualized support services, the statement said. Residents will be provided with community-based health care, get assistance for mental health issues, receive substance abuse counseling, and be connected with employment services.
In partnership with Pine Street Inn and Bank of America, Boston’s Way Home Fund received donations from individuals and businesses, the statement said. Under the plan, Pine Street Inn in November received approval to build 202 units of income-restricted housing at 3368 Washington St. in Jamaica Plain.
“I stayed at Pine Street’s shelter for four months, and then I moved into their veterans’ house after they learned I had served in the military,” Anthony M., a Pine Street tenant, said in the statement. “I’ve been there for over a year, and with the support I’m receiving, I’m getting my confidence back. I try to accomplish one positive thing every day. With my own room and my own key, my life has changed.”
On Wednesday, hundreds of volunteers combed the streets of Boston to conduct an annual homeless count. The results will be released in the next few weeks, the city said. Last January, the city found 6,203 people who were homeless, including 121 people on the street.
Pine Street Inn’s housing plan also was recommended for a $1.5 million award from Community Preservation Act funding by Walsh and the CPA committee, the statement said.
“We appreciate the Mayor’s leadership as we work toward the shared goal of ending homelessness in Boston,” said Lyndia Downie, president and executive director of Pine Street Inn. “We are so very grateful to the corporations and individuals who have stepped up to help solve the challenge of homelessness in our city.”
Those who are described as chronically homeless “have barriers that create challenges” for obtaining permanent housing, the statement said. Boston’s “Housing First” initiative implemented a system where a chronically homeless person’s entrance into a shelter will put them on a path toward stable housing.
“Housing is critical to helping individuals achieve stability and improve their financial lives,” said Bank of America Massachusetts president Miceal Chamberlain.“Bank of America is committed to helping advance economic mobility, and this public-private partnership will contribute to the long-term success of our community.”
Top donors to the fund include Liberty Mutual Insurance, Mass Mutual, MGH/Brigham Health/Partners HealthCare, and Suffolk Cares.
Matt Berg can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @mattberg33.