In its editorial “Making homeless families’ lives more stable,” the Globe cites the success the Baker administration has had in reducing the number of homeless families living in motels. The HomeBASE program, which provides one-time $8,000 grants to help families in shelter obtain housing, has aided in this reduction. It is not necessarily a long-term solution, as questions remain about what families do once the $8,000 runs out; however, it has been effective at moving families into housing.
Many other effective interventions have been developed by the Department of Housing and Community Development in creative partnership with the state’s 46 emergency assistance shelter providers. Guided by local boards of directors, these nonprofit agencies not only supplement state funding by raising tens of millions of dollars annually in cash, in-kind contributions, and volunteer hours from their respective communities, but they constantly generate new approaches to ending homelessness.
Despite the life-saving role that family shelters have filled for more than 30 years, shelter providers always envisioned a system that is flexible and focused on preventing homelessness in the first place and then rapidly rehousing families. In partnership with the state and local municipalities, they have made significant strides to actualize that vision.