For Immediate Release - November 18, 2007

Governor Patrick Re-establishes the Massachusetts Interagency Council on Homelessness and Housing

Council will coordinate programs and services provided to homeless residents

BOSTON-Sunday, November 18, 2007-Before serving a pre-Thanksgiving Day meal to clients of the Boston Rescue Mission, Governor Deval Patrick today signed an Executive Order reconstituting the Interagency Council on Homelessness and Housing, creating a formal structure to improve the coordination of services and programs to aid homeless residents and to develop, implement and monitor initiatives to end homelessness.

"As the holiday season nears, it reminds us to think about how we extend our aid and blessings to those in our communities who are less fortunate," said Governor Deval Patrick. "But it is important that we continue that spirit throughout the year. That is why I am pleased to sign today an order which will bring together our various agencies and partners to find ways to make it easier for homeless families and those in danger of becoming homeless to access the services they need to get on their feet and into quality affordable housing."

Under the order, the Council will consist of 11 ex-officio members, including the Lieutenant Governor, who will serve as chair; the Secretary of the Executive Office of health and Human Services; the Secretary of the Department of Veterans' Services; the Commissioner of the Department of Social Services; the Commissioner of the Department of Mental Health; the Commissioner of the Department of Transitional Assistance; the Secretary of the Executive Office for Administration and Finance; the Secretary of the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development; the Undersecretary for the Department of Housing and Community Development; the Commissioner of the Department of Education; and the Commissioner of the Department of Correction.

"I look forward to continuing our work on this critical issue that impacts so many across the Commonwealth," said Lieutenant Governor Murray. "The entire Patrick/Murray administration is committed to finding ways to help families and individuals stay housed and help those who are homeless find permanent housing."

The Council will review existing programs and policies relating to homelessness or to individuals who are at risk of becoming homeless, and recommend improvements to ensure that services are provided in an effective, cost-effective and productive manner. The Council will also work to implement the recommendations that will be submitted by the Commission to End Homelessness.

Earlier this year, Governor Patrick signed legislation authorizing the Commission to End Homelessness, 30-member panel of state, municipal and county officials, including Lt. Governor Timothy Murray, the mayors of Boston, Holyoke and Northampton, and private sector advocates and service providers who are working today to formulate a comprehensive action plan to end homelessness in Massachusetts. The Commission has met every other week since this past summer, and will deliver recommendations and plans to the Governor by year's end.

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