For Immediate Release - October 08, 2009

GOVERNOR PATRICK TARGETS $17.9 MILLION IN RECOVERY FUNDS TO REDUCE HOMELESSNESS IN MASSACHUSETTS

Funds to boost comprehensive homelessness prevention and rapid re-housing efforts

BOSTON - Thursday, October 08, 2009 - As part of the Patrick-Murray Massachusetts Recovery Plan to secure the state's economic future, Governor Deval Patrick today announced that the state will steer $17.9 million in federal recovery funds to community-based nonprofits throughout the Commonwealth to address the needs of families and individuals who are homeless or at imminent risk of becoming so. A full list of awards is attached.

"These funds come at a critical time for Massachusetts and complement our ongoing emergency assistance reform efforts by focusing on permanent housing as the long term solution to end homelessness," said Governor Deval Patrick. "By targeting resources this way, we are not only helping out individuals and families in need, but we are stabilizing neighborhoods, relieving the strain on our shelter system and alleviating escalating costs."

"The federal government is a valuable partner in complementing our comprehensive reform actions to end homelessness in Massachusetts," said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray. "These funds will help us to reaffirm our belief that we must provide genuine alternatives to shelter up front and recognize that landlords, both public and private, are key partners in re-housing efforts."

"Nearly 30,000 people in Massachusetts will go to sleep tonight in a shelter or without a roof over their heads," said Senator John Kerry. "This investment will help keep families off the streets, relieve strain on our shelters, move homeless people into safe housing and help people in trouble find the safety and dignity everyone should be able to count on."

"These recovery act funds will help provide critical relief to the neediest among us by providing emergency assistance to help prevent homelessness and ease the strain on our overburdened shelter system," said Congressman Edward Markey.

"I am pleased these funds are being released to the North Shore Community Action programs in Salem and other housing initiatives across the Commonwealth. Especially during these tough economic times, the importance of having a place to stay and take shelter when trying to get back on one's feet cannot be underestimated," said Congressman John F. Tierney.

"Many families in today's recession are just one paycheck away from not making the rent," said Congressman William Delahunt. "I am grateful to the hard working service providers on the Cape and Islands for their dedication in assisting families struggling to make ends meet because the need right now is unprecedented."

"During these difficult economic times there are greater numbers of families that come to rely on our 'safety net' agencies. Meanwhile, our non-profit and community organizations are forced to do more with less. With Governor Patrick's help, these recovery funds will really boost efforts to prevent and end homelessness," said Congressman Stephen F. Lynch.

"Helping homeless individuals and families get off the street and find safe housing is something we should be doing at all times, but this effort takes on additional urgency during difficult economic periods where increasing numbers of people are at risk," said Congresswoman Niki Tsongas. "The Patrick Administration is making good use of these Recovery Act funds by not only providing a lifeline to the homeless, but also working with community partners to help those in need find more permanent and stable places to live."

The Patrick-Murray Administration's $17.9 million award is part of $1.2 billion issued nationwide by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development through its Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program which provides short- and medium-term rental assistance and services to either prevent homelessness or to help those in shelters to be quickly re-housed. The state's award comes on top of $26.1 million recently disbursed directly from the HUD program to 20 entitlement cities in Massachusetts and will be used to support a network of statewide community organizations that have embraced the administration's emergency shelter system reform measures as recommended by the state Commission to End Homelessness and the Interagency Council on Housing and Homelessness.

"The Patrick-Murray Administration has created what we call a comprehensive new architecture for partnering community resources with the state's shelter intake and housing systems," said the state's Undersecretary for Housing and Community Development, Tina Brooks. "These funds will help us to continue our ongoing mission to provide resources and services to help individuals and families avoid shelter in the first place and find appropriate housing quickly for those who are without a permanent place to call home."

Investments in housing and economic development are critical components of Governor Patrick's Massachusetts Recovery Plan, which combines state, federal and, where possible, private efforts to provide immediate and long-term relief and position the Commonwealth for recovery in the following ways:

  • Deliver immediate relief by investing in the road, bridge and rail projects that put people to work today and providing safety net services that sustain people who are especially vulnerable during an economic crisis;
  • Build a better tomorrow through education and infrastructure investments that strengthen our economic competitiveness, prepare workers for the jobs of the future, and support clean energy, broadband, and technology projects that cut costs while growing the economy; and
  • Reform state government by eliminating the pension and ethics loopholes that discredit the work of government and revitalize the transportation networks that have suffered from decades of neglect and inaction.
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