Patrick Administration Announces Funding For Homeless Project In New Bedford
NEW BEDFORD – Friday, August 8, 2014 – The Patrick Administration today announced nearly $900,000 in funding for Sister Rose’s House in New Bedford, a shelter for homeless men that is run by Catholic Social Services (CSS). The funding was awarded through the Housing Innovations Fund, which was created in 1987 to provide financial assistance for alternative forms of housing for low-income persons and families. Undersecretary Aaron Gornstein, of the Department of Housing and Community Development, made the announcement during a visit to CSS on Friday.
“Catholic Social Services and Community Action for Better Housing have an outstanding track record in serving low and moderate income families and individuals in the New Bedford area,” said Aaron Gornstein, Undersecretary for the Department of Housing and Community Development. “We are proud to fund this important project and appreciate the support of Mayor Mitchell, the state delegation, the neighbors of Sister Rose House, and the residents of New Bedford for their compassion and commitment.”
The $856,822 in funding announced on Friday will help the shelter relocate to St. Hedwig’s Church, a larger space in New Bedford. The new space will be comprised of 25 beds, including some for single women, and will also feature a kitchen, food pantry, GED classes and a job training program. This new plan, developed by the non-profit Community Action for Better Housing (CABH), CSS, the City of New Bedford and the Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation, also includes a plan for renovating St. Hedwig’s.
“There is a great need in the New Bedford area for homeless services, particularly for women,” said Senator Mark Montigny. “I applaud the efforts of the Patrick administration in addressing my concerns in supporting these critical and vital services, particularly in providing funding for more beds for women, a concern I had brought to the attention of the Secretary of Housing and Economic Development in recent months. It is wonderful that the incredible work of Sister Rose will continue on. No one should ever be homeless or hungry, it is our duty to show compassion and humanity to those less fortunate who have fallen on hard times and need assistance.”
"Sister Rose House provides critical services to homeless families by providing them immediate support to stabilize their families and preparing them to address future challenges," said Rep. Antonio F.D. Cabral.
“This funding is a great use of state funds to support an institution that does great work in our community,” said Representative Christopher Markey. “I am very happy the administration has put our money to such good causes.”
Under the Housing Innovations Fund, DHCD gives preference to projects that provide transitional and permanent housing for homeless individuals and families, and in order to be eligible for this funding the project must be financially feasible, ready for construction and meet the affordability requirements of the capital subsidy program. Only non-profit developers are eligible.
Since 2008, the Patrick Administration has taken action to protect and strengthen the safety net that state-aided public housing’s 45,600 units provides for the Commonwealth’s most vulnerable families, senior and people with disabilities. These initiatives are a part of a broader strategy being implemented to reform the state’s public housing system. Other reforms have included requiring local housing authorities to provide DHCD with the salaries of the five highest-paid management staff and setting a maximum salary for local housing authority executive directors, require greater reporting of financial information and instituting a vacant unit initiative.