[act-ma] Speak Out for Housing, Homelessness Prevention, and Solutions: Join the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless at the State House Next Thursday, 3/3

Kelly Turley kelly at mahomeless.org
Mon Feb 22 11:01:06 PST 2016


**Speak Out for Housing, Homelessness Prevention, and Solutions: Join the
Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless at the State House Next Thursday,
March 3rd!**

Please join the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless for our
annual Legislative
Action Day on Thursday, March 3rd from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. in the Great Hall at
the Massachusetts State House in Boston.

The Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless has been working for over thirty
years as a key voice in the public policy and social services arenas for
families, youth, and adults in Massachusetts who are at-risk or
experiencing homelessness. Each year, the Coalition holds a Legislative Action
Day at the State House to engage our members and allies in educating state
legislators about the needs of the Commonwealth's residents who are
experiencing
homelessness, housing crises, and poverty.

This year, we are mobilizing our members and supporters to advocate on a number
of priorities, including efforts to expand eligibility for the Residential
Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) homelessness prevention
programs to include elders, people with disabilities, unaccompanied youth,
and others; fund housing and support services for unaccompanied youth who
are experiencing homelessness; ensure that families with children no longer
have to first stay in places not meant for human habitation before
qualifying for Emergency Assistance shelter; and expand funding for the
Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP) and the Alternative Housing
Voucher Program (AHVP). We also are working to move forward several bills
that would improve quality of life for people living in poverty and those
experiencing homelessness, including legislation to create a Homeless Bill
of Rights and to improve benefits under the state's Emergency Aid to the
Elderly, Disabled, and Children program (EAEDC).

As part of Legislative Action Day, the Coalition will host a series of speakers
who will share their call to action and personal testimonies on the
importance of increasing access to housing, shelter, homelessness prevention
resources, and support services. Legislative speakers will include
Representative James O’Day (West Boylston), the event sponsor and lead
sponsor of House Bill 529, An Act Relative to Assisting Elders and People
with Disabilities in the Commonwealth; State Senator Harriette Chandler
(Worcester), Senate Majority Leader and member of the Special Commission on
Unaccompanied Homeless Youth; Senator Linda Dorcena Forry (Boston), Senate
Chair of the Joint Committee on Housing; Representative Marjorie Decker
(Cambridge), Member, Joint Committees on Ways and Means and Housing;
Representative
Kevin Honan (Allston), House Chair of the Joint Committee on Housing;
Senator Jamie Eldridge (Acton), Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on
Financial Services, State Representative William Smitty Pignatelli (Lenox),
lead sponsor of House Bill 1129, An Act Providing a Homeless Bill of
Rights; and State Representative Denise Provost (Somerville), lead sponsor
of House Bill 119, An Act to End Child Homelessness.

Most importantly, there will be time in the afternoon to meet with
State Representatives,
Senators, and their staff to advocate for improved access to affordable
housing, services, and programs for youth, families, and individual adults
who are at-risk or experiencing homelessness in Massachusetts.

We hope you will be able to raise your voice and join us for this exciting
day!

For more information and to register for this free event, please go to
http://www.mahomeless.org/advocacy/item/legislative-action-day-2016 or
contact Kelly at kelly at mahomeless.org or 781-595-7570 x17.


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