[act-ma] Taking Action Together to End Homelessness: Join the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless at the State House Next Thursday, March 5th!

Kelly Turley kelly at mahomeless.org
Wed Feb 25 14:51:33 PST 2015

*Taking Action Together to End Homelessness: Join the Massachusetts
Coalition for the Homeless at the State House Next Thursday, March 5th!*

Please join the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless for our annual
Legislative Action Day on Thursday, March 5th 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 housing crises and poverty.

This year, we are mobilizing our members and supporters to advocate on a
number of priorities, including efforts to fund housing and support
services for unaccompanied youth who are experiencing homelessness; expand
funding for the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP), the
Alternative Housing Voucher Program (AHVP), and the Residential Assistance
for Families in Transition (RAFT) homelessness prevention program; and
ensure that families with children no longer have to first stay in places
not meant for human habitation before qualifying for Emergency Assistance
shelter. 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 Docket 2741, 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; Senator Jamie
Eldridge (Acton), Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Financial Services
and previous Chair of the Joint Committee on Housing

State Representative William Smitty Pignatelli (Lenox), lead sponsor of An
Act Providing a Homeless Bill of Rights; and State Representative Denise
Provost (Somerville), lead sponsor of An Act to End Child Homelessness.
Twelve and thirteen-year old youth from Temple Israel in Boston who were
key team players in the campaign to pass the unaccompanied youth
homelessness bill will inspire the crowd to take creative actions to end

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

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

For more information and to register for this free event, please go to
http://www.mahomeless.org/mch-events/2013-02-12-00-05-38 or contact Kelly
at kelly at mahomeless.org or 781-595-7570 x17.

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