HUD Contingency – How Federal Government Shut Down Effects Your Community

guvshutdown

In light of the Federal Government’s shut down, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has issued its’ contingency plan and may be viewed here.

Many providers within the Merrimack Valley Regional Network to End Homelessness, including Community receive a fair portion of their funding through HUD.

October HUD payments have in many cases already been drawn down. However, if this government shut down continues into November, there will be major challenges ahead.

DHCD Seeking Re-Housing Specialist Contractors

More information – click here

Rehousing Specialist Contractors

Duties:

During the course of Fiscal Year 2014, approximately 6,000 families receiving the HomeBASE Rental Assistance benefit will transition off the two-year program. In addition, approximately 85 families will be transitioning off a small, four-year program that provided rental assistance called Moving to Economic Opportunity (MEOP). The DHCD Rehousing Team will focus primarily on the transition from HomeBASE, but will also provide support to families and providers transitioning from the MEOP program as it will require similar activities. Continue reading

Reduction to Unemployment Benefits on the Horizon

Here is a copy of the letter to be issued to those receiving Unemployment Benefits. These reductions will take place starting the week ending 5/4/2013.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING THE REDUCTION TO YOUR EUC WEEKLY UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS

Dear claimant:

You are receiving unemployment benefits as part of a federal program known as Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC).  In 2011, Congress passed a law known as the “sequester,” which calls for budget cuts to most federal programs. This new law took effect earlier this year.  Due to these federal budget cuts, the unemployment benefits that you are currently receiving will be reduced by 12.8% starting the week ending May 4, 2013. Massachusetts is required by federal law to implement this reduction. Continue reading

Keys to Ending Homeless Conference ~ Seniors ~ Guest Speakers Include Steve Grossman & Aaron Gornstein

Keys to Ending Homelessness Conference Series

Conference 8: Seniors

Friday, April 12, 2013

City of Lowell

University of Massachusetts Inn & Conference Center

50 Warren Street, Lowell, MA

Keynote Speaker

Steven Grossman

Treasurer and Receiver General

Commonwealth of Massachusetts

&

Aaron Gornstein

Undersecretary

Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development

For registration information, contact Linda King @ 978.674-4252 x 1428

Beaver Brook Homeless Camp Revisited

The response and readership to my previous post “What Does Bone Cancer, $25 ID’s and Homeless Re-Housing Have in Common” has been terrific with more than 500 readers to just this post alone since the article was published at 3:30pm on Sunday 12/30/12.

Dear Reader, we are so grateful you took the time to read up on this challenge that exists within our very own community.

The individuals who reside at the Beaver Brook Campsite were grateful for the supplies (hand/foot warmers, toiletries, blankets, MRE’s, clothing and shoes). These same people were engaging and quite willing to tell their stories, to us, complete strangers. They also allowed us, or rather, Howl in Lowell-Digital Media Editor-Photographer-Extraordinaire, Tori Germann to take some photographs to document our mission. I say mission, because this is a mission. It is a mission to alleviate suffering and work with our neighbors to give them a lift-up, galvanizing our community to take ownership, no matter how small the part. And yes, while these men and women live in tents along the Merrimack River, they are indeed our neighbors. Continue reading

What Does Bone Cancer, $25 ID’s and Homeless Re-Housing Have in Common?

If you live or work in the City of Lowell, have come to Lowell to attend an event or visit relatives or friends, you may have noticed a makeshift “camp” along the banks of the Merrimack River. Camps that have been built with the refuse of the neighborhoods that surround them. This is survival.

They are veterans, young, middle aged, elderly men and women. Their individual stories are unique, their current circumstance unites them, all with the same issue. Homelessness.

camps

Yesterday (photo above), Centralville resident, Paul Belley invited myself, along with Kim Scott, Tom Michaels, Roland Cartier and Tori Germann to make the trek down to the camp at Beaver Brook. There we were greeted by 9 men and women who call that area their home for lack of housing. Continue reading

DHCD – Emergency Assistance Changes Effective 11/23/12

Further Actions to Strengthen the Safety Net for Homeless Families
Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development
November 19, 2012
Since the release of new regulations governing the Emergency Assistance (EA) Program on September 17, 2012, the Department of Housing and Community Development has held two public hearings in Springfield and Boston and has continued to meet with legislators, stakeholder groups, and advocacy organizations. Prior to this, extensive outreach was conducted with a broad array of individuals and organizations involved in housing and homelessness issues. Continue reading

The Bag Lady Generation – The New Face of Homelessness – Revisited

This post was originally posted on 10/10/10 here on the Merrimack Valley Homeless Network blog.  This past week, at the Lowell Continuum of Care meeting, the topic of women in their mid-to-late 50’s and the fact that they are an increasing statistic in our shelters, came up. With that, I felt it important to bring this article forward once again as we consider policy and funding directives for our homeless population.

10/10/10

I found this blog post at www.change.org a couple of weeks back and found it fascinating and had meant to post it then, but am doing so now, following a discussion I had with my mother and aunt this morning about the women of their generation; the stay-at-home Mom vs. the bust- through- the- glass ceiling – career woman with children. Continue reading

Notice of Public Hearing – DHCD – Emergency Solutions Grant

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING

DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT (DHCD)

COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS

EMERGENCY SOLUTIONS GRANT

SUBSTANTIAL AMENDMENT TO FY 2011 ACTION PLAN

In accordance with the provisions of Title 24 – Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Part 91 – Consolidated Submissions for Community Planning and Development Programs, notice is given of the proposed following action to be undertaken by this Department. Continue reading

Win – Win! Support Our Furniture Banks!

Furniture Banks are intrinsic to the work that advocates do daily in working with households that are at risk of being homeless or who are homeless and being re-housed. Historically, this function has been funded nearly 100% with private dollars. As noted by the Executive Director of The Wish Project (Donna Hunnewell) there has been a group of furniture banks and homeless advocacy organizations that have banded together to seek language/funding in the MA state budget which furniture banks would have to apply. On the other side of this issue, is the fact that furniture/goods banks provide a great means of recycling furniture/home goods that you no longer use. Your donations to furniture banks provide you with a tax deduction, you don’t have to pay to dispose of the item and your donation is enjoyed by a new family. In fact, furniture banks across the country are able to keep hundreds of tons of good/usable items out of our waste stream. So if you support furniture banks, let your legislator know! Continue reading