FY12 Massachusetts EOHHS Budget Hearings

The Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) will be conducting a public hearing on the upcoming Fiscal Year 2012 budget. Secretary JudyAnn Bigby, M.D., and the Assistant Secretaries at EOHHS are looking forward to hearing the views of members of the community regarding the agencies under their purview.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010            Department of Mental Health, Western Massachusetts Area Office

Haskell Building, Second Floor Large Conference Room

1 Prince Street

Northampton, MA 01060

10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

The hearing will be tentatively divided as follows:

10:00 to 11:00             Children, Youth and Families – DCF, DYS, ORI, DTA

11:00 to 12:00              Health Services – DMH, DPH, DHCFP, MassHealth

12:00 to 1:00                Veterans, Elder Affairs, Soldiers’ Homes

1:00 to 2:00                 Disabilities & Community Services – MCDHH, MCB, MRC, DDS

Since the start of the budget crisis, the Administration has worked with you to solve deficits totaling nearly $13 billion.  As FY12 approaches, we are facing the expiration of federal stimulus funds and reduced rainy day funds and even though revenues started to grow in FY11, revenue collections historically lag behind national economic growth and will remain moderate over the next two fiscal years.

To overcome this budget challenge, we will need to work together to reexamine all public services and their delivery and find innovative solutions so that we can continue our mission with minimal disruption. Governor Patrick, Secretary Bigby and all of us at EOHHS are seeking your input to identify potential efficiencies, cost-saving initiatives and partnership opportunities that will preserve core services to the fullest extent possible without additional expenditures.

Due to the number of individuals anticipated to attend, oral testimony will be limited to three minutes. Following are three questions we want you to address in your testimony or as a supplement to your testimony.  Please do your best to address each question specifically.

  1. Are there areas where you believe EOHHS can regionalize, consolidate or streamline services, programs or offices to better serve clients, increase efficiencies and achieve savings?

  1. Are there areas where you believe EOHHS can use technology to better serve clients, increase efficiencies and achieve savings?

  1. Are there ways you believe EOHHS can reduce expenditures while maintaining essential and core services?

In the interest of time, representative panels are welcome.  If you need accommodations please call 617-573-1600 and let the receptionist know. In addition, written testimony is strongly encouraged and may be mailed to:

Secretary JudyAnn Bigby, EOHHS

One Ashburton Place, Room 1109, Boston, MA 02108

Or emailed to:  eohhshearings@massmail.state.ma.us


Input Needed on Veterans Access to Mainstream Benefits

U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness



In its November 3, 2010 meeting, the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness charged member agencies and USICH staff to develop a plan to identify and remove barriers to mainstream programs for homeless and precariously-housed Veterans and their families. In response to the Administration’s goal to prevent and end Veterans homelessness by 2015, the plan will identify priority areas for action in key agencies, focusing on strategies that can be implemented in the short term with existing authority and resources.  The objective of the project is to increase awareness about available benefits and services, debunk common myths about eligibility requirements, and ensure Federal programs complement one another to meet the needs of our Veterans.


Your input is critical to understanding the barriers that exist.  To help gather insights and suggestions, we have launched a new interactive website athttp://usich.uservoice.com/.  In addition to providing your comments and ideas, you can also vote and comment on the suggestions offered by others. This voting mechanism will help us understand which barriers are viewed as most significant and how to focus our efforts as we move forward with the project.


The site will be open during a two week window, starting Thursday, December 2, 2010 and ending Thursday, December 16, 2010.


We encourage you to forward this opportunity to your colleagues and clients so they too can have a voice in this process. Please note that users will need to provide basic registration information in order to submit their responses. If you have any questions about the online site, please direct them to communications@usich.gov.


We look forward to your input, and thank you again for your participation.




Anthony Love

Deputy Director

U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness


Homeless Youth Issue Comes Home to Roost

Excellent article in today’s Boston Globe about the increase of homeless you, particularly those unaccompanied. Here in Lowell, the reports I’ve received indicate there has been a significant uptick in homeless youth in our local individual homeless shelter and our homeless day program (Pathfinder). The youth NOT staying at Lowell Transitional Living Center are sleeping in their cars or tents along the river. Sadly, we’ve no alternative for our youth because we do not have a youth specific emergency shelter program anywhere in the Merrimack Valley region. Below is the Boston Globe article:

Young, alone, and homeless

As numbers rise in state and nation, Boston group seeks to create shelter

By David Abel Globe Staff / December 9, 2010

Since she aged out of foster care three years ago, Kaila Dunn has lived in more homeless shelters than she can recall, often dingy dwellings full of drunken men, rampant drug use, and too many people seeking to take advantage of her.

“It’s really scary and lonely to be in a place with so many creepy adults with so many issues,’’ she said.

The 21-year-old high school dropout from Randolph is among what city, state, and federal officials say is a rising number of homeless youths and young adults. Every year, tens of thousands of them become too old to remain in state custody or land on the streets because of broken families.

State education officials counted 13,090 homeless students in the last academic year — an 85 percent increase from five years before. Of those, 735 were defined as unaccompanied, out of the custody of their parents or legal guardians. That is more than double the number five years before. Continue reading

Globe Santa is Back in Lowell, Lawrence & Haverhill

It was recently announced that Globe Santa would not be serving
Haverhill, Lawrence and Lowell this year.
We were advised today, that Globe Santa
was able to raise the money to once again serve
Haverhill, Lawrence and Lowell!

If you have eligible children in your household, you should receive a
letter from Globe Santa with a new green Holiday Gift Verification Form.
Globe Santa must receive your completed form and a letter from
you about why you need help by no later than Wednesday,
December 15, 2010. Send your form and letter to:
Globe Santa
P.O. Box 5580
Boston, MA 02205-5820

If you have questions about how to apply, call the Boston Globe at
617-929-2001, or go to the website, http://www.globesanta.org.
If you need a Holiday Gift Verification Form, please call 1-800-445-6604.
Don’t forget, send your paperwork to Globe Santa
by 12/15/2010—and Happy Holidays!