Homes for Families was informed this morning that DHCD was planning to limit the front door only to families who are homeless due to domestic violence; fire or natural disaster; and families with parents under the age of 21 – effective tomorrow October 19th. HomeBASE would no longer be issuing any new vouchers or non-residential assistance at the front door. Families who are homeless due to eviction, health and safety code violations, overcrowding, and other causes not falling into the 3 categories above would not be eligible for shelter
This decision, however, has been postponed for the moment in order to examine possible course corrections. As of November 1, all of the money allocated to HomeBASE has been obligated, so there is still a very strong possibility that changes will be required.
The Governor has filed a $39.2 million supplemental budget that would give the Emergency Assistance program an additional $21 million to cover shelter and related costs. HomeBASE would be given an additional $18.2 million to cover the costs of current participants and to provide access to the program for families in shelters, motels, and those rolling over from flex funds and HPRP. If approved by the legislature, this would bring combined spending for both programs to over $176 million for FY2012, which is about $15 million more than was spent on EA including flex funds in FY2011. The projected cost of operating the front door for all of FY2012 in its current form is projected at $220-230 million.
Homes for Families is asking that you call the Governor’s office and say “I am concerned about the impact on families if the door to HomeBASE and family shelter is closed.” You can reach his office at 617.725.4005 or 888.870.7770. If you call please respond to this email with a “Yes!”