A New Holistic Approach to Family Homelessness?

CHAPA Homelessness Committee White Paper Sub-Committee Meeting

March 10, 2014

CHAPA,  a non-profit organization for affordable housing and community development activities in Massachusetts, Homes For Families and several other members of their Homelessness Committee, which advocates for more permanent affordable housing and prevention programs among other services, convened last week to discuss their new white paper proposal.   A white paper is an informative report created to propose solutions that can influence decision-making processes.  The White Paper Sub-Committee is working to create a policy document that coordinates the different organizations’ findings and efforts to make policy recommendations to help the commonwealth reduce homelessness.  One of the overall goals of this document is to coordinate three areas that affect families: housing, childcare, and jobs and economic development.

The agenda of the meeting discussed the major goals of the white paper along with the potential priority focus areas.  Since homelessness is not a simple or straightforward issue, the committee is facing some difficulty in narrowing its scope while sticking to their goal of creating an integrated approach.  With an initiative of this nature, Massachusetts can approach homelessness by attacking its root causes as opposed to just focusing on short term solutions.  The committee is planning on organizing and creating a proposal to provide guidance for the upcoming 2014 gubernatorial race. 

A commonality between these organizations is that they are all dedicated to supporting a preventative, holistic approach to family homelessness in Massachusetts, which means that to make it work- we need your input!

Which areas do you think would be most effective to address in ending family homelessness?  

[The organizations present at the meeting included CHAPA, Horizons for Homeless Children, Crittenton Women’s Union, MBHP, Regional Housing Network of MA, HomeFunders, United Way of Mass Bay and Merrimack Valley, UMASS Boston Center for Social Policy, Mass Public Health Association and several others.]

Becca, Intern


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