Family Homelessness During and After COVID-19: July 9th Legislative Briefing

Posted July 21, 2020

Thank you to everyone who joined the Coalition, Representative Jim O’Day, Representative Kay Khan, Representative Kevin Honan, families experiencing homelessness, advocates, and providers on Thursday, July 9th from 12:30-2 p.m. for an important online legislative briefing and discussion on family homelessness during and after COVID-19. Handouts and a summary of the briefing are available here (PDF), and here is the video recording of the event.

Speakers included:

  • Representative Jim O’Day

  • Representative Kay Khan

  • Representative Kevin Honan

  • Liz Alfred, Central West Justice Center

  • Elisa Bennett, Advocate/mother/former Emergency Assistance program participant

  • Etel Haxhiaj, Central Massachusetts Housing Alliance

  • Stephanie Herron Rice, Justice Center of Southeast Massachusetts

  • Max Hurwitz, Greater Boston Legal Services

  • Kerri, Advocate/mother/current Emergency Assistance program participant

  • Laura Massie, Greater Boston Legal Services

  • Andrea Park, Massachusetts Law Reform Institute

  • Alyssa Putnam, Advocate/mother/current Emergency Assistance program participant

  • Marwa Sayed, Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless

  • Tim Scalona, Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless/former Emergency Assistance program participant/UMass Amherst graduate student

  • Dr. Amanda Stewart, Boston-area pediatric emergency department physician

  • Kelly Turley, Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless

  • Filipe Zamborlini, Rosie’s Place

The agenda included:

  • Welcome and introductions

  • The status of the right to shelter for families with children, the Emergency Assistance family shelter program, and how the current response to family homelessness is not meeting the needs of families

  • Opportunities to fix the system and promote racial and housing justice

  • State budget and bill requests plus federal funding opportunities

  • Looking ahead and a case study from Scotland

  • Questions and answers

  • Conclusion