Community Connections

In April, Housing Families hosted our annual Legislative Breakfast at Anthony’s of Malden. This year’s program focused on the correlation between health and housing security. We were thrilled to honor Revere Mayor Brian Arrigo. Mayor Arrigo led the launch of Revere’s Warming Center this Winter, increasing shelter opportunities for individuals experiencing homelessness in our region.  

Photo credit: Allan Dines

We partnered with Mayor Arrigo and the City of Revere to open the Warming Center and aid the community in combating the harsh New England cold. Revere Mayor Brian Arrigo was at the forefront of advocating for the center and was instrumental in the success of the program. 

We also honored the Citizen’s Housing and Planning Association for their affordable housing advocacy and policy efforts in Massachusetts. CHAPA has helped create the Massachusetts Affordable Housing Law, which aided families and individuals with low to moderate incomes to find safe and affordable housing in every part of the state. CHAPA has successfully advocated for many House bills and legislative priorities to fund housing programs for the state of Massachusetts and even federally.  

“CHAPA believes that everyone should have a safe, healthy, accessible, and affordable home in the communities they choose. We have a bold plan to cultivate a stronger housing ecosystem statewide by the end of the decade so that all our people, cities, and towns thrive. Our plan sets a goal of creating 200,000 homes – including 40,000 affordable and 20,000 deeply affordable homes – by 2030.” 

Attendees heard from Eric Shupin, Director, Public Policy, at CHAPA about their legislative priorities and how together we can further housing equity in Massachusetts. 

We also heard from experts in health and housing:  

From left to right: Eric Shupin; Megan Sandel, MD, MPH; Katherine Koh, MD, MSc; Renée Cammarata Hamilton MSW, MPA; Erin O’Leary
  • Ann Wu, MD, MPH, Board Vice President & Medical Advisory Committee Chair, Housing Families and Ruth Sager Endowed Associate Professor, Department of Population Medicine, Harvard Medical School & Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute  
  • Renée Cammarata Hamilton MSW, MPA, Director, Health Improvement Team, Cambridge Health Alliance 
  • Katherine Koh, MD, MSc, Psychiatrist, Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program and Massachusetts General Hospital, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital  
  • Megan Sandel, MD, MPH, Co-Director, GROW Clinic, Boston Medical Center and Professor of Pediatrics, Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine 
  • Eric Shupin, Director, Public Policy, Citizen’s Housing and Planning Association.  

This years’ program also included a powerful story from Erin O’Leary, a Housing Families client and housing advocate who has faced chronic housing insecurity due to lack of accessible and affordable housing. Erin O’Leary shared her story about her experience with homelessness and the barriers she faced due to lack of accessible housing. After years of housing insecurity that hugely impacted the health of her and her family, Erin was able to find stable housing in our Permanent Supportive Housing Program. Her story highlights the crucial need for accessible housing and healthcare for the community. You can watch Erin’s story and hear from the experts here:  Housing Families 2023 Annual Legislative Breakfast Video

We are grateful to our incredible sponsors for making the Legislative Breakfast possible: our presenting sponsor, Anchor Line Partners, our Community Sponsors: Atlantic Management, Point32 Health, Leading Edge Real Estate, Nickerson, Talent Retriever; our Table Sponsors: Heine Goodale Law, Stoneham Bank, M&T Bank, Leeman & Gately for Compass; our Supporting Sponsors: Cambridge Health Alliance, Lucey Insurance, and IBEW 2222; and our Floral Sponsor: Pepperberry Florist & Gift Shop.  

“It was an honor to sponsor Housing Families’ recent Legislative Breakfast which helped heighten awareness around the impact of homelessness and housing instability on a person’s physical and mental health,” said Patrick Cahill, president of Commercial Markets for Point32Health. “We must continue to work together to identify how to reduce the negative effects of housing instability on health outcomes and health disparities.  Good housing is good health.” 

This event was an important opportunity to highlight the connection between health and housing, and how the community can work together to address these issues. Thank you to our legislators, sponsors, speakers, staff, and everyone in our wonderful community who attended the Breakfast.