At this year’s Legislative Breakfast, families shared their stories with state legislators in hopes of developing long-term solutions to family homelessness. Three mothers shared their experience of homelessness, encouraging attendees to place themselves in their shoes, to look beyond the numbers and statistics and realize that these are human lives that are affected by homelessness, and to take a stand with them to fight for additional funding for affordable housing and other supportive services.
HFI demonstrated that the lack of affordable housing is severe. Laura Rosi, HFI’s Director of Housing and Advocacy, told a room full of legislators and community members: “The cost of housing far outpaces income.”
Restoring MRVP funding to its original amount of $120 million, Laura emphasized, would help move all families out of unsafe and unsanitary motel shelters, and would provide an extra 1,500 new vouchers to help families afford housing.
Many parents participate in HFI’s Advocacy Group, which actively urges legislators to support funding or affordable housing. Members of the group participated in two major activist events: Cookie Day in February, in which our families met with legislators at the State House to ask for more MA Rental Vouchers for housing, and HFI’s Legislative Breakfast. Through these events, our families demonstrated the great need of affordable housing, and also that the fight to end family homelessness is really a fight to help individuals and families regain a sense of agency, purpose, and belonging.
In the face of disempowering circumstances, homeless and unstably housed parents get up every day and work hard to restore or maintain a sense of normalcy in the lives of their children and grandchildren. While the MA’s state budget has not yet been finalized, we continue to work alongside parents to build up our communities and provide all families in MA with an equal opportunity at a home where they can thrive.
Help support our work! To get involved or learn of upcoming legislation concerning homelessness, please contact Laura Rosi at email@example.com or 781.322.9119 ext. 306.