Boston, MA (April 13 2016) – The Coalition for Homeless Individuals, an advocacy group comprised of 25 service providers, released the following statement regarding the FY17 budget released today by the House Committee on Ways and Means, which level-funded the line item (7004-0102) that provides funding to organizations offering beds and services to homeless individuals.
“Level funding the line item means diminishing our ability to help homeless individuals. Current funding covers only 61 percent of the actual cost for shelters providing beds to homeless individuals, and only 35 percent of the operating budget for day shelters. This lack of funding means that providers are further limited in developing the kinds of services that we know can help transition homeless individuals into stable housing.
Our member organizations are on the front lines, dealing with the Commonwealth’s opioid crisis and other factors that lead to homelessness. The people we serve are the ones who are hurt when there is a lack of political will to provide the resources required to address the challenges homeless individuals face. We will continue to work with the legislature to help them understand why they must do more.”
Under the Commonwealth’s system for combating homelessness, people experiencing homelessness are classified into two groups: individuals – including adults and unaccompanied youth – and families. The two groups receive separate services from separate funding sources. Since 2001, the main source of funding for homeless individuals has experienced a 7.4 percent decline in inflation-adjusted dollars. Providers are seeking an increase of $5.2 million to $50 million for the FY17 fiscal year.