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MA Emergency Assistance (EA) Sheltering Program for Homeless Families. John A. Wagner, Commissioner MA Department of Transitional Assistance National Alliance to End Homelessness Conference February 8, 2007 Oakland, CA. Topics. Where We’re At Where We’re Going Questions:

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ma emergency assistance ea sheltering program for homeless families

MA Emergency Assistance (EA) Sheltering Program for Homeless Families

John A. Wagner, Commissioner

MA Department of Transitional Assistance

National Alliance to End Homelessness Conference

February 8, 2007

Oakland, CA

topics
Topics
  • Where We’re At
  • Where We’re Going
  • Questions:
    • In 2003: Is our system currently set up in the best way to effectively combat family homelessness?
    • Future investments should address this
where we re at
Where We’re At
  • State (DTA) Shelter
    • FY07 Family Shelter: $74M*
    • FY07 Individual Shelter: $35M
  • *Family Shelter Growth
    • FY99 $37M and ~850 Families
    • FY07 $74M and ~1700 Families**
  • **Expanded Eligibility FY06
    • 100% FPL to 130% FPL and others
where we re going
Where We’re Going
  • Began Some Reforms in 2004-2005 informed by front-line staff, promising practices, with focus on eliminating hotel placements
    • Assessment Pilot
    • Intensive Case Management
    • 207 S2H Payments
    • LHA/THP in Collaboration with DHCD
  • FY06 and FY07 Expanding Shelter Capacity
  • Ahead? Back to the Future/Issues
    • Informal Advisory Group (United Way, Prof. Culhane, One Family Inc., state ICHH)
    • Public Stakeholder Meetings
    • Expired Procurement
where we re going cont
Where We’re Going, cont.
  • Research helpful in informing system redesign
    • Culhane’s Review of 494 entrants from Dec. 03-Feb-04 in MA, and other locations
    • Data match across agencies (MH, SA, CW)
    • Additional study of “exiters” (DTA, Weinreb/Rog)
    • Additional research (TBF and others)
  • Move System More Towards Families’ Needs (how utilized)
where we re going cont early thinking lessons
Where We’re Going, cont.(Early Thinking/Lessons)
  • Maintain a safety net (shelter), but invest in housing options. >200 days of emergency shelter is not emergency shelter;
  • Assessments helpful up-front. Once someone is “served” in shelter, fiscally hard to then fund other options; Also AZ data on homeless shows >90 days decompensate;
  • Changing systems is difficult, but even more challenging when have to keep current system an option;
where we re going early thinking lessons cont
Where We’re Going(Early Thinking/Lessons, cont.)
  • Prevention important, but research does not show 1:1 impact on shelter;
  • Solutions always tied to local (MA) housing market (DTA study of exits showing ~40% are going into unsubsidized units, ~$1310/mth income; paying average rent of ~$333;
  • Consequently, system must also leverage workforce development resources/ solutions to ensure longer term housing affordability;
  • Shelter cannot be “magnet” for housing benefits.