Yesterday, the New England Center for Homelessness and the Department of Veterans’ Services (DVS) unveiled the Statewide Housing Advocacy for Reintegration and Prevention (SHARP) initiative, a new federally-funded pilot program that will serve chronically homeless veterans in the Boston Metro area.
The initiative comes on the heels of a new report released by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the U.S. Interagency Council on Housing and Homelessness which shows the extraordinary impact of programs available through DVS. In one year alone, the rate of homelessness among veterans in Massachusetts has dropped by 21 percent, nearly twice the rate of reduction nationally.
SHARP is funded by a $323,000 federal grant and will provide greater resources to address a crucial need: the successful integration of veterans back into the community. Participants in the program receive federal housing vouchers and access to mental health services, as well as special housing that provides on-call care. The participants also join a network of fellow veterans who understand better than anyone the struggles they have faced.
At DVS, we hold firmly that no veteran who has served his/her country should be left to deal with the challenge of homelessness alone. As Henry Kettel of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Massachusetts, succinctly put it yesterday: "No one who has put his or her life on the line for all of us should come home to no home."
Yesterday’s event celebrated the significant progress that we’ve made helping homeless veterans throughout the Commonwealth, and we remain mindful that our goal is to eliminate veteran homelessness completely.
As Governor Patrick said in recognition of SHARP, “We are ending homelessness among veterans. Today, thanks to the leadership of Lieutenant Governor Murray, our Department of Veterans’ Services and our federal partners, we are seeing significant progress. But we must keep going to ensure that the men and women who have served our country in uniform have access to all the benefits their service has earned them.”
# # #
DTA Cultural Partnership Goes Beyond Providing Benefits by Providing Experiences posted on May 13
Did you know anyone in Massachusetts with an EBT card can get reduced or free admission into more than 10 museums across the Commonwealth? The MA Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) partners with educational and cultural institutions statewide granting access to some of the state’s …Continue Reading DTA Cultural Partnership Goes Beyond Providing Benefits by Providing Experiences
MCB’s Mitch Sanborn wins Paul McDade “FOCUS” Award for Distinguished Leadership posted on May 11
During my brief time serving as Commissioner of the Massachusetts Commission of the Blind (MCB), I have had the pleasure to present numerous awards to individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to the blindness community. Last month, I was asked to make another …Continue Reading MCB’s Mitch Sanborn wins Paul McDade “FOCUS” Award for Distinguished Leadership
Mental Health Awareness Month – DMH Hosts Events Including 22nd Annual Express Yourself Performance posted on May 9
In honor of national Mental Health Awareness Month, the Department of Mental Health (DMH) will host and participate in several events that follow the national theme: Life with a Mental Illness. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), one in five Americans will …Continue Reading Mental Health Awareness Month – DMH Hosts Events Including 22nd Annual Express Yourself Performance