The Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance (MHSA) is a nonprofit advocacy organization with the singular mission of ending homelessness in the Commonwealth. Through strategic partnerships formed with government, private philanthropy, business leaders, homeless individuals, and service providers, MHSA develops and implements innovative housing solutions to homelessness.
Homelessness is a housing crisis that affects thousands of poor working people and those with disabilities, mental illness and addiction who cannot afford a place to live. As a result, the moral, social and financial costs of this crisis have soared as people rely on expensive emergency room and hospital visits, the correctional system, and the streets.
MHSA is leading the way in transforming how Massachusetts addresses homelessness. For many years, the Commonwealth has responded to homelessness primarily through shelters and other emergency resources. Through innovative initiatives like Home & Healthy for Good (HHG), MHSA has demonstrated that providing housing and services to chronically homeless individuals through a low-threshold housing model is less costly and more effective than managing their homelessness and health problems on the street or in shelter.
Permanent supportive housing has significant implications when it comes to the emergency shelter system’s ability to respond to the increased demand for shelter during the cold winter months. By housing those chronically homeless individuals who have stayed in shelters for years, permanent supportive housing initiatives like HHG free up shelter beds and other emergency resources for those who are experiencing an immediate housing crisis during the winter. Permanent supportive housing is a critical component of the shift toward responses that end, rather than merely manage, the homelessness of our most vulnerable neighbors.
How Your Support Can Help
Nettie, a 74-year-old formerly homeless Boston resident, spent 15 years staying at one of Boston’s largest homeless shelters. In 2007, Nettie entered into MHSA’s Home & Healthy for Good program. “This connection to health care has literally saved her life,” said Sue Smith, her case manager at MHSA member agency Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership.
Sue and her doctors have helped Nettie stay on a diet that is managing her congestive heart disease and hypertension. Last year, Nettie was diagnosed with stage 4 cervical cancer at a routine check-up — an appointment she would not have had if she was still homeless. Thanks to a year of chemotherapy and radiation, five days a week, she is finally in remission. “I’ve been through it all,” said Nettie. “But I feel great. And I’m 74 years old!”
Your support enables MHSA and its partners to provide individuals like Nettie with stable housing and support services that strengthen their connections to health care and other critical resources.
For more information, please contact:
Director of Public Relations & Community Engagement
Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance
P.O. Box 120070, Boston, MA 02112
617.367.6447 ext. 28