This week on MALN Opinion+ we spoke with the Associate Director of Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless, Kelly Turley. The Coalition is based in Lynn, Massachusetts, and works across the commonwealth with policy and advocacy to provide services and support that impacts people experiencing homelessness and housing instability. In our conversation, we spoke about the support Massachusetts provides for homeless people, adapting to the new cultural landscape of the Covid-19 pandemic, and how the coalition’s work continues to push the limits of what services they are able to provide.
Recently the state has carried out wide-sweeping evictions in Boston at the intersection of Mass Ave and Melnea Cass Boulevard, an area where many homeless people congregate. When asked about this situation associate director Turley said that “the coalition has joined with public health organizations, the ACLU of Massachusetts, along with other providers and advocates to call for the state and the city to invest in more permanent supportive housing, non congregate spaces for people experiencing homelessness.” The coalition and other groups want to ensure that these spaces are what they call “low-threshold” so currently homeless people will have better access to this housing because they won’t have to meet a strict list of criteria to receive it. It is too often that homeless people are unable to find access to safe housing because of situations like working so late they can’t enter a shelter, or being turned away because they are suffering from drug addiction.
For more information on how the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless is working within the state to fight homelessness and provide services for those in need be sure to watch this week’s interview above.
Resources mentioned in the video:
Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless Website: https://mahomeless.org/