02 Jun A new home for Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership
Source: The Boston Globe | By: Cindy Cantrell
For more than 30 years, Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership has been helping homeless and chronically homeless individuals and families find and afford a place to call home. Now the nonprofit organization is relying on the public’s assistance in a $2 million capital campaign (buildingonmission.org) to develop its new home in Roxbury, offering enhanced accessibility and common space for workshops and programs.
Providing specialized support to more than 20,000 households annually, Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership serves 31 cities and towns including Arlington, Bedford, Belmont, Brookline, Lexington, Newton, Waltham, and Watertown. Continuum of Care program coordinator Stephanie Kan, who lives in Waltham, had this to say:
Q. What is the Continuum of Care program?
A. It’s an innovative program that assists 1,500 homeless people with disabilities who often aren’t able to be served by other programs. It is instrumental to Mayor Marty Walsh’s initiative to end chronic and veteran homelessness in Boston by 2018 because it pairs supportive services with affordable housing for more successful results.
Q. What are some causes of homelessness?
A. We find that a lot of homelessness can arise from or be exacerbated by a disability. One example is veterans with untreated post-traumatic stress disorder who may self-medicate with drugs and alcohol, and then addiction becomes another barrier to housing. We also have some teens and young adults who have been abandoned by their families because they have HIV, mental health issues, or another disability. Their lack of resources put them in vulnerable situations where their safety is at risk.
Q. How does the Continuum of Care program combat homelessness?
A. We work with government agencies and 37 service providers on a spectrum of services, including rental assistance, medical and mental health care, housing search assistance, finding funds for security deposits, and mitigating background issues. Once they’re stable, we work on employment and other issues, so in the long run, clients can become self-sufficient and look forward to the future.
Q. What is the key to avoiding burnout in the human services field?
A. Having the business expertise, combined with an empathetic heart, to make things happen for the client. This is a very busy place every single day, but I’m glad I have the chance to do such important work with such dedicated partners.
For more information, call 617-859-0400, visit mbhp.org or facebook.com/MBHPHome, or follow on Twitter at @MBHPhousing.