Affordable Housing Advocate Takes to the Streets to Help Fight Homelessness

Painful and Amazing.

These are two words that you do not typically find in the same sentence, but for Cambridge resident Michael Lara, it is what he feels as he trains for his first Boston Marathon.

Michael will be joining five other members of Team Metro Housing on April 16 when they run the 122nd Boston Marathon as part of the John Hancock Non-Profit Program. Team Metro Housing has had runners compete and raise funds through the Boston Marathon since 2006 having raised a combined $370,000 to prevent families and individuals throughout Greater Boston from becoming homeless and help households to transition from homelessness to stability.

“You feel accomplished after runs and surprise yourself with the willpower to stick to your training regimen,” said Lara.  “My body has not gone through this process in roughly 5-6 years when I was much more active, so it’s been very challenging as well.”

Lara is Program Manager at Metro Housing|Boston, working within the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP). Though he has never run a marathon before, he was motivated to try by his colleagues and the work that Metro Housing|Boston does.  “All of our participants have a story, and there are thousands of them.  It’s common knowledge that affordable housing is a major crisis, not only in Massachusetts, but in the United States,” says Michael. “The money we raise is truly for a great cause and will improve the quality of life of those we work for.”

Michael is originally from Florida, but can still relate to the tradition of the Marathon. “I think it’s a special experience for most “transplants”.  It’s an annual feeling of comradery with the city we all live in and I think it’s something people from all over can share.”

To support Michael and help him reach his fundraising goals, visit

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