Information and resources for program participants and their families Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership WINTER 2010
Mbhp pilot project Moves homeless Families In Motels Into housing
A Metropolitan Boston Housing
Partnership pilot program to
rapidly re-house homeless families
which funds can be used for short-
term rental subsidies to get homeless
families into homes. Once re-housed,
sheltered in a Cambridge motel has a family works toward debt reduc-
become the model for helping tion, better employment and other
families across the region quickly financial strategies to be able to
transition from shelter to housing. sustain the housing long term after
In late August and early Septem- the subsidy ends. The Family to
ber, MBHP Housing Supports staff Family Project provided additional
members and volunteers met with flexible funds for security deposits
the 76 homeless families at the MBHP staff members Caitlin Dolan and for the pilot project participants.
Cambridge Gateway Inn motel to Maureen Kearney and Intern Samantha By mid-December, 22 of the 25
collect basic information to help Curtis review client files during a recent pilot program families were housed or
match homeless families with motel visit. had signed leases and were preparing
available apartments. to move into their new homes.
The team’s goal was to identify employed or who have other Additionally, MBHP is maintaining
families who, with some rental sources of income. daily contact with almost all of the
assistance for a limited time, could MBHP staff members identified 25 pilot project families as well as
transition quickly from homelessness 25 families who were best positioned working with other families living
to housing. These include families for rapid re-housing using a limited at the Gateway.
with one or more members who are emergency assistance program from continued on back cover
Mbhp Leases Families Under New program
S ixty-two formerly homeless
families now have permanent
housing and are building their
assistance, an asset-building tool and
employment services—to assist
families moving from homelessness to
history but current unemployment.
MEOP families receive rental
assistance from the MBHP and
economic self-sufficiency, thanks to permanent housing and from unem- ongoing employment assistance,
a new state-funded pilot program ployment to economic self-sufficiency. housing search help, housing
called Moving to Economic Opportu- Modeled after the federal Family stabilization assistance and case
nity (MEOP). Self-Sufficiency Program for Section 8 management from their former
MEOP is collaboration among voucher holders, MEOP is targeted shelter provider.
the Massachusetts Department of toward very low-income homeless “We know that this model of
Housing and Community Develop- families who have demonstrated the asset development works,” said
ment (DHCD), the Massachusetts motivation and skills to obtain and MBHP Executive Director Chris
Department of Transitional Assistance keep regular and gainful employment. Norris. “Housing and jobs are linked,
(DTA), MBHP and several other To be eligible to participate in and this partnership among residents,
housing agencies to provide time- MEOP, a family must be referred housing providers and stabilization
limited rental assistance to eligible directly by DHCD to MBHP; there is workers will benefit everyone.”
homeless families in state-funded no direct application for this program. As of mid-December, 67 families
shelter who are participating in DTA Applicants must be homeless and in had been referred to MBHP by
job training and education programs. shelter, recent recipients of public DHCD and had been screened for
The goal of MEOP is to provide assistance, and actively participating eligibility, with 62 leases issued and
transitional support—including rental in employment search with a work another pending.
w w w.m bh p.org • ever yon e de s er ve s a place t o cal l h om e
Founders Celebration Raises Funds for Mbhp programs and Services
O n Nov. 17, more than 130 MBHP
friends, supporters, board
members and staff gathered at State
Celebration acknowledged the
significance of the vision conceived
20 years ago.
Street Financial Center for the Massachusetts Secretary for
Second Annual MBHP Founders Housing and Economic Develop-
Celebration. The event recognized ment Greg Bialecki delivered the
the completion of an innovative keynote address and spoke about
public-private partnership to pre- the innovation and collaboration of
serve affordable housing and raised BHP II. “The history and success
more than $76,000 for MBHP of MBHP is about the innovation and
programs and services! collaboration,” he added.
Two decades ago under MBHP’s Boston Department of Neighbor-
leadership, a group of civic-minded hood Development Director Evelyn
institutions invested in the develop- Friedman—a former CDC executive
ment and preservation of 925 affor- director—also spoke to the success Hank Phillippi Ryan joking with the
dable apartments in Boston, partner- of BHP II and provided exceptional attendees during the awards presentation.
ing private and public dollars to historical context for the housing
provide critical funding to stabilize environment at the time of BHP II’s The Founders Celebration is
neighborhoods and ensure continued conception. 7News investigative MBHP’s only annual fund-raiser.
affordable housing options in the reporter and mystery novelist Dollars raised will help MBHP
future. As the BHP II partnerships Hank Phillippi Ryan anchored the provide programs and resources to
come to a close, the Founders evening’s events. those most at risk of homelessness.
pegasystems and Shawmut donate backpacks MBHP strives to provide the best client
service possible. If you have had a positive
T hanks to Pegasystems Inc., 122
children began the school year
with brand new, stocked backpacks.
out of shelter services in local motels
and into permanent housing.
Another 60 back-to-school,
experience and would like to recognize a
staff member for exceptional service—or if
you have been unsuccessful resolving an
issue, have already spoken to the staff
On Aug. 31, Pega staff members stocked backpacks arrived at MBHP in member’s direct supervisor, and would like
additional assistance—please contact the
delivered backpacks of every color, early September, thanks to Shawmut appropriate MBHP Senior Staff member
shape and size to MBHP families who Design and Construction. Shawmut, a listed below.
are transitioning from homelessness new MBHP partner, provided the Executive Director Chris Norris
to housing and for those with backpacks for children in families who firstname.lastname@example.org
extremely low incomes served by are working to achieve educational Chief Operating Officer Jeffrey Cordon
MBHP’s Housing Supports services. and career goals through MBHP’s (617) 425-6605
Included are families who are moving Family Self-Sufficiency Program.
Chief Financial Officer
Rev. Anne M. Rousseau
Director of Leased Housing Susan Nohl
Director of Client Services Maura Pensak
Director of Inspectional and
Property Owner Services Kevin Donaher
Director of Policy and Program
Development Mary Doyle
MBHP staffers Elizabeth Jones and Abednego and Adyelzer sport their new Director of Development Carla E. Bennett
Theresa DiPietro sort backpacks from back-to-school backpacks donated by email@example.com
Pegasystems, Inc. Shawnut Design and Construction.
m bhp@ home • Page 2
Mbhp FREE WINTER WORKShOpS SChEdULEd
MBHP is pleased to offer the following Utilities Workshop Utilities Workshop
tenant workshops. For the most Wednesday, Jan. 20, 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 17, 11:30 a.m.
updated information about workshops Learn how to obtain utility discounts Learn how to obtain utility discounts
and other MBHP events, visit the and fuel assistance and how to save and fuel assistance and how to save
“Event” section of www.mbhp.org! money on your utility costs. money on your utility costs this winter.
All events take place at MBHP, 125
Find a Career Evening Budgeting Workshop
Lincoln Street, Boston, MA 02111, just
Thursday, Jan. 21, 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 25, 5:30 p.m.
blocks from South Station. Please RSVP
by calling Iris Sierra at (617) 425-6650 or Presented by Career Collaborative. Presented by Boston Private Bank and
e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Requests Learn about the Collaborative’s free Trust. Learn how to better budget your
for reasonable accommodations must career program that helps individuals income to achieve your financial goals.
be made no later than three weeks with creating an outstanding resume,
Housing Search Workshop
before a class. honing interview skills, searching for
Wednesday, March 17, 10 a.m.
the right job and getting hired.
Credit Smart Four-Part Series Workshop is intended for tenants who
Tuesdays, Jan. 5, 12, 19, & 26, 6:30 p.m. Basic Budgeting Workshop, Part 1 already have a rental subsidy or are
Tuesday, Feb. 2, 10 a.m. able to afford market rates and includes
Learn how to budget and deal with
credit issues, how to improve your Learn how to track your spending, make information on Fair Housing laws.
current credit, and how to keep it good. a budget and pay bills. First in a
Seating is limited to 25—call/e-mail two-part series.
Wednesday, March 17, 11:30 a.m.
early to guarantee a seat! Basic Budgeting Workshop, Part 2 Learn how to obtain utility discounts
Evening Utilities Workshop Tuesday, Feb. 9, 10 a.m. and fuel assistance and how to save
Monday, Jan. 11, 6 p.m. Learn how to track your spending, make money on your utility costs.
Learn how to obtain utility discounts a budget and pay bills. Second in a
Living Within Your Means
and fuel assistance and how to save two-part series.
Thursday, March 25, 6 p.m.
money on your utility costs this winter. Housing Search Workshop Presented by the Boston Home Center
Housing Search Workshop Wednesday, Feb. 17, 10 a.m. Learn how to evaluate your current
Wednesday, Jan. 20, 10 a.m. Workshop is intended for tenants who financial situation and make adjust-
Workshop is intended for tenants who already have a rental subsidy or are ments based on your living situation.
already have a rental subsidy or are able to afford market rates and includes Discussion will include needs vs. wants,
able to afford market rates and includes information on Fair Housing laws. how to get discounts on food and
information on Fair Housing laws. utilities, how to budget effectively and
how to increase your income.
mbhp@home • Pa ge 3
“Welcome home,” Courtesy of the boston private bank and Trust Co.
M ost families, as they transition
from homelessness and/or
shelter to a home, lack even the most
essential household basics: dishes and
cups, pots and pans, toothbrushes,
towels, storage containers, garbage
bags, a can opener.
But thanks to the generosity of
Boston Private Bank & Trust Co., 48
families will start their lives in their
new homes with these and other
household staples. This year marks
the fourth year Boston Private Bank
has sponsored the Welcome Home
Basket project by providing 48 fully
stuffed baskets. The baskets, which
actually are handy shopping totes on
wheels, contain basics needed for
Boston Private Bank’s Roni Goffigan, MBHP Development Associate Rennie Elliott,
a family moving from homelessness
Boston Private Bank’s Kimberly Clarke and Boston Private Bank’s Esther Schlorholtz
and/or shelter into a new home. during the July Welcome Home Basket assembly session at MBHP.
Three Marathon Spots for 2010 locate apartments that are available owners were treated to a “Tips for
MBHP is pleased to announce that for rent and within subsidy rent Improving Your Tenant Selection
we will receive three charity entries guidelines. The improvements will Process” workshop. Two tenant
for Boston’s 114th Marathon, set for enable more owners to list apart- workshops, one on tenant relocation
April 19, 2010, generously donated ments and will provide a way for and another on affordable housing,
by John Hancock Financial Services. more detailed information to be were offered for tenants. Following
MBHP will select three runners included with each listing. the workshops, the tenants and
whose experience will make them Tenants will benefit from having property owners/managers met,
most likely to succeed in both the more listings, improved searching chatted and compared needs and
training and fund-raising portions of functions, and more information opportunities. Then all shared in a
the program. Team MBHP will be about each available unit. special Ben & Jerry’s ice cream treat.
announced by the end of December. The project is thanks to grants
recently received from the Lawrence
Online Apartment Listing Model Lodging Houses Trust and the
Service to be Upgraded Paul & Phyllis Fireman Charitable
MBHP is upgrading its online apart- Foundation.
ment listing service to give tenants a The site is available now, and
one-stop shop for current, detailed the improvements should be com-
information about available, privately pleted and operational by January.
owned, affordable apartments.
The listing, found at www.mbhp. Mbhp Rental Fair a hit!
org, is being improved to provide Property owners and managers have
better search capabilities, to include vacant apartments. Tenants and
photos of apartments, to link listing prospective tenants need to find
addresses to online maps, to increase places to live. Put them together, and
amenity information, and more! what do you get? A successful Rental
The upgrade is in response to Fair! On Aug. 12, MBHP hosted a
the need for a regional online Rental Fair attended by 108 tenants MBHP Intake Coordinator Mitch Kyle
service to help prospective tenants and 52 property owners. Property during the relocation workshop.
m bh p@ h om e • Page 4
125 Lincoln Street, 5th Floor BOSTON MA
Boston, MA 02111-2503 PERMIT NO. 56299
(617) 859-0400 • www.mbhp.org
Moving From Motels Into housing continued from cover
With more than 1,000 Massachu- Malden, Quincy and Waltham out of for rapid re-housing and will use
setts families in motel shelters, the hotels and motels and into permanent intensive housing search, time-limited
pilot program won’t put an immedi- housing over the next two years. rental assistance, case management
ate end to homelessness. However, “We’re seeing more families and other tools to enable these
housing 20-plus shelter families at homeless because of one-time families to decrease dependence on
the Gateway was a start, and the economic upheaval, such as loss of public support and to become fully
model is being scaled up to include employment,” said MBHP Executive independent in a relatively short
other motels with shelter families. Director Chris Norris. “This pro- period of time.
MBHP and a partnering agency, gram—which MBHP proved can Additionally, MBHP and Heading
Heading Home, recently were work—gives people in those types Home are working with local
awarded $4.5 million in American of situations an opportunity to get housing authorities, shelters and
Recovery and Reinvestment Act back on their feet. Although rapid housing supports resources to help
(ARRA) federal stimulus funds to re-housing options cannot help all other motel-sheltered families who
move more homeless families being families in shelter situations, it can need more intensive assistance
sheltered in area motels into housing. help a significant number of them, beyond the rapid re-housing model
MBHP and Heading Home are reducing the burden on the shelter to obtain housing.
“scaling up” the Gateway Inn model system and bettering the quality of The goal is to empty the motels
and hope to move hundreds of the families’ lives.” of all sheltered families by the end
families from Boston, Brighton, MBHP and Heading Home will of the funding cycle.
Brookline, Cambridge, Chelsea, identify as many as 300 families
mbhp@home • Pa ge 5
InformatIon and resources for metropolItan Boston HousIng partnersHIp’s famIly self-suffIcIency program
Mbhp Family Self-Sufficiency program Graduates 27 participants
W hat would you do with more
On Oct. 16, MBHP Family
Self-Sufficiency Program staff and
graduates celebrated completion
of the program in a graduation
ceremony at the Boston Private
Bank & Trust Company.
And, many asked themselves
that very question.
The FSS Program, open to
qualifying Section 8 rental assistance
tenants, helps tenants move toward
increased economic self-sufficiency
and housing stability. FSS partici- Shown is FSS Grad Melicia Greene (center) with (from left) MBHP Executive Director
pants create a five-year plan to work Chris Norris, FSS Advisor Helga Ramos, Boston Private Bank & Trust Co. CEO Mark D.
toward educational and career goals. Thompson, and Boston Private Bank & Trust Co. Senior Vice President and MBHP
Board Member Esther Schlorholtz.
As their incomes rise, they pay a
larger portion of the rent, and this
increased rental payment is put into average savings at the time of this milestone, and each one of them
individual escrow savings accounts. graduation topped $12,000. This has my respect for their efforts.”
Upon graduation, the money can be year, one graduate’s escrow account Currently, MBHP’s FSS program
used for higher education, to buy a exceeded $36,000! boasts 227 participants.
home or to pay significant bills. “It’s a privilege for MBHP to be For more information about the
On average, this year’s FFS able to play a part in the success of Family Self-Sufficiency Program,
graduates increased their incomes our FSS graduates,” said MBHP contact FSS Program Manager Jamie
by more than $19,900 over the Executive Director Chris Norris. “For DeLude at (617) 425-6701, or e-mail
course of their participation. Their years they have worked to achieve email@example.com.
Free (and Almost Free) Family Fun
Winter Lights Festival Museum on New Year’s Day for free! Smalls. For more information, call
Through Dec. 31 Enjoy the exhibits or visit the indoor (781) 395-7950.
Prudential Center, Boston courtyard garden. For more informa- An Immigrant’s Story:
Enjoy festive holiday entertainment tion, call (617) 566-1401. JFK Library’s Celebrate Series
and activities every weekend at the “Let’s Get the Rhythm Saturday, March 13, 2010
Winter Lights Festival. See www. of the Feet” Irish performers “Themselves”
prudentialcenter.com for a full list of Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2010 present An Immigrant’s Story as part
activities, or call (617) 236-3100. Medford Public Library of the Kennedy Library’s Celebrate
Gardner Museum 111 High Street, Medford series for family audiences. John F.
New Year’s Open house Visit the Medford Public Library and Kennedy Library and Museum,
Friday, Jan. 1, 2010 enjoy a performance with children’s Columbia Point, Boston. For more
80 The Fenway, Boston author, storyteller and historian Irene information, call (617) 514-1600.
Visit the Isabella Stewart Gardner
w w w. m bh p. org • eve r yone de s e r ve s a place to cal l home