Document Sample
MBHP_Home_FSS_Winter10 Powered By Docstoc
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 • 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
                                                                                   (617) 425-6606
to housing and for those with           backpacks for children in families who
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
                                                                                   (617) 425-6780
                                                                                   Director of Leased Housing Susan Nohl
                                                                                   (617) 425-6608
                                                                                   Director of Client Services Maura Pensak
                                                                                   (617) 425-6662
                                                                                   Director of Inspectional and
                                                                                   Property Owner Services Kevin Donaher
                                                                                   (617) 425-6702
                                                                                   Director of Policy and Program
                                                                                   Development Mary Doyle
                                                                                   (617) 425-6694
MBHP staffers Elizabeth Jones and       Abednego and Adyelzer sport their new      Director of Development Carla E. Bennett
                                                                                   (617) 425-6705
Theresa DiPietro sort backpacks from    back-to-school backpacks donated by
Pegasystems, Inc.                       Shawnut Design and Construction.

                                             m bhp@ home • Page 2
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!              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 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
                                                                                         Utilities Workshop
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
                                                                                                     U.S. POSTAGE
         125 Lincoln Street, 5th Floor                                                               BOSTON MA
           Boston, MA 02111-2503                                                                   PERMIT NO. 56299
      (617) 859-0400 •


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
                               FSS Update
InformatIon and resources for metropolItan Boston HousIng partnersHIp’s famIly self-suffIcIency program
                                                                                                              WINTER 2010

Mbhp Family Self-Sufficiency program Graduates 27 participants

W      hat would you do with more
       than $14,000?
     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

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” 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

Shared By: