March 8, 2005

Part VII: Housing and Urban Development

In the section on "Homelessness" replace the last sentence with a call for a more comprehensive effort to prevent and address homelessness:

"We recognize that homelessness is not an isolated problem, but typically the outcome of a combination of circumstances, such as increased housing costs, eviction , domestic violence, loss of employment, substance abuse or mental illness, catastrophic illness or disability and/or uncovered health care costs, HIV/AIDS, gambling or other debts, inadequate planning for a discharge from prison or inpatient mental health care, lack of preparedness for self-support once family or institutional support is no longer available, etc. In light of the complex origins of homelessness, we believe that efforts to address homelessness must be comprehensive, including resources to help at-risk households forestall or prevent eviction, resources to prepare young adults for employment and higher education, resources to upgrade the skills and education of unemployed workers and workers trapped in low-wage jobs; resources to protect the housing of persons who become sick or disabled and unable to support themselves; resources to ensure adequate discharge planning, preparation for re-entry, and residential and community-based support for re-entering prison inmates and mental hospital inpatients; adequate child care; adequate substance abuse treatment and residential recovery programs; adequate supports for young adults aging out of DSS or DYS programs; adequate affordable rental housing; and a commitment to sustaining a collaborative effort among State agencies, the County Houses of Corrections, municipalities, and the private, non-profit, and faith communities."

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Thank you for your consideration of my suggestions.

 

 

 

Fred Berman 25 Cherry St. Somerville, MA 02144

(W) 617-349-6209 (H) 617-776-0503 email: fredlori@rcn.com