April 17, 2019


We need your help to strengthen the House of Representatives' version of the FY'20 state budget. Please call your State Representative today to ask them to sign on to critical House budget amendments related to homelessness, housing, and benefits.  You can look up your State Representative via  www.wheredoivotema.com or call the State House switchboard at 617-722-2000 . After calling or emailing them, please  let us know what the response was .

Key Amendments

  • Amendment #1127: Rent Arrearage Assistance Program (RAAP) amendment to line item 7004-9316 filed by Representative Marjorie Decker to create a $7 million upstream homelessness prevention pilot program within the Residential Assistance for Families in Transition program (RAFT) to help households pay for back rent and mortgage payments: fact sheet (updated 4-17-19), call script, and talking points (PDF files)

  • Amendment #1124: Emergency Assistance (EA) amendment to line item 7004-0101 filed by Representative Marjorie Decker to ensure that families experiencing homelessness do not have to sleep in places not meant for human habitation before becoming eligible for EA shelter: fact sheet (PDF, updated 4-16-19)

  • Amendment #883: Youth homelessness amendment to line item 4000-0007 filed by Representative Jim O'Day to increase funding for housing and wraparound services for unaccompanied youth and young adults experiencing homelessness: fact sheet (PDF, updated 4-16-19)

  • Amendment #765: Mass ID access amendment to create a new outside section of the budget filed by Representative Kay Khan to ease access to standard Mass IDs for people experiencing homelessness: fact sheet (PDF, updated 4-16-19)

You can see if your Representative already has signed on to particular amendments by clicking the amendment numbers above. If so, please thank them.


As we reported last Thursday, the House Committee on Ways and Means released its fiscal year 2020 budget recommen dations on April 10th. Under the leadership of the new chair, Representative Aaron Michlewitz of Boston, House Ways and Means (HWM) recommended $42.7 billion in spending for the new fiscal year, which will begin on July 1st.

Here is our updated FY'20 budget chart , with our initial analysis of key line items related to homelessness, housing, and benefits, and preliminary information about budget amendments that were filed to improve upon the HWM budget (see columns G and H). State Representatives filed amendments last Wednesday through Friday, and they can cosponsor amendments until the full House budget debate, which is scheduled to begin early next week.

Thank you for your advocacy and collaboration to push for a #BudgetToEndHomelessness!

With gratitude,

Kelly Turley
Associate Director
Massachusetts Youth Count 2019 Is Underway!

Friday was the first day of Massachusetts Youth Count 2019 . We are proud to be a key partner of the Massachusetts Commission on Unaccompanied Homeless Youth to plan and oversee the sixth annual Youth Count. This year's Youth Count will run for one month, ending on Sunday, May 12th. 

If you are an unaccompanied youth/young adult under 25 and are experiencing housing instability-- or you work with young people without housing-- please check out our  Youth Count 2019 page

The survey can be taken online:  English and  Spanish ; or in print form:  English Spanish , Haitian Kreyol , Cape Verdean Creole , and Portuguese . Results from the survey will strengthen our advocacy efforts to expand housing and services for unaccompanied youth and young adults experiencing homelessness. 

We actively are recruiting youth and young adults who identify as LGBTQ, especially LGBTQ youth of color, to join in the Youth Count as Youth Ambassadors to recruit peers to participate in the survey . Compensation and supports will be provided. If you are interested in serving in the role, please complete this  simple self-nomination form . Please also share this  Youth Ambassador outreach flyer  with other young people who might be interested. Special thanks to the Massachusetts Commission on LGBTQ Youth for supporting this initiative!