When William Flores first came to the Chelsea Collaborative, he was homeless, recently released from the hospital after battling COVID for three weeks, and in tears because his personal possessions were stolen from his subleased room while he was in the hospital.
William had been unstably housed for years - surviving night to night in shelters, on couches, and in subleased rooms. Two days before being hospitalized he made a deal with a roommate to share the room and split the rent - each paying $400/month. But the roommate took off with all of his belongings, including the only photos he had of his daughter, while he was in the hospital. When William returned to the room he had rented, the landlord told him he was not authorized to be there and he had to leave. Collaborative staff helped him find emergency temporary housing in a hotel for the time being, and our work continues to find him a safer, more sustainable housing option - without success so far.
William is one of thousands of tenants in Chelsea and surrounding areas who are still falling through the cracks of a
broken housing system
- forced into financial and health crisis without any affordable, safe, or secure housing options available. With May 1 approaching, we are working with more than 900+ families who fear their housing is at risk. We are educating our community on Massachusetts' eviction moratorium protections and supporting hundreds of families to access the City of Chelsea's $1.2 million
rental assistance program
, which launched this week and is open to all residents regardless of immigration status.
While we celebrate this infusion of resources to keep our community housed,
it's not enough
. We expect Chelsea will need at least $2 million in rental assistance to keep all of our families in their homes once the eviction moratorium ends and rent is due.
We need your help
Join us in asking our
to increase funding for rental assistance and grant rental amnesty for COVID-impacted families. We must give our families a fighting chance to get back on their feet after COVID and once the eviction moratorium ends.