Greetings!

Budget season is underway at the State House! On Tuesday, April 2nd, beginning at 11:00 a,m. at the State House, the Joint Committee on Ways and Means will hold its annual public hearing on the state budget. Following Governor Baker’s release in January of his annual budget request to the Legislature (“House 1”), the Committee is now in the process of writing the House and Senate versions of the fiscal year 2020 state budget. The April 2nd hearing is a crucial day for stakeholders to gather and share testimony in support of funding solutions to homelessness, housing instability, and poverty across the Commonwealth.

The Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless invites you, your colleagues, and program participants to join us in the State House on April 2nd as we advocate for a #BudgetToEndHomelessness. We specifically are organizing panels of speakers to testify in support of re-establishing an upstream rental arrearage program through the Residential Assistance for Families in Transition program (RAFT), providing Emergency Assistance (EA) shelter to families with children before they have to stay in places not meant for human habitation, and increasing funding to provide housing and wraparound services to unaccompanied youth and young adults who are experiencing homelessness. If you would like to be part of one of these panels, please let us know.

Before the hearing begins, we will gather at Church on the Hill in Downtown Boston, right across the street from the State House, from 9:30 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. We will use this time to discuss what to expect of the day’s hearing in the context of the state budget process, prepare personal testimonies, and get ready to speak in front of members of the Joint Committee on Ways and Means.

Pre-Hearing Gathering Details:
Tuesday, April 2nd
9:30-10:30 a.m.
Church on the Hill
140 Bowdoin Street, 2nd floor
Boston, MA 02108
(Across from the State House)

Hearing Details:
Tuesday, April 2nd
Beginning at 11 a.m., and likely will run until late afternoon
Massachusetts State House
24 Beacon Street
Gardner Auditorium, basement level
Boston, MA 02133
(Closest entrance: Beacon Street side)

For more information about the Coalition's budget priorities, please visit the Present Policy Campaigns page on our website and our online budget spreadsheet. For more information on the hearing, please visit the public hearing page on our website. New advocacy resources for participating in the hearing will be posted there shortly, including talking points on our top priority budget requests, sample testimony, sample letter to the Committee, and sample tweets.

Not available on April 2nd, or unable to travel to Boston? There are still ways for you to join us in advocacy! We encourage you to submit written testimony to us, which we are glad to deliver to the Committee for you in-person. You can also join us on social media, by posting video statements and written thoughts on why you urge the Committee to fund solutions to homelessness, housing instability, and poverty in the state budget. Follow us and join conversation with the hashtag #BudgetToEndHomelessness.

We hope to see you on April 2nd!

In solidarity,

Kelly, Molly, and James
Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless Public Policy Team
Questions? Email Kelly Turley at kelly@mahomeless.org , James Saucedo at james@mahomeless.org and Molly Schulman at molly@mahomeless.org .
We hope to see you on April 2nd!