For the past several months our President & CEO, Karen LaFrazia, has been meeting with members of the State Legislature asking them to support the work of St. Francis House in two different ways.
First, she has been working with our State Representative, Aaron Michlewitz, to include funding in the State budget that would provide $150,000 to support the Moving Ahead Program (MAP).
Second, St. Francis House is part of a statewide coalition of homeless services providers, The Coalition for Homeless Individuals (CHI), working to increase the line item that funds individual homeless service providers. The Coalition is seeking an increase of $5.515 million dollars raising the funding level to $50 million to support the work that we do statewide.
Funding to that line item supports all the work in our Day Shelter: security, food, clothing, case management, mental health counseling, expressive therapy, the housing resource center, and the women’s center. As you know, our Day Shelter saves lives and creates a bridge to housing, employment, and lives of stability for an average of 500 homeless men and women each day.
On Monday, the House Ways and Means Committee released its version of next year’s state budget. As expected, funding for MAP was not included, nor was there any increase for homeless services. This will happen through the amendment process.
Representative Michlewitz is filing an amendment to ensure that funding for MAP will be included in the final House budget. It will make a huge difference if other State Representatives offer to co-sponsor this amendment.
State Representative John Mahoney (D-Worcester) has agreed to file an amendment to fund the homeless services line item.
This is where we need your help.
Please call your State Representative now and ask them to:
- Co-sponsor Representative Aaron Michlewitz’s amendment to support a $150,000 earmark in line item 7003-1206 to support the St. Francis House Moving Ahead Program.
- Co-sponsor Representative John Mahoney’s amendment to fund line item 7004-0102 at $50,000,000.
- Find your legislator and their contact information, and call your State Representative.
- Tell them you are a supporter of St. Francis House.
- Tell them the Moving Ahead Program is an effective program that returns homeless people to work.
- Tell them that St. Francis House State Representative Aaron Michlewitz is filing an amendment to fund the Moving Ahead Program
- Tell them you know firsthand the important work we do and that the St. Francis House Day Shelter provides lifesaving services and a wide range of programs that move people out of homelessness and into lives of stability.
- Ask them to co-sponsor both amendments.
There is not much time to get this done.
This amendment needs to be filed by Thursday afternoon. Please call today or tomorrow. It is important that you do not wait!
Please email Mary Schichtel and let her know what response you received from your State Representative.
Thank you very much. This could be very significant for St. Francis House and the men and women we serve.